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I have posted two scenario files at Strategic Command 2 Yahoo Group. One is for the 1939 scenario and one is for the 1941 scenario. Both are complete with customized graphics and design notes included, and both have functional Axis and Allied AI scripting for playing either side.

This is a beta. I've been working on this thing for the past six months or so. I'd like to thanks Desert Dave, SeaMonkey and Dan Fenton for some playtesting help along the way. It's finally at a point where I would like others to try it out and offer comments and suggestions.

Please feel free to play either scenario from either side or try a PBEM with someone. Let me know how it goes. smile.gif

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Here's an overview shot of the main part of the A3R map:

of=50,566,443

Here's a couple of excerpts from my design notes to help explain things:

Introduction

This is an adaptation of Avalon Hill's 1992 board game ADVANCED THIRD REICH (A3R), the sequel to THE RISE AND DECLINE OF THE THIRD REICH originally designed by John Prados in the 1970s. This adaptation has roughly the same map, the same force pools and scenario orders of battle, and the same relative economic production and unit costs. The scale and scope is essentially the same, and veteran players familiar with A3R should feel right at home – right down to the customized military unit bitmaps.

Overview

The time scale is monthly turns, specifically 4-week simultaneous turns which gives each player 13 turns per year. The map scale is about 30 miles per tile, half the scale of A3R's 60 miles per hex. The map is a faithful recreation of the original A3R map, with some updates based on the AWAW map such as forests. Unit scale remains at corps-level. What veteran A3R players will notice, and will have to get used to, is that this game provides much more operational flavor with its monthly turns than the original game did with its 3-month seasonal turns. In general, though, things happen more or less consistently with A3R. If players step back and consider results over a 3-month season and compare these results with what usually happens in a single A3R turn, they should find consistency.

Mechanics of play are the same as SC2. Obviously, the old A3R game mechanics regarding such things as option selections for each front, exploitation movement of armor, over-stacking on bridgehead hexes, air and naval warfare rules and the rest cannot be recreated. The good news is that by using the game mechanics of SC2 (e.g., fog of war, unit experience and HQ leadership bonuses, weather effects, etc.), the old A3R game experience is enhanced in many ways.

OK. Here's a quick summary and comments of one of my final playtests of the 1939 campaign versus Axis AI, hands-off, with difficulty at Beginner +1. Higher difficulty levels are recommended for more challenging play.

Nov 39. Poland surrenders. Mostly bad weather and bad luck. Poland usually falls in two turns. France did not join the Allies (50-50 chance).

Jan 40. Germany invades Denmark. AI usually invades between Nov 39 and Feb 40, but could be later. France joins the Allies.

Feb 40. USSR annexes Finnish border tiles.

Apr 40. Germany invades Netherlands and Luxembourg. AI usually invades all three low countries at once, but often may delay attack on one or two for various reasons.

May 40. Germany invades Belgium. Pro-Axis coup in Norway.

Jun 40. Italy joins the Axis.

Aug 40. USSR annexes Baltic States and Bessarabia (50-50 chance).

Sep 40. France surrenders. Actually Paris was occupied in Aug but surrender was delayed. France usually holds out until Aug-Oct, depending on how things go. Bulgaria joins Axis as a variant. French colonies all become Vichy, no pro-Allied coups. Usually one or two of Algeria, Morocco, Syria or Tunisia may have a coup. I've seen three in one game.

Oct 40. Hungary and Romania join the Axis.

Nov 40. Italy invades Greece. Axis AI will transport units to Albania and launch an offensive when ready.

Mar 41. Pro-Allied coup in Yugoslavia.

Apr 41. Pro-Axis coup in Iraq. Axis AI has 40% chance, else pretty good chance for pro-Allied coup.

May 41. Iraq joins the Axis.

Jun 41. Germany invades USSR. Yugoslavia and Greece surrender. Note Greek campaign lasted about 7 months.

Getting all the scripting to work for the various random differences in every game has been a major headache. Hopefully I've found and resolved most issues and players can expect a decent semi-historical game. I have not included many ahistorical strategies yet, but this is something I plan to work on over the next couple of months while folks try the beta game. Enjoy. ;)

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I had a problem opening cmmods today. Once I can access it, I will post there also.

Yes France starts as neutral, with about 50-50 chance of activating when Germany DOWs Poland. If France does not activate on Poland, they will certainly activate on a subsequent act of aggression by Germany. This is an innovation; players can still select a historical French option.

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This is a beast of a campaign from the Axis side playing at expert +2 exp to Allies.

You likely won't make it out of France, they will kill you.

I can only imagine what this will be like against a human, .....not for the faint of heart.

Hey Bill, send me the file, I don't want to join Yahoo.

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Thanks for the credit, Mr Bill,

Though... I had little to do with this

Most X-cellent MOD.

The other 2 Dudes did very much more.

Yet, have played it some - enough, actually,

That I would GREATLY recommend it. :cool:

IF you wish X-tremely faithful

Gaming - akin to any of the THIRD REICH

Iterations,

Then - by all means,

Give this one a go! :cool:

Let Mr Bill know!

Yer own opinion and suggestions,

He'd appreciate it, of that

I'm quite certain.

____________________________

BTW,

I have abandoned my own '39 MOD,

Which I've been working a long, long time,

Oh, a year or so,

Because I simply cannot get the right Sprites.

The sprites right.

The silhouettes to fit,

The AI to co-operate.

The proper balance,

That real necessary... flux and flow.

Whatever.

No problemo!

That's how she goes sometimes, but,

I ain't gonna throw some inferior,

Half-*ssed junk

Out there, nope, nix, no way Jose.

Perhaps,

Some another time... down that Glory Road.

PLENTY of others to choose from,

Now that many & most

Are getting over enny needless fear

Of that - truly unprecedented!

Editor.

And, ipso Calypso,

Are proceeding - very merrily

Unheeded. smile.gif

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BTW,

I have abandoned my own '39 MOD,

Which I've been working a long, long time,

Oh, a year or so,

Because I simply cannot get the right Sprites.

The sprites right.

The silhouettes to fit,

The AI to co-operate.

The proper balance,

That real necessary... flux and flow.

Whatever.

No problemo!

That's how she goes sometimes, but,

I ain't gonna throw some inferior,

Half-*ssed junk

Out there, nope, nix, no way Jose.

That's a great shame... anything I can do to help?
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Thanks for the most generous offer, Jeff.

You have already done plenty,

And I appreciate it.

Not to worry,

I'll get back to it... eventually, no doubt.

You know how it can be... a'times

You need take a break

So to see the "big picture"

In a smaller, finer frame

(... of Mind), eh? smile.gif

_________________________

And,

My apologies to - Bill the Para Dude,

For stepping on his thread.

Alright,

Let's resurrect that great old game

ThirdReich.jpg

Now!

In a brand new! package! :cool:

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Two things i noticed straight off that don't work are...

1-'Research' doesn't seem to work at all!,...it's appear's to be dead in the water/non-functioning!. Essentially what i said appear's to be the case, my Research has been dead for many turn's [something i haven't seen in any other game], however only 1-Research Item actually occurred and that was a Tank-Research item...it has been the only one to take place...in about 8-Game Turn's!.

2-Transport's are not able to unload in harbour's!.

[ March 07, 2007, 09:34 PM: Message edited by: Retributar ]

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Retributar, thanks for checking it out! Research works OK but some techs are limited or restricted. This is discussed in the design notes. As for transports, they work fine for me and the AI. Do you have a specific example of transports not unloading?

For all, please understand that this mod is different than the default SC2 and plays differently. I'm not saying better or not, it's just trying to recreate the feel of the classic Third Reich board game. It may take a game or two to get used to the changes. ;)

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I believe the issue is with the Tobruk port. Malta effect will reduce Bengazi, Tobruk and Tobruk port. No point reducing Tobruk fortress while leaving the supply capacity of the port unharmed, so I included both.

vveedd, I hope you enjoy what I've done with "the game."

Airpower in this mod generated several commments during playtesting. It can be a very powerful asset. I wrestled with this during development. Here's a summary of a few things. The standard 5-4 air has hard/soft attack values of 5. Land units have air defense equal to their combat factor. For instance, 3-3 infantry has air defense 3, 4-6 armor has 4, etc. A couple of air strikes in clear weather against an unentrenched unit can wallop it pretty good. 1-3 and 2-3 infantry are especially vulnerable.

On the flip side, bad weather restricts air power. Reinforcing and rebasing air units means they are unavailable for combat. Entrenchments and other terrain defense bonuses help land units. Air intercepts involving nationality DRMs makes air-to-air combat challenging, meaning players should strive for air superiority. And lastly, force pool limits for air units means it's tough to gain and maintain air superiority in too many operational theaters at one time.

So there's this devastating potential balanced with numerous limitations. Axis has the advantage in the early war and Allies gain the advantage in the later war. In between, it can be an interesting air war. With research techs limited, there's a nice balance throughout the game (no L5 jets in 1942!). For example, USSR can maintain a viable air force and use it to good effect against Axis breakthroughs. IMHO, I think it works out OK. I'm curious to hear what others think.

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Just finished my first game. This MOD is awesome! I can’t thank you enough for this. When SC2 was in early development stage I thought that it will look like that. It should have been like this MOD. Just a few question:

1.Can’t understand what are representing tiles across US border called Republic of Spain?

2.I was in June and had snow. Is it house rule to play this MOD with weather options on OFF? It looks like that weather in game does not follows date in game.

And one suggestion which is not in spirit of A3R game so ignore it if you don’t like:

I suppose that duty of Strategic bombers is to simulate strategic warfare in A3R but these units are off the map in original game. This is, of course, not possible in SC2 so maybe you should have made different air concept in your MOD. My suggestion is that you made air fleets more like fighters and strategic bombers more like tactical and strategic bombers. In this case we will use bombers for purposes for which they are made – bombing units (ground support) and resources (strategic warfare) and air fleets primary for dog fights, escort and some light bombing. I know that this concept have nothing similar (not even close) with air combat in A3R but it will be much better usage of Strategic bomber units and more realistic.Thx.

[ March 09, 2007, 01:16 PM: Message edited by: vveedd ]

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OK, all the Rep of Spain tiles are neutral resources which get annexed via territory events during the game. I did this to control economic expansion of USA and USSR, plus include a couple of variants like "Increased Commitments from the Dominions" for UK and "Successful 5-Year Plan" for USSR. Sound familiar??

Where was snow in June? Europe and USSR spring weather doesn't have snow. Weather option should be ON.

For air units, I chose to keep the classic Third Reich units and integrate bombers as strategic warfare units. Another option of course is to try using the WiF model with FTR, TAC, and STR units. Make FTRs into air fleets and combine TACs and STRs into bombers. Other folks are welcome to mod my mod and try something different.

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Originally posted by pzgndr:

OK, all the Rep of Spain tiles are neutral resources which get annexed via territory events during the game. I did this to control economic expansion of USA and USSR, plus include a couple of variants like "Increased Commitments from the Dominions" for UK and "Successful 5-Year Plan" for USSR. Sound familiar??

Where was snow in June? Europe and USSR spring weather doesn't have snow. Weather option should be ON.

For air units, I chose to keep the classic Third Reich units and integrate bombers as strategic warfare units. Another option of course is to try using the WiF model with FTR, TAC, and STR units. Make FTRs into air fleets and combine TACs and STRs into bombers. Other folks are welcome to mod my mod and try something different.

Snow was in France at June 1940 but this was ,maybe, just an exception in this one game (global warming effect :D ).

Don’t get angry, it was just suggestion. I welcome this air combat concept also.

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I also like the map as this is getting nearer to what a sc2 corps-sized game should look like. With no stacking its a bit too small though(but not much) and I really think people should look at my battle of russia map - my own mod is the closest to a corps-sized sc2 mod Ive seen so far. Not mean to brag as this one is good too.

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Snow should not be happening in June in Europe weather zone. That's an odd bug. If anyone else sees this, please save the turn and send it to Hubert.

As for the comments and suggestions, I do welcome the feedback. Working from a clean slate, I could obviously have done anything - making air combat more like WiF or being more creative with the map. I stuck with a faithful recreation of A3R as much as possible because I am comfortable with how it plays and what to expect. And that's my basis for assessing how well the mod performs.

I am especially interested in hearing from other veteran A3R players about game play and play balance issues. The AI scripting was based on playing at the Intermediate +1 difficulty setting and providing various handicaps to the AI to provide a challenging game. I'm still not sure how it all plays out for a complete game or for a hth game. These are things I'm wanting to assess with the beta release.

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