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AH Advanced Third Reich Mod - Beta #2


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Just played your Mod...

It's great. Concepts are very nice. Slow front moving, although many units are destroyed. I had not that much fun with SC2 as with your mod.

Remarks

Game: Axis AI, start 1939

1) Because of underestamating the Germans I sent almost the whole british Army to Africa, leaving just one corps in London. That was obiously the trigger for Sea Lion, which had no real chance, because the French defended their homeland like crazy at that time and Germany had to split up their invasion force between GB and FR. In fact Sea Lion weakened the german western front, so that Paris was put down in mid 1941.

2) I played with +1 EXP for Axis, as you said. Although the infantry-play was cool, the result for Airforce and Navy was devastating. German Subs did a great job, I would have loved to hunt them with my Cruisers. But the Britains have almost none. Even with 3 Cruisers I would have been very careful, but with only one, its total nonsense even to try. Same with Battle for Britain. The Eastern Front started two turns after fall of France and that saved my ass. British would have never been able to stop the Luftwaffe. Perhaps a little boost for Britain would be nice. 1 or 2 Cruisers more and 1 Airforce OR 1 Combatgroup for Air Defense.

The Navy Game was not much fun. I simply had no chance at all. When Italy and Germany surrendered, half of their Navies were still in Combat. At that time the whole allied Navy consisted of ONE ship. ;)

4) Minor Flaws

- The City in mid germany is called Dusseldorf. Dusseldorf is a very small town, not very important, even today. I would advise to rename that city. In the same tile you could find Essen (Mayor Production town) or Cologne (one of the biggest cities in Germany).

If that does not convince you, perhaps this: Dusseldorf, so they say, make the worst beer of germany. Let's just ignore that city. smile.gif

- Why italian partisans? For balancing reasons okay, but historically italian partisans shoot the germans, not the allies ;)

But whatever... great mod. Really. I like the bigger map. And the AI is formidable. I will play that mod very often, so ... thanks.

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dispalor, thanks! I think the two main issues with airpower and Germany stalling in France may be resolved with the SC2-WaW features. I'm redoing the air OOBs to be more like WiF, with fighters, tactical bombers and strategic bombers. TAC may still be pretty devastating when it gets through but there won't be as many units. But, I'll add some AG artillery to make up for that! And panzers are going to get some more bite, so combat should become more dynamic.

The naval war is dicey in this game. AI is pretty good for both sides! Patience is the master key here, and I mention this in the notes. For the next version, expect to see some Allied ASW destroyers. That should balance things nicely.

You don't like Dusseldorf either? I kinda miss the original Aachen and Essen objectives myself. I may change this. And I may rethink the Italian partisans and make them no-units. There was still some resistance and other problems in Italy and the idea is to challenge the Allied supply net.

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I was'nt here in the forum for a long time, do you speak of the addon? If yes, I'm pretty sure that will help. Whenever they publish it for german versions....2009 smile.gif

Problem with navy is less the AI itself. And if, the ships new speed compensates. I saw it in that game, when US tried to transport 20 Units without escort to France. One german sub detected the fleet, immediatly 3 others showed up. 6 transports were lost in that very short battle. Very good.

The problem here is more general and problem of SC itself. Ground Units are also influenced by an AI EXP Bonus, but not as strong as Airforce or Navy. Let's say it this way: If your brand new Battleship attacks a german Cruiser, it may loose 4 points and the enemy 2. In the next turn you sink. End of story. You can always compensate with attacking single enemy ships with your full navy, but that's no fun, at least for me. I would like to have Hubert seperating the Bonus for Ships/Airforce/Land.

I will try your mod next time with more research levels for antisub and gunnery (whatever the english terms are; that's the main reason why I hate myself for buying the german version). Idea would be to have a strong and dangerous german Navy in the beginning, but year after year, the Allies get ground on the sea and not alone because they build new ships. I will also change the first produced britsh war group from 1941 to 1940 to have a stronger RAF in the Battle of Britain. That should help. And THEN I play with +2 EXp Bonus ...

What about Frankfurt instead of Cologne, Essen, Aachen or Dusseldorf? Or Mainz? Bonn? Ah, sooo many choices... ;)

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I know it's not of much importance... but I'm thinking about the most reasonable city name. And yes, it's Essen. You know, Essen is only the most important city of the "Ruhrgebiet", that means "Area of the river 'Ruhr' ". There are plenty of cities and coal mines, the biggest production area in Germany and surly of highest importance to the Allies. Although the cities are a bit small, they produce like hell.

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Two additional minor flaws:

- Russians can put more than one dot in research for one of the research areas. Don't know if intended.

- Stockholm and Stockholm Harbour are not connected. You have to sourround the whole bay to get to the harbour. For Infantry in winter that may be more than one turn.

By the way... I have Version 1.06, but I can't change your mod without destroying at least the purchase script. At least Russia does not buy anything at all.

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"Idea would be to have a strong and dangerous german Navy in the beginning, but year after year, the Allies get ground on the sea and not alone because they build new ships."

Well this is essentially what the game has now. German Kriegsmarine has a +3 DRM and subs start at L1. It's a tough force but small and not much it can do in the early years. UK really cannot afford to venture out of port until it buys another cruiser, invests in ASW and gets L1. Till then, encounters are risky and Germans can eat your lunch. If Allies lose ships early, it's difficult to recover. Better to lose a few MPPs to convoy raiders than risk ship losses.

As for reasonable city names, the idea is to recreate the old boardgame. As much as possible. I'll check the Stockholm locations. I have modified terrain around London a little for more maneuver, and can do the same for Stockholm and other locations.

For USSR, they can research rockets to L2 so that's what you may be seeing. And for purchase scripts, the WaW expansion provides a fix for the AI to spend more on research and purchases when it accumulates MPPs. It helps.

"The problem here is more general and problem of SC itself. Ground Units are also influenced by an AI EXP Bonus..."

The WaW expansion allows experience bonuses and lots of other stuff to be customized. For AI, I agree the higher difficulty bonuses create some issues which is why I try to balance the solitaire games for +1. There are other things that can be added via scripting for the computer opponent without needing to go to higher difficulty. Ideally, Intermediate +1 should be just about right.

For other stuff that can now be customized in WaW, I'm thinking about smoothing out some of the unit experience gains, particularly for air units. Also, I'd like to increase the reinforcement and rebuild costs slightly. In this game, units are not completely destroyed as often as they were in A3R. With reinforcement at 50% unit cost and rebuilds for units in supply at 60% unit cost, players tend to accumulate more MPPs than they should have. It's too easy to build entire force pools. I think by increasing these parameters slightly to 75%, it will help improve the game in many respects.

I don't plan to do much more AI scripting, since those script structures aren't changing too much. Other than minor game issues with the current v1.06 version, I'm still very interested to hear some more game reports about how both the Axis and Allied AIs are doing. I'll make adjustments as needed. Feedback from others is helpful, since I can only play so many games myself.

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Okay, for that nasty navy-problem point taken. Perhaps I'm too impatient ;)

Increasing rebuild costs may be intersting. Im both games I had simply tooo much ressources. Especially with the Allies.

In the AxisAI-Game +1EXP Russian Defense did a good job, but was not able to counterattack. Kind of suicide to do so. I accumultated too much money and wanted to give GB some money back ;) Without cutting suply-lines, just by waiting and replacing losses, the german attack in the east dried to dust and in 1943 I was able to destroy large parts of their force. 1944 attack on Germany began (THAT was hell of a job!). When the germans grew tired of the eastern front, there were no invasion in France or Italy. The Germans just stopped being a thread. Fruthermore they attacked in the beginning only in the south and in the mid, the north was ignored. And in spite of all the german allies with their forces, they weren't able to bring up that much troops to endanger me. Yes, the single german unit was a hard enemy, there were just too few of them (or too few working together).

US had no problems at all. Building ships for the invasion and Airforce for Britain. Although Airforce and Navy are expensive, I had a fool pool of units (not every possible ship, though) and invaded late 1943 (the Russians had already begun their counterattack and I did not want the western allies to behave like cowards) ;) So in 1943 I had everything I needed. The invasion itself was pretty easy. Some Britboys landed near the ports, and the biiig american army landed in the same turn. I never intended to put the US Army in Invasion Boats (sorry, dont know the correct term), I simply used transports. They are much faster. I believe there were too many ports or perhaps too many independed ports. Taking these is just a matter of being there, not of conquering them. Perhaps deleting some ports or putting them into neighbourhood of a city would help?

The Britains had some problems after fall of France, too many good german Airforce Units. But as soon as the RAF was strong enough (and Germany was busy with Russia), Britain kicked some italian asses in Africa and invaded Italy. Too much ressources, too. Perhaps the Britains should rely some more on the US?

The key is africa, I believe. With a strong german attack, Britains will have to strenghten the south. But I never saw more then a single german corps.

So all three were able to do their work and those of others, too. Britains were able to free Africa and ITaly without the US, the US invaded very convenient France, without landing on the british Isle before and Russia were able to start the Counterattack in 1943 without help of any other friend. Of course they also spent ressources to diplomacy and research. Unit Pool was empty for US and GB in 1943, for Russia even earlier. Russia, of course, did not buy any Navy; GB and US ignored them after 1941 (too many losses). Of course difficulty was set to 100%.

In the Allie-AI-Game with +0 EXP (I was frightened ;) the game was way too easy. Next time with +1 EXP.

Germany overrun France and would have been in the situation to invade Britan. Perhaps even with success. In a +1 EXp Game very unlikely. No engagement in Africa at all. Next step Moskau 1943.

In the beginning I spent much money in research, after that in Airforce, then Tanks, then Infantry. No problem with ressources here. In 1942 I bought everything I needed, some Navy excluded.

Italy conquered Africa and threw the British out. No problems here, too. Ressources were enough for a big army and the navy was enough to do its job. For research or diplomcy I simply had no money, even right before the game's end Italy was fighting for ressources.

This game is not very interesting for you, my armies just swept over the land, conquering everything that wasn't fast enough to hide. With +1 EXP I would have had some problems with Russia, even in that easy game, conquering the last capital in those bloody mountains, took a force of 30 or more units and damn... I lost much a unit in that battle. If NOW GB and US would have tried an invasion ... that would have been funny. To end the war in RUssia is almost impossible. I believe that's your intention?

I saw an US attempt to land in Africa. Very funny, it would have succeded, but coincidentally I rallied the german and italien navy there. That was a slaughter. That besides, US were lazy in that game (till 1943). Interesting... I did not see much US Forces in Britain. Airforce yes, but no ground units.

Okay, I hope this helps a little.

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"I had a fool pool of units (not every possible ship, though)"

A fool pool is, actually, a FULL pool. And, of course, I mean an EMTPTY Pool.

Just ignore that sentence... please... ;) Writing in english is still a problem for me. I'm just not able to see those mistakes ...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Work on this A3R mod continues under SC2-WaW. Here's a teaser screenshot:

France1940-1.jpg

This is with the Axis AI at Intermediate +1 difficulty. Panzer spearheads have broken into Normandy. Paris was taken in August but a strength 2 infantry moved in. A French counterattack recapatured Paris, shown in screenshot. Germans retook Paris and France surrendered on following turn. So far, so good...

There are still a few rough edges yet. Once I get things worked out to my satisfaction, I'll provide some updates on the changes I've made. Stay tuned. smile.gif

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'd like to share something Hubert mentioned to me very recently:

Generally the AI picks units that are available for the Transport script closest to and connected to the first #FRIENDLY_POSITION and then sends them to the nearest available transport position ...
In many cases, I had assumed these positions were more like event trigger conditions rather than embarkation points. Needless to say, this explains some problems I observed with Allied AI performance in the Med and France. Invasions were happening OK but follow-on reinforcements were not. I've spent the past couple of days updating all the amphibious and transport scripts. Hopefully the AI will now execute as intended. It's little things like this that screw up everything else.

Other AI developments are going well. In several test games over the past couple of weeks I've watched the Axis AI adequately perform Sealion, invade Turkey and react to a pro-Axis coup in Spain. Allied AI is doing a better job now of reinforcing the Middle East. Hubert has also made significant improvements to the generic AI, so overall I'm optimistic that this A3R mod will be ready to go when SC2-WaW is released. :cool:

And another comment from Hubert:

Keep an eye on all of the scripts that use the #FRIENDLY_POSITION tag as it works the same for Garrison, Offensive etc. ... it is the basic way the AI knows if there are enough units for the pending script, i.e. if it can find enough units connected to #FRIENDLY_POSITION then it will trigger, if not then no deal etc.

This is important stuff for modders to understand. While most of my scripts were working OK before, I realize now why some were not. So not only for transport and amphibious scripts, but I'll be going back and reviewing ALL scripts. Again, hopefully all of the AI will now execute as intended. That would be awesome.

[ July 13, 2007, 04:49 AM: Message edited by: pzgndr ]

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