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A new, short turn, fast action tournament campaign.


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No waves here, so I'm headin down south for a couple of weeks...to surf and to ponder.

I wanted to leave the forum with an inquisition. We like tourney play ...right? It seems though, that SC campaigns from the beginning, encompassing the whole of WW2, take awhile to play.

Not taking anything away from them, but how about a short, like twenty turns each side, wiz bam, thank you mam scenario. Makes for shorter AARs also.

The tournament sure would move along quickly, no diplomacy, no research, no upgrades, something like the Battle of the Bulge, just gut wrenching action, stem to stern.

Any suggestions?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Puni......don't be poking your unworthiness into places where you're outgunned ;-).

Seriously though, the features endowed by WaW dictate making a more operational game scale, like your Barbarossa campaign. Even that scenario is a bit large for fast tourney action to conclusion.

Like my suggestion, BotB would be pretty quick, just one problem ....the naval and air aspects are left out and we would like to include those features into the campaign to test the players skill.

Its a give and take thing, the engine will have some limitations, otoh, it has features that wouldn't be relevant also, as stated, diplomacy,upgrades, research, etc.

On my expedition I arrived at what I believe is the best course of action and also one of my favorite board games, PanzerArmee Afrika. Of course an expansion to the naval and air aspects of the campaign were in order to include an actual Malta variant the players could pursue. All this in the context of what was an historical two year event, March 1941(arrival of AK) to Op Torch landings(Nov 1942).

So with that in mind, the task has been implemented.

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North Afrika would be a great setting for it, can YOU do better than Rommel? Was montgomery overated? 1 year 20 turns, Jan 41 to Dec 42. tobruk, malta, alex got it all.

Woudl take some testing to see it were fair but it would be good to have a "gold standard" scenario that 2 opponents could get through in either one evening of six pack fuled action or a week of PBEM. Scores as well would give an indication of ability.

Of course it would be become gamey but that is part of the fun

alternative is a ahistorical Sealion. say july 40 to june 41. that could be a LOT of fun and would have battle of britain, naval battles, conveoy raiding, amphib landing, supply line management, strategic bombing, and tank battles.

Actually forget north afrika we need a 20 turn, point scored sealion scenario

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As much as i like 'Strategic-Games',...i still very-much like situation's where particular theatre's are specialized for game-play!.

For Example!:...North-Africa_The War In The Desert!, The Italian Campaign_War In Italy, Crete_Krete_Airborne Assault, The Battle Of Britain, Stalingrad, Hypothetical Axis Invasion Of Spain.

With these example's listed above,...we could have MUCH-MUCH-LARGER-MAP'S and a much more detailed study of that particular theatre,...instead of a Generic Punching Contest that to some degree look's much the same in many places on the game-map-area!.

I like both!!!..can we maybey someday have both???.

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Hey Retri, I'm working on it. Map is done, and its big, from Tripoli to the Suez, north to Sicily and Crete, Malta is in there too. OOBs are done. Convoys scripts are done, working on reinforcement schedules.

I'll have to do the weather layer. Currently reading "The Eighth Army" to tweak arrival times, the Axis were easy.

Two week turns and some of the German Recce units have 50 AP, all air and armor, have double strikes, course all this may change after playtesting. There are extensive naval and air units and players will have the ability to assault(airborne&amphib) Malta if they wish. Axis can stand off and bomb/raid also, but remember Malta is a fortress, you make the choices, what elevation of casualties can you stand.

I'm trying to model the logistics so that if you, as Axis, cannot protect the many convoy lanes, your MPP production will drop to almost nil. UK has a convoy route from Alexandria to Valletta that the Axis can interdict, but that will have marginal effect on their MPPs.

The big deal will be can the German and Italian naval and air assets keep the RN from devastating the Axis supply lines from the Resource centers across the Eastern Med to Tripoli.

Hoping to get the Malta features right so that the additional Hurricanes and Spits from Carrier convoys coming in from west are delayed if Valletta efficiency is bombed/bombarded to less than 50%. There's a lot to consider and I'm not sure what trade-offs will have to be made to get the simulation correct.

A daunting task with my very limited time resources.

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I was wondering if any of you veteran modders has experimented with the sea weather model. Specifically I'm thinking that since a weather scheme can be defined, instead of using it for an area, sprinkle a number of different schemes in the same area.

This would represent various patches of clear and stormy weather conditions where opposing naval and air forces can play hide and seek.

Anyone tried this?

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Well Retri, I guess no one has any comment on the feasibility of this model. Experimentation is my strong suit, just the time element of testing, adjusting, retesting delays the product.

Alrighty then, I'll try it and start the beta testing. This custom is really "out there", with these large movement factors, I need a zoom out feature for the map.

Can't see the end of the movement, or strike ranges without scrolling the map.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Finally was able to get through a number of initial turns, after starting over at least a half a dozen in the midst of fixing things.

Its slowly coming together and I have to say, after feeling uninspired initially, its getting to be a lot of fun. There's still a lot of room for improvement, visually, but the mechanics seem to working the way I had hoped.

This game is about "force projection" like the other SC2 campaigns, but in PanzerArmee Afrika you can project force a long long way with the APs. I'm not talking about feeble operates with no teeth in them till the next turn when they can attack, I'm talking putting a lot of hurt out there this turn.

One drawback though, it might be tempting to strike out, remember your opponent can do the same and supplies(ie.HQs) are slow to catch up, so you're easily surrounded unless you plan your operations carefully.

There's lots of naval and air assets so you'll need to be adept at coordinating them into the overall plan and Malta is a big pain in the Axis a$$.

Now this is not a design for AI play.....yet...... Its head to head, fast and furious, and the first race is to Tobruk, just like historical. And JLH the Commonwealth(Aussies) can arrive first, but its close and if the Axis choose, they'll be in for a fight when they get there. In fact the Axis can be to the Egyptian border in their third turn, reconquering all the Cyrenaica by the middle of April 1941, jlh, using elements of the 5th Light and the Italians.

Course....the Axis were looking over their shoulder to Tripoli, awaiting the unloading of the 15th Panzer division as the 8th Army's dust was on the horizon.

And so....the next race begins, "Battleaxe" looms, as the Eastern Mediterranean waters run red.

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Hey Retri you know Hubert, he has designed in all kinds of potential with this editor. There is a ton of AI scripts and really the script writing is not that hard, plenty of examples.

But it is time grabbing, and now the most time consuming aspect of it all begins, playtesting.

Well at least that part is fun, just like the olden days when I couldn't find an opponent for my AH and SPI boardgames, I play myself.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Imagine there is a small island in the midst of a sea full of enemy combatants. They, the enemy, own the skies and lurk beneath the waves. In addition a threatening surface fleet of very formidable warships exists a scant few miles north.

Essentially, the island has been isolated for some months now, just a very few fast transports have made the "Grand Harbour" with minimal supplies to continue the populace's hold on existance.

The Island is not without defensive assets, some fighter planes, a lot of triple A, and a will to fight, but ammo is running low, food is also rationed and the enemy onslaught continues. The native fisherman cannot even venture upon the waters to supplement the foodstocks for fear of getting strafed by 109Fs.

Even the defensive sub force has had to relocate to small streams and inland waterways staying submerged to avoid ariel attack and nowhere is relief in sight.

Finally the powers that be decide to risk the first US naval vessel into the ETO to hopefully provide some Supermarine Spits for the Island's defense and so early one AM in April the Wasp delivers a load, around 50 aircraft. But alas the Luftwaffe is ready and short minutes after landing the entire force of Spits is incapacitated in a flurry of strafing and bombing runs.

The Island continues to starve. The Powers decide a convoy must be shoved through or the island will remain neutralized and FM Rommel's Afrika Korps will continue to rampage the Western Desert. The enemy knows, and the Allies know the enemy knows, as Operational Pedestal slips through the Gibraltar Straits on its mission of relief.

Can, "The Siege of Malta" be lifted? Its all there in PzAA.

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I know most, if not all of you remember the classic WW2 flick, "Raid on Rommel", well I just had to add, that during playtesting almost the exact same thing happened......sort of.:cool:

OK...so it wasn't Rommel...it was the British commander General Phillip Neame, O'Connor's successor, that saw his demise. Thinking that it was safe far behind the frontlines in Bardia, the General was coordinating the Allied effort in defending Tobruk when all of a sudden a suicidal raid by the 5th Light's "Recon Abteilung" was successful in capturing/killing the General........details are sketchy, so we're really not sure of the General's final disposition as well as the "Recon Abteilung's" situation, lots of dust.:eek:

Let's just say........he's out of action....and Tobruk is in very real danger of being surrounded with the now apparent command confusion.

It just goes to show those relaxing Limeys that with the fluid situation that always persists in "Panzer Armee Afrika" they better provide a little rear area security.

.....Dumbkopfs!!:D

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OK, essentially PZAA is finished, although I'm continuing with playtesting at the moment.

For H to H it seems pretty balanced through all combat facets, air, naval and ground.

I will send it to anyone wishing to try it out and help with additional tweaks, but remember it was designed as a fast turn, heavy combat action scenario for human players.

Which brings me to a new crossroad. There may be some of you out there that would like to develop this campaign further for AI play by writing the scripts to satisfy that possibility. If anyone wants to enhance the AI play I will be more than happy to provide them the campaign and any insight for the theater they wish to tap.

Currently I am leaving for the Houston area to help with the Ike recovery and will be out of pocket a few days. When I get back I'll send the files to whoever wishes to continue the PZAA development or just to play against your fellow SCers.

Eventually, once I'm satisfied with the play balance, I'll post the campaign at CMMODs for alls enjoyment.

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Oh...I might add, forget everything you've been accustomed to when playing SC. This campaign is a unique experience in SC strategy and you will be quickly overwhelmed with the nature of movement and combat. A plethora of possibilities.

Your command skills at a supreme test.

For example, you'll be using the mini-map more than all the other scenarios you've played put together. You'll need it to jump around the map and examine the end of a unit's movement possibilities. Takes a bit of getting used to.

Also the larger preview map(DoW) where you access convoy routes and blinking unmoved units is a particularly useful tool for orientation purposes, I suggest you use it liberally.

It took me awhile to warm up to this playing style, Desert Dave had warned me about it not feeling quite right. It doesn't at first. I persisted and I adjusted and now I've decided it has truly captured the feel for that unique environment that existed in North Africa, as well as the logistics and surrounding eastern Mediterranean.

If you ever played SPI's Panzer Armee Afrika, then you'll kind of know what I'm talking about. If not....well...this game isn't for everyone....its way different than most WW2 boardgames you ever played and frankly its port to SC was strange since you can't see the whole map at once.

Scrolling is cumbersome, but manageable once you get the hang of it and later....its kind of an afterthought as you develop this uniquely new playing style.

All I can say is thanks Hubert. You gave me the tools. Yes...I could use a whole map view with small icons, not detailed ones, just Xs and Os that I can examine the entire units' movement possibilities, but its not that big of a deal.;)

This scenario absolutely showcases the flexibility of your design.:)

Thanks, again.

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Just going to stick my head in here for an instance.

For those of you interested, I made the PZAA map from this website:

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/ams/north_africa/

Specifically the NH34 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 series and NI34 14, 15, 16 along with NH35 1 thru 8 and finally NH36 1,2,3,5,6,7. Oh and almost forgot the most important Malta...NI33-2

Great place for getting good topographical maps.

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Presently I have PZAA on a memory stick and as soon as I can figure out how to DL it to CMMODS I will, but I wanted to take this opportunity to make some comments about the ins and outs of PZAA.

Usually I would think that the players can figure all the S & Ts of PZAA for themselves, but this variation is so different I feel compelled to make some comments. Where to start? I guess...what...the most important aspect of the campaign, logistics..... and that starts with Malta.

Malta is a bastion in the Axis sea, a base for RN raiders and surface forces in conjunction with the Royal Airforce to impede Axis MPPs. Notice that I mentioned all three parameters, for without coordination of the three tiers of combat forces, the Axis will quickly stomp on any one facet of the tier without the support of the others. It is utterly useless for the UK and Commonwealth to try and apply singular force projection and raid the many Axis convoy routes without a combined arms approach, although there could be certain circumstances where it will work, temporarily.

Now the Axis.....well...its kind of easy for them...prevent the above....easier said then done. The Italian fleet although formidable is no match for the RN....but...with the help of the Luftwaffe.....it is possible to secure the convoy routes, but there is a cost.

And that cost is in the desert, for without the air superiority needed to advance the combined arms doctrine, Rommel will be hard pressed to continue his advance towards the Suez, the ultimate victory.

So you decide, a little here, some more there......and your opponent....well let's see who guesses right most of the time.

Oh...I might add, recon....its worth its weight in gold....no...more like platinum.

next post!

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Ahhh ..the desert, a true sea of land. In PZAA you better watch your back and more than that your supply base for they are few and far between. Moreover they are quickly neutralized by strategic bombing, what is commonly referred to as interdiction.

Because of this one attribute revolving around supply bases, the deployments of PZAA will be a collection of combat groups, or task forces if you'd like. Each Kampfgruppe will be in close proximity to an HQ connected to a supply source. I suggest you protect that source if you want to conduct offensive operations.

Sounds familiar...right...something we're all comfortable with in playing SC, supply and HQ attachments. What's different is because of the liberal APs given to to all units in PZAA, those deployments won't be any where close to the front......if there is a front.....more like a potential place of combat.

In PZAA I find myself allocating a group to combat, following with some support units for defense in the ensuing counterattack and then readying another group or groups, far removed from the action for the next wave of attack.

And so it goes, TFs on attack, TFs for support, TFs getting ready for attack, TFs for security, all situated on their commanders and supply bases, 20 tiles or more away, completely unnoticed by the enemy.....or maybe not. Remember what I said about Recon?

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