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WW1 - Questions and Observations

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First of all - great work on making this game better. I just finished my 1914 Grand Campaign Game as the CP and won in the summer of 1917, just as the US was building up its forces in France and Italy.

For the most part of the game, I played defensively in the East until Serbia was knocked out in later 1916. The Russian AI is somewhat suicidal, and its easy to hunker down and let them shatte their ranks on the Austrian border. For whatever reason the Russian AI:

1. thinks it can take Fortified positions without Siege Artillery.

2. Bulks up all its HQ's.

3. Sits in its towns, cities and villages, and loves to waste resources racing around mother russia on their terrible train system. The "Protect Cities" scripts need editing - badly. Its so easy to have the AI waste tons of units protecting a several towns because you stomp a unit near them.

The English - as always - were more than delighted to send out their massive armada to hunt down solitary U-Boats. At first I sent my UB out to raid the convoy lanes. Once spotted, it was game over, as the AI sent every fleet it could to destroy them. It was much easier (and more delightful) to set them up for a nice ambush, draw the fleets out, and hammer the english until their entire fleet was destroyed. Solitary vessels seeking to escape to harbors were easily sunk by U-Boats infiltrating their harbors. Then the Kaiserliche Kriegsmarine sunk all French vessels we could find. And sometime in the early months of 1917, the US showed up, just in time to receive a curtain of level 3 U-Boats. What fun.

At one point, one of my U-Boats took refuge from a US destroyer at Brest...it was still French occupied, but hey - the AI thought it be a great place to re-surface...lol. Bug?

The Western Front saw tons of attritional combat. Once I researched Level 1 Infantry, I retreated the entire line, upgraded, and jumped all over the French. Once again, the AI huddled the HQ's around Paris. Alot of the Artillery and Bombers targeted advanced units sticking their noses deep into French territory. The AI is very bad when using Bombers, Fighters, Artillery and HQ's. Even the combat decisions it makes is somewhat random and nothing is coordinated.

Fun beer and prezel game for sure.

I hope this series will continue to evolve. I'd like to see this Square Tiles thing vanish. The board is not right. The squares should be dimond shaped, if the N-S dimension of the map is at 50% scale. Also, its hard to defend along the EW & NS axis. It takes 7 units to defend the same stretch of land that one can defend with 4 units when one places them along the rows. I'd like to see hexes for your games...but I'm old school and more used to hexes I supose.

The icons (Axis and Alllies style) seem not diginified to me at all either.

To summerise my experience:

1. Fix the HQ's.

2. Fix the AI's use of Artillery. The AI should seek out heavily fortified areas, and perhaps only bombard enemy units that are entrenched (if they have Heacy Artillery even better).

3. Fix the planes...range is way too long. This is WW1. Flying Circus? There was a reason for that.

4. Garrison of Citied. No player will have a bunch of units sitting back in no-where land where there is absolutely no way an enemy can take them. This will always put the AI at a disadvantage. Also, lesser units should be used to garrison, not Corps.

5. Frenzied naval Units...limit operating range, vicinity, or something. Also, vessels in WW1 mostly used Coal. They could not stay at sea forever.

6. Sub-Hunting 101 - with the "Redo Move" button, one can scour the seas looking for subs...just rinse repeat until you stumble into an enemy surface fleet.

7. Ambush at sea? Way crazy combat resolutions. Ok - maybee its kinda cool for U-Boats and Submarines (look a BB..lets sink it!), but all other vessels smoked a whole lot. Not much suprise, and when it did happen, the suprise was often mutual (aka Jutland...).

8. Zepplins - they traveled over water. They could fly to New Jersey...let them fly and stop over water.

9. Harbors. U-Boats are off-limits due to Mines and Sub Nets. Enemy vessels should not be able to approach to within 1 hex either due to the minefields...

10. Random attrition - WW1 was a bear. Even when you dont attack, lots of people lost their lives. I'd love to see a scipt similar to the Russian Revolution hit the Western Front for units that are sitting for more than a turn or two without doing a thing.

11. More random events. What if - scenarios. All events should have some form of tangible reult in the game. The western front is neat, but I think the small actions in the middle east and the various "ants" fighting it out in never-neverland is alot of fun.

12. Rivers - this is not WW2. Too many rivers, too neatly placed, and way too much of an advantage, given the scale of the battles.

13. More devestation to the countryside and towns. I like the reduction in Fortifications. Do something similar to Forests. Also, Artillery should create mud-like conditions.

14. Trenches should hinder movement - trenches should create mud-like conditions.

15. Retreats - when units are reduced to 70-80%, they are severely mauled. When you're down to 50% they are near the shattering point. Less than that and there is not much left, other than the logistical units etc. Units are not all combat units. But this game allows level 1 units that do not retreat except on rare occasions. And in the next phase, they are back to level 10...way weired. Too powerful.

16. Isolated Cities - its near impossible to cut lines of retreat and supply lines in this game. Often I find enemy units created right behind my lines (?) and enemy units slip right between units. Its bizzare...so unlike most tabletop wargames.

17. Zones of Control - there seems little to no distinction between entering a ZOC from an area where no ZOC is exerted, and from when you move a unit from ZOC to ZOC. Often I find enemy units just cruising past 2-3 units and take a square I thought safe. Something is funny the way this game deals with adjacency and ZOC's.

18. Stacking...

19. More units please. Bigger map? Division level for sure...

20. Software & Hardware. Something is very bizzare - how units are created and revitalized (healed). Supply is everything, as measured by the towns and the HQ's. With the ability to "flip" units from one square to another, you may want to investigate letting units only upgrade to full if they are not adjacent to enemy units. Adjacency to enemy units should strip the level of supply (due to interdiction of enemy artillery & action). Rear echelon units upgraded and relaxed before being sent back to the front.

Thanks for the great game. I always shied away from the "Squares" and only took up this game because no-one else ever created a WW1 game...I tried the WW2 game, but the scale and scope is too large. Like playing 3rd Reich vs Europa.


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Yup - its the 1.02 version. I played the whole campaign 3 times as the Entente and 5 times (at least) as the CP. I booted a new CG on the day the patch was released. I hammered through the campaign pretty fast, but it still took the whole weekend and several nights since the release. Was not too concerned about my playstyle as I wanted to see the full extent of the changes made as possible.

I first booted up the WW2 game, but after a quick peek at it decided it was not for me. Way too many colors on the counters for instance. I dont need a yellow background to know what an Armor unit looks like for instance. The Nato symbols do just fine, without the various background colors on the counters. Varying the main background color slightly is fine, such as Black for SS units, etc.

But back to 1914. I'm gona boot up an Entente 1914 Campaign and see how that works out.

One thing that is very anoying is are the small upgrade up/down buttons. Way too much clicking too. So is the Entrenching command. A Shift+Arrow key be nice to have for Entrenching for example, and a Shift+PageUp/Dn for Upgrading units. The Rail System does not seem to care how far or what size unit - a Level 1 seems to cost as much as a Level 10 unit. Another weired thing is that HQ's gain experience but one cannot upgrade them to Elite level. And fixing up Naval units from Level 1 to Level 10 should take a whole lot more time I'm thinking. (The AI is almost fanatical about hunting down the most severely damaged unit and destroying it...nevermind the Level 10 BB's in the area: lets make sure we sink that level 3 DD...with BB's and Cruisers.)

It be nice to be able to set your weakend Naval units to some status where they will try to avoid battle as best they can. Sort of like the Jutland thing where the German Fleet used their special disengagement maneuver to retreat. At this level it be almost nicer to just have Naval Zones. Send your fleets in there with a mission and let the AI figure out if they meet Convoys or enemy vessels, and then have some sort of choices for attacking or withdrawing, shadowing etc. More strategic oriented than this frenzy of who can pile on ships faster and repair them sooner. For the Germans, having access to their overwhelming amount of close-proximity harbors is vital to defeat the english fleets. Run in, hit something very hard, retreat, heal up and rinse/repeat. Throw a few subs behind the enemy to catch the run-aways or hunt down the ones in the harbors etc. A few Zepplins and bombers also help. And when all else fails, throw a few units into England itself and tie down a half dozen corps, artillery, planes and what not until they root you out. Such fun :). I do hope they keep on improving on this game. Its crazy fun!


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Some of the features you suggest would be very difficult to implement into the current engine.. or even impossible. You are basically right with most of these things, but SC follows a certain model. To alter the whole model might work in SC3 or SC4, but that is a long way to go.

But let`s get more into detail. We all know the good old AI is not really an AI.. it is more an artificial stupidity than an intelligence. Hubert`s AI is way better than anything else on the market, but it is still an AI (or AS, as I use to call it). We cannot expect it to play like a human player. I see your point, and most of them are familiar to me. But we need to focus on those points we can really change.

So the AI focuses on sinking naval units before they can retreat to the harbor and be repaired.. this is why the AI attacks enemy unit with low strength.

One thing where you are 100% right: it doesn´t make sense that a Battleship with strength 1 is repaired to full strength in just one turn. We have have read about the Battle of Midway and the emergency repairs of the american carriers where they did all necessary works in just a few days, but this is an exception. Unfortunately I don`t know the engine well enough, but if the engine can deliver that I would love to see longer repair times for major ships, i.e 2 or 3 turns. Maybe Hubert can answer that question.

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