Scenario Playtesting - A&A 1939

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DerLeiter
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Scenario Playtesting - A&A 1939

Post by DerLeiter » Wed May 20, 2015 5:46 pm

DATE: September 1, 1939 until ... the war ends. Each turn is 30 days, limit is 100 turns.
SETTING: Russia, Europe, Africa, Middle East, part of India.
WEATHER: Usually clear, sometimes cloudy. Perhaps once per game it'll be muddy or a turn.
NATIONS: All nations in game are used; Republican Spain is used for Portugal, Blue Team for Iraq, and Red Team for an Axis-aligned Turkey.
MODS: None.

Screen Shot: Attacking the Moscow Defence : Defence of Poland : Allied Fleet : 1943 Allied Invasion of Norway : Axis Invasion of Russia : Axis hold onto Tripoli

DETAILS
This began as a scenario vs AI, which due to limitations ended up being far more interesting as a multiplayer game. Also it was just an excuse to pretty much use everything! I've had to make a few changes to make it a bit more playable, and later in the war I have to make allowances for things being completely different (eg will England have fallen or not? The Dieppe Raid never happens since everyone fortifies Dieppe, etc etc). Also in the end for me game play and fun trump realism. It still has what I, and everyone else who's played it so far, feels like an epic war with campaigns occuring all over the place and where decisions on where to reinforce, or how hard to keep pushing come into play all the time. It's also been interesting having to deal with the limited availability windows for some nations, but then that usually helps keep the first months flowing smoothly.

GAME PLAY
  • There is a lot of randomness in the game, firstly to give it a lot of replayability, but also to keep it difficult to predict exactly when events will occur. For example the Axis allies (Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary) might join early or wait for war with Russia; Spain might decide to throw in with the Axis but probably not, Some games Italy hasn't joined with Germany until well into 1941.
  • The moves will go fast at first, but once North Africa and especially Russia open up it will start taking some time for the moves; I've had to cut back the amount of units several times to make it easier and less of a slugfest, though a degree of that is unavoidable.
  • All the special features of the game are now fully explained in game unless they are meant as a surprise. For example Capital Ships (BB, BC, CA, CL) have -2 range and +1 sight (I didn't want them firing from one side of England to the other nor did I want them stumbling around blindly by themselves).
  • Ships are provided for you at semi-random intervals throughout the game. Roughly every 5 turns a few new ships will become available, and have a %chance of being deployed. Allied ships tend to deploy in the Atlantic and around England as do German submarines; most other German ships deploy around Germany with a small chance of "coming on" from a map edge. The rest usually start near their country for origin.
  • The Axis navy is larger than it should be in comparison to the Allied navy (though still much smaller) -- previous games showed that it was just more interesting.
  • Captured units are possible, as are special named units which will have heroes modifying them to various degrees. Nearly all of the Special named units have only a 1% chance of appearing per turn, and have a limited window of availability.
  • Minor allies/axis will mobilize forces as long as you control their home territory; ANZAC counts Egypt as its home territory and Free France uses Casablanca. Due to it being a mod-less game unfortunately a lot of them can't be upgraded.
  • You will occasionally notice units popping up in Neutral Zones; this means they're beginning to mobilize and won't be neutral for long. I had to do it this way otherwise either the defenders would deploy and attack first OR the attacks would move in and there'd be no defenders.. until they popped up the turn after.
CHANGES (ausf U1)
  • Huge changes to Africa; North Africa becomes Vichy instead of Free French, as is more appropriate. They get a few initial garrison units and the occasional French aircraft. Reduction to the amount of Italian, DAK, Free French, and ANZAC forces that deploy there.
  • French West Africa is split up semi-randomly by the Free French and Vichy French.
  • HMS Devonshire rewards fixed (trigger was mistakenly looking for >1, instead of =1).
  • 7. Flieger-Division replaces the previous FSJ for the invasion of Norway; they begin with some extra ammo and DFS 230s. Initial deployment moved.
  • Field Marshal Auchinleck is no longer insanely powerful.
  • Russian Guards (Infantry and Tanks) revamped; they now have the same chance to deploy as SS forces, 12/12 strength, and a bonus to make them equivalent to SE forces (as the Russians have no SE units).
  • Russian reinforcements start farther west, and gain more units. However the Allies now get less Core Unit slots when Operations Barbarosa or Suvorov are launched.
  • Number of European airfields reduced.
  • The Regia Marina now gains ships at a reduced rate.
  • When Meteors become available the RAF will gain some veteran auxiliaries over time. If the Luftwaffe is large, the RAF gains additional meteors. This is to help offset the fact that German aircraft continue to advance while Allied ones do not.
  • Port of London added.
  • Portugese, Spanish & Turkish forces gain a few new units over time, but nowhere on the scale of other minor powers (assuming they still control their territory).
  • D-Day Forces; two US Divisions given trucks, and one Halftracks.
  • Additional escort ships given to the Western Task Force.
  • Polish navy begins closer to Germany; they also begin with limited ammo and fuel (previously no ammo, but full fuel).
  • Many of the Polish forces will begin at 5/10 strength (and still suppressed).
  • Some primary objectives added or moved; objective amount remains the same though (eg Dakar is now a primary objective).
  • Prestige penalties added for violating neutral territories.
  • Iraq starts with a few more units when activated.
  • Added Surprise, Betrayal, and Menace.
Attachments
AA1939 v3d.rar
Multiplayer AA1939 V3D (March 11, 2016)
(123.59 KiB) Downloaded 253 times
AA1939.rar
Old T2 version (Balanced / pre-Free French change)
(116.9 KiB) Downloaded 274 times
Last edited by DerLeiter on Sat Mar 12, 2016 12:12 am, edited 45 times in total.

Pitemag
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Re: Scenario Playtesting - A&A 1939

Post by Pitemag » Thu May 21, 2015 8:40 am

How big is the map

DerLeiter
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Re: Scenario Playtesting - A&A 1939

Post by DerLeiter » Thu May 21, 2015 2:40 pm

147 x 137; I shrunk it down a bit so it shows up properly in the mini map.

DerLeiter
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Re: Scenario Playtesting - A&A 1939

Post by DerLeiter » Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:41 am

Finally able to upload the files now if anyone wants to try it out. I highly recommend multiplayer because the AI has trouble handling water, but if you want to try it single player then I'd be the Axis. Otherwise you end up with 12 tanks sitting around in Denmark..

Any feedback is welcome.

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Re: Scenario Playtesting - A&A 1939

Post by Pitemag » Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:00 pm

I have Put up à paired game. Password: AA1939

DerLeiter
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Re: Scenario Playtesting - A&A 1939

Post by DerLeiter » Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:13 pm

Quick update fixing some issues:
  • Russian Garrisons not deploying under specific circumstances. I wouldn't call this one a minor issue, but it also may not have any impact in some games.
  • Naval Engineer issue due to zone changes fixed.
  • Cut out a few more units from the earlier game.
Thoughts for future updates:
  • Another Engineer type to devote resources into building specific units for both the Axis and Allies. (eg option to focus on rockets, jet fighters, maus, or gustav/karl guns).
  • More missions; need ideas for those though.
  • I would almost like to add in the Spanish Civil War, but doing so now would be such a massive project with changing all the turn triggers and such that it would be easier to just start a new game.
  • Same goes for adding in the Pacific or Americas at this point, though at this point I'm not so sure there will be a Pacific Corps.
Also, while I see the benefits of mods, I'm still keeping it to just the basic game.

Cataphract88
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Re: Scenario Playtesting - A&A 1939

Post by Cataphract88 » Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:20 pm

DerLeiter, for Pacific Corps try Order of Battle. Thanks for the mod, I will give it a try. :D
Richard

DerLeiter
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Re: Scenario Playtesting - A&A 1939

Post by DerLeiter » Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:58 am

I was looking for it more to add to the current PzC stuff. The Pacific OOB does look good, I just haven't gotten around to trying it yet.

skyfox122
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Re: Scenario Playtesting - A&A 1939

Post by skyfox122 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:40 pm

Looking to do a play test with someone who has not played this scenario before either. I'm used to playing long scenario's - completed 2 games of 1941 and running 5 others - two of them in the high 60's one 70's and one 40's one 30's.
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skyfox122
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Re: Scenario Playtesting - A&A 1939

Post by skyfox122 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:54 am

Ok, just completed turn 1 paired game. I found Africa to be too large - along with Madagascar. Also - the lack of a connection to Germany even if just a hex or two = thus representing the ability to send a unit into Germany as happened in WWII.
This brings to point also; not having a single land unit in France or Britain - this may have been done for play balance but - give a couple more units to Germany - then put a unit or two in Britain and France. Also - most of the German units start next to France. However - the French border had only a couple units everything else the Germans had was set to go into Poland - So if anything I would reverse the German setup with most units near Poland & one or two near France.

This was just turn one - hope my comments help or get considered for possible future change.

Also - is their a Legend you have made to identify symbols??
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DerLeiter
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Re: Scenario Playtesting - A&A 1939

Post by DerLeiter » Wed Jun 17, 2015 3:43 pm

Firstly I'm working on AA1939 ausf Q2 so there have already been a few changes from previous games people have played, and I'll admit to having trouble remembering version to version sometimes.

Thanks for the input! I appreciate the concerns, and in some cases I think it might simply be how I do things is a bit different and that you'll see how things unfold as the game progresses.
skyfox122 wrote:Ok, just completed turn 1 paired game. I found Africa to be too large - along with Madagascar. Also - the lack of a connection to Germany even if just a hex or two = thus representing the ability to send a unit into Germany as happened in WWII.
Well, as I've said in the original post, the map is on the Axis & Allies 1939 map which definitely exaggerates some features, though for the most part I've felt the scale works making the desert feel that more expansive. Others, like Madagascar, were enlarged to make it more interesting when/if battles take place there as fighting in territory a few hexes wide wouldn't be too interesting or fun. Anyways, at this point I'd have to just make a new scenario rather than fix everything up; even adjusting the map one hex throws a lot of stuff out of whack.

As for the Deutsches Afrikakorps, it does appear when appropriate , but that isn't until sometime in '41 (approximately turn 32, +/- a few turns). By this time you should have been able to send your own expeditionary forces from Germany if you really wanted to.
skyfox122 wrote:This brings to point also; not having a single land unit in France or Britain - this may have been done for play balance but - give a couple more units to Germany - then put a unit or two in Britain and France.
Generally units aren't in play until they're needed. If Britain is invaded then defenders appear. Just before the invasion of France & the Low Countries, the Dutch, Belgium, BEF, Luxembourg, and French units will appear. As is the case with Russia and most other places. It saves a lot of time skipping through units that can't do anything, and prevents things like the Anglo-Franco invasion of Germany in November '39.

This also leads me to one of the more important parts of the game -- where you place your core units is very important. For example, the number of auxiliary units that deploy to France is pretty small; you will need to use core units to shore up your defences there. But if they're all tied up in Norway, you might have to disband some there. Then when Greece opens up, do you reinforce there? Or do you concentrate on France? Then when the Italians join the fight, do you send more forces to Africa, or try to hold onto France? What about defending the skies around Britain, how many core units do you need for that? Then when Russia joins, etc etc etc.. Finally, above and beyond all that shared flags isn't enabled.

skyfox122 wrote: Also - most of the German units start next to France. However - the French border had only a couple units everything else the Germans had was set to go into Poland - So if anything I would reverse the German setup with most units near Poland & one or two near France.
Apart from a few units that always start near Poland, the rest of the German forces are randomly deployed. It was just bad luck that apparently so many of yours got stuck near France (perhaps they feared a French incursion?). Trains are definitely your friend in this game, and it will help move those units quickly to the front. However, I'll check into that, maybe a few more need to start within a few hexes of Poland.

Edit: I did end up putting a few more the border
skyfox122 wrote: Also - is their a Legend you have made to identify symbols??
I'm not sure what you mean here.
skyfox122 wrote:This was just turn one - hope my comments help or get considered for possible future change.
Thanks again, and I hope my reply cleared up some of the reasons why things are the way they are. I think it'll help playing a few more turns into it to see how it plays out as well. I'd consider the first 8 or so turns really the setup to the Battle of France. Once the Russians are in play then it's pretty open and up to you to make things go historically (or not!).
Last edited by DerLeiter on Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DerLeiter
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Re: Scenario Playtesting - A&A 1939

Post by DerLeiter » Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:15 pm

Some advice when playing this game -- because of the large scale intelligence is vital. Actual recon units can be useful for spotting, and for zipping through enemy lines and to safety. Don't be afraid to use aircraft as spotters, even if they will be destroyed. Knowing that your opponent has no reserves in an area, or a skeleton/non-existent defence somewhere, or even knowing where the bulk of his army is going can change the game. Also just one unit loose behind enemy lines can tie up an astonishing number of their forces.

I've found it's very easy to feel overwhelmed and like you can't win... and having both sides feel like that at the same time. In one game I was moving a Tiger around so often my opponent thought I had an entire force of them in one area.. except it was just one. Which leads to another important factor -- deception. In a recent game my opponent surrendered because he thought he was overwhelmed and had no way to win. In fact while I had taken all the major Russian cities, my forces were stretched so thin and had no reserves that an attack by just the forces I could see would've broken my lines in places. A potential invasion of Norway forced me to divert even more forces from Russia, and even disband African units. In many games just by having a few 88s around the coast and a few units whose sole purpose was to be "seen" constantly moving around, they've been left alone and otherwise completely empty.

The tides of war will go back and forth a bit. I've found that the Allies generally gain the upper hand in the air war with their spitfires.. right up until the Fw190s come out and it swings the other way. Then back and forth again. The same is true for the tanks, with the Axis doing well until running into KVs, Matilda IIs, and Churchills, swinging back once Tigers come out, then back again with the newer Allied tanks. And so on.

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Re: Scenario Playtesting - A&A 1939

Post by skyfox122 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:41 pm

Thanks - for the great feedback - I have a much better understanding now.
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Re: Scenario Playtesting - A&A 1939

Post by Ason » Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:25 pm

Hey I would really like to try this. Where can I download the mod?

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Re: Scenario Playtesting - A&A 1939

Post by Pitemag » Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:40 pm

I have Put up a paired game of the newest version. Password: AA1939

DerLeiter
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Re: Scenario Playtesting - A&A 1939

Post by DerLeiter » Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:51 pm

Quick update on some fixes for ausf Q4
  • British India divisions only mobilize due to the Iraqi coup. British Indian defences still deploy if their territory is entered.
  • Iraqi auxiliaries disband after the coup is ended.
  • Number of objectives needed to make France surrender increased by 2.
  • Apart from the Maginot Line, French forces will now disband instead of surrendering.
  • NSF Infantry now deploy properly.
  • Fixed issue with one Portugal hex somehow having its zone removed, causing it to remain as neutral territory.
  • Fixed several issues with HMS Devonshire having replaced the HNoMS Uredd.
  • Minor Swedish defences added / some Norwegian defences removed or reduced.
  • Resistance/Commando messages removed due to popular demand.
  • 'Uncommon' special units made more mundane.

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Re: Scenario Playtesting - A&A 1939

Post by skyfox122 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:10 am

Currently on Turn 20 version Q3 - I am confused by what has happened in Spain. 2nd turn of the invasion of France - Spain went Pro Axis since Allied force violated territory. Since new to this scenario - I deployed units to French border on turn 1 of controlling Spain thinking I might grab a few city hexes for some easy prestige. 2nd turn - Portugal goes Allied and all of a sudden my plan to grab some easy points went out the window and I transfer units as close to Portugal as possible.
To my surprise and shock Portugal's military is as big as Spain's exactly the same - 3 tanks & 7 Infantry type units?? Then - I discover I can't build even a single Infantry unit for Spain!! To add to my misery - the French player entered my rear (big surprise - lol) with 3 Cavalry and is grabbing my cities like I had planned to do to France. So not only am I facing an equal Portugal Army - but I can't build a simple Infantry unit to defend my rear!!
Now - I read Q4 has increased Portugal's Army even more (extract from Q4 info: Portugese forces increased)!! Somebody get me a defibrillator - I think my heart stopped when I read the change!!

Now general comments: I love the Air & Naval slug fest (this seems spot on for fun times)!!! The game has been very interesting so far with several unexpected events - like now turn 20\21 notified Russia will be an additional conquest in a few turns - I hope not too soon because only one hex of Paris has been taken and I will need to xfer units and RESCUE Spain! We are playing a paired game - and so far my opponent has not been able to take a single hex of Paris & has just secured primary control of Norway.

Hope my comments help - keep up the good work!!
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Re: Scenario Playtesting - A&A 1939

Post by DerLeiter » Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:26 pm

skyfox122 wrote:To my surprise and shock Portugal's military is as big as Spain's...
Spains is actually much larger and of better quality, but it sounds like RNG didn't favour you on the first turn. Give it a turn or two and more auxiliaries will deploy; Spain has more units of each type than Portugal does, it's just a 25-50% chance each turn they show up. Even so, I agree after looking at it again Portugal just has too much stuff. If nothing else a bunch of infantry need to be removed. Additionally, I missed adding in a trigger qualification that they shouldn't deploy if Portugal is conquered. Q5 will fix that. Also you can put the defibrillator away :P The issue with Portugal was an errant hex refusing to declare their allegiance and remaining neutral the whole game; this has since been fixed.
skyfox122 wrote:Now general comments: I love the Air & Naval slug fest (this seems spot on for fun times)!!! The game has been very interesting so far with several unexpected events - like now turn 20\21 notified Russia will be an additional conquest in a few turns - I hope not too soon because only one hex of Paris has been taken and I will need to xfer units and RESCUE Spain! We are playing a paired game - and so far my opponent has not been able to take a single hex of Paris & has just secured primary control of Norway.
I really enjoy how the air/sea battles around England tend to just organically happen; no way my Kriegsmarine will sail out without air cover, and as the Allies there's no way I want to let that happen. Also sometimes interesting skirmishes in the sea that randomly occur when ships bump into each other -- one cruiser might pick up some destroyers, carriers, more cruisers, whatever and end up as a whole task force by the time it gets to where it's going.

As for Russia the notification is that you have the possibility of invading Russia soon, and that their garrison forces are being deployed. It doesn't mean you are at war with them yet. While you aren't at war they can't build units and don't get their 'Wartime' auxiliaries. They do however build up an invasion forces the closer it gets to the time Russia will declare war. You declare war on Russia by moving your units across the border; Russia declares war on a random turn some time after that (you have at least 6 turns before there's even a chance of that happening though).

Once war is declared (by either side) the Russian flags are placed, Conscripts are levied, lower tier vehicles are deployed or come on, and a few initial forces are scattered around the territory. The Allies will gain a bonus to Prestige per Turn and Core Unit Slots, and Russian auxiliaries begin coming on from the East. If the Axis wait too long Russia will lose some of those auxiliaries, but gain a much more powerful force to attack with. This force will start deploying close to invasion time. IF Russia declares war it gets a huge bonus to its prestige and slots.

Basically you need to attack as soon as you can, but you can afford to wait a few turns and subdue France, etc. At worst I've started the invasion with auxiliary minor Axis powers first, then quickly redeployed from the West with trains. It all depends on the circumstances.. the key is to not give Russia the time to build up and attack.

Norway can be a tough nut to crack, especially if the British are able to entrench and reinforce it. Usually France has just been a matter of time though, I'd be curious to see how that's going. By turn 20 you should have most of your allies join by now, I'd hope? If so how's Greece going, or North Africa?

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Re: Scenario Playtesting - A&A 1939

Post by skyfox122 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:22 pm

Well, in Spain I am not getting the Aux. units because as I said the French came across with 3 Calvary and have taken the cities in my rear while I was busy with Portugal - if I used units to garrison some cities in the rear - then I would have lost Spain to Portugal.
Thanks for all the info about Russia!
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Re: Scenario Playtesting - A&A 1939

Post by DerLeiter » Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:42 pm

Ausf Q5/6 Update
  • Reduced the number of Portugese units.
  • Portugese units no longer deploy if Portugal is occupied.
  • Spanish units no longer deploy if the majority of Spain is occupied.
  • As of yet both are still counted as 'minor powers' so you cannot purchase units for them.
  • Colonel Pitemag added.
  • Fixed some Swedish/Norwegian nationality issues.
  • A few other minor balance changes in Russia and Afrika.

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