New Ideas for CEaW Grand Strategy

PSP/DS/PC/MAC : WWII turn based grand strategy game

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Peter Stauffenberg
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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:03 pm

I think it would be better to keep the amph rules as simple as possible. Transferring steps between amph units seem to be a bit complicated.

It's part of the game to use several amph units to deplete or force a retreat upon a strong defender. If only the second amph attack managed to dislodge the unit then this transport can land this turn. The first transport used up its move attacking a couldn't advance because the unit remained in the coastal hex. Next turn it can hopefully land as a regular transport in the hex (if unit that landed moves out of the hex).

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Post by rkr1958 » Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:07 pm

Stauffenberg wrote:The Germans used paratroopers to occupy Crete (Operation Merkur) and they had plans to use paratroopers to take Malta (Operation Hercules). Paratroopers were used to take Stavanger in Norway. So paras were used to secure some areas that weren't accessible by land.
Good point. We could also allow paratroop division to manifest at division strength of 3-steps. However; for them to take Crete the Greek garrison on Crete would need to be formed at 3-steps or less. This might be worth considering on its own. Right now a full Italian, or German, corps invading Crete has its hands full with the Crete defenders.

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Post by rkr1958 » Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:10 pm

Stauffenberg wrote:I think it would be better to keep the amph rules as simple as possible. Transferring steps between amph units seem to be a bit complicated.

It's part of the game to use several amph units to deplete or force a retreat upon a strong defender. If only the second amph attack managed to dislodge the unit then this transport can land this turn. The first transport used up its move attacking a couldn't advance because the unit remained in the coastal hex. Next turn it can hopefully land as a regular transport in the hex (if unit that landed moves out of the hex).
Yeah ... I though I was getting a bit carried away. I had thought of that too. The first unit could land as a regular transport could land on the next turn. In effect, the amphibious capability would allow units to either attack from a transport at sea AND land on the same turn -or- land into an unoccupied but enemy controlled hex.

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Post by leridano » Fri Jan 01, 2010 8:34 pm

leridano wrote:One thing about free rail moves: I think it should be allowed free rail moves even when adjacent to enemy units but it would have to limit this a little. I mean that the rail moves are strategic movements and no tactical movements. When in WW2 the units were railed to the front they were railed to the locations near to the front and not to the front itself. What I mean is that we can allow rail moves from the front line if the unit that it´s gonna be railed is at 10 steps, full of health and to join a strategic offensive in another front of the war. But it shouldn´t be allowed rail movements from the front line owing to a tactical movement because we want to save a armour unit with only 2 steps of strength that is in the front line and, e.g., we are at the East Front in severe winter with only 2 hexes movement for the armour units and with a great risk to be destroyed in the next turn . It would be a little unrealistic that a halved armour unit could be saved from destroying it this way, railing it away from the front line to repair it.
What about this? Has someone consider this in case finally the free rail moves be established in CEAW?

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Post by TotalerKrieg » Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:55 pm

I have a few suggestions for the next mod which I haven't seen discussed so may be of interest to the BJR team:

1. Winter weather for uboats in the Atlantic. According the Battlefield series, the weather was often severe enough (December-January?) that the convoys could get through unscathed. Check out if you haven't seen it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ck7XBjPQVK8

Maybe have them unable to attack and a seeing radius of 1 hex during this time?

2. The possibility of generals getting KIA (or captured) during land combat as well as getting injured. I think the only way this happens is if you have a general on a transport which is sunk currently. It would add to the game if you could lose them in combat in my opinion.

By the way, thanks for making your mods available to everyone!

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Post by ftgcritt2 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:29 am

Here's an idea. Anyone who's been paying attention to my AAR against Joe may have noticed that the German High Seas Fleet was knocked out of action very early on. This is because I used it to assist in the capture of Holland, and it was subsequently trapped inside the gulf next to Amsterdam and destroyed. This never would have happened if the port for Amsterdam were located to the east of the city (where it resides in real life), rather than in the North Sea.

Peter Stauffenberg
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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:32 am

ftgcritt2 wrote:Here's an idea. Anyone who's been paying attention to my AAR against Joe may have noticed that the German High Seas Fleet was knocked out of action very early on. This is because I used it to assist in the capture of Holland, and it was subsequently trapped inside the gulf next to Amsterdam and destroyed. This never would have happened if the port for Amsterdam were located to the east of the city (where it resides in real life), rather than in the North Sea.
The sea east of Amsterdam is actually Ijsselmeer. That sea area was very shallow. Look here for details:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IJsselmeer

The average depth is about 5-6 meters only.

The Afsluitdjik closes the IJsselmeer from the North Sea making it a lake.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afsluitdijk

The Amsterdam port is actually linked to the North Sea via the Noordzeekanaal. Look here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Noord ... 41452N.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Sea_Canal
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_of_Amsterdam

The port of Amsterdam ends up in the North Sea not so far from the Rotterdam port (Europe's largest port)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_of_Rotterdam

We felt that having named ports was a good idea where the port was well known. Since Rotterdam was so important during WW2 we felt it was more right to call the port Rotterdam than Amsterdam.

If we should have changed anything the it would be to close the IJsselmeer so it became a lake. But then Germany could invade Hague from the north. They tried to do that, but it failed. Look here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Afsluitdijk

Since we deal with corps sized units we felt it was better to not allow units from moving into Hague via the Afsluitsdijk I think that Axis players sending their navy into the IJsselmeer in GS has to expect the unit can be cut off and eventually killed. I don't understand why you risked using the BB to take out Holland. If you attack if fair weather it's very easy to capture all of Holland in one turn. If you attack in winter you use 2 turns, but so what. The Allies can't reinforce Holland with French units.

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Post by trulster » Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:14 pm

Have no idea how complicated it is in terms of programming, but given that the main play of this game is PBEM, it would be extremely nice if a future GS would feature a "enemy turn replay" like what you get when playing the AI, seeing the moves made.

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Don't have Mud in Western Europe

Post by timhicks » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:58 pm

I'd like to see different weather for western Europe. Russia was infamous for it's unpaved road, which turned to mud in wet weather.

But I don't think that western europe should have any Mud weather at all. Most roads were paved, and the idea that the any area in England or France should be affected by Mud is just silly.

People might refer back to the battles of WW1, but those conditions were caused by massive bombardments and
I don't recall any WW2 Battle in western europe being affected by Mud.

Peter Stauffenberg
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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:11 pm

It's not like the soldiers fought only along the roads. Mud weather simulates all kinds of bad weather that wasn't snow like fog or heavy rain. Such weather conditions would hamper the efficiency of air units. Partly because such weather could ground the air units and partly because they had problems finding their targets due to clouds, fog etc.

Everybody knows that heavy rain soaks the ground and makes it harder to launch any land offensives. Mud often hampered offensives more than winter. During the winter the ground froze and e. g tanks could run.

I've played lots of WW2 board games and the concept of mud weather in western Europe is actually common. E. g. World In Flames has diferent weather conditions in western Europe. The quality of the roads had more to do with strategic movement and supply to the front line.

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Post by marcelscheele » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:55 pm

Being a resident of the Netherlands, and having lived almost all of my life here, I can attest to Stauffenberg's remarks about the situation in Holland. In my opinion the way the situation in The Netherlands is depicted quite accurately in the game.

Indeed, Amsterdam's main port is in the North sea and not in the Ijsslemeer ande indeed one of the few successes in the war was at the Afsluitdijk.

Holland being captured in 5 days there was not much heroism to be remembered by the Dutch. The battle of Kornwerderzand, a fortress at the east of the Afsluitdijk, is being remembered as a success. This is a kind of surrogate-success, but if you haven't got anything else...well ;-)

Cheers,

Marcel

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Post by ncali » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:52 am

4. Amphibious Units
Allow contested landings for amphibious units - but at great disadvantage to the attacker. Show which units are amphibious so opponent can see.
5. Paratroops. wrote:
No change - too difficult to realistically implement with this scale and game system.
28. Elite Units. wrote:
No change - existing game system adequately represents experience gain and degradation.
I have made some more extensive comments about two out of three of these topics - but thought I'd sum up my opinion before you move on.

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Post by foost » Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:34 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm enjoying GS a lot. I think it's an excellent improvement of an already good game. That said, I take an interest in its future development - which looks promising considering the many good ideas discussed here! However, I strongly disagree with one idea brought up:
28. Elite Units. wrote:28. Elite Units.
a. What if we let the units keep their XP achieved after combat even when they repair? Now a level 4 XP unit will quickly drop to a less experienced unit if it becomes depleted. So now the units become elite units only temporarily.
b. If the XP sticks it means you have to destroy the unit to remove the elite status.
c. We could easily make the game is such a way so units with XP level of 3 or 4 are marked as Elite and can even have separate unit graphics so they can easily be located. The bonuses from XP are quality and survivability if I recall correctly, but we can tweak this if we want to. E. g. land units could get +1 defense at XP level 3 and +1 attack at XP level 4. By doing this we don't need to have separate units you can purchase to get the elite units. You get elite units by fighting with them and accumulating XP. Soviet units started as regular units and if they fought well they became guards units. Is this a good way of having elite units? Do you want to have separate graphics for the units when they have higher XP levels (e. g. level 3 or 4). Letting XP stick means the Axis will get some benefits earlier in the war, but also the British will benefit from committing the Royal Airforce to support France. You get XP that won't disappear even if you repair losses.
d. I think that's a really good idea, perhaps with the caveat that if a unit drops below a certain level, like 4 steps, the unit would start losing XP. This would reflect the fact that a unit is improved by having experienced veterans on hand, even with some green replacements added back in, but if the unit is depleted and mostly green, it shouldn't really retain that same strength. I have no idea how hard this would be to code, though.
e. Another way to deal with this is to let the repair cost be a function of XP level meaning that repairing highly experienced units will be more expensive. This means that you reinforce the units with veteran units instead of fresh troops. This way you retain the XP level of the unit.
f. If you do go with the approach that units don't lose their experience, then I think making replacements more costly is the only fair way to do it. Either that, or the approach suggested (which is better) that a unit does lose its experience if it is reduced below a certain strength (such as 4) and accepts replacements.
g. That said, I am strongly opposed to the the idea of allowing units to replace losses without losing experience! The game's original approach makes a lot of sense - the Germans (as historically) do build up a cadre of elite units in the basic game due to their engagement in combat over a long period of time with light-moderate losses. I think the designers were very thoughtful in whatever formula they adopted for degrading the experience of units for accepting replacements. Units can still accept substantial replacements and stay fairly experienced. And experienced German air and land forces can be a nuisance as it is for the Allies. To allow units to continue to grow in experience while accepting replacements will lead to a super-Luftwaffe that is nearly invincible as well as many German super-units. This historically makes little sense.
I support g. in that I think it's more balanced this way - remember Panzergeneral when your whole army was made up out of 5-Star units in 1942? I think keeping the XP would unbalance the game, creating a number of super-units. Increasing the repair costs for experienced units also does not seem right to me - by spending more PPs, you would get better troop equipment, not quality. Adding another descriptor (unit quality as "Elite" or "Veteran") does not seem necessary to me - experience already influences a unit's stats. Why introduce another layer/factor?

The determining factor at work is manpower, not industrial capacity. Here I would suggest a minor modification: It should be possible to still recruit "normal" replacements once the manpower levels falls below 75%. After all, not _all_ recruits are less suited for service, only more so. One should be able to assign a few recruits of normal quality (the best of the rest) to the experienced units.

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Post by marcelscheele » Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:13 pm

I agree with foost in general.

It might be interesting to allow two depleted units to 'fuse'. If both units are experienced they retain their (average) experience.

Marcel

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Post by Clark » Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:30 pm

I do think units should lose experience when adding replacements, but I think the curve is currently too steep. If a unit has seen some action and correspondingly builds experience in its veterans but loses casualties, the green replacements should benefit from having veterans by their side, giving the newbies pointers on maintaining equipment in difficult conditions, directing them better on a tactical level and generally steeling them by example in times of combat and in times of rest.

Currently it seems as though experience is lost at a rate very close to the amount of steps being replaced.

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Post by foost » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:21 am

Clark wrote:[...]

Currently it seems as though experience is lost at a rate very close to the amount of steps being replaced.
Does anyone have the current exact formula? I always assumed that the new experience is the average of the experience of all, veterans and green recruits.

E.g. a unit with 6 steps left and 240 XP (how is it actually counted?) gets 4 steps replacement, resulting in

((6x240)+(4x0))/10 = 144 XP (or, as seen from within game, as a drop from 2 XP to 1 XP, assuming rounding down)

A similar formula could be used to fuse units, as suggested by marcelscheele, which I find a good idea.

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Post by Craig64 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:12 pm

Hi Guys

I have a question as Im only new to this game and very happy I was introduced to it, sort of game I have been looking for. I'm in a pbem at moment and when playing in the allies role at start. My polish troops got split up and I tried to regroup them so that they could consolidate there position. But due to some being next to enemy they could only go forward or hold position not move back to reposition and not get abliterated as they did as I had none left by next move :cry:
I dont feel it was retreating more falling back to regroup. Any chance of a change to be able to regroup forces when get split or under heavy fire and need to regroup and consolidate.

CraigM

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Elite Units

Post by timhicks » Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:19 am

Clark wrote:
[...]

Currently it seems as though experience is lost at a rate very close to the amount of steps being replaced.

I agree with this , I have rarely managed to get german units with more than two stars, and those were infantry in good defensive positions which were gunning down russian attacks while only suffering the occasional 1 step loss.

Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but my experience is that if you're punching holes with your armour and mech (or firefighting later in the war), then they will suffer 2 or 3 step losses every few months, and they have no chance of gaining stars.

Do other players nursemaid their heavy corps , so that they can quickly gain experience ?

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Post by trulster » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:43 pm

I propose changing one of the Finnish infantry corps to a mech corps. The Finns seem a bit easy to knock out and a mech gives them slightly better offensive punch. In similar games Finland does have a mech, like Rumania and Hungary does in this game.

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Random Thoughts & Suggestions

Post by esde56 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:41 am

Dear ‘CEAW-GS’ Team,

I only discovered CEAW (MH edition) about 4 months ago and thought that it painted the broad brushstrokes of WW2 into an easily accessible strategy game rather well indeed. There were aspects that one could quibble about but then there always are, as such is human nature for topics we have an interest in a topic. Nevertheless, overall, it works very well and is good fun, especially via PBEM: bravo Team Slitherine!

However, the endeavours by the ‘GS’ team to further refine and improve the extant game is quite remarkable and really deserves high praise indeed. I have not come across this much dedication since the ‘Rome Total Realism’ & ‘Europa Barbarborium’ mods for ‘Rome Total War’.

Whilst I have been following the development of the GS mod with great interest, I am new to this forum and must confess that I have little idea of what subsystems lay beneath the surface hidden from my layman’s gaze and none at all concerning what the game engine can/cannot be programmed to do. Whilst I have now played a reasonable number of games, I would not claim to be a CEAW veteran player but I have been a war(board)gamer for the wrong side of 30 years, so ...

I would like to proffer some suggestions. I do appreciate that some may have covered previously; some may have been considered and dismissed as unnecessary/impractical; some may have similar effects hidden beneath the surface; but perhaps an odd one may be of interest ...

Regardless, very best wishes for all of your future endeavours & keep up the wonderful work!

Stephen



(Caveat: these are all based upon the vanilla version of CEAW and the new GS manual only - I have not yet attempted the GS beta)

Suggestions

1. I have noticed that Glasgow is the primary port location for all of the convoys. However, I believe that Liverpool was actually the main destination for such and handled at least 35% of the UKs entire imports?

2. Randomise the destination port for convoys at the time they are created on the map. The primary port would receive the highest % chance of being the target destination with the others % based upon their relative historical importance. Naturally, the Allied player would need to know which port a convoy was heading for, so perhaps a tag or code could be placed upon the convoy that only he could see.

3. Introduce a single waypoint for player controlled naval forces (including SS). As naval forces have similar movement ratings and move by the most direct path from A-B, it is very difficult to ‘lose/shake’ an attacking/perusing force. If a player could change direction (even just once) once outside his opponents spotting range, it would permit far more of the fox & hounds dynamic and should be more fun too, especially in vastness of the Atlantic.

4. Amend the sea spotting range for naval forces, based upon their general relative capabilities. Whilst appreciating that the fleets could theoretically enter most of the hexes within their sea spotting ranges within the time frame of a GT, it would further delineate the roles and abilities of the specific fleets.
On the assumption (possibly false!) that a:
CV fleet contains the usual gamut of ‘support’ ships: CA, CL, DD (& possibly BB), it should have the greatest range due to CV air recce by a distinct margin. {Perhaps 7?}
BB fleet contains the usual gamut of ‘support’ ships: CA, CL & DD, it should have a lower range. {Perhaps 5?}
DD fleet contains either purely DDs but possibly CL as flag ships, it should have a slightly lower range, as it will lack the better radar and limited aircraft recce afforded by BBs. {Perhaps 4?}
SS ‘fleet’ will represent a widely dispersed collection of subs on patrol lines, affording a moderate range. {Perhaps 5?}
Convoy would generally have minimal escorts (DE, FG, CT) to none at all and should have the lowest range by a distinct margin. {Perhaps 2?}

5. Increase the oil consumption of BB fleets to 2. The larger fleet units required a lot of fuel and should only be surpassed by CV fleets requiring aviation fuel. An increase would also require players to give a tad more thought (particularly for the UK & Italian fleets) before sending their fleets scurrying about without genuine purpose.

6. Possibly restrict the French Mediterranean BB fleet to the Med? It does appear too easy an option for the Allied player to bolster his Atlantic fleets (& even primarily utilise the French fleets in the lead role in combats) because he (generally) knows that France is not going to survive and that the Italians are of little threat within the life expectancy of France. Also, I am inclined to think that the French would wish to keep this fleet within the Med to protect their southern flank and colonies.

7. Degrade all naval abilities during Rough Seas. Any or all of the following should be considered:
Reduction in movement (including convoys); reduction in spotting ranges; reduction in combat abilities; increase in oil consumption for any fleet moving 51% or more of their movement allowance.

8. Reduce the effectiveness of units at sea in transports progressively. An additional reduction in effectiveness should be applied if they are at sea during Rough Seas. Overall, this would encourage players to perform shorter range invasions wherever possible and perhaps introduce a staging area for units to recover before transporting them again. E.g. USA units intending to invade France, should be best utilised by shipping them to the UK, recovering from their sea voyage and then attacking from the UK. Several weeks/GTs at sea prior to an invasion (or even arriving at a friendly port) would not see them at their best, even more so if the seas had been rough!

9. Link the general ASW research level to convoy survivability, to reflect that as the war progresses, additional minor ships (CT, FG, DE) would be attached to convoys in greater numbers, primarily those originating in the USA/Canada. Perhaps a +1 increase in survivability per 2 or 3 levels of ASW research achieved?

10. Alternatively, permit the Allied play to disband x1 DD fleet (full strength only) per year, starting in 1941, to increase the convoy survivability rating by +1. Such are considered to have been allocated to close convoy protection.

11. Increase the ground attack & air attack values of BB fleets by +1. Naval gunfire support from the larger fleet units should be more potent than that of a DD fleet. Additionally, larger fleet units & BBs particularly, carried a significant amount of AA guns. Overall this would help to individualise the fleet types and their roles.

12. Allow units being transported via sea to instantly debark at a friendly port rather than waiting until the next GT. It should be easier/faster to do so at a friendly port than if unloading in a non-port hex.

13. Reduce the production time requirement for DD fleets to 7GT (possibly even 6GT) but increase the CV production time to 9GT. The smaller units of a DD fleet would require less specialised facilities and some degree of mass production would be available. CVs would require a fully trained naval air unit. Once again the differentiation would individualise these units a little more.

14. Permit TacB & StratB to target a sea hex hidden by FoW. Perhaps limit this ‘ping’ to a 50% of the normal spotting range. Eg. If a StratB would normally have a sea spotting range of 6, the target sea hex and 3 hexes outwards would be revealed. This would allow such aircraft to perform a recce.

15. Introduce a penalty to a unit defending in a city which is surrounded by enemy controlled hexes (&/or units) and thereby cut off from other friendly cities. This should be a progressive penalty, either by slowly reducing the supply value of the hex or (perhaps easier) the unit’s efficiency rating each GT after the 1st. If the encirclement is broken, the unit immediately regains the efficiency points lost for being isolated (or reset the supply status to its normal level). This would give the defending player an incentive to periodically launch an attack/movement to temporarily relieve the beleaguered city/unit (ala Leningrad, Stalingrad, etc) or have the unit break out before the unit becomes too weakened.

16. A similar concept could be applied to island cities (eg. Malta, etc) by utilising surface fleet ZoCs*. Thus 2 Axis fleets could ‘surround’ Malta with ZoCs, thereby isolating the defending unit. This would encourage the Allied player to break the blockade by having a fleet intervene (move adjacent to Malta) before the situation became too dire. This would reflect the need for the controlling player to keep island cities ‘supplied’ or at least avoid them being cut off: it was as important to the Allied player to keep Malta supplied as it was for the Axis player to negate it. {*Or alternatively, if 2 enemy surface fleets are adjacent to the island’s port, assume that the island is effectively blockaded until one of the fleets is eliminated/forced to withdraw}

17. Permit StratB to target a friendly unit defending in an isolated city (ala #5 & 6), to offer a limited form of supply drop. However, this should not have the same effect as ground units breaking the encirclement. Perhaps, it should negate the efficiency rating which would have been lost for that GT, or perhaps regain just a little more. Naturally, this will be an expensive (in oil) way of resupplying the isolated unit.

Full stop!

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