What happened to the game?

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

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johndoepublic
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What happened to the game?

Post by johndoepublic » Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:57 pm

The differences between the grand strategy mod and the original military history commander is dramatic. While some of the new features are quite nice (expanded map, rail limitations, axis limits in N. africa), some of the additions are downright awful. Furthermore, I'm not quite sure how thoroughly this was playtested, as it seems that the modders went out of their way to cripple the axis. they are quite gimped and I dont know why

A case in point, I've played the game 4 times as the axis powers, and in 3 of the 4, I was experiencing a d-day scenario by early 1942! This at the same time that I'm being overwhelmed by hordes of highly upgraded russian soldiers on the eastern front who are eating my mech corps for breakfast.

Balance tweaks

1) reduce the number of battleships and carriers that britain has in the north sea - when its 25 units to 2 or 3 subs, it becomes rather difficult to hit those convoys

2)only being able to attack the same hex twice with air units makes attacking Britain as germany pointless as you can never beat down the fighters enough to kill them, and when you can, you're swarmed by hordes of troops by early 1942

2) convoys of 150 IP, with 3 convoys going simultaneous at a time - It got to the point that russia had stored 2500 ip by early 1943. This while deploying hordes of troops which are funded by the boost in IP that russia received in this mod. It all seems a bit excessive.

3) Germany's conscription message comes in at the 3 million casualties mark, but with russia I've killed over 10 million. At what point do they get a conscription message and it would be nice that when such a message occurs, to be visible to both sides.

4) The partisan feature is nice, but they spawn far too frequently and one sided. Where are the collaborators? When Germany invaded russia they were welcomed by the ukrainians and citizens of the baltic states as liberators from the stalinst progroms.

5) Getting to use paratroopers is a pain - I would just create a separate unit

6) Inability to retrofit next to enemy troops is a bit boggling and unhistorical, especially for troop units. The only real trouble the germans had retrofitting is with the later tanks, but otherwise, the early versions were prized for their ability to fixed in the field.

7) oil consumption - again a bit ahistorical in this respect. Germany never really had problems with this until much later in the war.

Overall, I think the crux of the issue is the amount of industrial points that the allies get, and the amount of starting units. This should reduce the early ddays and reduce the likelihood of russian super troopers roaming the steps by 1942.

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Post by richardsd » Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:20 am

Well I respectfully suggest you don't play any of the good Axis players, they will do a LOT better than this.

The game may not be exactly historical (is that even possible?) but it is very closely balanced when good players play each other.

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Post by johndoepublic » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:50 am

Quite possibly. Nevertheless, I've noticed that in the past few games that I've played there is a AI bug that is incorrectly calculating and utilizing the IP. Check out Russia's hoard of cash in the pic below.

Image

Britain and USA had half of that amount but at least in there the case the AI did spend the cash (as stated previously - I was getting swamped by 20 ground units by 1942). I dont remember the original version having such sloppy programming.

Edit: the pic isn't showing up in the forums - just copy and paste the link and you'll see for yourself....

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Post by rkr1958 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:48 am

johndoepublic wrote:Britain and USA had half of that amount but at least in there the case the AI did spend the cash (as stated previously - I was getting swamped by 20 ground units by 1942). I dont remember the original version having such sloppy programming.
From page 9 of the GS player's manual (emphasis added).
CEaW-GS is optimized for human-to-human play; however, play against the AI would offer the player the same level of challenge as they would have in the vanilla game against the AI. No attempt was made to improve the AI.
Also from: viewtopic.php?t=20355&start=0
Ground Rules:
The GS expansion is designed specifically for PBEM and hot seat play without any “house rules”. That is, anything allowed by the game engine, short of cheating (i.e.reloading and replaying turns), is within the spirit of the expansion. An experienced player can easily exploit the weakness of the AI even capturing Paris in 1939 and / or totally defeating the UK, USSR and even the USA. While games such as these can be played on their own merit that is not the way that this game will be played.
So before you start accusing folks of sloppy programming maybe you need to get your facts straight first so you know what you're talking about. We've been up front all along concerning the development of GS that it was designed for PBEM or hotseat play and not optimized for play against the AI. GS was put together, tested, documented and packaged by a group of fans who did it own their own time, for free and without thought of compensation. It was also offered to the community and you for free. You may disagree with the final design decisions that the group eventually arrived at through several iterations of testing that occurred over several months; but to accuse someone of sloppy programming when you haven't taken the time to get your facts straight is just poor form.

johndoepublic wrote:Edit: the pic isn't showing up in the forums - just copy and paste the link and you'll see for yourself....
By the way, I just fixed that for you. You left off "[" By the way, in the pic that you're referring to above, I see no Russian hordes.

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Post by afk_nero » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:08 am

Couldn't agree more with your comments RKR1958.

The expansion is designed for PBEM and not to play versus the AI - who most people agree is not the best.

I for one love this game - it's simple to play and hard to master.

I have been interested to see two recent threads one complaining about the fact that the Axis are too strong especially in the early war and this complaining that the Russians are too strong. I personally like the challenge of trying to fight impossible odds and win. There is however certainly a skill to the game.

I guess this is a reflection of that old adage "you can't please everyone all the time".

This is the only game that I am aware of that works at such a strategic level, the other game I enjoy is GG WitE - this is a level down from CEaW.

I would suggest the vanilla game may be more enjoyable for yourself as you have a very good chance of taking Russia out of the war - I regularly used to defeat the AI on all difficult levels (although the AI does cheat on difficult).

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Post by leridano » Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:42 pm

GS 2.00 is currently in development: IMO all the major issues that unbalanced the game both in vanilla and GS 1.07 have been fixed. This way we have now well balanced and historical based scenarios in France 1940, North Africa 1940-43, Italy 1943-45.

Barbarossa is really a hard to balance scenario: we are now testing this scenario for making the most possible balanced and historical scenario the same way we have achieved that in the scenarios mentioned above. Eastern front is difficult to balance because if you weaken the russians excessively you could often see games in which the germans take Moscow, Leningrad and Stalingrad in 1941 which wouldn´t be historical at all. Right now the germans can start an early and strong Barbarossa and they can reach more or less the objectives they historically did in the real war. It also depends, as richardsd has pointed, in your opponent: playing with good axis players makes the things different in this scenario. On the other hand, some players here in the forums and in the development team have noticed that russians have not special problems for stopping the germans in Dnepr river line in 1941. Some others (like me) have suggested that russian infantry starting tech level is rather high, etc. Whatever the tweak or tweaks that finally we decide to make in this scenario are currently being tested.

D-Day is the other scenario that also have to be tested to find an accurate one. Both in vanilla and GS 1.07 there was not the possibility of invading occupied coastal hexes. Right now in GS 2.00 you can occupy enemy coastal hexes forcing a retreat. This makes a difference in simulating Normandy landings for you don´t have to necessarily search for empty hexes for launching an amphibious operation. Right now german player will not find so effective covering all the beach threatened hexes for avoiding the landings but he will find also necessary to build a reserve force to counterattack the beachheads. So here it comes new strategies for this scenario and for this reason it is also needed much play testing here.

And finally, as Ronnie has pointed, this expansion is for free so you are not in position to demand anything here. You simply can download the expansion and if you don´t like it you can simply keep on playing vanilla game.





    afk_nero
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    Post by afk_nero » Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:22 pm

    I just stumbled across this qoute from Benjamin Disraeli.

    "How much eisier is it to be critical than to be correct"

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    Post by Blathergut » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:18 pm

    It's easier to balance the beginning when you can calculate everything down to a few PP and what each force can/might build and do. By late in the game, since you can never know just what each force will have (unlike say, Russian Campaign or Russian Front, those olde AH games, where you know when each unit enters) or what each player will do, I give the GS team tripple back pats for having made it as balanced as it is!

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    Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:38 pm

    I think the biggest game balancing factor is the quality of the players. Players like Supermax, Neil and Joe seem to win most of their games, often Ultimate victories, regardless of side. So the quality of the player seems to be much more important than the game balance.

    Quite often we see clever players find strategies that will give them an edge, e. g. the Soviet armor blob. Then the game seems to be unbalanced. Well, at least until another clever player find a way to counter this strategy. This will go on forever. It doesn't matter what kind of balance we have. Some players will find ways to maximize their options to win the game. This is why they're called great players.

    So we can't actually look at each individual game for the general game balance. We need to get enough statistical data to make analysis. In GS v1.07 it seems we have 60%/35%/5% for Allied victory / Axis victory / Draw. That's a bit much in favor of the Allies and why we're trying to improve that in GS v2.0. The main reason GS v2.0 isn't released yet is because we want to get enough statistical data about game wins showing us more balanced data. As soon as we're within 55%/45% victory (either way) then GS v2.0 is balanced enough to be released.

    No games can be 100% balanced. Not even chess is balanced. If you start with white you have a slight edge, at least until the mid-game. In games like Othello, tic-tac-toe etc. the one starting has a slight edge as well. Wargames are impossible to balance properly because there are too many variables to deal with. And what is good game balance?

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    Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:45 pm

    I remember a game called Panzergruppe Guderian. We played that some years ago. Initially all felt that the game was imbalanced in favor of the Germans. Most German players almost swept the board. Then a great player made extensive analysis of the game and found a very clever way to defend with Russia. He used that strategy and won almost all games being the Russians. Then everybody concluded that the game wasn't balanced at all and it was too much in favor of the Russians. It didn't see possible to break the defense method he used.

    So playtesters could come to the conclusion that the game was pretty balanced, but then clever players find ways to prove you wrong. This is the dilemma of all games created. You can never anticipate how players will play. They might find an exploit you never thought of that will break the game balance. This is one reason extensive playtesting is so necessary. We need players with different playing style to find as many of these exploits as possible.

    Fortunately we have a lot of very good GS v2.0 playtesters and they constantly give feedback about their findings. So I'm confident that GS v2.0 will be as balanced as we can get it without forcing the players to follow only one strategy.

    I think a common nominator for those who complain about GS is that they feel the Axis player has no chance. If they use the vanilla CeaW victory condition as a reference then they're right. But if they accept that the Axis will sooner or later begin to crumble and accept it's a race for Berlin then they will realize GS is not poorly balanced. Some players don't like fighting a "losing" battle. They like to be on the offensive all the time.

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    Post by Blathergut » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:53 pm

    panzergruppe guderian...some years ago...ooii...that goes back a ways!! :) Loved Strategy and Tactics.

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    Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:53 pm

    GS v2.0 is a game where you play more than 100 turns. It would have been very boring if the Axis player would stay on the offensive all the time while the Allied player on the defensive all the time. In vanilla CeaW the Axis player would continue to attack and as soon as his offensives were stopped and his forces were being pushed back towards Germany, then he would simply quit the game accepting defeat.

    Think about the Allied player. He has waited for his opportunity to get on the offensive by carefully defending and as soon as he manages to do this then his opponent quits. So no Operation Husky, Overlord or Bagration for him. THAT is really frustrating for the Allied player.

    In GS you don't know who will eventually win when the Axis offensives are stopped. The Allied player has to prove his skills as being on the offensive to get all the way to Rome, Hamburg and Berlin. If he fails to do this in time he will lose the game even though the actual war is won. This means the Axis player has a motivation to stay in the game and defend heroically. That means we see quite a lot of GS games going all the way till May 1945.

    I believe this is very good because then BOTH players can have the fun being on the offensive and both players have to show their skills being on the defensive. If you only want to play when you can be on the offensive then you better play against yourself or the AI.

    There are so many players around who fold as soon as they know they have lost the game. It's like they feel the loss is not a real one if the game was abandoned before the game result was presented. At least we see more games to the very end than in vanilla CeaW. THAT was one of the main reasons for altering the victory conditions.

    If the Germans could often get to Omsk then the game would have been poorly balanced. The real Germans had very little chance of actually getting to Siberia.

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    Post by Rhialto » Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:13 pm

    To RKR: Johndoepublic said 'hoard' not 'horde'.

    JDP was correct and is referring to stored resources not to units; look at the Russian production stored at the bottom left hand corner of the screenshot. The Russians have 5520 production stored. That indicates that the AI has both an inappropriate amount of resources and probably also that it is not using it properly, given the few Russian units. This looks like a bug.

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    Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:37 pm

    The AI cheats by giving itself a lot more PP's than a human player would. If you play with advantage to one side then you increase the AI production even more.

    Since GS is not balanced to be played against the AI then this is not something we will look into. I guess you will see the same happening in vanilla CeaW as well. We have not altered the production mechanisms in GS.

    I've never seen any human players getting lots of extra PP's so they can have 5000 stored. You can have 500-600 stored prior to Barbarossa if you don't spend any on production. Maybe a bit more if you don't spend anything on labs as well. If you play against and Allied AI with advantage to the Allies that's the only way I can think you can get 5000 PP's stored for Russia. It means they don't produce anything at all while being neutral.

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    Post by johndoepublic » Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:58 pm

    Point 1: I'm glad to see that someone actually looked at the picture and the comments before replying.

    Point 2: Word for the day: "hoard" = Synonyms: store, pile, mass, reserve, stockpile

    Point 3: I'm just trying to make this game better just like everyone else. In regards to the production mechanism, if nothing has changed, then I'm a bit perplexed. Game settings were on default. While Russia was neutral, I moved units next to its borders in the hope that it would buy units and not spend money on research. I dont know if that was successful as there is no chart that shows what research level your opponents are at. Nevertheless, it was buying units, and I delayed attacking russia until after it joined the allies.

    With the map expansion, how much more IP per turn is Russia getting, and how on average is it supposed to be getting from convoys? It was getting quite large convoys in some of the 4 games that I played that were around 150 IP each in close succession of each other. I have a sneaking suspicion that if the IP level gets a certain point, if overflows, and it sees itself as being broke and stops spending. Or its ignoring it.

    Update: I'm playing the game till the end which is pretty soon. Russia's IPs have hit the 6700 mark, and it buys units that are worth 160 per turn as they are deploying (ie. two tanks or 3 mech units) every turn or so. So it is using the IP.

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    Post by rkr1958 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:32 pm

    Rhialto wrote:To RKR: Johndoepublic said 'hoard' not 'horde'.
    Ahh ... Thank you. Even against the AI, I play with the fog of war on and never see those levels. Regardless, I have no trouble beating the AI with GSv1.07 or GSv2.00 as captured in two of my AAR's:

    viewtopic.php?p=153981#153981

    viewtopic.php?p=184740#184740

    If johndoepublic's observations and complaints are based on his experience playing against the AI then might I suggest a bit more experience. In fact I'd suggest reading through the strategy and tactics sections of the GS player's guide installed with v1.06 and reading through the two AAR's referenced above for playing against both human opponents and the AI. In no time I would think that he'll have defeating the AI mastered and you won't be worrying about the "hoard" of PP's that he's saving up.

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    Post by johndoepublic » Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:49 pm

    "If johndoepublic's observations and complaints are based on his experience playing against the AI then might I suggest a bit more experience. In fact I'd suggest reading through the strategy and tactics sections of the GS player's guide installed with v1.06 and reading through the two AAR's referenced above for playing against both human opponents and the AI. In no time I would think that he'll have defeating the AI mastered and you won't be worrying about the "hoard" of PP's that he's saving up."

    This isn't about whether or not I could use more experience with the game - having played 4 games I totally agree that I need to play more. This is about a resource gain/utilization bug, and your advice is equivalent to ignoring the problem. How can you expect a game to get better by running away from the problem?

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    Post by pk867 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:37 pm

    This is not a bug it is a feature. The request you are asking for has to be done by the original developer.

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    Post by richardsd » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:46 pm

    the GS game isn't about playing the AI

    the GS team doesn't design for the AI or Mod it, those are 'Slitherine' issues as such

    if you want to address the AI stuff you can Mod it yourself

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    Post by IainMcNeil » Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:29 pm

    The GS team have put a huge amount of effort in to making a great game better and they have succeeded. However they have not and never intended to upgrade the AI and while everyone agrees it would have been nice it was never part of their plan. The developer of CEAW no longer makese games and so we rely on people like teh GS team to continue to support the game and add great new features.

    You're paying for the base game and the GS expansion is all free and created by volunteers in their spare time.

    Just bear that in mind when giving feedback :)

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