Please vote: Adding some Soviet cities without production

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

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Peter Stauffenberg
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Please vote: Adding some Soviet cities without production

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sun Dec 04, 2011 5:45 pm

It seems to me that there might be a few cities near Moscow so if the capital falls then it would be hard to get in reinforcements to liberate the city. I've taken a look at the map and found the following.

None of the proposed cities will get production so they will only be rail hubs and a place for reinforcements.

1. Ryazan: About 525.000 inhabitants:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryazan

This city will help the south-east flank of Moscow once Tula falls

2. Vladimir: About 345.000 inhabitants:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir

This city will help getting reinforcements to the Moscow area if Moscow is under attack.

3. Lipetsk: About 500.000 inhabitants:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipetsk

This city will help setting up a defense line along the Don north of Voronezh. The area seems rather empty now.


4. Saransk: About 300.000 inhabitants:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saransk

This city will help setting up a defense line east of Ryazan once Ryazan falls. The area seems rather empty now.

5. Izhevsk: About 630.000 inhabitants
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Izhevsk

This city is quite large and will help building up a defense line once Kazan falls.

6. Makhachkala: About 575.000 inhabitants:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makhachkala

This city will help setting up a line at the Caucasus and it can be used as a port as well. That possibility can be used by both sides. This was an ancient fortress city and is the capital of Dagestan.

7. Uralsk: About 350.000 inhabitants
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral,_Kazakhstan

This city will help sending units to the area east of Stalingrad

8. Sterlitamak: About 275.000 inhabitants
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sterlitamak

This city will also help forming a line once the Germans get across the Volga. Magnitogorsk won't help because of many rough hexes towards the front line.

9. Syktyvkar: About 235.000 inhabitants
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syktyvkar

Fills a city in the far north where it should be possible to send units

10. Nizhny Tagil: About 360.000 inhabitants
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nizhny_Tagil

Helps defending just in front of Omsk.

The changes look like this.
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Last edited by Peter Stauffenberg on Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by avoran » Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:17 pm

Definitely yes to Makhachkala - it could make a big difference having a port there.
Not sure about the others - they're fairly close together and the 'fortress' effect may be too strong.

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Post by Roberto » Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:53 pm

I vote yes to all

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Post by DukeOfLight » Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:40 pm

yes to all

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Post by Rasputitsa » Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:21 pm

Yes to more cities, but not sure how many we need.

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Post by Plaid » Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:39 pm

All this cities are well far from the line, where germans usually advance to, so why not.

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Post by Diplomaticus » Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:54 pm

I vote no to all.

IMO, adding these cities is about "solving" a non-existent problem. Does the USSR seriously need more help?

Cities are not just rail hubs, they are, to quote somebody in the forums, "mini-fortresses." Most Axis players are having a plenty tough time fighting the Russians. Are we going to punish the few elite German players who actually manage to get as far on the map as to make these cities relevant? In the games I've seen, Russia just doesn't need this form of rescuing.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:42 pm

Not according to GS v2.01.35. The Axis players seem to do quite well in that version.

Cities aren't that tough to conquer. More important is that you can rail units there or place reinforcements.

If the Germans never get past Moscow then you won't even use these cities. Once they do then you will realize that it's quite problematic for the Russians to build up more defensive lines.

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Post by ncali » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:52 pm

I vote no/maybe. I don't think any of these cities had much population in 1941? I did a quick search for Soviet census data - but I didn't come up with much illuminating besides a list of the top 20 cities in 1926.

I do kind of like the idea of another port on the Caspian city (Makhachkala), at least in principal. I also kind of like the idea of adding another city near Moscow (Vladimir or Ryazan). But unless any of these cities had some significance in terms of population or being a rail hub at the time of WWII, I don't really see them as being very historical.

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Post by filo » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:51 pm

i vote yes to all 5

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Post by Samhain » Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:20 pm

Yes to all.

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Post by Rasputitsa » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:02 pm

I don't think it matters how big these cities were, as in the game they will not have any production, they are only intended to be a rail halt. They don't have to have been major rail termini, just somewhere on the rail network where you can unload troops and equipment. More important is how many extra rail positions you provide and where they are placed so that the rail offloading points do not become too dense. I suppose only play testing will prove that, so can these cities be provided as options to be selected, maybe alternative patches to try out different configurations, or does that make it too complicated. :D
Last edited by Rasputitsa on Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:01 pm

The cities mentioned are and were bigger than cities already on the map like Pskov, Petrozavodsk, Novgorod etc. The point is that have some alternative places to rail units if the major cities are captured or under threat.

Actually units could be transported along all the rail lines, but CeaW doesn't have that. Therefore we need to have rail hubs in cities spread around the map so you can simulate the rail network.

After GS v2.01.35 we see that the Axis player again can push quite a bit further in 1941 (capture of Moscow is quite possible) and then they can push further in 1942. The game between Ronnie and Dave is such an example.

The reason for adding the cities is to have a chance to form some kind of lines there if the Germans get further east than in the historical game. At the moment there aren't enough cities there to form a line before the main Volga line, much further east.

The suggested cities will not affect players who will mainly follow the historical line. The Russians won't have need for these cities then, but they will need the cities if Moscow falls and the Germans push towards Kazan and then the Urals.

When Moscow becomes engaged in battle it will be hard for the Russians to get reinforcements placed there unless they get the extra cities like Vladimir and Ryazan. If you look at a rela map you see that the area is quite populated and could certainly have been used as staging points for reinforcements.

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Post by Rasputitsa » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:28 pm

For me, I am more than happy to accept the advice of those with more experience and it seems to be a required adaptation.

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Post by Cybvep » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:21 pm

Ryazan and Makhachkala sound fine and could have some real strategic value. As for the others, I think that they are pointless, as there are other cities in good locations nearby and they even give PP income (Gorki, Kazan, Tambov...).

Also, I think that Ronnie himself said that his latest AAR game shouldn't be considered to be a typical example of the result of war. He was extremely successful EVERYWHERE (sub warfare, concentrated attacks, air campaign, defence of Italy, conserving oil, defending Tobruk etc.) and his superior skill was clearly evident.

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Post by Lannes » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:27 pm

Yes to all.
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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:37 pm

I made some changes and removed Yoshkar-Ola and added some others further east, just in case the Germans would enter so far east.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:46 pm

Cybvep wrote:Ryazan and Makhachkala sound fine and could have some real strategic value. As for the others, I think that they are pointless, as there are other cities in good locations nearby and they even give PP income (Gorki, Kazan, Tambov...).

Also, I think that Ronnie himself said that his latest AAR game shouldn't be considered to be a typical example of the result of war. He was extremely successful EVERYWHERE (sub warfare, concentrated attacks, air campaign, defence of Italy, conserving oil, defending Tobruk etc.) and his superior skill was clearly evident.
I don't agree with you here. If you look at the cities I found in Russia then you see that they're big enough to warrant being on the GS map. We just didn't put too much effort into thinking about cities so far east since the map area was rarely used.

With the latest GS v2.01.35 changes I think we will see the map area east of Moscow and Stalingrad more used than we anticipated before. Therefore we need the same grade of detailing here as further west.

The changes mentioned above will not affect the game play unless the Germans get very far east. Then the changes will and should affect the game play. One example is that the Germans can't expect to rush so fast towards Omsk anymore. That's a very good thing because the GS map is quite compressed so far east so the real distance is bigger.

Using the current map then too much is put on the few cities there are east of Moscow. If Russia loses one of them then they will have quite a few hexes to the next defense area because there aren't enough cities to rail reinforcements to. One example is east of Moscow. When Moscow falls then Gorki will be next because there is no Vladimir between them to stall the German advance. The same in other places as well. Again I want to mention that the map is quite compressed here so the distance from e. g. Moscow to Omsk via Gorki, Kazan and Sverdlovsk is much longer than on the map.

Also remember that the cities with production would be almost like rail intersections in games with rail lines. Units could then be railed to/from all hexes along a rail line as long as they're not in ZOC. It's too much of a job to add rail lines in GS so we have to find an alternative way.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:55 pm

Some time ago it was suggested that we made a new resource type called rail station that would be similar to a city without production. We said no to it since a city could do the same.

If we feel there are too many cities on the map, i. e. too many places with good defense capabilities then we could e. g. alter the max extrenchment level for a city without production. Now it's 5 and it could instead be reduced to 2 or 3. The higher entrenchment level could be seem as having a slightly bigger city.

The problem with that is that for minor powers we have rather small cities with production that would perform better in defense than larger major power cities without production. That doesn't seem right. So not altering city values is probably best.

Since the added cities will only show up in areas the real Germans never entered then these won't affect game play much. They will mainly affect game play when the Axis player is doing significantly better than the real Germans did.

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Post by Cybvep » Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:24 pm

You need to specify what you want to achieve here. If you are only after the real gameplay effect and feel that it's too easy to reach Omsk, then sure, the Soviets could use some cities there. However, I don't know how Lipetsk or Vladimir offer new strategic choices here, because there are cities nearby and they even have PPs, so when encircled, units will stay supplied.

Ryazan is good because there is a big gap behind Tula and between Tambov and Gorki. Also, railing units to forested hexes can be useful, esp. when there is a river there, too.

Izhevsk seems pointless, as Kirov and Molotov are nearby, but considering that it's very far to the east and there are forested hexes there, it could stay.

Saransk and Syktyvkar are sensible choices in locations which could use some city hexes, so I think that they should be included.

Nizhny Tagil won't matter much. If the Germans get that far, then they probably have already won. The real goal should be to prevent the Germans from getting so near to Osmk in the first place.

If it's historical accuracy you are after, then your definition of a city hex needs to be universal, i.e. it should apply to ALL city hexes in the game and it should take population from 1940s into account.

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