GS v3.01 slight modifications for testing

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

Moderators: firepowerjohan, Happycat, rkr1958, Slitherine Core

Peter Stauffenberg
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4711
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: GS v3.01 slight modifications for testing

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:54 pm

Map changes are not on the agenda. The map is not accurate everywhere and it's not possible to get it completely accurate. So it's possible to tweak forever and still not get it right. The map distortion is partly responsible for this.

All we do now is to fine tune what we built in GS v3.0. Big changes would require a lot of testing. We deal with unintended side effects in GS. E. g. adding the tweak changes regarding unit XP or Russian oil starting to accumulate when USSR mobilizes.

The next to evaluate is a simple way to simulate Russian factory relocation and some way for the Axis to shut down the Murmansk convoy if they decide to make an offensive in the north.

Some bugs are fixed too, none which would affect most players. So playing on with GS v3.0 should be fine for players. We won't make changes that would require changes to the save game so games have to be restarted.

Peter Stauffenberg
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4711
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: GS v3.01 slight modifications for testing

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:59 pm

Vokt wrote:Yep, the game has just been updated so people might wonder why this early balance tweaks if in closed beta we checked out that the game was well balanced already. So for the same reason that MINOR tweaks for balance might be included I don't see the issue in including MINOR map changes too.
If you change the map you need to create new map backgrounds and that means the size of the update becomes very big. That is an issue by itself. Adding new map backgrounds would require several hundred MB and we can't send such updates over email. We have to host the update and we don't have a server for that.

I can easily add a rail depot on the map because the background is the same and won't require new files in each zoom level. I only need to update the ww2_city.txt file and the scenarios + adding code to introduce the rail depot on the map if it's not already there.

So the file size of the changes is a reason by itself to NOT do any map changes.

petertodd
Corporal - Strongpoint
Corporal - Strongpoint
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:31 am

Re: GS v3.01 slight modifications for testing

Post by petertodd » Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:45 pm

On the topic of minor map changes, I noticed that for hex 59,56 the map graphic says desert hills, but really it's clear.

pk867
Sr. Colonel - Battleship
Sr. Colonel - Battleship
Posts: 1601
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 3:18 pm

Re: GS v3.01 slight modifications for testing

Post by pk867 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:52 pm

Hi,
Great catch. Thanks. It is suppose to be DesertHills.

Vokt
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Posts: 1222
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:11 pm

Re: GS v3.01 slight modifications for testing

Post by Vokt » Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:53 pm

pk867 wrote:At the moment I just want to play the game and not spend another 10 months updating the game.

Even after we agree with these tweaks which is going to take time and with results reported. We then have to ask Slitherine if they would update their installers again for us.

Right now the few people we have doing this must report their findings back to Stauffenberg .

This is a free upgrade and they are kind enough to do this for us. Everybody is doing this in their spare time.
I do not like a continuous updating thing either. And I did not know that this 3.1 update will be an official one so new installers will have to be done.

pk867
Sr. Colonel - Battleship
Sr. Colonel - Battleship
Posts: 1601
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 3:18 pm

Re: GS v3.01 slight modifications for testing

Post by pk867 » Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:00 am

Hi,

That is what it may lead to in the end.

We go along and enjoy playing.

Vokt
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Posts: 1222
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:11 pm

Re: GS v3.01 slight modifications for testing

Post by Vokt » Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:13 am

Stauffenberg wrote:If you change the map you need to create new map backgrounds and that means the size of the update becomes very big. That is an issue by itself. Adding new map backgrounds would require several hundred MB and we can't send such updates over email. We have to host the update and we don't have a server for that.

I can easily add a rail depot on the map because the background is the same and won't require new files in each zoom level. I only need to update the ww2_city.txt file and the scenarios + adding code to introduce the rail depot on the map if it's not already there.

So the file size of the changes is a reason by itself to NOT do any map changes.
petertodd wrote:On the topic of minor map changes, I noticed that for hex 59,56 the map graphic says desert hills, but really it's clear.
This is what I was referring to. That is, minor map changes that does not involve changing current tiles or, if needed, to change only a very little number of tiles. This will be updated anyway so we will be taking advantage of it for including map changes like the one reported by @petertodd and other minor ones that might arise.

Peter Stauffenberg
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4711
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: GS v3.01 slight modifications for testing

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:18 am

pk867 wrote:Hi,
Great catch. Thanks. It is suppose to be DesertHills.
This is now fixed in the latest GS v3.01 version. Thank you for finding it.

Peter Stauffenberg
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4711
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: GS v3.01 slight modifications for testing

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:21 am

I have now added code for reduced Russian rail capacity. The rules are like:
USSR_FACTORY_RELOCATION_TURNS_1941 8 /* Number of turns Russian rail capacity is lowered if 1941- Barbarossa */
USSR_FACTORY_RELOCATION_TURNS_1942 4 /* Number of turns Russian rail capacity is lowered if 1942+ Barbarossa */
/* Rail cost */
RAIL_COST_USSR_FACTORIES 8 /* Rail cost for relocating Russian factories from western Russia after start of Barbarossa */

Values are set in general.txt. If the Germans make a Barbarossa in 1940 or 1941 then Russia loses 8 rail cap for 8 turns. If the Germans attack in 1942 or later then Russia loses 8 rail cap for 4 turns.

Peter Stauffenberg
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4711
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: GS v3.01 slight modifications for testing

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:24 am

I already found code in GS v3.0 for not sending the northern convoy to USSR if Archangel is Axis controlled.

I refined the code by checking if Archangel is not in rail supply (cut off) for the same effect. So you can stop the convoys going to USSR if you isolate Archangel.

I added the rail depot of Belomorsk at the White Sea since it was a key rail intersection linking Murmansk, Archangel and the south. If Belomorsk is cut-off and the weather in Russia is severe winter then the convoys will be relocated to UK. The reason is that cutting off Belomorsk means convoy supplies from Murmansk can't reach the rest of Russia. The Archangel port is frozen in severe winter so the convoys can't sail there.

Peter Stauffenberg
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4711
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: GS v3.01 slight modifications for testing

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:27 am

Vokt wrote:This is what I was referring to. That is, minor map changes that does not involve changing current tiles or, if needed, to change only a very little number of tiles. This will be updated anyway so we will be taking advantage of it for including map changes like the one reported by @petertodd and other minor ones that might arise.
We will fix discrepancies between the map background and map definition shown. The background map will decide what should be "right". So we alter the definition to match the background. If the background is not correct then it's a much bigger job to fix it since all maps need to be replaced. We want to avoid that.

Peter Stauffenberg
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4711
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: GS v3.01 slight modifications for testing

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:31 am

Vokt wrote:I do not like a continuous updating thing either. And I did not know that this 3.1 update will be an official one so new installers will have to be done.
We keep the GS v3.01 files within a very small group of people just for that reason. Since GS v3.0 is stable for most players there is no need for players to install incremental updates. Once we are satisfied with our changes in GS v3.01 we will probably make an official patch that Slitherine can distribute. Then you need to first install GS v3.0 and then the GS v3.01 patch. That is simpler than having to remake all installers.

At the moment we don't have enough data from testing to say we are done. We still get feedback from GS v3.0 players who find unintended effects from the rules, like Russia being almost out of oil in the Summer of 1942 if faced by the German fortress Europe strategy. We therefore expect to play around with GS v3.01 in our sandbox for a few months.

captkiwi
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 251/1
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz  251/1
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:05 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: GS v3.01 slight modifications for testing

Post by captkiwi » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:26 am

Am wondering when v3.01 will be available to the rest of us?

Peter Stauffenberg
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4711
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: GS v3.01 slight modifications for testing

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:06 pm

Not for some months. We have a very small testing team of the changes and it takes time to play through the games with the updates.

Peter Stauffenberg
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4711
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: GS v3.01 slight modifications for testing

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:33 pm

We have added some more changes in GS v3.01 for playtesting:

* Changed the strategic attack target icon from white to red color to more easily distinguish it from the tactical target icon

* Added a new keyboard command: X. The X command will toggle the strategic bombers between strategicand tactical mode. This is one reason we changed the color for strategic target to red.

The initial state is strategic mode. So strategic bombers will perform a strategic attack. If you hit the X button (for exchange) then you toggle to tactical mode. That means enemy units in resource hexes you can see can be tactically bombed instead of bombing the resources in the hex. This has been missed by many players. Now you can no longer hide in cities to prevent being hit by strategic bombers.

* Shock attack damage from strategic bombers has been slightly increased with higher strategic bomber tech Levels. This is to simulate that carpet bombing could also be used as a tactical weapon to shatter the morale Of enemy units. One example is how the German Panzer Lehr division was completely shattered by an Allied heavy bomber raid at the start of Operation Cobra in Normandy 1944.

* Shock attack damage with tech is added at strategic operations tech 2, 4 and 6 (3, 1, 2 respectively). This means strategic bombers don’t inflict more damage than before, but they inflict a higher morale loss, especially late game. So a good strategy late game could be to use strategic bombers to soften up enemy strong units so they drop a bit in morale. That means counter attacks from these units will be less efficient.

We will have to fine tune the increase in shock attack with tech for strategic bombers. Only one way to find out...... play test. :)

Peter Stauffenberg
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4711
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: GS v3.01 slight modifications for testing

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:36 pm

The option to use strategic bombers more as carpet bombers opens up new strategic options. E. g. the Allied player can tactically bombard key defensive Axis positions (like Antwerp) or the Siegfried line with strategic bombers. That means defenders there will drop in morale so when the Allied land units finally arrive at these hexes they can be attacked with less damage to the attackers. So the defendere might have to get the shattered defenders out and new defenders in if bombarded over time.

The late game shock attack damage from strategic bombers is not overwhelming, but better than before. Expect something like 10-15 morale loss per hit (less so if the defender has a high survivability like panzers).

Cybvep
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Posts: 1259
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:38 pm

Re: GS v3.01 slight modifications for testing

Post by Cybvep » Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:07 pm

Won't that make STRATs too powerful? The switch between tactical/strategic mode is ok, but the increased shock value is a "free" bonus, which will help the Allies quite a lot. STRATs are already quite potent against the Axis, they can reduce the Axis' PP income to very low levels. Arguably they are more effective than they were IRL. Why make them better jack-of-all-trades?

Peter Stauffenberg
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4711
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: GS v3.01 slight modifications for testing

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:39 am

They are not doing that much morale damage even after the change. They hardly do any step losses even in 1944. They were actually used for carpet bombing in the war and not just bombing production.

As I said we will monitor the effect by playtesting and see how it works. It's very easy to adjust values if we overdid the values. At least the strategic bombers won't be idle in 1944 when most German cities are bombed down to red.

The strategic bombers use a lot of oil so if you use all of them every turn you will end up with 0 oil as the Allies. You even take quite a bit of step losses from flak so I believe you will use these strategic bombers to reduce the morale of key Axis units in France before Overlord and at the other side of the Rhine when you try to cross the Rhine.

You inflict A LOT more morale damage to units by inflicting step losses on them than by bombing them. Morale loss from shock attack is different from morale loss from losing steps. These are accumulative. A tactical bomber will both do morale loss from shock damage and morale loss from the steps inflicted.

Strategic bombers won't help much against targets you intend to attack with land forces. You want to inflict losses to increase the chance of retreat and destruction. You only have 2 airstrikes per hex. So tactical bombers will be used against front line defenders and strategic bombers against rear defenders.

Also remember that the amount of morale you recover each turn is a percentage of the lost morale and not a fixed number. So if you send 2 strategic bombers against an enemy armor unit and inflict a total of 20 morale loss then the armor unit can recover the lost morale in just a few turns.

So you need to keep bombarding to keep the unit down. So it's not useful to get the defender down to red morale. It's probably enough to drop them from white to green or green to yellow. It's a tool to reduce the counter attack capabilities when you are in a critical stage of an invasion.

However we need to find out the hard way so back to testing. :)

Kragdob
2nd Lieutenant - Panzer IVF/2
2nd Lieutenant - Panzer IVF/2
Posts: 678
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:55 pm
Location: Poland

Re: GS v3.01 slight modifications for testing

Post by Kragdob » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:48 am

Stauffenberg wrote:So you need to keep bombarding to keep the unit down. So it's not useful to get the defender down to red morale. It's probably enough to drop them from white to green or green to yellow. It's a tool to reduce the counter attack capabilities when you are in a critical stage of an invasion.
And when you bomb without inflicting losses then you give enemy unit free XPs - after 25 points that gives +1 for defense and survivability. I don't think that bombing everything all the time with STRATs will be very good strategy.
Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

GogTheMild
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Posts: 455
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:44 pm
Location: Derby, UK

Re: GS v3.01 slight modifications for testing

Post by GogTheMild » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:10 pm

Kragdob wrote:And when you bomb without inflicting losses then you give enemy unit free XPs - after 25 points that gives +1 for defense and survivability. I don't think that bombing everything all the time with STRATs will be very good strategy.
A sort of 'evolution in action': the soldiers have a lower morale, but become better at both surviving and at inflicting damage on attackers. I'm not sure that makes sense, but I suppose that if it works then it's ok.

You might want to think about increasing the cost of Strats a little: they already seem a cheap unit, especially for the Allies towards the end of the game.
We sleep peaceably in our beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf.

Post Reply

Return to “MILITARY HISTORY™ Commander - Europe at War : General Discussion”