Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

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Deja Bru
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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Deja Bru » Mon May 28, 2018 6:16 pm

Alam Halfa, v. 1.5

It's interesting that you created a neutral buffer zone between the two armies to start, including the "open city" of Tel el Eisa. We don't often see this arrangement in scenario design but it makes sense, of course, in that armies are not necessarily closely engaged before battle, face-to-face so to speak. Anyway, I started the scenario to see what happens and of course the Germans, being the aggressors and moving first, made short work of the neutral zone. Tel el Eisa fell without a struggle! :)

Unfortunately, Turn 1 also called my attention to this error which we will address below:
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First, as you see above, it says the British are holding 5 primary VP's to start. I looked at the map and saw only four until I realized that you missed linking the objective to the Alexandria hex.

Next, there is a problem with this victory trigger:
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Every time I look at a scenario in this way, I need to review the mission to determine who is the attacker and who is the defender. In this one, the Germans are definitely on the attack and the British are trying to hold on. That is when you need a condition to evaluate at Turn Start / Scenario Turn Limit for the British victory. Yet, what troubles me is why did this trigger fire in Turn 1, before I had a chance to even move? There was no Capture VP event at that time.

Weird. Regardless, when I added this condition to the trigger, it allowed me to advance to the British Turn 1 without declaring victory so I recommend this:
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Last edited by Deja Bru on Mon May 28, 2018 7:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Deja Bru
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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Deja Bru » Mon May 28, 2018 7:04 pm

Alam Halfa, v. 1.5 continued

Maybe take a look at this trigger. I believe you intend to divide the German army at El Hammam with half traveling to Alexandria but these keep going toward Cairo like the others:
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You have said that sometimes you make an AI team but don't end up using them for one reason or another. I call your attention to this empty one, just in case.
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Here's an aside. Remember the Coastal Road Hex Distortion problem? Can you imagine how this would have looked if they had not fixed that? They probably realized sometime when they were developing Sandstorm that they had to fix it considering how a North Africa road atlas looked in the 1940's, else we could still be seeing it. Behold it now, though; a thing of beauty:
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Deja Bru
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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Deja Bru » Mon May 28, 2018 8:14 pm

El Alamein, v. 1.5

Well, we've finally arrived. End of the road armageddon, winner take all, the whole enchilada. My laptop groans just loading this monster. (Just kidding, it's fine. :) )

This one is relatively simple, I must say. Allies have one primary VP to start and need to go the length of the map to take the other three. They lose and Axis wins if just one VP is in German hands at the end. Allies must also utterly destroy the Panzer Army!

OK, so on this one, you have the Allied victory objective selected for the Axis objective failure:
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And the same is true on this trigger, probably for the same reason (maybe you are cloning the effect, changing the alliance, but forgetting the objective):
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Now this:
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This trigger by itself is fine; however, you may want a matching "Ax Armor" trigger. See if you agree: This is a primary objective for the Allies. When this type of thing is a secondary objective, failing it makes no difference to victory itself, only whether victory is major or minor given everything else. But when it's a primary objective, the AI needs to win a counterpart objective for the human player to be defeated.

Think of it this way. Say the Allies take all four primary VP's but fail to decimate Axis armor by the end of the scenario. They have achieved one objective but failed the other. Maybe I'm being harsh, but to me that should be a Defeat. However, since the Axis failed its "1 objective" as well, the result is a Draw instead ("Draw: turn limit reached + no one has met ALL primary objectives").

The only other things that I need to mention are that AI teams 9, 32, and 36 are empty, but perhaps by your intentional design alteration as I mentioned above, and that you are starting the Axis off with a supply deficit of -13.
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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Erik2 » Tue May 29, 2018 2:59 pm

Alam Halfa:
Fixed objectives.
Added the 104th Pz Gren to the AI team.
Added the last two German panzer units (for play balance).

El Alamein:
Fixed objectives.
Added Axis supply.
Shifted a few Axis units to other AI teams.

Link updated to 1.6

Big thanks to Bru for contributing to this campaign!

Deja Bru
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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Deja Bru » Tue May 29, 2018 3:25 pm

My pleasure. What we did, though, was only to exterminate some actual and potential bugs and tidy up some.

What you need, and deserve, are for people to play this through so as to comment on gameplay and balance. I intend to do so myself but I am working on a couple of other OOB projects; nothing new and for the public, just things that I am accumulating and improving for my own personal collection. Hence, it could be a while before I sit down and play this thing, which nonetheless I am looking forward to with excitement.

Looking through this thread, people may get the impression that campaign and scenario designing is all about the details of triggers events, conditions, and effects. Far from it. These maps are magnificent, the scale is epic, the battle choreography is meticulous, and the historical details that you have provided are very interesting, to me as an amateur historian at least.

So while you may not get much play-through feedback here, I am sure that you will have plenty of it once you officially post this campaign in Custom Campaigns and link back to your Erik's Campaigns thread. I am sure I will be dropping by with my own comments.

Great work as usual, Erik. The developers and the community are lucky to have you on the job.
- Bru

Steenv
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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Steenv » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:42 pm

Love this addon, much better then Sandstorm IMHO. Any how, the 2 pdr. Porte is a bit usless :mrgreen: Having less movement then the normal 2 pdr on foot.
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GabeKnight
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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by GabeKnight » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:42 am

Steenv wrote:Love this addon, much better then Sandstorm IMHO. Any how, the 2 pdr. Porte is a bit usless :mrgreen: Having less movement then the normal 2 pdr on foot.
Fixed in v6.1.8 patch. Movement points = 8.

Steenv
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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Steenv » Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:33 am

Thx that helped a lot :mrgreen:

Erik2
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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Erik2 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:09 pm

I have added two more scenarios to the campaign, Operation Torch and Race For Tunis.
This is moving outside of the original Desert Rats concept, but since I had already created these scenarios for a different game system...

Link updated in the first post in this thread:
http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtop ... 82#p690982

So, CSI Bru, are you up for another trigger/events investigation?
The scenario folders are 13Torch and 14Race.

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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Deja Bru » Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:33 pm

Ahhh. More Desert Rats. Come to poppa, my darlings. :)
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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Deja Bru » Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:08 pm

Operation Torch, v. 1.7

The juxtaposition of the only true Polish unit in this scenario, the destroyer Pozarica, and this Polish Engineer who is a turncoat working for the Vichy French makes me suspect treachery is afoot! Especially since this engineer has wheels and is ready to go, unlike its companion nearby! What intrigue is about to happen? :shock:
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Seriously, what I am thinking is that you may have missed assigning this engineer unit to an AI team. I see no triggers that will do so at any point in your scenario. And yes, I know you had to borrow frequently from other nations for Vichy units. It seems weird that we don't have very many French units in the game yet.

Same comment applies to this group of ships here - no AI unit assigned:
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And this guy hiding here:
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As we have seen, AI units with blank boxes are okay; at least on my computer, apparently any AI team number higher than 19 does not display but it is in there. It's a hyphen (no AI team) that I look for when doing a "j" for AI team assignment and when I see a hyphen, I look for a trigger that will assign the unit to an AI team later on. As I said, I see none such so these units are effectively idle for the duration of your scenario.
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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Deja Bru » Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:04 pm

Operation Torch, v. 1.7 continued

So, I think I get this. You start off with both capital ship objectives off:
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Once the entire Vichy navy that is initially on the scene gets wiped out (including subs by the way, which may take some time and that is if they are ever all caught), then you have three batches of the Toulon fleet arrive all at once:
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That should read "Strong French naval forces from Toulon have entered the battlefield." More importantly, though:
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You have this trigger activating the wrong primary objective. It should be looking at "Do not lose any capital ships" instead.
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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Deja Bru » Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:12 pm

Operation Torch, v. 1.7 continued

Moving on to the trigger which feeds that objective:
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What this is saying is, the first time any combat happens on the map, if none of my capital ships is sunk, I win! Which is not what you intended, I think. Because, say the next combat does involve one of your capital ships and it gets destroyed. Should the player not fail this objective at that time? Too late because the trigger is already fired.

Instead, I would set the mission up like this, as achieved from the start even though the objective itself is not activated yet (I believe this is possible):
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And I would do the trigger this way:
Screenshot 11.jpg
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The moment the player lost a capital ship in combat, the objective would go from achieved to failed. This way, he would not have to play out all 40 turns to win this scenario once he took all the primary VPs. That big naval battle is going to occur soon enough to resolve the matter one way or the other so there is no reason to use the Turn Start / Check Turn / Scenario turn limit alternative.
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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Deja Bru » Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:41 pm

Operation Torch, v. 1.7 continued

This trigger seems superfluous in that it is not linked to any objective and you don't have a separate naval objective other than "Destroy Vichy capital ships" which you already addressed with your Naval Toulon and Allied capitals triggers.
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Here's something else you may want to look at:
Screenshot 13.jpg
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You have all of these invasion beaches and airstrips triggers which look fine. They reward the goodies but what I think you are missing is a trigger to count these secondary victory points as they are conquered and, when the count reaches 11, to mark the secondary objective "Capture invasion beaches and airstrips" itself as achieved. (By the way, you are missing the objective hex marker for Lourmel AF.)
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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Deja Bru » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:31 am

Race to Tunis, v. 1.7

In the briefing, "It is somewhat unclear if they will stay loayal to the Vichy government..." Correct the spelling of "loyal."

Here's my thinking on your primary objective trigger. This Check VP condition is fine:
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But this Check Turn / Scenario end condition will force the player to sit there and play out all 62 turns long after the objective has really been attained. This is appropriate for the Axis side, and you do have it that way for them, but for the Allied side, the objective should be rewarded and the scenario won when 8 primary VP's have been taken; i.e., on a Capture VP event:
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Now, I believe I see 9 primary VPs on the map and you are requiring the Allies to have 8 to win. If that is true, and the Allies win, the Axis will probably still be holding the last one. If you don't want the Axis to win in that situation, you probably should set this to Axis wins only if they have more than 1 primary VP (Value >1):
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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Deja Bru » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:55 am

Race to Tunis, v. 1.7 continued

For the secondary objectives:
- You have the target hexes pointing for both Djebel Abjod triggers (All and Ax) to Beja.
- As I brought up for Operation Torch, you don't have a tracking trigger to say, "Hey, you got all 14 secondary points. You win the objective 'Capture objectives'!" (Which maybe you should call it "Capture secondary objectives" to be precise.) Again, the goodies are being dispensed but if it's an objective, it should be won or lost in the end, not left open.

Triple-whammy on this one:
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Wrong turn / no nation selected / that's a lot of land command points being added, especially since you just added 25 land CPs in turn 21. The triggers for turns 27 and turn 30 are also missing nations selected for added land CPs. Better check this "British" folder over carefully; it looks a bit wobbly here and there.

Same thing for the "US" folder. In T28 and T30, you raise the British income after spawning U.S. units. In T29, you miss the nation altogether.

As for the rest, well, suffice to say that you have a heck of a lot going on here, Erik. You are the maestro and I don't criticize your designs but I wonder with this level of complexity, with new units of various categories and factions arriving every turn, their command points and resources constantly going up (and down), all unannounced to the player, is it possible for us to know whether it's all working and whether this is going to play out well? Sometimes less is more.

I must admit that I was glassy-eyed toward the end and for me that is saying something. As proof, though, that I was still trying the whole time, I found these two spawns without AI teams assigned:
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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Erik2 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:16 am

Torch:
Yes, the French are missing several obvious unit types. I have changed the lend-lease from the Poles to the Italians. Makes more sense. Except I still had to borrow Polish cavalry...
All Vichy units should now be properly connected to a AI team.
The three Toulon groups now have different arrival triggers.
Added experience to all units.
Fixed triggers/events. There are no available sec obj slot for fulfilling all 11 objectives. I don't know if this will disallow a major victory even if all sec obj are reached...?
Added airstrip Djid Jelli to sec objs.

Race:
The reason for the 'scenario end' trigger is that the Axis receive reinforements all the way up to turn 50+. The last British and US forces arrive on turn 40+
The whole scenario rests on the premise that very few forces are available initally and both sides get progressively stronger as time goes on.
The late Allied reinforcements probably means they will not be able to throw the Axis back on the sea early in the game anyway, but I added the trigger to safeguard a pre-emptive Allied victory.
Added 'capture all sec objs'.
Checked & fixed British triggers.
Fixed German AI teams.
I was thinking about adding pop-ups to many of the changes during the game. But reinforcements are kind of basic and the gain/losses of resources explained in the objective.
The only really confusing aspect of the scenario may be the Free French/Vichy units which are both AI-controlled and wager their own little war. It is meant to add some uncertainty to the battle, as was the situation historically.

Once again, I knew calling CSI Bru out of semi-retirement would pay off (for me :D )
Thank you.

Link updated to 2.0.

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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Deja Bru » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:16 pm

Again, my pleasure. Folks, play this one. It's epic! :!:
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Mascarenhas
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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Mascarenhas » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:40 pm

Hi folks,

i don´t know if it has happened to you, but ( after a number of attempts ) I was able to achieve every objectives of mission 1, including not losing any plane, but only got a minor victory. Is it really intended by design or there´s something do fix here?

Regars,

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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Mascarenhas » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:46 pm

Of Course, I´ve been playing the latest (v 2.0) version.

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