Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

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bru888
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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by bru888 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:30 am

Mascarenhas wrote: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,
Found it.

Erik, remember this post from the first page of this thread? (Scroll to the bottom of the image.)
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You followed part of my advice, it seems, and made the trigger fail the objective if any British planes were lost:
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The part that you neglected to follow was "Set this objective as achieved at the start of the scenario . . ." so that it could be failed (the yellow-highlighted checkbox):
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If done this way, the objective will be marked as achieved in the beginning and is failed only when a plane is lost:
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Instead, what happened to Mascarenhas was, although he lost no British planes and thus the trigger to FAIL his objective did NOT fire, there was no mechanism to award him this objective when the scenario ended. At the end of the scenario, it remained OPEN (question mark), thus denying Mascarenhas a Major Victory (all primary and all secondary objectives achieved), poor fellow.
- Bru

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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Mascarenhas » Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:13 am

Thx, Bru, that´s exactly the situation I´ve got in. I hope Erik may be able to fix it in the next revision. Anyway, it´s a great work, as usual.

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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by bru888 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:46 am

And thank you for reporting the issue. This is what you and I can do in order to assist Erik in producing his great work.
- Bru

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Only Draw

Post by Steenv » Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:38 pm

It seams impossible to get at Victory here, as there are not tree tanks on the map :lol:
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GabeKnight
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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by GabeKnight » Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:24 pm

Starting it, and to be honest, I'm a bit exited right now... Even the intro screen looks great. Thanks, Erik!
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DR40-42, v2.0
"1Operazione"

- it's odd to start with zero RP's
- the markers of the sec. obj. "hold at least 2 locations" are missing one town (of the four), I guess it should be Sofafi
- sorry to suggest this before I've even played one turn :wink: , but aren't THREE commanders from the start a bit too much? Why not make them rewards?
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suggestion:

- add some air and naval deployment hexes near the front (deployment-phase only, of course)
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traffic jam
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Nice! :D
Last edited by GabeKnight on Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Erik2 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:44 pm

Guys, I'll fix the issues reported.

But I'm working on a complete overhaul/expansion of this campaign.
I am adding more scenarios (there will be 28 total) and the campaign is starting with the British border and fort raids and Italian counter-attack before Operazione E.
The campaign will go all the way to the final battle in Tunisia.

So I think it may be best to hold on testing the campaign, especially if you only plan to play it once...

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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Erik2 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:48 pm

Gabe

All core units arrive in reserve, so there is no need to purchase.
This is true for later scenarios as well. Historical reinforcements arrive as fresh core units.

I'm reluctant to have commanders arrive as rewards. If you fail the objective you miss out your one chance to get a specific commander.
Since the British have only a few commanders I have them arrive the first time the unit type (air-land-naval) core unit is present.

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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by GabeKnight » Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:12 am

...continued

- it was quite easy to stop the advance at the choke point near Halfaya Pass. The enemy never made it past this point. You may want to change the ridges a bit to allow for some small outmaneuvering...
- the map was quite large and mostly unused. The reinforcements arrived in the far east, way away from the frontlines (at least for me). Especially the air reinforcements. But I get it: if I'd had to retreat, my frontlines would have been quite overrun by the endless Italian infantry
- although a large map, it loaded very fast and the AI also had minimal thinking times. Good setup!
Screenshot 526.jpg
endgame
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- Having played only stock scenarios lately, I almost forgot how difficult it is to kill enemy units that are repairing all the time... :lol:
- the two Italian bombers were idle, probably no AI team
- the Chevrolet WB jeep unit cannot be repaired or upgraded properly
- you could add one more dogfighter for the Italians, maybe arriving on a later turn (?)
- you should add more AA to the Italians (they had one (!))
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- The "do not lose any air unit" sec. obj. should be checked from the start and only be triggered, when failed (I'm sure Bruce mentioned this somewhere).
- Tabula Rasa on the very last turn. Nice. Although one of those idle bombers survived... :wink: :)
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Thanks.

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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Erik2 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:57 am

I've decided to remove the current campaign and replace it with the updated one, although several scenarios are not finished yet.
Link: http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtop ... 82#p690982

Operazione E
Fixed triggers
Italian bombers are assigned to AI team with air destroy order. Don't know why they are so timid.
During my testing the Chevrolet WB jeep unit could be repaired for free, so it looks like one issue has been replaced with an opposite one...
Added one more Italian AA unit
Increased the Halfaya gap a bit. At least two Italian AI teams should head down the road for a flanking maneouver via Sofafi.


Current list of scenarios:
Border Raid
Fort Capuzzo
Girba
Operazione E
Taranto Raid
Operation Compass
First Bardia
Beda Fomm
Operation Sonnenblume
Ras el Mdauuar
Operation Battleaxe
Operation Crusader
Bir el Gubi

Scenarios under construction:
Operation Brevity
Dash to the Wire
Second Offensive
(Second Bardia - finished)
(Gazala -finished)
First Alamein
(Alam Halfa - finished)
(Second Alamein - finished)
(Operation Torch - finished)
(Race For Tunis - finished)
(Kasserine - finished)
Kasserine Pass
Medenine
Mareth Line
Tunisia

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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by GabeKnight » Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:41 pm

"2Compass", DR v2.0

The same map? And I have to retake the cities I've never lost plus those I captured last mission? :wink: :twisted:

- FYI, I've removed the "noRepair" trait from the Chevrolet jeep and made it cost 55RP. This unit's just too much fun to be wasted... :D
- You should mention, or put it as a sec. obj. in there, that after capturing Sidi Barrani you'll get a construction group. The only other available airport's quite away and thus left my whole frontline without air cover for many turns. Maybe the capture of Sidi Barrani and airstip construction could be timed, so that my dogfighters wouldn't have to return to the far-off base to refuel (this takes like 7 turns). But then I'd have to take the city in like 4 turns + 3 turns airstip construction...thinking about it, a direct airstip spawn would be better. If I hadn't bought those handy Portee AT/AA units, the numerous enemy strat. and tact. bombers would have caught me with my pants down, arriving exactly at the time when my fighters had to return to refuel (and I already have the Drop Tank spec!)... :)
...or maybe just leave it as the harassment it's meant to be. The mission wasn't that hard overall.
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- The primary VPs west of Buqbuq should have either stronger garrisons, some AT support and/or more units. They were mostly defended my arty units or weak tankettes - no unit guarding Bardia. Give them some more supply and make them static. Maybe they won't hold ground for only 3 supply points? I don't know...
- If not by design, you should recheck the supply situation, because after deploying all my land-CP (with 3 CP unused) I'd be undersupplied from the start, if I hadn't the supply from my ships! And there were even some reinfocements incoming some turns later...
- you could remove the whole naval units here IMO
- many arty positions and no AA support for the Italians at all. By design?
- Prim. obj. trigger not triggering :wink:
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EDIT: Erik, I've seen you update to v3.0, but if you have no objections, I'd rather continue and finish this campaign with the v2.0 version (less hassle for me). I guess it should be the same to you as you haven't changed/updated any of the following scens in it (?).

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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by GabeKnight » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:22 pm

"3Beda" / DR v2.0
:lol:
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- you're giving me too many core units. In the first, maybe second mission, that's okay, but in campaign play, let the player choose. Give me some RP instead!
- I think this map could use more turns or more command points. With the Ai always repairing it's impossible to kill 'em with that few units and to maintain the 2-3 columns needed to capture the southern objectives. I took Benghazi at turn 23-ish and then two new PRIMARY objectives appeared... :roll:
- Took me 33 turns to finish. So it's not like it's impossible to do it in 30 turns, but you know...casual players... and such a tough break may be on okay for sec. objectives, but not the primary IMO.
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- I don't know how you've intended the Italian airforce in this mission, but except the recon plane, the enemy planes ONLY appeared during the last turns as I was approaching the southermost VP. Maybe their home base is too far away. I mean that's one HUGE map.
- the sec. obj, could use a counter. Looks better.
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Last edited by GabeKnight on Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by bru888 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:10 pm

When viewing Erik's work in detail, I have learned to stifle any "What the heck?" impulses and to go searching for more information instead. Because, surer than heck, there is some historical reference to be found, be it ever so obscure.

This is a synopsis of somebody else's scenario from some other game, so it may not match the action in this one, but it gives you an idea:
The Pimple - Battle of Beda Fomm, 6th February 1941

Outflanked by the more mobile British 7th Armoured Division the Italian 10th Army was forced to retreat from Cyrenaica. However the British moved faster than the Italians thought possible and blocked the coastal road down which the Italians were to retreat. A fragile force, named after its commander: Combe Force, blocked the Italians' retreat south. The blocking force was vastly outnumbered by the Italians and if they deployed to attack en-mass a break-out was assured.

To stave off a massive attack the 4th Armoured Brigade was committed against the long flank of the 10th Army late on February the 5th. A second block was put in place on a low rise called the Pimple by the British. This feature was occupied by the cruisers of 2nd Battalion Royal tank Regiment (2nd RTR)

At dawn on the 6th three columns of Italians behind 2nd RTR tried to attack Combe Force and were repulsed. If General Bergonzoli wished to break out he needed to first smash the 2nd RTR on the Pimple. To this end the tanks of the Brigata Corazzata Speciale were ordered to attack down the flank of the stalled 10th Army. The initial attack in the morning was a piecemeal, and although it caused the veteran British casualties failed to break through. A bigger attack with the bulk of the Brigade was to start early in the afternoon.

The scenario depicts the Italian attempts to break through the position on the pimple and thus to get enough forces south to smash Combe Force
For more information, see: Battle of Beda Fomm.

By the way, there were also Twin Pimples on the other end of Libya. I would not be surprised to see Erik work The Twin Pimples Raid into one of his scenarios as well. :wink:
- Bru

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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Erik2 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:34 pm

Gabe

Please conrinue with the old campaign. I'm collecting your feedback.
There are only small changes to the old scenarios regarding core units that may appear earlier in a new scenario etc.

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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by GabeKnight » Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:03 pm

bru888 wrote:
The Pimple - Battle of Beda Fomm, 6th February 1941

Outflanked by the more mobile British 7th Armoured Division the Italian 10th Army was forced to retreat from Cyrenaica. However the British moved faster than the Italians thought possible and blocked the coastal road down which the Italians were to retreat. A fragile force, named after its commander: Combe Force, blocked the Italians' retreat south. The blocking force was vastly outnumbered by the Italians and if they deployed to attack en-mass a break-out was assured.

To stave off a massive attack the 4th Armoured Brigade was committed against the long flank of the 10th Army late on February the 5th. A second block was put in place on a low rise called the Pimple by the British. This feature was occupied by the cruisers of 2nd Battalion Royal tank Regiment (2nd RTR)
[...]
I must give you that, at moments like these I really regret my lack of knowledge about historic battles and details like this. I mean, I must really congratulate Erik about the mission design, because it played exactly like descibed in the text. And I'd wish to have some of these "Aha"-moments mid-play, like a movie cameo or something. Well done, Erik!

One suggestion if I may, which is actually only my opinion: I'd move the larger portions of text you've written in the campaign screen to the scenario briefings instead. Keep the camapign screen brief.
(I know the context is somewhat different and a "copy & paste" probably woudn't do it, but still...I really like some reading in the scenario briefings :wink: :) )
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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by GabeKnight » Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:31 pm

"4Sonnenblume", DRv2.0

- the city of Barce is missing in the sec. obj. markers "hold 3 objectives"
- you should exclude the recon planes from the "destroy air unit" sec. obj., otherwise too easy

I think you'll have to redesign this map a bit, Erik. Didn't go as intended, and it never will like that, I suppose:

1) First, with such a huge map and the rather smallish fuel limits on the planes, esp. dogfighters, the enemy (and mine) air units are limited to very close ranges of operation and thus no air combat ever took place. You'll have to put WAY MORE airfields (or airstips which will change ownership) on such huge maps to make air combat possible for the AI units. Really only the Wellingtons were of some use.
2) Second, it was way too easy to cut the enemy main supply depot early on, and render the whole German/Italian army useless. You'll have to do something about that. Either place more garrison units in the enemy's rear areas or change the deployment of my forces in some other way than on supplied city hexes. Maybe it would even help, if you wouldn't be so stingy on supply points per town... :wink:
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It's turn 9 !!! (The concealed SBS really came in handy...)
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This is the furthest they've got
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- Tabula Rasa very early on, but I let the turn limits pass and the triggers worked otherwise (objectives, my and enemy reinforcements)
- It's hard to judge the mission gameplay-wise like this, but I think the AI units actually all did what they should've... :wink:
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Last edited by GabeKnight on Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:15 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by bru888 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:51 pm

GabeKnight wrote:- the city of Barce is missing in the sec. obj. markers "hold 3 objectives"
Gabe, if you are catching things like this, then you are doing double duty of play testing and bug detection, which is good. My specialty is only with the latter but Erik needs both. Keep going.
- Bru

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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Erik2 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:36 am

The battles in North Africa raged back and forth over the same terrain. It is not to be avoided that you will fight over same/similar maps.
And the results in one scenario (currently) does not neccessarily carry over into the next one. To avoid 'losing' territory between scenarios, the campaign would have to restrict battles to those fought at a distance both map- and time-wise.
In theory you could have several scenario variants branching depending on the previous result, but this is a lot of extra work for too little gain IMO. Maybe if my campaigns were official and not custom and available for free :D
All of the scenarios in the first Desert Rats version use historical deployments. These are not always the best deployments.
I had to settle for regiment-sized units, which means that detached company-sized AA and AT units would not be suitable.
Armor units are mostly battalion-sized, otherwise the Germans would be stuck with just two panzer units.
Scenario description/briefing. I have requested several times that this info should be available in-game (and a scroll-bar be added to the victory/defeat messages).

Ooperation Compass:
Replaced Sidi Barrani airstrip with airfield.
Various Italian formations now have 'retreat-to-x location' orders whenever the Allies capture y primary objectives.
Added Italian AA to objectives/airfields.
Edited some triggers.
Added more British supply.

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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by GabeKnight » Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:12 pm

bru888 wrote:Gabe, if you are catching things like this, then you are doing double duty of play testing and bug detection, which is good. My specialty is only with the latter but Erik needs both. Keep going.
I didn't use the editor in Desert Rat yet, I've seen you doing a great job with that. I'm just playtesting under "real conditions", and for me that means studiying the map/layout, roads, railways, obstacles etc. and the objectives, of course, during deployment phase very thoroughly. I'm not that good with geography, so I really need those markers to show me what's what. :) And if the counter says "10" but I count only 9, one has to be missing :wink:
Erik2 wrote:The battles in North Africa raged back and forth over the same terrain. It is not to be avoided that you will fight over same/similar maps.
And the results in one scenario (currently) does not neccessarily carry over into the next one. To avoid 'losing' territory between scenarios, the campaign would have to restrict battles to those fought at a distance both map- and time-wise.
In theory you could have several scenario variants branching depending on the previous result, but this is a lot of extra work for too little gain IMO. Maybe if my campaigns were official and not custom and available for free :D
Yeah I know, I was just teasing a bit. :wink:
I've seen uran's trigger setups in the late branching Sandstorm DLC missions, and some of those were even really hard just to understand them right... :D
Erik2 wrote:All of the scenarios in the first Desert Rats version use historical deployments. These are not always the best deployments.
I had to settle for regiment-sized units, which means that detached company-sized AA and AT units would not be suitable.
Armor units are mostly battalion-sized, otherwise the Germans would be stuck with just two panzer units.
I've seen all the work you've done with the units, like naming all of them individually ("5th regiment" etc..) and I won't even dare to question the historical accuracy of the deployments :wink: , I'm just giving you my view of things as a gamer person playing your OoB missions... :D
And a strong enemy position has to have AA and AT support units IMO, even with my weak Brit armoured units... (I miss my German tanks... :cry: :lol: )

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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by bru888 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:16 pm

GabeKnight wrote:
bru888 wrote:Gabe, if you are catching things like this, then you are doing double duty of play testing and bug detection, which is good. My specialty is only with the latter but Erik needs both. Keep going.
I didn't use the editor in Desert Rat yet, I've seen you doing a great job with that. I'm just playtesting under "real conditions", and for me that means studiying the map/layout, roads, railways, obstacles etc. and the objectives, of course, during deployment phase very thoroughly. I'm not that good with geography, so I really need those markers to show me what's what. :) And if the counter says "10" but I count only 9, one has to be missing :wink:
So what do you think? Should I go ahead and do the forensics bit on the new scenarios even though I might inadvertently repeat something that you said earlier?
- Bru

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Re: Desert Rats 1940-42 beta testing

Post by Erik2 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:41 pm

Bru: Do whatever kind of testing you like to do. Everything helps in improving the quality of the scenarios.

Beda Fomm:
Every new British regiment/brigade will arrive as a core unit. I like to keep the historical reinforcements. So you will have a reserve just as the big boys back then.
Added more turns.
Added a Benghazi airfield and redeployed the Regia Aeronautica.
Added the missing sec obj unit counters.

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