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First steam release campaign playthroughs

Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:01 pm
by Sabratha

As some of you might know, I'm a bit of a veteran with this title. This is the 1st time I'm playing the USA and Soviet competitive campaigns. Still, while some stuff has changed, most of the strategies I developed before in sandbox campaigns remain valid.

My NASA campaign ended with an apollo classic moon landing in Q1.1969. I did have some non-critical mission failures, but even without those I doubt I'd be abel to pull this off before Q2.1968 at best.

USSR PO was mostly a no-show in this campaign, they lagged at least 1 year behind me in everything except moon probes for the early part of the game. They never offered anything remotely resembling a moon attempt.

My 1st satellite was launched on Q4.1957. Theirs was Q1.1958. The gap grew from there.
My man in space = Q4.1959. Theirs = Q1.1962
My man in orbit = Q1.1961. Theirs = Q1.1963
My spacewalk Q2.1965. They never made it.
My apollo manned space flight = Q2.1967 Their soyuz flight = Q3.1968
My manned lunar pass = Q3.1967. they never made it.
My lunar landing = Q1.1969. They never made it.

So yeah, soviet PO not just performed worse than I did, it performed worse than RL soviets. Fun fact: they opened a apaceplane program and completed it, guess that turned out to be a dead end for them tho.

Now my playthrough as the USSR. I landed on the moon at the whooping date of Q2.1967. Lyndon Johnsons is still the president. Biafra has just declared independance. The six day war has not yet happened. The Tet offensive is almost a year away. Pulsars have not yet been discovered... and here we have a soviet flag on the moon. I found the possibility of such an early date, even in normal mode, to be quite historically implausible.

BTW, I used the UR-700 method.

Now, the NASA PO has performed better than the soviet PO had, though not much. But it did perform an Apollo earth orbital in Q3.1963. I did my first Voskhod flight in Q2.1963, so at that point I was worried that the US had overtaken me.
When I was testing my UR-700 in earth's orbit, the yankees were testing the Apollo lunar lander in earth's orbit. At that point it had seemed like its gonna be a very close race.

My fears proved unfounded though. The US never performed even a manned lunar pass. I am a bit puzzled why. My best bet is taht either they had some big apollo failure after their earth tests and this grounded their program, or they were lagging in their Saturn V research.

I made a simple test: I loaded my last save and just skipped turns to see when the US would land on the moon if I did nothing. They landed in Q1.1979, before they were concentrating on stuff like mars probes etc >.<

I think the AI needs to be tweaked so that it concentrates on the moon program more. Even if this is normal mode, the AI should be realistically able to acheive their moon landing less than 10 years after the historical date.

Re: First steam release campaign playthroughs

Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:11 pm
by KyleS
The thing about this game is the same thing about diplomatic-strategy games I've played in the past: a single human player has incredible focus compared to people in reality. Real-world efforts in technology, industry, diplomacy and military conflict suffer from internal politics, needless duplication, pursuit of known dead-ends to placate some individual or faction, a lack of resolve, competition for resources and manpower with other projects, and so on.

Most real-world leaders of countries and projects will never have that focus or resolve or be able to command so many resources. So this is a reflection not of this particular game, but of games in general - a single human player will pick a course and stick to it for far longer than any real human leader would be willing or able to. The real-world obstacles are not technology, resources and manpower, but other people.

Re: First steam release campaign playthroughs

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:44 pm
by Briggs
What difficulty level are you at? Playing on hard and buzz-hard, I've been beaten by CPU 6 times in a row. Having a failed launch is a real bastard.