Bru's Scenarios

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GabeKnight
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Re: Bru's Scenarios

Post by GabeKnight » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:04 am

PiC :D , v1.0
Did two runs, the first one on middle difficulty, the second on level 5.

There is/was a custom scenario called "Partisan Attack v1.1" to be found in the forums, which, besides being too ... boring to be honest (Sorry)...., had a great basic concept of utilizing usually weak and rarely used "partisan" units at a wider and more important scale to cause harassment within enemy lines. In my opinion, you picked the "essence" of that idea and transformed it to a great, fun mission! Congrats!

observations:
- I may have played a bit overcautious, but after all you've told in the briefings and posts about the men serving there, I just couldn't bring myself to sacrifice even one of my PT boats. Who'd stand to lose "Little Robbie", "Lil' Duck" or "Sugar" anyway? :lol: Really nice touch!
- as always great stroytelling. It's like a "mini" history lesson in between, nice
- good idea to include the historic sources and maps for those interested (as I'm beginning to...)
- I took a glance at the triggers, but stopped right away. Holy Jesus :shock: . If there's a specific "bug" I can help with, gladly, but I'll keep my hands off otherwise... I may get LOST... :wink:
- you really should place markers on the sec. objectives' hints, as you may know that map's location names by heart now - I don't. Even if it's explained quite nicely in the popups prior to every new event, my memory can not be bothered to recall those names after a turn or two :wink:
- the barges have 3 HP with diff. level 5, just sayin'
- wouldn't change the RP. It's more than enough, sure, but you definitely need SOME, and other players may need more...
-... and you just shouldn't make a scenario too hard with such weak units in it, either. It was okay, not too easy or too hard.

suggestions
- balance wise, however, you may want to remove 1-2 of my fighters
- for the looks: add a commander to the unit doing the "Ferry Service" objective. Maybe even link the obj. to that specific PT boat (if it ain't so right now)
- the "save marines" sec. obj. is quite exploitable (see replay), maybe you want to change the inf. unit to an "static defense" AI team instead
- the u-boat obj. can go sideways, and it took me some turns to figure out how it's supposed to work to make the destroyers appear. Maybe the damage to the Jap. suicide boat has to be under 10 again? If so, remember the difficulty adjustment settings...
- the arriving fighters, tact. bombers and DD's are coupled with the respective enemy unit's destruction. This can be exploited quite badly (see replay, win at level 5 at turn 26 with enough RPs left, and I even made some stupid mistakes like losing the airport at Vila, which cost me some turns and planes!), you may want to change some of them to AI teams as well or at least limit the amount of turns (!) these units are available to the player
- you could add one more row of sea hexes in the north to allow the boats to circle the NW island
- as there are many approaches on a scenario, I'd suggest to watch the "exploit" replay, and you'll understand my suggestions way better. On the other hand, I bet you thought of that yourself... :wink:

conclusion
=> Whether you'd want to change the scenario is a different story altogether, as the mission plays quite good the way it's meant to, if the player sticks to the "script" and uses all units according to "plan" - as I did on run #1. But you know people...and sticking to plans, right? Then again, as you can see in the "exploit" replay, even with heavy deviances from intended strategies, all objectives are well achievable with the mission being concluded. It's fun to be creative, maybe you shouldn't take that away... just put up some limits...or not. Sorry, can't help with that decision. It was fun playing the mission either way! Thank you, thank you, thank you :D

As you know, there's still some issues with destroyed units in replays, but you'll get the point as to what I did. Both replays ended with a Major Victory and no losses to my PT boats, BTW.
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Cataphract88
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Re: Bru's Scenarios

Post by Cataphract88 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:36 pm

Thanks for your latest naval scenario. :D
Richard

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Re: Bru's Scenarios

Post by bru888 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:44 pm

Guys, many thanks. I am going to have another look at PiC tonight, or soon.

Quick question for you: Another forum member mentioned an issue that I thought had been addressed, so I designed PiC accordingly but now I am wondering. He said that when a turn starts and you immediately look at objective information (clicking the question marks), that a Turn Start event popup message will not happen for that reason. As you know, I tell stories with those messages and it can be key for gameplay that the player gets every one of them.

There is a popup message at the start of every turn from turn 1 to turn 9 I believe. Would one or both of your do me a favor and just play PiC one more time just to test whether you get these messages after first looking at objective information each time? I'm not actually asking you to play the scenario; maybe you want to use the cheat code #johnconnor to stifle the AI and move things along.

I'd be interested in what you experience. I cannot seem to get it to fail and now I have depended upon it in PiC (I worked around it in previous scenarios). 5.2.3, 64-bit.
- Bru

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Re: Bru's Scenarios

Post by ALP071 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:37 pm

Mate, I don't know if this issue was faced by other players, or just me due to my tactical style:

I got the message about the destroyer in the rear at about turn 48, when I had all of my units - both PTs and tenders - deep beyond the Blackett Strait hunting Daihatsus and giving hell to the escorting gunboats; therefore, I didn't have time to move enough units back to deal effectively with the raider (in fact, one torpedo and a couple of shells didn't even scratch its paint!), resulting in an ugly DEFEAT picture all over my screen come turn 50.

Wouldn't it be then an improvement, for gameplay's sake, to add a message from ComNavSol around turns 40-42, warning of possible inflitrators bypassed and hidden in some forgotten inlet, or maybe coming down the Slot under the black of night? It would be up to the player to pay attention to the message, or just keep pushing ahead after saying "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"

Aaahhhh, and one other thing: If you leave the destruction of the coastal batteries for last, after accomplishing the rest of the secondary objectives, you get an inmediate Total Victory, without having to deal with the supply convoys. Is this the way it is supposed to be? Initial briefing points out, as the main objective, to interdict supply lines, and it doesn't make sense to win the scenario without doing something about it.

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Re: Bru's Scenarios

Post by GabeKnight » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:39 pm

bru888 wrote:There is a popup message at the start of every turn from turn 1 to turn 9 I believe. Would one or both of your do me a favor and just play PiC one more time just to test whether you get these messages after first looking at objective information each time? I'm not actually asking you to play the scenario; maybe you want to use the cheat code #johnconnor to stifle the AI and move things along. 5.2.3, 64-bit.
Bruce, I'm playing the same version as you are and could NOT observe such behaviour. Works fine.
ALP071 wrote: Aaahhhh, and one other thing: If you leave the destruction of the coastal batteries for last, after accomplishing the rest of the secondary objectives, you get an inmediate Total Victory, without having to deal with the supply convoys. Is this the way it is supposed to be?
ALP is right, because you've set the "Objectives / Complete all tasks" trigger to "Any Event" and the "Supply Convoys / Begin supply barge mission" trigger event to "Turn start"! Unlucky, but just revert it, for example, and it should work fine.

- BTW, you can mostly remove the "check turn > 1" condition and leave it blank for triggers that should only happen once at "scenario/turn start" (when activated) - if it actually has not to be on a specific player's turn. Or is that important with popups? Always worked fine with the "spawn/remove units" triggers for me.
- And I see you *did* use the "diff. bonus compensation" with the suicide boat...maybe I was just unlucky with the damage output of my PT boats...

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Re: Bru's Scenarios

Post by bru888 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:46 pm

Wow, you guys have given me a lot to look at and work with and it's appreciated. I'm going back to the drawing board this weekend. Thanks for the feedback!
- Bru

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Re: Bru's Scenarios

Post by Ichthyic » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:38 am

just finished Voyage of Bismarck. I always have liked naval scenarios in OOB.

fun, but as others have said, a bit on the easy side.

just one step that might work to add more complexity, would be to add attacking aircraft to the carriers. unless it's a bug, neither of the 2 aircraft carriers in my game launched aircraft. this meat i could send my two fighter aircraft to harass the faireys taking off from the land base, and so long as you caused any damage, the AI would immediate land his aircraft back at the airport, thus you could keep all the torpedo bombers locked down while you whittle away at their health until they are all gone.

just having the carriers be more of a threat with their aircraft would make it a more balanced scenario.

otherwise, seems fine. good map.

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Re: Bru's Scenarios

Post by bru888 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:03 am

I'll have a look at that too, thanks!
- Bru

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Re: Bru's Scenarios

Post by bru888 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:37 pm

Gabe, I'll address your comments first.

"Who'd stand to lose 'Little Robbie,, 'Lil' Duck' or 'Sugar' anyway?" - Those are all real, by the way.

"as always great stroytelling. It's like a 'mini' history lesson in between, nice" - That's what I try to do in every scenario although I am sure that it's not for some tastes; too much reading.

"good idea to include the historic sources and maps for those interested (as I'm beginning to...)" - I always include Information and Maps folders; I wonder how many people know this - but the reason why I do is to show folks that although my stuff is semi-fictional, the historical part is as accurate as I can make it.

"I took a glance at the triggers, but stopped right away. Holy Jesus" - Heh, I had the same reaction looking at some of Shards' stuff. You think I'm bad? Instead of "Holy Jesus," I blurt out "Holy Smokes!"

"you really should place markers on the sec. objectives' hints" - Done. I had thought of mentioning the place names in most objective descriptions but I completely forgot about linking hexes to them which would make it easier to recall each mission.

"the barges have 3 HP with diff. level 5" - That's fine. The reason why I made them strength 2 in the scenario is because I didn't want the player to be wasting time and interest shooting up barges over 2 or 3 turns especially when they don't fight back. It's to be expected that on highest difficulty, they would move up to 3's but that's not too bad.

"wouldn't change the RP. It's more than enough, sure, but you definitely need SOME, and other players may need more... and you just shouldn't make a scenario too hard with such weak units in it, either. It was okay, not too easy or too hard." - Thanks for this opinion. I am going with it . . . for now.

"balance wise, however, you may want to remove 1-2 of my fighters" - Done. Removed 2 of them because, frankly, I was thinking the same thing but wanted to see how the balance was and then I forgot about them! Besides, it looked a bit ridiculous for six fighters to be going after three bombers.

"for the looks: add a commander to the unit doing the "Ferry Service" objective. Maybe even link the obj. to that specific PT boat (if it ain't so right now)" - Nix, no can do. Two reasons: Adding a commander to any of these PT boats would make the scenario even easier, and there's no way of knowing which boat a player will assign to which task. I did not want to choreograph things to the point where I am telling you, or programming it, to "send PT-112 on this mission."

"the 'save marines' [sic - they're Army but see below] sec. obj. is quite exploitable (see replay), maybe you want to change the inf. unit to an 'static defense' AI team instead" - This is a sore subject. There used to be a few "redundant" factions in the game which you could use to be an AI ally but for some reason the developers took them out of the game. You can "hack" a scenario to still use them but I don't trust that situation to last from one patch to the next. Then I remembered the Marines! BUT... Fooling around with alliances after the fact in a scenario is a recipe for disaster. Never delete or rearrange alliances once many units and triggers are in place. As you can see here, I did try to introduce the Marines as an AI unit in this situation but I got this error message which scared the crap out of me. It was because U.S. is the second alliance (after neutral), Japan was the third, and adding the Marines made them the fourth. Making the Marines my AI ally meant putting them on the same team as me but apparently that is a no-no if we are not side-by-side. An even BIGGER no-no is to start rearranging or deleting alliances at this stage. Needless to say, I backed out of the editor promptly without saving:
Screenshot 1.jpg
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"you could add one more row of sea hexes in the north to allow the boats to circle the NW island" - Heh, this is another recipe for disaster, so no, I'll pass on this one too. Besides, the chase that ensues is tightly choreographed.

To be continued . . .
- Bru

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Re: Bru's Scenarios

Post by bru888 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:06 pm

At this point in my response, I watched your exploit replay. Yes, I saw a number of things that should not have happened:

Your fighters are supposed to disappear as soon as all of the Japanese bombers are destroyed. However, by prolonging the life of the bombers the way you did, you were able to exploit the fighters by using them against the coastal guns (to not very much effect, however, but still...) and the gunboats (to greater effect, which was definitely unintended). One-third less fighters should discourage this but I will look into curtailing their stay (less fuel).

You were not supposed to have to shoot it out against the Japanese sub with a PT boat (it worked out because it is idle the whole time unless activated, but still...). In designing scenarios, it is hard to anticipate every possible way that a player will do something and in this case, there is a hole which you found that avoided activating the sub and the U.S. destroyers which are to take care of it for you. I will look at those triggers so as to goof-proof them ("goof" meaning me, not you guys). Oh, I see why. The first time you fire on the motorboat it is supposed to surrender. In your case, on the hard difficulty setting, it did not.

Lastly, and that's what this process is good for, was this INCREDIBLE CHEAT (just kidding - but I never thought of this). I said, "What the heck is THAT!" when this ship appeared. Then I realized that it was the army unit that casually took to a troop ship to escape danger because I forgot that the PT boat, being a warship, enables a land unit to embark from a coastal hex if it is nearby. Needless to say, THIS will be changed! I don't know how, but it will be changed! :)
Screenshot 1.png
Screenshot 1.png (1.49 MiB) Viewed 1047 times
To be continued . . .
- Bru

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Re: Bru's Scenarios

Post by bru888 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:55 pm

I laughed at this point. "What the heck? Maybe I should have made the objective 'Conquer all of Kolombangara with one army unit!' :)
Screenshot 1.jpg
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Then my mood darkened a bit when I realized that you were either using what you learned from the first go-around, or you had a peek at the triggers, to know that if you kept one Japanese bomber alive with one strength point, your fighters would not leave until they ran out of fuel and exited or fell into the sea. So you let the one bomber fly around with one strength point, doing nothing, until it was time to dispatch it at the end of the scenario. Until then, you could use the fighters to blast away at coastal guns, gunboats, barges, even the destroyer (which, by the way, was not the endgame Boss destroyer but I assume from your replay that it never appeared which is a trigger flaw someplace).

The kicker was you knowing to block the Japanese sub's exit with one destroyer while the other two went hunting when the design is for all three destroyers to disappear once the sub is sunk and before it escapes and fails the objective. Then, at the end of the scenario, you finally sink the sub after keeping it loitering for most of the scenario. Again, foreknowledge at play it seems:
Screenshot 6.jpg
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Which is all to the good, Gabe. I am not complaining. I will daresay that most people would not play this scenario this way and it would have worked as intended for them but if it can be exploited, then my challenge is to make the scenario better accordingly. I will fix some stuff and redesign the rest and perhaps the next time you play this scenario, you will not find it so easy.

For now, though, I am going to version 1.1 with what I have; thanks for this. Then back to the drawing board.
- Bru

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Re: Bru's Scenarios

Post by bru888 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:09 pm

Profile in Courage new version 1.1 uploaded:

- Assigned hexes to all objectives involving locations for easier mission recollection.
- Removed two F4U1 Corsair fighters for better gameplay balance and less busyness.

Note: Significant exploits have been revealed that require a rewrite. Look for version 2.0 in the near future.
- Bru

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Re: Bru's Scenarios

Post by GabeKnight » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:42 pm

As said, Bruce, everything worked as it should the first time around (and I mean, even me!). Although I did transport those Marines/Army guys to safety the first time, too, but I soon returned and debarked them as they were, to fulfill the objective the "right way". :)

And knowing many scenarios, the editor and triggers quite well by now, I really didn't had to look beforehand to know how events are scripted by now - and exploiting their weaknesses. But then again, you shouldn't worry about it that much. Many of these exploits were about the same in official DLCs, like NOT capturing a town to avoid counter-attack trigger activation or same as here to NOT destroy all enemy units right away (e.g. ships as sec. obj.) to be able to use some vessels for a few more turns. Also the "Blocking the exit hex" exploit is nothing new really, and it was obvious, that the sub HAD to go somewhere for this objective to "fail". But I think this behaviour can be prevented in some way, by making this a combined air/land/naval exit-hex or something like that, don't know for sure how, but I know it's possible.

Making the Marines/Army unit immobile (or at least limit the units access to sea hexes somehow) is a must, obviously. With limited fuel and no airport, the fighter exploit is settled. You can do not much about the sub, I guess, but limit the DD's available turns or movement radius by making it escape faster (and possible). Make the final two tact. bombers an AI team (I know, I know....) or give them a 2-3 turn fuel limit (with whatever explanation in a popup), and that's settled, too.
And the "boss" destroyer DID appear, no worry here either, it's just the replay's fault as there weren't all barges destroyed or something like that. The "Endgame" (Amagiri) trigger DID happen okay, but I could finish the two enemy destroyers quite fast with the fighters, bombers AND two of my destroyers still around... :wink:

EDIT: Maybe the real "bug", in the end, would be me, who shouldn't have pointed these out in an open thread in the first place... haven't thought about it that way. Sorry. :oops:
Last edited by GabeKnight on Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Bru's Scenarios

Post by bru888 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:17 pm

GabeKnight wrote:Maybe the real "bug", in the end, would be me, who shouldn't have pointed these out in an open thread in the first place... haven't thought about it that way. Sorry. :oops:
No, Gabe, you did good. A quality scenario designer needs to be able to take criticism and be interested in not just perfecting his work (as much as possible) but also in replayability. Obviously the second time around you knew what to do to exploit the logic flaws. Some of them will be changed and some will stay; I'll decide. Look for version 2.0 if you are interested. One thing I AM doing is carefully working in the AI Marines; that is a must. I completely forgot about that possibility of simply embarking and sailing away. That one will not stand. Besides, you never met The Boss the way you were supposed to meet him.
ALP071 wrote:Aaahhhh, and one other thing: If you leave the destruction of the coastal batteries for last, after accomplishing the rest of the secondary objectives, you get an inmediate Total Victory, without having to deal with the supply convoys. Is this the way it is supposed to be? Initial briefing points out, as the main objective, to interdict supply lines, and it doesn't make sense to win the scenario without doing something about it.
ALP071, thanks for this. I will get to the rest of your comments and others as I go along but I found this one just now as I went back "under the hood." Yes, you are supposed to sink a bunch of supply barges! :)
- Bru

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Re: Bru's Scenarios

Post by bru888 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:45 am

The Marines have landed! That vignette is working now and exploit-free.

It's tricky, but adding an alliance can be done. Basically, the Japanese alliance moved to the right and the Marines were inserted next to the U.S. so that the two of us can be on the same team (see above). It's better than it used to be; I remember doing something like this and destroying the scenario. Now all that is required is to carefully go through the triggers and find where Japanese alliance has been replaced by the Marines alliance, and move the trigger buttons to the right to be Japanese again.
Screenshot 1.png
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You know what this means? It means that not only can there be stranded Marines but also Marine fighters and bombers which do what they are supposed to do and don't hang around.
- Bru

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Re: Bru's Scenarios

Post by GabeKnight » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:03 am

Okay, one last thing, and then I'll be quiet: The bombers and Marines/Army to be AI is okay, but you shouldn't do it with the fighters IMO. The AI's positioning of planes is not that effective to maximise supporting fire to protect my PT boats. And....it was fun experimenting within your scenario and finding "alternative" :wink: ways of beating it. I'm sure as hell will try the new version, but I'm definitely gonna keep the v1.1 as well!!! :D

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Re: Bru's Scenarios

Post by bru888 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:11 am

Profile in Courage new version 2.0 uploaded:

- Corrected positioning of objective hex links (in 1.1, I had mistakenly made them the same as related popup messages).
- Substituted an AI team of Marines for player-controlled Army infantry stranded on Kolombangara to eliminate the "board transport" exploit.
- Fighters opposing the Japanese air raid are now on the AI team of Marines to keep them focused on the job at hand and leave when its done, thereby eliminating the "keep a Jap bomber alive so I can use the fighters on other stuff" exploit. Also threw in a couple of Japanese fighter escorts to spice things up.
- Bombers saving a PT boat from a Japanese destroyer are now on the AI team of Marines to keep them focused and depart when the job is done, thereby eliminating a similar exploit of keeping the destroyer barely alive to use the bombers elsewhere.
- Redesigned the vignette about locating a Jap sub so that it works more reliably (anticipating other ways of going about it) and eliminates the exploit of blocking the sub from exiting so that the remaining destroyers can be used elsewhere. Basically, there are no destroyers now, just implied. However, I jazzed this one up a bit and added an interesting historical reference (details in the Information folder).
- Fixed the error that allowed victory without sinking any supply barges (the objective should have been active from the start even though the barges don't show up until later).
- Fixed the error that prevented the endgame from happening at times. (No wonder this scenario looked so easy with all of the exploits and no endgame.)
- For good measure, reduced the available resource points from 250 to 120. That alone would dial up the difficulty but taken altogether, good luck now.

I am going to play this out myself tonight or tomorrow to see how tough it is, middle difficulty. Regarding introducing the Marines AI to handle certain chores properly, remember that this scenario is about the PT boats. Everything else is a prop.
- Bru

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Re: Bru's Scenarios

Post by bru888 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:49 am

You know, my hat is off to anybody who does this nonsense for a living. Remind me what the rest of us unpaid schlubs do this for . . . fun? Plus, tomorrow they are going to release another patch that is probably going to blow the whole thing out of water, no pun intended. :x

No sooner did I sit down to enjoy PiC version 2.0, with all the changes therein, than it decides to fail to show the crucial series of messages on the first turn if one looks at objectives information. So I changed the trigger to be first move, which ought to work. Until tomorrow, perhaps.

Profile in Courage new version 2.1 uploaded.
- Bru

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Re: Bru's Scenarios

Post by bru888 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:13 am

Crap. As moderator and gentlemanly person, I will permit myself that much profanity here. Just as I thought and asked, if a player clicks on any question mark for objective information at turn start, it's no longer turn start and the event popup message does NOT appear. Back to the god d... uh, ever-loving drawing board. :(
- Bru

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Re: Bru's Scenarios

Post by GabeKnight » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:08 am

bru888 wrote:Crap. As moderator and gentlemanly person, I will permit myself that much profanity here. Just as I thought and asked, if a player clicks on any question mark for objective information at turn start, it's no longer turn start and the event popup message does NOT appear. Back to the god d... uh, ever-loving drawing board. :(
I DID. And I've tested it just now, and I can tell you exactly why this is happening: It's kinda my fault again. This behaviour only happens, if you add objective markers to it. If it's only text in the obj. briefing, the popups appear okay next turn. As was everything without markers in version 1.0.

PS Don't kill the messenger, please...

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