Supermax-Moriss restart (Game stopped)

After action reports for Commander Europe at War.

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peterjfrigate
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Post by peterjfrigate » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:25 pm

Yes I am a bit worried how his Overload strategy will go now that's he's being more careful. Is Sealion just suicide at this point???

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Post by Cybvep » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:27 pm

Hmm... Maybe the western Allies should get morale drops when they suffer high casualties? Historically the war in the West wasn't as bloody as the war in the East and the Allied casualties were incomparable with the Soviet casualties. The Soviets suffered higher casualties than the western countries did in BOTH World Wars (!!!) and there was no (second) revolution. I doubt that the British, the French or the Americans would be able to cope with so unbelievably high casualties.

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Post by Crazygunner1 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:54 pm

peterjfrigate wrote:Yes I am a bit worried how his Overload strategy will go now that's he's being more careful. Is Sealion just suicide at this point???
Nope probably not, but you have to weigh in the balance between not making to much sacrifice before Russia, cause you might end up paying for it in the east instead. But there is some good in doing Sealion, look at Maxs and Plaids game. They have suffered strong landings in France by the time Barbarossa started and by the looks of it, very hard to through those attacks back in the sea.

Sealion will postpone that atleast a year.... :D

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Post by supermax » Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:38 am

Image

Image

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Cybvep
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Post by Cybvep » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:05 am

That's just crazy...

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Go for it!

Post by Diplomaticus » Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:56 am

Max, looking at the map of Russia... I wonder, is it possible to take Russia completely out? I know it's a long way to the Urals, but the way the Red Army is evaporating....

If you could hold off the Western Allies with one hand, just keep them more or less contained, and do a 'Battle of the Bulge' kind of push in Russia. Even if you failed to take both Russian capitals, you could seize most of his production and perhaps permanently cripple him.

But then I know your oil situation is dire. Is seizing the Soviet oil wells out of the question now? My God, he's left Stalino vacant too. So many tempting targets. Maybe it's a honey trap--I just don't know. You've got some big choices coming up.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:08 pm

I just looked into their game and noticed the following.

US losses: 6 (high, but maybe ok)
USSR losses: 108 (very high)
UK losses: 36 (extremely high)
German losses: 19 (high, but within the limits)
Italian losses: 12 (very high).

Even stranger is that with such high losses he doesn't have manpower issues at all. All countries are above 80%. I don't know how that's possible. I always drop below 75% manpower with my Russians an my losses are way less at the same time. My UK units have maybe 2-3 losses in the fall of 1942 and my manpower is then maybe 85%-90% with them. Morris has almost the same manpower level with 36 losses? How on earth is that possible?

USA starts with a very low manpower and just reaches 75% by the Summer of 1941. A lot of units have been built and several destroyed and still the manpower level seems to have increased as if these units weren't built.

So this is something I really don't understand. He seems to manage his manpower way better than a player like I do and I'm considered a very careful player who doesn't squander my units a lot. I almost don't build land units for USA before they get at war. I mainly build naval units and that requires much less manpower. So I'm at a loss here to how it's possible to do what Morris is able to do.

It's a big pity he doesn't want to explain what he's doing so we can plug this very big exploit. You're not supposed to have 86% manpower with the British after having lost 36 units and a total of 581 steps. The number of steps are: Infantry 213, mech/armor: 65, Air: 108, Naval: 200
Infantry cost per step (average of garrison and corps: (3.5 + 1.5) / 2 = 2.5. Armor / mech cost per step: (5 + 8) / 2 = 6.5. Air = 10. Naval = 7 (on average)

If we do the math here then we see the following: 2.5 * 213 + 65 * 6.5 + 108 * 10 + 200 * 7 = 3435 PP's

So Morris has lost a total of 3435 PP's just to losses. OK, repair losses are a bit lower, but building the units are as expensive.

Morris can expect to have an average income of about 50 PP's per turn with UK. A bit lower in the beginning and a bit higher later. This includes incoming convoys. They're not at turn 58 so total income should have been: 58 * 50 = 2900 PP's

So Morris has had way more casualties than he has had total income from all turns. In addition comes a cost over 300 PP's for labs.

I also looked at the number of units on the map compared with the 1939 start units + free gained units until 1941 and compare the cost of the difference (+ for extra units and - for lost units). Then we notice a -290 PP's. So it's 290 PP's weaker now on the map than he was at the start of the game.

That goes against the cost for building labs. I might have some inaccuracy in my calculations so the results I get are within what's possible, especially since no convoys have been intercepted for quite some time.

But I'm very sure that Churchill would not have accepted losing so many of the British units and virtually sacrifice the entire country to give USA a chance to get to Berlin earlier.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:14 pm

Morris is playing a game where he knows when the end will be (May 1945). The real Allies would take as long time as necessary to get to Berlin. They would do what they could to limit the losses and that's why Overlord only took place in 1944 despite Stalin several times urging for a second front earlier. We don't see such considerations in GS.

Morris plays GS as if he was playing Starcraft 2. In Starcraft 2 you just have to build more units than your opponent and keep him busy until your superior production can finish off all his buildings. It doesn't matter how you get to your goal. High losses have no consequence. Then it's natural to min/max your play style and just hit the grind button.

So I'm convinced that Morris is not doing anything wrong game wise. He's just going against the spirit of the game. He's exploiting the possibilities in the game engine that we allow him to exploit. That means it's our goal to limit such exploits.

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Manpower is broken

Post by Diplomaticus » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:34 pm

What you say about the manpower here is very disturbing.

I had assumed that for Moriss the UK MP was way down, possibly to the 50% level. I mean, how could he possibly churn out all that infantry, all those losses, without it seriously degrading his manpower?

If he can do all that he's done in this game and still be above 75%, then something is seriously broken about the game's manpower calculator. This is completely ahistorical.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:36 pm

Before he was using blobs and then it became too expensive to have to many units of a particular type. Now that doesn't seem to affect him much because if he keeps the grinder up then he would never reach those limits because his units are destroyed before getting there.

Maybe we should have a build limit for all unit types except garrison and corps similar to what we have with paras? That means you would hurt to lose valuable tanks in crazy attacks.
You can have as many units on the map as you have now (within the limits), but yo can only build a certain number of units per year. We can group the countries and have different limits for them.

Many strategic wargames have force pools where you get new units you can build into the force pool each year. That's one way of having a build limit. I don't mind USA cranking our lots of armor units in 1944 or 1945, but doing so before they got into war and just building armor in 1942 seems too much to me.

If you analyze Morris'es games you see that there is absolutely no labs into naval tech at all. This was actually the area where the Allies had the most superiority over the Germans. So you should be penalized to not have proper naval tech. The transport and invasion limit is linked to both naval and industry tech. Maybe we should link it more to naval tech. Maybe amphs should not become available until you have a certain tech in e. g. surface ships and industry.

But again maybe production limits aren't needed if we instead have some consequence of losing many units. If e. g. USA stockpile armor units inside USA then it's not a problem. If he's only building armor units and send them to France to die then we have a problem. Roosevelt would not allow wasting precious US units just like that.

What we want to do is to give the players some consequences for not investing in naval tech.
Last edited by Peter Stauffenberg on Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:39 pm

I think that Supermax has fought a very heroic fight in this game and if he had played any other opponent doing something like Morris did then Supermax would have won by now. So it's quite disturbing to see that Morris is exploiting something we can't see that gives us these results. He won't tell us so we have to go with what we see and make the necessary changes because of that.

We should NOT alter the game balance for regular play because it seems pretty balanced so all future changes should only be done so it affect extreme play only. If the remedy to limit the extreme play will harm normal play then we need to find another solution.

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Post by zechi » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:46 pm

Why don't you ask Morris about the manpower issue? Perhaps he will give you an answer if you confront him

Furthermore, I don't think it is fair to publish information about manpower levels for the Allies in the AAR of the Axis opponent, at least if you did not ask Morris first.

The explanation for the high manpower levels can only be that Morris does usually not repair his units and only produces new units with low manpowers costs, such as air units or ARM.

Cheers Zechi

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:46 pm

I think I have one possible solution to why Morris doesn't seem to have manpower issues with his units. When I build for a country I build quite a bit of corps units, especially Russia because these are cheaper and won't burn oil. But they drain more manpower. E. g. building a fighter drains only 3 manpower, an armor 7 manpower and a corps 10 manpower.

Morris seems to have built a lot of armor and air units for the western Allies. That means less manpower spent. With Russia he has built quite a lot of armor units and not so many corps units. So maybe that's his trick?

I'm reluctant to increase the manpower cost for air and armor units because it would hurt the Germans too much.

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Post by supermax » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:50 pm

So borger,

What you are saying amount to the fact that something is very fishy with our game...

British manpower at 86%...

I am tempted to stop the game now.

I mean how can i play against a player that is not affected by manpower, experience and high losses?

You saw the last turn i sent you...

If the russians arent close to 75% then i say our game is at an end...

I mean after turn 57 he will be close to 13 millions casualities.

What is your honest opinion borger? I find this manpower thing disturbing...

What about his troops not loosing experience when they are repaired?

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:54 pm

zechi wrote:Why don't you ask Morris about the manpower issue? Perhaps he will give you an answer if you confront him

Furthermore, I don't think it is fair to publish information about manpower levels for the Allies in the AAR of the Axis opponent, at least if you did not ask Morris first.

The explanation for the high manpower levels can only be that Morris does usually not repair his units and only produces new units with low manpowers costs, such as air units or ARM.

Cheers Zechi
Morris won't give us the answer. We've asked several times.

This game is over soon anyway and we're actually BETA testing. The game will only go on for as long as we can still learn more from the game. When we've learnt what we can then the game will end a new one start with the changes made. This is what happened in the last game that Supermax and Morris played. I think people need to know the source of the problem so we have something to discuss. If we don't have actual numbers then it's hard to figure out what's going on.

By seeing the status of the game then I think it's maybe not an idea continuing using the old rules (GS v2.01.30). It's probably better to actually stop the game and restart with the latest version after we've plugged the new holes we found. I just want to remind you that we are BETA testing here and that doesn't mean we need to see every game to the end.

Morris has told me that he doesn't care whether he wins or loses this game. He just wants to help by showing us the hard way the weaknesses of the game engine. This is what we've seen here.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:00 pm

supermax wrote:So borger,

What you are saying amount to the fact that something is very fishy with our game...

British manpower at 86%...

I am tempted to stop the game now.

I mean how can i play against a player that is not affected by manpower, experience and high losses?

You saw the last turn i sent you...

If the russians arent close to 75% then i say our game is at an end...

I mean after turn 57 he will be close to 13 millions casualities.

What is your honest opinion borger? I find this manpower thing disturbing...

What about his troops not loosing experience when they are repaired?
I don't think there is any cheating going on here. Morris has so few units left with the Russians that he has managed to stay high on the manpower by going for just high quality troops and not corps and garrison units. So I'm sure he has figured out a way to maximize the firepower pr. PP used without draining the manpower or oil too much. He's just using the rules better than anyone else. I can't see how he's doing it, but definitely seems to be working.

I agree that stopping the game is a good idea. Now we all need to go back and start thinking how we can stop this from happening. GS is certainly not intended to be like this. So I want you all to come up with good ideas to prevent such min/max play. I'm made some suggestions to high casualties having an impact on morale or build limits for most unit types. I haven't concluded yet and want to listen to what all of you suggest. I hope it could be good if you upgrade to GS v2.01.33 that will be out this weekend and use that version to replay. Maybe you want to be the Allies this time so Morris can show us how the Germans can get to Omsk as he says he can in his Axis games.

I don't think we can learn more from this game because it has come too far to the extreme. You've done much better than the rest of us would and if not even you can crush the min/max strategy that Morris is using then we have to find ways to penalize such exploits even more.

I'm so bold to say that Morris'es play is in a way ruining the fun for all of us with his exploits. On the other hand it's good we see it now in the beta phase because we then have a chance to fix them before GS v2.1.

I can tell you that if exploits like his become well known in the public that can make people just abandon the game and say it's too broken to waste time on. So we have a serious problem to deal with here.

Morris says he knows what the problem with the balance is, but he doesn't want to reveal it with an explanation. He says we can just continue to play him (both Axis or Allies) and he will show us the hard way the game balance problems by crushing us. That's frustrating because we can't then quickly remedy the problems he shows us. On the other hand I'm sure he would be able cause as much "problems" for every other game out on the market. He seems to be an expert in analyzing the weaknesses of the game rules and exploit these to the utmost.

So I want to both curse and thank Morris for doing what he does. :)

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Post by supermax » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:10 pm

Well, its not like i am loosing this game... As you will see i have a couple surprise in stores for moriss in the next few turns.

It pisses me off big time to see results like that and that he can exploit the game so much, and play so carelessly...

Anyway borger i think the simplest way to deal with this is to stopmplaying with moriss.

He is exploiting the game and removes the historical and logical fun out of it.

Realistlcally, who else does what he does?

No one and permit me to seriously doubt result like troops being repair by 4 steps not loosing experience being put only into holes from the game engine.

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Post by Crazygunner1 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:12 pm

I would like to have a go at him and see where it ends.... :twisted:

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:14 pm

supermax wrote:What about his troops not loosing experience when they are repaired?
That one is harder to answer because you can actually get a situation where you repair and apparently don't lose an XP level. Remember that you actually lose XP, but you only lose up to 15 XP if you repair losses within your friendly core territory. You lose about 5 XP per step being repaired. So if he repaired 5 air steps inside Britain then he would still only lose 15 XP. If you repaired 5 air steps of the air unit stationed in France you would lose 25 XP.

If the former XP of the unit was 70 (50 needed for XP level 2) then his XP would drop to 55 and still remain XP level 2. You can't see anything, but the XP level. So in the situations you described I guess his air units were close to the next XP level. So the losses you inflicted meant it would take longer for him to get to the next level.

What you've just seen is the benefit of fighting from friendly core hexes. The reason we added this is to simulate that e. g. pilots shot down would more easily find their way back home if shot down under friendly territory. German pilots shot down in France would have to deal with the French resistance before getting back to the airbases, while the UK pilots would be helped by them instead.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:18 pm

Crazygunner1 wrote:I would like to have a go at him and see where it ends.... :twisted:
I agree that Supermax still has a good chance winning this game. I also agree with him that it's not fun anymore playing against people who just exploit the game rules and won't follow historical paths.

I think Morris will have a hard time finding opponents if he continues to do what he does. At least it's encouraging to see that nobody else seem to use his strategy. So maybe it's a GOOD idea he doesn't want to reveal how he does it. At least then it can't be replicated by others. ;)

So my question to you all is this: Should we simply ignore the issues we see that Morris shows us and get GS v2.1 out the door as planned? Or should we try to fix yet another issue and hope there won't be many more holes to plug. I feel I'm running out of ideas to what to try here.

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