Home Guard Rule bug?

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jimwinsor
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Home Guard Rule bug?

Post by jimwinsor » Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:41 am

I think the Home Guard rule may be buggy. I'm in a game right now where a successful Sealion has overrun most of England. And I'm getting hit with a no -25 (currently) Home Guard morale penalty. However, according to the rule this is not supposed to happen.

This is what it says:

8.6.5 British Home Guard Requirement

Britain is required to have a home guard force in Great Britain/Canada before Russia or USA joins the Allies. Failing to do so will create a loss in max morale of all British units. The parameters below control how this is done but will only count units in Britain and not in Canada:

UK_HOME_GUARD_UNITS_REQUIRED 8 /* # land units needed in core UK territory */

UK_MORALE_PENALTY_PER_MISSING_HG 5 /* Max morale of all UK units lowered by this # for each missing HG unit in UK */

There are 13 UK land units in Great Britain/Canada at the start of the game so it’s possible to have a BEF of 3 units without experiencing any morale loss. That is, you can send 3 British units to France without experiencing the morale loss. Note that British units in Scapa Flow and Belfast count towards meeting the requirement of units in the UK (United Kingdom).

Once the Allies fall below 8 units in the UK - the allied player will lose 5 max morale per British unit failing to make the 8 unit limit. This is the message that will be shown every turn the Allied player fails to keep the HG requirement:

INDEX-978| "Too few British Home Guard land units causes fear in Britain. All UK units suffer a max morale loss of”.

Please note that if an Axis unit has entered Great Britain or Canada then the US max morale loss will not apply. The UK morale will return to normal if the Germans actually land in England. This way it’s not possible to invade Britain and force the morale to get to 0 by killing British units.


Italics mine. On top of that, I've been building GARs in Canada to try to satisfy the first formula, with no luck. I think I have 11 ground units in Canada now, in addition to the 3 GARs left in the British Isles who have yet to be killed by the Axis (who most definitely has units in Great Britain).
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Re: Home Guard Rule bug?

Post by GogTheMild » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:28 pm

GB units in Canada don't count. If you re-read the rule with this in mind I think that you will find that you are misinterpreting it.
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jimwinsor
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Re: Home Guard Rule bug?

Post by jimwinsor » Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:22 pm

Possibly that's the case, but the rule is a bit vague in the area when it starts out mentioning garrisons in Canada. Why even mention Canada if it's not relevant?

And in any case, the penalty is supposed to turn off when an Axis unit lands in the UK. That is not happening.
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Re: Home Guard Rule bug?

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:00 pm

We can change the text regarding HG units and change from Core UK territory to Great Britain. Canada is not counted.

We're working on some minor changes in GS v2.2. First is that UK will get 2 garrison units (simulating the old men joining the HG after France fell) then turn after an Axis unit lands in England. If the landing takes place in 1941 or later they will get 4 units.

We will also alter so Russia will get their 8 strategic reserve units 4 turns after the start of Barbarossa and not fixed in August 1941. So if you start earlier than June 1941 the garrisons will spawn a bit earlier.

We will also bump the less morale penalty from USA joining from 20 to 30. Less morale from USSR joining will remain at 10.

So after USA joins you will virtually have no UK morale penalty. The morale penalty is meant to simulate UK being fighting the Axis alone and have lost their home territory. Once the other major powers join they get the morale back.

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Re: Home Guard Rule bug?

Post by Cybvep » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:39 am

We're working on some minor changes in GS v2.2. First is that UK will get 2 garrison units (simulating the old men joining the HG after France fell) then turn after an Axis unit lands in England. If the landing takes place in 1941 or later they will get 4 units.
Umm, why? I don't think that we should discourage alternative strategies at this point, especially the Axis' ones. Sea Lion doesn't happen in every game and there is a chance of failure if you are either too aggressive or not aggressive enough, which is just right for balance IMO.

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Re: Home Guard Rule bug?

Post by JimR » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:41 am

Agreed. Is it wise, from a play-balance point of view, to make Sea Lion even more challenging for the Axis? The Axis side has very little margin for error in CEAW-GS already.

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Re: Home Guard Rule bug?

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:40 am

It seems from game reports we receive that Sealion happens quite often. Most of the time the Axis player attempts a Sealion they succeed.

Using the transport blob to protect the surface ships is one reason Sealion succeeds so often. Air superiority the other.

The main problem for the Allied player is that the Axis can overuse the transport capacity to send lots of transports along the English coast to find locations to invade. There are simply too few units in England to prevent landings. Even worse is that successful landings can't be contained because there aren't enough units to screen the invasion zone. You need to be a player like Joerock or Morris to contain a Sealion landing. Most players just can't defend against the Axis and lose England in 1940.

We discussed increasing the overuse cost, but players would ignore that anyway if they want to invade. The real Germans didn't have the transports and amphs to make the invasion with. Such ships can't be made in big numbers in a short time.

One reason for the number of successful Sealion attacks is that the blitzkrieg option against France seems to work so well. Since we altered the rules for the Allied Dyle plan it means it's less lucrative for the Allies to attack Belgium and contain the Axis in Belgium in 1939. Instead we see Axis players rush into France in 1939 and take Paris no later than April. That means they have a long time to do Sealion in 1940. UK hasn't received enough PP's so early in the war to actually have enough land units to stop the Axis.

We don't want to alter the blitzkrieg option because it can have other negative effects. We can't alter Sealion too much either, but we can at least simulate the forming of HG units from old men and boys going to the English coast to dig trenches to stop the Germans from landing.

Many wargames have intrinsic defensive strength in coastal hexes so if you land in an empty hex you still perform a battle and can lose strength. In GS you can just land in an empty hex and not suffer anything. This is partly because the game is corps based so there aren't enough units to cover every hex.

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Re: Home Guard Rule bug?

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:47 am

JimR wrote:Agreed. Is it wise, from a play-balance point of view, to make Sea Lion even more challenging for the Axis? The Axis side has very little margin for error in CEAW-GS already.
I don't agree with that. My experience is that a skilled Axis player has the advantage over the Allies. I always get better results in Barbarossa in 1941 than the real Germans did. That is against elite players like Joerock.

Sealion seems to succeed almost every time it's attempted.

Less experienced Axis players have, of course, little margin for error. Such players would probably not even attempt a Sealion. If they try they would often fail with the invasion.

I think ahistorical operations should be something that skilled players should be able to execute successfully and know that they managed to do it because they're good. If average Joe can execute a successful Sealion then something is wrong with the balance. The real Germans didn't even attempt to do a Sealion because they meant it was too risky.

I don't think 2 garrison units spawning in England the turn after a successful Sealion landing will affect the outcome of the Sealion much. What they can do is maybe to delay the fall of London or Liverpool by a turn or so. That means a Sealion starting late might end-up bogged down in bad weather in England before the job is done and the troops can be shipped to the east for Barbarossa.

Anyway. This is something we are testing at the moment. Not everything we discuss is set in stone.

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Re: Home Guard Rule bug?

Post by Morris » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:33 am

Stauffenberg wrote:
JimR wrote:Agreed. Is it wise, from a play-balance point of view, to make Sea Lion even more challenging for the Axis? The Axis side has very little margin for error in CEAW-GS already.
I don't agree with that. My experience is that a skilled Axis player has the advantage over the Allies..
I have to say I do disagree with your point . If anyone thinks he is an skilled Axis player who has the advantage over the Allies , I will challenge him by an AAR . If he will be able to achive even a minor Axis victory , I will never mention about the Allies advantage in GS2.1 again !!! I have 99% confidence to defeat him unless the following three elements happen together :
1 as many mistakes as I made in the AAR with Joe
2 an opponent who play better than Joe (I believe I am able to defeat Joe by play Allies now )
3 very bad weather luck (1939 five fair turns , early severe winter in 1941, etc)

Who will be the brave guy ? come on ! :)

Regarding to the sealion , we can't judge a sealion sucess or not just by the result of whether Axis can take England & Scotland , we should judge it by how many sealion launcher win the game ! I had a data by our team that 86% of the sealion player lost the game at the end (almost half of them lose the game before 1944) . For my point , sealion is a poison ! :)

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Re: Home Guard Rule bug?

Post by Kragdob » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:07 am

Stauffenberg wrote:Sealion seems to succeed almost every time it's attempted.
Basically I agree for adding GARs as a historical event, but:

I think the tides for Sealion success has changed. I don't think that currently Axis Player has more than 25%-30% of successful Sealion, even if France surrenders as early as in 1939. UK DO have enough PPs to counter that. Even with strategic investments in the labs they have more than 200 PPs (depending on convoys) to spend on defenses. You can buy MECHs, INFs and leaders in quantities enough to fend off the landing - remember, Germans has only two landing points so if you crush the first two spots they land (with 4 MECHs + 4 INFs it is quite feasible) the next attempts becomes extremaly costly.

Since you are altering the game I would like to suggest a changes to modify the balance slightly namely increasing Germany PPs income by ~10% (so they start not with 67 but 75) and reducing SUBs limit as I proposed in other thread.
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Re: Home Guard Rule bug?

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:09 am

It's irrelevant if a Sealion will eventually lose the game strategically. What is releveant is that almost all Sealion attempts succeed. That doesn't feel right. Sealion would have been a big gamble. To succeed you need a bit of luck. if you succeed then the rewards should be high.

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Re: Home Guard Rule bug?

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:13 am

I think we need some kind of sub build limits to avoid any blob strategies. With sub evasion being introduced I think subs will become quite a bit more powerful, especially early in the game before the Allies get more DD's. So Sealion can become even more attractive. With 3 subs guarding the surface ships you should do fine. Subs will evade half of the time so they will be harder to kill.

I don't think it's a good idea to boost the Axis start production. That will affect all games. 2 UK garrisons if Sealion is launched will happen only in such games. Even then these garrisons will usually only postpone the fall of England. It's like getting 2 extra partisans one turn.

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Re: Home Guard Rule bug?

Post by Cybvep » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:01 am

It's irrelevant if a Sealion will eventually lose the game strategically. What is releveant is that almost all Sealion attempts succeed.
No, it's not, at least not from the balance perspective. This change will hurt the Axis in the early game and everything that hurts the Axis in the early game should be discouraged IMO. The Axis does have little margin of error. One major mistake in 1939-1941 when you are playing against an equally-skilled opponent and you will end up with a big disadvantage, which will probably cost you the game. The Allies can lose France early AND lose England AND still win the game. In case of the Axis, a late fall of France or a failed Sea Lion means game over.

I'm not saying that the Axis is always doomed or sth, but the Allies really don't need any additional help. If you want to help the UK in the early game, then IMO you should give Germany sth, too.

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Re: Home Guard Rule bug?

Post by pk867 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:55 am

The possible addition of GAR's appearing in the forcepool if an Axis gets a foothold in Britain. This would be historical invasion forces and militia or ad-hoc forces are formed to battle the invaders. If Sealion does not take place or no units land then the UK player does not receive the GAR's ever.

It is a cause and effect situation. Don't you think that if Axis forces landed in Britain that the British would not react?

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Re: Home Guard Rule bug?

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:11 pm

We're also discussing that it's seems not right that Italy and UK forces in the Med just stand still if the events in UK and France happen a bit differently from the historical path.

So we think about doing the following.

1. Italy will join the Axis immediately when France falls or June 1940 regardless (as now)
UK will at the same time get the Malta and Cyprus forces.

2. Egypt and Iraq will join the Allies once a GERMAN (not Italian) unit lands in Libya or August 1940 regardless (as now).

3. Italy will join the Axis and Egypt and Iraq will all join the Allies if a German unit lands in England.

The reason for 1 and 3 regarding Italy is that Mussolini would want his share of the Axis conquests, thus honoring the steel of pact when the sitzkrieg is obviously over. The reason for 2 is that the UK forces in Egypt would mobilize if the Germans arrive in Libya. They were meant to protect Egypt from Italian presence in Libya. Once the Germans show interest in the Med they British should be able to deal with that.

The reason for 3 regarding the UK is that once the home country is threatened the British forces elsewhere (Egypt and Iraq in GS) should have a chance to respond to the invasion. Still it takes quite a few turns to get to England from Egypt so it could be the Allies can't save London anyway, but at least they can get to better positions and not remain as sitting ducks while the Axis mop up the map until the are released by a fixed date (August 1940).

The main reason the units were released at a fixed date was to prevent the Allied player from sneaking up on Libya and just rush into Libya taking Tobruk etc. before the Italians even got a chance to respond when they activated. We use the same method regarding French garrisons spawning in North Africa on the turn Italy joins instead of being on the map from the start. This means Italy can't sail into empty ports and the Allied player can't empty French North Africa to use the garrisons as cannon fodder against Germany.

The point is to avoid having units on the map that can't move.

Do we have other situations where we have units on the map that can't move when the country that control the units are active? I don't count Russia because they're not yet at war. Free French units are dealt with so they become UK owned if USA is not yet in the war. So these units can always move when they spawn.
Last edited by Peter Stauffenberg on Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Home Guard Rule bug?

Post by richardsd » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:09 pm

Italy joins the Allies if Germany lands in UK?

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Re: Home Guard Rule bug?

Post by pk867 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:36 pm

He meant Italy will join the Axis and that Egypt and Iraq will join the UK. :)

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Re: Home Guard Rule bug?

Post by Morris » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:58 pm

pk867 wrote:It is a cause and effect situation. Don't you think that if Axis forces landed in Britain that the British would not react?
In fact , If it really happened in 1940 , British must react ! but maybe retreat or make an peace agreement with Axis .

So how about if France fall in early 1940 & Axis took London before Sept 1940 , Uk become neutral until USA or USSR join the war . :D It will make the game more interesting !

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Re: Home Guard Rule bug?

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:26 pm

Morris wrote:
pk867 wrote:It is a cause and effect situation. Don't you think that if Axis forces landed in Britain that the British would not react?
In fact , If it really happened in 1940 , British must react ! but maybe retreat or make an peace agreement with Axis .

So how about if France fall in early 1940 & Axis took London before Sept 1940 , Uk become neutral until USA or USSR join the war . :D It will make the game more interesting !
With the harsh UK morale penalty you virtually make UK neutral until USA joins the Allies. UK will have to retreat from all engagements or lose their units.

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Re: Home Guard Rule bug?

Post by jimwinsor » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:00 pm

I logged on just now to ask the question: "Is it really the intent of this rule to make the Commonwealth completely useless following a botched Sealion defense?" but I see from the above post that the answer is, sadly for me, yes. :(

So I guess I'll modify my question: Why?

This just smacks of kicking a dog while he's down, I really don't see the game play purpose of it.
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