Battlefield: Europe MOD v2.0

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McGuba
Lieutenant Colonel - Fw 190A
Lieutenant Colonel - Fw 190A
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Battlefield: Europe MOD v2.0

Post by McGuba » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:51 am

Battlefield: Europe v2.0
A strategic mod on tactical level (or a tactical mod on strategic level, lol)

In June 1941, right after the green light to Operation Barbarossa is given, a group of high ranking German officers realize that the leader of their nation has serious mental problems and his way of conduct will only lead to the complete destruction of Germany. So they take the necessary steps to get rid of him and his closest followers and on the same day you are given full control of the Axis armies in Europe and North Africa. What would you do differently?

Panzer Corps v1.31 or later is highly recommended!
JSGME is highly recommended for installation (JSGM and install guide included in the zip)
Recommended difficulty level: General (for experienced players)

Intro video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXpgYJZx-iE


Situation on 22 June, 1941:

Image



Changes in v2.0

- Better balanced multiplayer version of the main scenario.
- Besides the multiplayer version, there are three single player versions of the main scenario with increasing difficulty and realism.
- Ground unit upgrages and purchases are now only possible in certain cities in the "realistic" and "realistic+" versions of the mod. These are the victory objective cities in Germany (marked on the map with the "+") and a few other important cities and ports marked with the unit upgrade icon (a double "^"). Therefore, for example it is no longer possible to purchase (or upgrade to) a brand new Panther tank in an isolated island or in a small town in the middle of the desert or the Russian steppe. It can only be done in Germany or in a few major port cities and units waiting for an upgrade have to be transported there from the frontline. However, this change does not affect air units, which can still be upgraded at any friendly airfield.
- Weather is now semi-random: 1941 weather is pre-set, the beginning and end of each winter is pre-set, but there are 2-3 rainy turns in each year and the exact date of these can vary in each replay. As a consequence, Allied bombing of German cities do not result in a prestige penalty during rainy turns (as it sometimes happened in the previous versions) or when the ground is covered with snow.
- The number of oil field hexes is now doubled: the Allies have 8 of these with half of them being at Baku. So Baku is more important now, but also better defended. Also it is harder to cross the Black Sea to use it as a short cut to reach the Caucasus. But the Axis gets more naval units as reinforcements there in 1942-43, as historically (mostly small vessels though).
- Since the Allies disable the oil fields before retreating, the Axis side has to wait 6 or even 12 months (in the hardest "realistic+" version) to repair each oil field to get the extra prestige and to negate the effects of the oil crisis. (Note that historically the Wehrmacht did capture the Maikop oilfield near the Caucasus but since it was completely destroyed by the retreating Red Army the Germans were unable to fix it and get any oil from it before they had to withdraw 6 months later. But then again, refining and delivering the oil to the troops would have caused further logistical problems and hence the long waiting time.)
- Additionally, in the absence of more oil fields, the air units of the Luftwaffe will start to suffer an experience penalty from 1943 to simulate the less and less effective training due to the limited fuel available for the training units. In 1943 they lose only 1 experience point per turn which is hardly noticable, but in 1944 and 45 it is 3 and 5 experience points in each turn respectively, which is getting more and more significant by the end of the war. The Axis has to capture and repair at least two oil fields from the Allies to stop it.
- Shallow Sea hex type added to the map: this is an area where water depth is less than 100 meters (appr. 300 feet). Although submarines can still dive deep in these areas, they cannot move when doing so. It simulates that the submarine lands on the bottom of the sea. Shallow seas also affect the manual deployment of naval mines.
- Now there are two naval mine types: bottom and moored mines. Moored (surface or near surface) mines are the same as the previous generic naval mines (passive attack, once discovered they stay on the map, cannot harm submerged submarines). As they are cheaper than other anti-ship weapons they can be deployed in large numbers, making them useful area denial or channelizing weapons.
- The new bottom mines are more deadly but less numerous: as the name suggests, they are dropped to the bottom of the sea by a ship or by a plane and can detect nearby vessels passing ahead by magnetic (or later water pressure) sensors. In the mod they can attack nearby naval units, including submerged submarines actively (that's why PzC v1.31 update is required) and they disappear from the map if there are no enemy units nearby. They are harder to detect and sweep, and can carry a much larger warhead than a moored mine and thus can cause more damage.
- Pre-placed moored mines can be either in shallow or deep sea, but bottom mines can only be encountered in shallow sea as their effectiveness is limited by water depth. (Its victim has to be close enough to be detected and to be harmed by the explosion.)
- Both types can be deployed manually from special minelayer ships or bombers in limited numbers. These are of course mulitpurpose units, but once the naval mine unit is deployed it cannot be switched back to the carrier unit and it stays where it is for the rest of the war (unless they are disbanded by their owner).
- Note that naval mines can only be deployed manually in shallow sea and it is not possible to deploy them in straits or ports, even though their carrier units may be able to enter these hexes. So for example the Strait of Kerch in the Crimea cannot be closed down with naval mines to stop ground units from crossing it.
- Countryside terrain gets 1 base entrenchment so now it provides a bit more protection than clear terrain (originally these two terrains were in effect the same so now I try to make a difference between them).
- Romanian army unit icons reworked: although earlier I was using the a different colour pattern for the Romanians it looks like in reality most Romanian ground equipment were olive green, including their R-2 tanks. So I recoloured most of their units accordingly.
- Finnish ground units cannot be moved by sea, air or rail transports. This will mostly confine them to the northern front as historically they would only fight for the defense of their homeland and never officially joined the alliance of the Axis nations.
- Some key parts of the map (most notably the Crimea, the Gulf of Finland, parts of Great Britain) are reworked for improved geographical accuracy and gameplay reasons.
- The defenders of Leningrad lose strength faster making the blockade of the city more worthwile. On the other hand, Leningrad is better defended with the addition of the naval fort of Kronstadt, which is essentially an artillery unit that can provide defensive fire to the nearby Krasnaya Gorka fort.
- Many new or modified units added, including more recon planes to both sides, more land transports, several new naval units, etc. Some recon planes have very high air defense to simulate the historical fact that these flew very high and fast and it was nearly impossible to intercept them. In some cases though, these are completely unarmed, e.g. the photo recon versions of the Spitfire or P-38 Lightning. In general, all recon air units have higher air and ground defense as these avoided battle and flew either very high or very low.
- Axis air units (except for the Finns, who are technically not Axis) can make use of fast redeployment: first air units have to move over an unoccupied friendly airfield, then switch to "landed" mode and then embark to an air unit transport (Ju 52) with high movement but weak defense. This air unit can be moved to another unoccupied friendly airfield where the air unit transport can "land" and disembark. The use of the Ju 52 simulates the transfer of the ground crew and the equipment of the air unit.
- Some air units now have a version of naval movement - these are maritime reconnaissance planes that can only move over sea and strait terrain, but can also enter ports and airfields. Players need to watch out for their fuel usage as they have to fly around ground hexes and the game does not take it into count when it calculates their remaining range.
- Some air units now have "tropicalized" versions (with extra sand filters added and other small modifications) for use over desert terrain. It is recommended to upgrade normal air units to these otherwise they will lose movement points (and use extra fuel) when being used over desert and dunes terrains. When being moved back to normal continental terrain these should be upgraded once again to the normal version to avoid losing movement points, this time over clear and countryside terrains. Note that some parts of Africa and the Near East have mainly continental terrain types so for example air units operating over Tunisia may not need this upgrade.
- All air units move a bit slower over high mountain terrain.
- The Axis can get much more unit replacements, as calculated by historical production figures, and some more free units. It happens mainly in 1944 when German arms production peaked, and mainly for players on the losing path, but if losses are high replacement tanks, bombers etc. can appear earlier as well occasionally, which allows a more agressive advance.
- Maximum firing range of capital ships is now limited to 3 hex. Also they are a bit less effective against ground units.
- Submarines are now faster in all modes and they have recon move in submerged modes for better survivability. It is because the camo trait does not work in PzC with submarine class and I want to improve their chances for escape when spotted and encircled by destroyers. So now they might be able to escape when surrounded by destroyers or sneak through minefields. On the other hand, submarines have lower initiative so now they are less effective against destroyers and will lose 1 ammo in each turn while on the convoy routes to simulate that they are actively hunting enemy shipping (however, they also gain some experience in the process). Some destroyers are also somewhat faster. Also, the Axis side gets a few more U-boat units from 1943.
- Coastal battery units added: these are in the artillery class so they can be repaired unlike structures (bunkers or fortifications). It will possibly make amphibious landings harder at some places.
- More subclasses are added to the Bf 109 and Fw 190. Some air unit stats are rebalanced (like early Bf 109 vs. Spitfire).
- Most air units have reduced max fuel (range). Nevertheless, in most cases they still have a higher range than their actual combat range should be based on the scale of the map. Players now have to keep an eye on the remaining fuel as some air units can run out of fuel more easily. Most notably early war units with no drop tank like the early Bf 109 versions but some Allied fighters are also affected by this change.
- The pre-Barbarossa scenarios also got some changes, mostly cosmetic though. This version is not compatible with the earlier ones so these have to be played again, or the Barbarossa scenario has to be started as a new campaign or scenario. Save games made with the previous versions of the mod cannot be used.
- The hard attack value of most artillery units has been reduced by 30-40% so that now it is harder to fully suppress enemy armoured units and then force surrender them.


Some notes on multiplayer:

Due to a Panzer Corps game issue, multiplayer games should be played with "show opponents moves=off" otherwise some of the scripts would run twice in a turn instead of once, leading to unwanted game behaviour. However, as a result of another (possibly related) game bug, multiplayer games would switch to "show opponents moves=off" anyway after a few random number of turns, even if they are started with "show opponents moves=on".

Due to yet another undisclosed game issue :cry: , after making a certain number of turns (about 70-80, depending on the number of unit movements and actions) it may become impossible to upload the turn to the server after the replay file size reaches 10 Mb. When it happens it may be necessary to clear the replay file with a special version of the PzC exe. However, this exe is not public and currently I do not have the right to release it, but if anyone encounters this problem I am more than happy to clear the replay file and "give back" the multiplayer game to its owner.

Despite these certainly unpleasant issues, playing this mod in multiplayer against another human opponent is a lot of fun and can potentially provide entertainment for the years to come, even after someone finished the mod in single player several times. Hopefully there will be several volunteers who will try it as that would greatly help to improve the balance for possible future versions. For more, please visit Intenso82's excellent AAR of the pre-release test version:
http://slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=145&t=89711


Players can also start the big scenario at later stages by installing some save game files. In these I tried to recreate the overall historical situation as much as possible. These are mainly for those who got bored of achieving the "easy" victory starting in June 1941. The stages are:

...Moscow/Crusader, 1941
...Stalingrad/El Alamein, 1942
...Kursk/Sicily, 1943
...Normandy/Bagration, 1944

The game difficulty is set at General. Obviously, the later you start the scenario the harder it is to achieve any kind of victory and in the final one(s) a draw is the only realistic aim.

In order to get them you have to copy the save game files in the zip to your ...\Documents\My Games\Panzer Corps\Save\ folder, where the game keeps the save games and just load them.

IMPORTANT NOTICE!

Since this mod pushes PzC to its limits it is highly recommended to run the game with the "/nocache" startup switch. Otherwise chances are high that the game would hit a memory limit after several turns and crash. The thing is that, without the /nocache switch, the attack animation files are all loaded into the memory and are stored there until the memory gets filled up causing the game to crash. And there are many units in the big scenario of this mod with many different animations. Luckily, with the /nocache switch applied to the PanzerCorps.exe shortcut I never had a game crash during testing.

So, how to do it? Create a shortcut for the PanzerCorps.exe file (which should be in the folder where you installed PzC): locate and right click on it and then choose send to -> desktop. (Warning! The Panzer Corps shortcut on the desktop created during the installation of the game is NOT good as it points to the autorun.exe and not to the PanzerCorps.exe!) When it is on the desktop right click on the icon and choose properties. Then you have to add the /nocache command after the end of the filename like this:

Image

The only other option is to make a new savegame after playing 4-5 turns, quit the game and then restart and reload. This would empty the memory for the time being so that you can play another 4-5 turns before you need to save and quit again. I think the former method is more user friendly and certainly much safer.



McGuba's notes on release

This release was made with Panzer Corps v1.31 and thus this version or at least v1.30 is required! (If played with v1.30 the naval bottom mines will not be able to attack submered submarines.)

This mod was made by using material created by others as well. Without their input I could not have finished it at all. Bebro, VPaulus, flakfernrohr, AugustinMalar, Kerloc, dragos, guille1434, airbornemongo101, Uhu, rezaf and Asuser have all contributed to some of the new unit icons. At the end of the readme file you can find a full list of the new or modified icons and their respective authors. The mod uses several sound files from VPaulus' Sound Redux mod. The Panzer Corps – Scenario Design Forum proved to be very useful with loads of information and lots of helpful people. Uhu, IceFlame, LandMarine47, BNC, JimmyC, GeneralWerner, PeteMitchell_2, P210 and the other posters provided some invaluable feedback during tha final stage of the creative process helping me to make this mod even better. Hopefully I did not forget anyone, if so, please let me know.

Last, but not least, a big thanks to Rudankort for creating this wonderful game and to make it so easy to mod. :D

You are free to use the new / modified unit icons of this mod for your own free mod if you like, but you are required to give credit to the authors of each icon. However, you are not allowed to modify, copy, sell or use any parts of this mod for commercial purpose.



The main inspirations

Following the footsteps of Sparatacus and Chris10 (and of course BNC, ;)) I decided to make my debut in the world of global scale mods... They were the main inspirations for this mod and I must give full credit to their excellent work. First in the line, Chris10's sadly unreleased (as of today) mod, promised a historically accurate depiction of the war in the east with stunnig detail. Sparatacus made a fun to play (half-) global map where the player can even invade the USA. And BNC made a full global map with some very original and interesting scripting.



BE WARNED!

If you believe that Germany could have won WWII easily by defeating the three major world powers, then this mod is NOT for you! In that case, I humbly suggest you keep playing the stock campaign which comes with the game or other mods which allow such achievements. In this mod you are supposed to be lucky to defeat one of your main adverseries while holding the others at bay. I tried to make this mod as accurate historically as I could. And history tells us the Allies produced four times more tanks and aircraft during the war than Germany, and it is well represented here.




Although this mod is basically finished, please report back any issues in this topic.

And, most importantly, have fun!


.......

A few screenshots:


The Finns are ready to retake Karelia which was occupied by the Soviets in the Winter War of 1939-1940:

Image



The Romanians are ready to retake Bessarabia, which they had to hand over to the USSR in 1940 under pressure:

Image




......................


Download BE v2.0 from here:

BE v2.0: https://www.dropbox.com/s/r00sju6ka0fhi ... 0.zip?dl=0


(BE v2.1 beta 1 ready for download as well. This version has not been fully tested therefore v2.0 remains the recommended stable version for the time being. Nevertheless there should not be any major issues.)

(BE v2.1 beta 2: https://www.dropbox.com/s/42lxjg7idefbm ... 2.zip?dl=0)




Panzer Corps v1.31 is also highly recommended to make sure that the new naval mines can actively attack enemy submerged submarines:

viewtopic.php?f=121&t=76489#p649287



WARNING! This mod can be highly addictive! Only start to play it if you are sure that you will not neglect your family and work commitments as a result of the "just one more turn" feeling.

IMPORTANT! To get all the changes in you MUST start a new campaign after installing it. Loading and continuing a campaign started in any previous version will result in having erroneous movements for some units.


......................




RumpNissen's wavy flags for BE v1.9 or later
An optional submod with small 'wavy' flags and radio towers for victory objectives:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/zrshi4b4dle92 ... 9.zip?dl=0

Install with JSGME over the base mod and click "Yes" when asked to overwrite the files which were already altered by the base mod. In BE v1.9 I have added a few more flags so if you were using this sub-mod you are recommended to refresh it!

Image



PG Style Strength Plates
Another optional submod which will make core and auxiliary units easier to tell apart:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/0r78x ... Plates.zip

Maybe it is only me but I often had a problem differentiating core and aux units in the vanilla game. So with this submod core units have black strenght plate and auxiliary units have a light grey one, like in good old PG. The simplest is always the best. This submod can be used with most other mods or with the vanilla campaigns.

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Blue Axis unit symbol replacement for the strategic map
Yet another optional submod to increase the visibility of active Axis units on the strategic map:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/9i4u3i5ipijcj ... 9.zip?dl=0

This submod will replace the default black and white Axis unit symbols to blue and white ones for better visibility (even though the default black and white might be more accurate historically). When installing this submod with JSGME and the program notifies that enabling it over the BE mod might have adverse effects just click "Yes".

Image



If you like this mod give a try to my previous Royal Hungarian Army - Turan Campaign as well:
http://slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=147&t=36969


...
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McGuba
Lieutenant Colonel - Fw 190A
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Re: Battlefield: Europe MOD

Post by McGuba » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:07 am

What I really like in this scenario is to command units from the frozen north to the hot desert of North Africa. However, minor nations are badly under represented in stock Panzer Corps so I added lots of new / modified units to the Romanians, Hungarians and Finns and a few more to the the Dutch, Bulgarians and Croats. This mod uses bebro's excellent aircraft replacement icons and I attempted to modify some of those to convert them to other nations. The rest of the new units were either made by me or the community here (many thanks for all!).


The Finns are ready to reclaim Karelia, which was taken from them by the Soviets in the Winter War of 1939-40:


Image




The Romanians are ready to retake Bessarabia, from where they had to withdraw a year earlier under political pressure. Will they stop there? Oh, and the first task in turn 1 is to destroy the Soviet aircraft on the ground before they could take off.

Image




The Hungarians had no territorial claims against the Soviet Union, and still, after the bombing of Kassa (today Kosice) by three bombers of supposedly Soviet origin, Hungary declared war on the USSR and deployed a rather small, but highly mobile army corps. Later, Hungary commited more and more troops, which will arrive as reinforcements.

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Last edited by McGuba on Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Halibutt
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Re: Battlefield: Europe MOD

Post by Halibutt » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:19 am

Looks like endless hours of fun, can't wait to download it :)
Originally posted by Juu:
The Soviets won the war. We happened to be nearby.

Mark50
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Re: Battlefield: Europe MOD

Post by Mark50 » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:24 am

I have to say, your edited bebro aircraft to fly Romanian colours are very nicely done. By any chance, have you made matching bigunits cards too based on bebro`s? Very nice SM.79B too!
Good luck with the mod!

McGuba
Lieutenant Colonel - Fw 190A
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Posts: 1163
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Re: Battlefield: Europe MOD

Post by McGuba » Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:20 pm

Thanks,
By any chance, have you made matching bigunits cards too based on bebro`s?
It is beyond my skills to make anything matching bebro's outstanding unit cards :wink:

Instead, as in my previous mod, I am using b&w photos for all the units (including the old ones, for consistency):


Image


Oh, and by the way the original of the SM.79B was made by dragos, I just modified it a bit to better match the other Romanian units.
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BiteNibbleChomp
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Re: Battlefield: Europe MOD

Post by BiteNibbleChomp » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:15 am

I can guarantee more strategic movement! Crete is a tiny thing in my War of the World (Can't be attacked by units), which results in a very WWI-like map in mine. My map is 200x80 if anyone is interested in comparing. Can't wait to see the final result (hoping the map gets extended to India like I planned to do with Panzer Fury "II" (never got made but instead became War of the World). Great to see that my work is inspiring others (future of WWI next?).

My only ideas are that the game should be extended into 1947 or slightly later, to allow for a historical play until Dec '44, and then the opportunity to use Mauses and other stuff in a massive defense in Germany!

- BNC
Creator of American Civil War mod for Strategic Command WWI!
Discuss here: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4504986
Download: http://www.mediafire.com/file/tj4t11z3ttl142w/SCACW.zip/file

AugustinMalar
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Re: Battlefield: Europe MOD

Post by AugustinMalar » Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:50 am

This is gonna be a very excellent mod. :D

bebro
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Re: Battlefield: Europe MOD

Post by bebro » Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:29 am

Looking great indeed. Love those Finnish planes! :)

McGuba
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Re: Battlefield: Europe MOD

Post by McGuba » Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:34 pm

BNC wrote:
hoping the map gets extended to India like I planned to do with Panzer Fury "II"
Sorry, I do not plan to do it as it would make the map two times larger and it is already quite big IMO. It is on the verge of being unmanagable.

BNC wrote:
My only ideas are that the game should be extended into 1947 or slightly later, to allow for a historical play until Dec '44, and then the opportunity to use Mauses and other stuff in a massive defense in Germany!
First I would be happy to make it until mid 1945. Maybe in a later version. By the way I think it is a good idea and I can imagine even more miracle weapons. Time will tell.

Augustin Malar wrote:
This is gonna be a very excellent mod.
Thanks, I hope so, but I have had some problems with the PzC engine - the mod will probably only run smoothly with the /nocache switch. After all, PzC was not created with such large scenarios in mind. (Oh, and I almost forgot to add the Slovaks :wink:)

bebro wrote:
Looking great indeed. Love those Finnish planes!
Credit should go you to in the first place for making the originals of those icons :D


Army Group South is crossing the Bug River near Lwow (Lemberg):

Image



Since some of the less known new units are multipurpose, and some of the old ones were made like that (e.g. Italian Semoventes) and currently it is not so easy to tell apart multipurpose units from normal ones, I added a small unit switch button graphic to the icon of those units. In this way these units are recognizable at a glance. Also, in the purchase screen the full name of these units indicate that they are multipurpose. E.g. SU-122 ATY/AT. I wonder why the devs have not done something like this in the numerous patches of PzC. For instance British LRDG infantry and regular infantry uses the same icon.



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McGuba
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Re: Battlefield: Europe MOD

Post by McGuba » Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:40 pm

So far it all goes as intended. Situation on 19 March, 1942, turn 19:


Image

I lost a few veteran units in the Soviet winter offensive and now I have to start to upgrade my surviving, but now mostly obsolete tanks to better ones. In the reduced visibility of snowing some enemy units managed to break through in the gap between Army Groups North and Center so there is no actual frontline at the moment, as historically. It takes a few turns to stabilize the situation before I can regroup to attack towards the Caucasus. The defenses of Leningrad and Moscow are too strong and I have to move to the south before I run out of time. The fortress of Sevastopol in the Crimean Peninsula is also strong, but I think I can take that one this summer.

There is some partisan activity near the Pripet marshes in the Ukraine and in the Balkans. Not too serious yet, though. Randomly appearing partisans have a bad habit to block railway lines, reducing my prestige and making troop transfers by train a bit risky. I mainly use those weaker minor axis units and the inexperienced German infantry to deal with them. This way I can use the better units in the first line.

In North Africa, Tobruk is still owned by the Allies and the Afrika Korps was pushed back a bit in Operation Crusader. However, those British tanks are now destroyed and I brought some reinforcements from Europe so Rommel can start an offensive again. The fortess of Malta is also still owned by the British. It is currently at strenght 7. Hopefully I can take it by this summer, too.

The Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau succesfully broke through the Channel to the safety of the Baltic Sea. My U-boats were either damaged or destroyed by allied ASW so the survivors are at the French ports on repair. However, U-boat production continues steadily so I am sending out more to the convoy routes hoping to gain some extra prestige. Sorry, but this is a total war.


The long struggle for Malta.

A small island owned by the British in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, surrounded by axis bases. Only one hex in size, so it should be easy to take. Or maybe not? A heavy fort is located on it which has to be destroyed from the air or the sea before a ground unit can land on the island. A tactical bomber, like the SM.79, has a good 50% chance to reduce its strenght by one point in an attack in clear weather, so normally it should take 10-20 turns to destroy it. However, the weather is not always clear and the British keep sending fighters to help to defend the island, which must be destroyed as well before the bombers start their attack. So I need to send some decent fighters to deal with them. But, then again, those fighters might be needed somewhere else in Europe.
Historically, after two and a half years of futile attacks, the axis ended the siege and diverted their forces to Tunisia. Can you do it better?

Apart from using bebro's aircraft replacements I also changed some of the vanilla ship icons to his superior icons, like to these Italian ones:


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I was so close to Moscow and yet too far...


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Shrike
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Re: Battlefield: Europe MOD

Post by Shrike » Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:09 pm

Looks awesome! I've played a couple of games of 1941 (well, until the opponents quit) so I am looking forward to this one.

iceFlame
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Re: Battlefield: Europe MOD

Post by iceFlame » Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:34 am

McGuba wrote:I was so close to Moscow and yet too far...
This looks to be shaping up as a really nice project. :)

Having the Kremlin in sight is just so tantalizing, one last push and the prize is at hand. In that regard, here's hoping for a sudden thaw followed by a successful drive to the promised land. (A.K.A. Red Square).

In other words, best of luck with the mod and thanks for sharing your progress. :wink:
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LandMarine47
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Re: Battlefield: Europe MOD

Post by LandMarine47 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:04 pm

Hope to see some work with Sealion! Also I'd be cool to divert Italian Forces from say North Africa and Russia and use them in an invasion?

McGuba
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Re: Battlefield: Europe MOD

Post by McGuba » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:25 am

Thanks,
LandMarine47 wrote:
Hope to see some work with Sealion! Also I'd be cool to divert Italian Forces from say North Africa and Russia and use them in an invasion?
In this mod you are free to do what you want. (And this might be the hardest part, as good soldiers always follow orders :wink: .) However, this mod assumes that the hositilities with the USSR already began, so you cannot just make peace in the east and transfer all your troops to the west. Once started, the scenario will live its "own life", that is the Soviets will not sit and wait, they will launch their offensives anyway, at the right time. Even though some of those will not be so ferocious if you stay away from their industrial centers. In addition, some historians suggested that Stalin had his own plan of invading Germany and that's why all the planes of the Red Air Force were amassed near the border in 1941. It was just Germany the first to act.

And still, England is not very heavily defended and I think that half or even one third of the Axis forces commited to the east would be enough to take it. But, in case of an invasion, the British Home Fleet is expected to leave its bases to repel the invaders, and the German Kriegsmarine is quite week in mid 1941: the Bismarck is sunk, the Tirpitz is still under trials, and the Scharhorst and Gneisenau are in the French ports under repair after being damaged by British bombers. In the east, holding the frontline with the rest of the army against the Soviet attacks should be enough, though. Or maybe even to start a limited offensive to create a buffer zone or to gain better defensive ground. Just do not advance too far as it will increase Soviet resistance as well.

The succesfull early invasion of England has the following benefits:

- Britain will not produce more aircraft
- US 8th Air Force will not appear over Western Europe in 1943
- D-day will not happen

The downside is:

- you will not get extra prestige for disrupting the North Atlantic convoy routes (as convoys would be meaningless and stopped)
- the British will continue to fight from their colonies (North Africa, Middle East) supported by the US and the Commonwealth, hoping that with the help of these and the USSR they will defeat Germany in the end and can regain their beloved homeland
- US troops will land in North Africa anyway


...


By the way, I have not written about the victory conditions yet:


- Total Victory: take all Allied victory objectives on the map by the last turn.
This is pretty much a theoretical outcome only, at least without cheating. By the end of 1941 Germany was at war with the three greatest powers of the world, how could they expect a total victory at all?

- (Marginal) Victory: take and hold all Soviet OR all British victory objectives on the map while holding ALL victory objectives in Germany in the last turn. For the defeat of Great Britain you also have to be in full control of North Africa and the Middle East meaning that Operation Torch must be repelled.
This one has more sense, and I believe that historically the Germans had the chance to achieve either one of these at some point.

- Draw: hold all victory objectives in Germany in the last turn.
If you play the historical way, i.e. if you try to attack everywhere, you will most likely end up struggling to defend Germany. In that case, achieving a draw can be regarded as a victory as well, as it is a departure from the historical result. This is how I am testing the campaign first, before its release.
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McGuba
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Re: Battlefield: Europe MOD

Post by McGuba » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:58 am

Situation on 29th November, 1942:


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Something is about to change. While somehow I managed to capture Leningrad, American forces landed in North Africa and the Vichy French forces in the area changed side and joined the allies. The Afrika Korps has been unable to break through at El Alamein and is now threatened by a British counter-attack. I was unable to take Malta. Its fortress is still at strenght 7 after numerous bombing runs. I think it is a matter of luck in the dice rolls. (If you want to destroy it for sure, probably you need to bring Rudel here from the Eastern Front. But, in that case, who is going to sink the battleship Marat in Leningrad?) Army Group B reports a full scale Soviet offensive on its frontline. As historically, the Don river between Voronezh and Stalingrad is currently held by Hungaian, Italian and Romanian troops, respectively. Army Group A in the Caucasus requests further orders. Shall it continue its advance towards Baku or start to retreat to protect its flank? Well, it is up to you to decide...

...

So, up to early 1943 the war in the East has been about 90% accurate which is quite acceptable, I guess. As opposed to the history books I managed to capture Leningrad, but did not take the naval port of Novorossiysk near the Crimean Peninsula. However, if I had transfered more troops to Army Group South instead of pressing on with the siege of Leningrad, it could have been more accurate in this regard as well.

On the other hand, I am very pleased with the flow of events on the North African theatre. If I play historically, the outcome is pretty much historical as well, so in order to beat the Allies in North Africa, the player has to try something else. For example divert more troops there. (But, from where? - In this historical test play, apart from using the pre-placed units there I transfered one Italian and one German tank unit from Europe with one Italian heavy artillery unit and some infantry in late 1941.)

I expect the campaign will be less and less accurate from early 1943. It is much harder to script the AI correctly on offensive and I run out of AI zones already (I would need about a hundred instead of only 32). Also, by that time the Axis core army would be changed greatly since 1941 both in unit types and placement due to the player's actions and preferences. Still, all the major Allied offensives and landings in 1943-45 are modelled, but again, the player's actions can have an effect on some of those. For example, the Allies would not land in Sicily and Italy until the Axis can hold Tunis. And the Axis Balkan countries would not change side in 1944, unless the Red Army tanks get too close to their borders...

The final assault on Tobruk:


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My last stand at Alamein, before I decided to say good bye to the pyramids and start to retreat to the west:


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In the name of fairness, the Allies have their heroes, too. Such as the real Vasili Zaitsev of Stalingrad, whose name was immortalized by the movie 'Enemy at the Gates':


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BiteNibbleChomp
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Re: Battlefield: Europe MOD

Post by BiteNibbleChomp » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:12 am

not sure if you've told us this yet - does this start in 1939 or in 1941?

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Re: Battlefield: Europe MOD

Post by iceFlame » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:17 pm

McGuba wrote:So, up to early 1943 the war in the East has been about 90% accurate which is quite acceptable, I guess.
Ninety percent sounds phenomenal to me. Speaking as one who appreciates historicity in war games, I'm positively delighted to find scenarios that exceed even say 75%. Just so long as the 'what if' component is also alive and well so gamers can enjoy alternative paths as well. Makes for a great double barrel experience that way.
On the other hand, I am very pleased with the flow of events on the North African theatre. If I play historically, the outcome is pretty much historical as well, so in order to beat the Allies in North Africa, the player has to try something else. For example divert more troops there. (But, from where?...)
It seems to me you're quite right in suggesting 'from where?', to which I would only add that even if forces had been available the issue of choked supply lines was equally if not even more critical. In other words, it wasn't so much the lack of troops as the lack of a steady supply flow that ultimately proved the AK's undoing.

Which brings us to:
I was unable to take Malta. Its fortress is still at strenght 7 after numerous bombing runs. I think it is a matter of luck in the dice rolls. (If you want to destroy it for sure, probably you need to bring Rudel here from the Eastern Front. But, in that case, who is going to sink the battleship Marat in Leningrad?)
Leningrad certainly possessed considerable strategic importance, (what with a land bridge to Finnish allies, plus valuable prestige/propaganda value and a clearing of the naval threat in the Baltic), yet despite these advantages I still consider Malta to be the more critical of the two. I say this mostly due to the fact Malta lay smack in the middle of vital supply lines and afforded the British a perfect base from which to harass the enemy and jeopardize the Axis position across an entire theatre. So if as you suggest, Rudel might be the difference, then in my scenario he's got a ticket to Malta.
Army Group B reports a full scale Soviet offensive on its frontline. As historically, the Don river between Voronezh and Stalingrad is currently held by Hungaian, Italian and Romanian troops, respectively. Army Group A in the Caucasus requests further orders. Shall it continue its advance towards Baku or start to retreat to protect its flank? Well, it is up to you to decide...
While I fully understand the economic imperative, it still amazes me that anyone could consider it wise to extend the front by hundreds of additional miles in a region that was already strapped for manpower. I suppose it was viewed as an all-or-nothing gambit to cripple Soviet resources and enhance Germany's ability to stay in the war, but for my taste the true all-or-nothing point should have been in the fall of '41 with a concerted effort toward Moscow instead of a southern turn to Kiev.

As history records, the final push for Moscow ultimately failed in December of '41, largely due IMO to the time lost in diverting the spearheads south, which led to a series of events culminating in the onset of a brutal winter which the Wehrmacht was completely unprepared for.

At this point the Ostfront ceased to be a blitkrieg and instead became transformed into a battle of attrition. Which, it would seem self-evident, Germany never had a hope of winning.
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Re: Battlefield: Europe MOD

Post by McGuba » Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:18 pm

not sure if you've told us this yet - does this start in 1939 or in 1941?
The campaign starts in 1939 with the invasion of Poland, followed by 1940 France and Low Countries, and Spring 1941 Balkans - Mediterranean - North Africa. These are fairly simple "traditional" 10-20 turn long scenarios, with a little twist here and there. Then comes the long 1941-45 scenario. So there are basically four scenarios, the early ones serving as tutorials. All can be played individually as well.
While I fully understand the economic imperative, it still amazes me that anyone could consider it wise to extend the front by hundreds of additional miles in a region that was already strapped for manpower. I suppose it was viewed as an all-or-nothing gambit to cripple Soviet resources and enhance Germany's ability to stay in the war, but for my taste the true all-or-nothing point should have been in the fall of '41 with a concerted effort toward Moscow instead of a southern turn to Kiev.
After the failure of Barbarossa, the Germans had to come up with something new, they could not say, "ok guys, we did not mean it, you have better tanks than us, we go home, and you go home as well, right?" Moscow was strenghtened enormously by 1942 and the Soviets were possibly expecting the renewed offensive in that direction again. In this regard, the shift to the south makes some sense. It truly was an all-or-nothing gambit, but they did not have many other choices. And the extension of the frontline was only possible due to the ill-equipped, but quite numerous Minor Axis armies. What eventually led to the destruction of some of the best German divisions in the Stalingrad cauldron.
The turn to Kiev was a big mistake in 1941, but it is a question if the capture of Moscow in 1941 would have meant the defeat of the USSR. By that time the Soviets moved many of their factories to the Ural, and they already sacrificed their capital once to Napoleon, so they got used to it. And the fresh forces from the far east were there anyway, ready for a winter counter attack.
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demyansk
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Re: Battlefield: Europe MOD

Post by demyansk » Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:20 pm

I was wondering if this mod is available to play? It looks excellent

McGuba
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Re: Battlefield: Europe MOD

Post by McGuba » Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:10 am

I was wondering if this mod is available to play? It looks excellent
Sorry, not yet, as of today. I am still testing it, and do not like to release untested, unfinished material. I am not completly satisfied with the AI behaviour at the moment. Probably I never will. I am still experimenting with a few things, but once done I will release it for sure.
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