CSI Sweep: Germany West 1944

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bru888
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CSI Sweep: Germany West 1944

Post by bru888 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:48 pm

By invitation from Erik. Version 0.9.

The Campaign Tree needs work. I will hold off doing a chart of it pending a new version, if you want to make one while I am doing this sweep. This Campaign Tree isn't overly complicated, I don't think: Anzio to Caen, a crossroads of Toulon (and Montelimar) or St Lo (and Falaise), branches merging again at Arnhem, and a couple of alternative ending scenarios.

Following are the issues that need to be addressed.

First, I call this the "Curse of Caen." Why do I call it that? Because I believe that's where you intended the campaign should go after Draw and Minor/Major Victory. Player: "No, it can't be. Not again. I am sure that this is the scenario that I have played 8 or 9 times now. Villers-Bocage, yes? It's hard to be sure with all those hedgerows. Will I ever make it to Caen? This is an endless loop! Yaaaaaah!! :shock: " I also call it the "Curse of Caen" because it sounds more dramatic than the "Curse of Villers-Bocage." The "Hedgerow Hex" would be even worse and sound like a feature request:

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Second issue . . . is already addressed! And I learned something new yet again. Apparently, the branching according to outcomes is determined here, at the Crossroads:

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and not here, where I had anticipated a dead end. To the contrary, I nuked my way through and was properly forwarded to Montelimar after Toulon:

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The third issue is, no Crossroads can ever be the same anymore without Erik's famous signposts! I sound facetious but picture a noob playing through a campaign for the first time; he may or may not see that other slim silver ring and if he does, he may or may not think of clicking on it to discover a choice:

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Sorry, but this blurb violates my Popup Message 350 Character Rule! It's not an exact rule because things like spaces and hyphens may not take up the same amount of room, but it's a good rule of thumb. What is visible here runs to 344 characters whereas the entire message is 371 characters, much too long without a scroll bar:

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The second popup message fits the box but the message itself sounds a bit anti-climactic and out of place. I know that it's from Panzer Corps and maybe this was one campaign in a series but in OOB, and the way you designed it (no GGC), this is a stand-alone campaign. [Well, on second thought, all of these "Germany East/West" campaigns can be thought of as linked - you provide for core importation, for one thing - but you never referred to any continuation in the others like this here]:

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Interesting! I've never seen you use campaign variables before. A chance to learn something else new. Two quibbles: Do you want to mention in each description what these variables do for gameplay? That is usually the case. And, the pins are colored neutral white instead of Axis grey but that's probably cosmetic; perhaps we will verify that when the time comes:

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Last, but not necessarily least, your campaigns deserve to start off with a bang, a dramatic message that sets the stage. This campaign lacks such an introductory message. If it were mine, I would use something like this:

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If you like this, feel free to use all, some, or none of it. [I found that you already have this photo in the Anzio scenario. I dug up another, but I really should leave this to the expert! :) ]:

The Deciding Year

1944 begins with the Wehrmacht opposing Operation Shingle, the Allied landing at Anzio. As hard-fought as this battle will be, should rumors of a second front on the shores of France come true, the strain on German forces will be enormous. Add the Red Menace coming from the east and it is quite evident the fate of the Third Reich is at stake.


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[Aaargh. I am going to blow up the forum, or at least this thread perhaps, with so many image attachments in one post. Oh well, wish me luck . . . "Click"]
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Re: CSI Sweep: Germany West 1944

Post by bru888 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:39 am

I'm confused by this campaign specialisations dating thing. This campaign, which I believe is new, has a nice start date and therefore the specialisations tree looks fine (recall, in my last sweep, me calling attention to the flatness of the tree because no such dating was possible):

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I would think that you made this campaign in 8.1.0; the scenarios are stamped as "Scenario Version 8.1.0." So why then can I not do the same with a new campaign in 8.1.0?

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Re: CSI Sweep: Germany West 1944

Post by bru888 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:41 am

Anzio v. 0.9

Heh, for a moment, I forgot what side we were on and I was wondering why U.S. troops were assigned to AI teams! Then I remembered and discovered four orphans, all infantry (circled and highlighted):

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This is subtle, and I had to think for a few moments before coming to the conclusion that all of these "Dumps" triggers were missing something: Target Hex. The condition seeks to "Check Unit(s) Near Hex" so it is not enough to point to a specific unit and leave it at that; you need to define what hex that specific unit is supposed to be sitting on:

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I noticed that both German and Waffen SS factions are rewarded resources for each dump preserved. Should the Waffen SS also receive a specialisation point?

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In any event, the trigger is looking at the wrong alliance for this condition; it's requiring no U.S. fuel depots to be destroyed:

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Oops, I see that you found the same picture of German infantry at Anzio "gren" that I recommended for the campaign introduction! Pardon me while I go fishing again.
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Re: CSI Sweep: Germany West 1944

Post by bru888 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:53 am

bru888 wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:41 am
Oops, I see that you found the same picture of German infantry at Anzio "gren" that I recommended for the campaign introduction! Pardon me while I go fishing again.
Okay, top this! :D

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You probably already have this one someplace else in this campaign, too. [Sigh] :(
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Re: CSI Sweep: Germany West 1944

Post by bru888 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:17 am

Cassino v. 0.9

I love the "Save the Monte Cassino treasures" vignette! I do have a suggestion, if I may. I don't like the idea of the trucks being able to drive overland like this:

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And they actually drove "around" that mountain, not over it, because trucks cannot enter a mountain hex despite the presence of a road. From these maps, it appears that the trek up to the abbey was quite arduous, with lots of switchbacks:

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You cannot get all of those zigzags in there, of course; there are not enough hexes. What you have captures the essence but I would like to see the trucks forced to go down the abbey road and through the town of Cassino rather than driving across pastures, farms, and hills.

So here is my suggestion:

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You can see that I would literally move a mountain for you, Erik! Also fill in some open terrain hexes with rough terrain, make the the road wind a bit more, and most importantly, use escarpments to force the trucks to use the road all the way down:

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at least to the point where there is no incentive to drive overland anymore; now the road is the best bet. By the way, perhaps a few more deployment hexes south of the monastery? The Allies have already cut off the direct road to the Cargo Exit (turn right in Cassino) and even the long way (turn left in Cassino) leads back to that same Cassino-Ceprano road.

So what about timing? Will the trucks still have enough time to get down the mountain and to the Cargo Exit now? Sure enough, both trucks can make it no matter which way they turn in Cassino:

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Unfortunately, the objective trigger doesn't seem to work, but we'll deal with that later :) :

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Now, ONLY if you agree with this approach, it does not upset any of your designs, you like what I did, and you want to save yourself some work, do I offer this revision to download. It contains only the changes to the terrain and road near Monte Cassino. (General Public, do not bother to download this unfinished scenario; even if it were finished, it cannot be played outside of the campaign):

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zHDT5- ... sp=sharing

You know the drill; my feelings are not in it. I have saved the file for myself, though, should I decide to "adopt" this scenario and campaign. :wink:

[Hmmm. I notice that is the same "Cargo Truck-1" on the Cargo Exit hex in both of those images. I ran the test a couple of times and once I took a round-about way with "Cargo Truck-1" and still got there in time. I must have mixed up the screenshots. The point is, by taking the obvious routes, both trucks can get there in plenty of time, 17 turns or less.]
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Re: CSI Sweep: Germany West 1944

Post by bru888 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:23 am

Cassino v. 0.9 (continued)

Orphan here, an outfit of "Kiwis":

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The wrong objective is linked to this condition; I wouldn't link the correct one anyway because it is being tracked by the "Ger 6 objs" trigger:

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These triggers that deliver the promised specialisation point(s), should they be for both German and Waffen SS factions? (I will not ask this type of question again from now on, for either resources or specialisation points.):

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The "Cargo survive" trigger does work. It's set for "Move Event" so the next movement of any kind will trigger it. So unless the second truck exits on the last move of the last turn, you should be alright. Maybe make it "Any Event" just in case. When I did that, it popped up as completed on the next Turn Start which probably also covers the end of the scenario.

Heh, I just said I would "not ask this type of question again" but this is a bit different. One truck delivers German resources and the other truck delivers Waffen SS resources. Intentional?:

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By the way, this is one situation where it might be good to have another trigger that fails the objective if one or the other truck is destroyed. No AI secondary objective to award, though; just a marker of finality that the objective has been failed.
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Re: CSI Sweep: Germany West 1944

Post by bru888 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:48 am

To my horror, I realized that the next scenario was Monte Cassino. "Oh no. Don't tell me." But sure enough, it's pretty much the same map. So, if you were to download my offered revised map for Cassino, then shouldn't the changes also appear in Monte Cassino?

"No good deed goes unpunished," we say over here! :)

No problem. It only took a few minutes to replicate the changes because I had saved the screenshot of them in Cassino:

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and used it as the template for Monte Cassino:

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I don't think your aux German unit placement is affected, nor your core deployment hexes:

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So here is the revised Monte Cassino scenario with only these terrain and road changes near the abbey. Again, only if you want them:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rq_GY4 ... sp=sharing

I did think of something, though. Moving that mountain and building up the escarpments will shield the Germans from attacking forces to the east. The Allies may have to come up the same road that the trucks went down. If that is not to your liking, perhaps you could leave the mountain and the road where they are and just remove some escarpments. In Cassino, I doubt that the escarpments matter to battle but in Monte Cassino, they could change what you intended for the Allied attack.
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Re: CSI Sweep: Germany West 1944

Post by bru888 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:35 am

bru888 wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:48 am
I did think of something, though. Moving that mountain and building up the escarpments will shield the Germans from attacking forces to the east. The Allies may have to come up the same road that the trucks went down. If that is not to your liking, perhaps you could leave the mountain and the road where they are and just remove some escarpments. In Cassino, I doubt that the escarpments matter to battle but in Monte Cassino, they could change what you intended for the Allied attack.
Hey, you know what? That might not be bad just the way it is. The way I have it, I mean.

Here are the first three turns of "your" Monte Cassino scenario; notice the first Fallschirmjäger unit is already gone in the first turn before the human player has had an opportunity to do anything:

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whereas in "my" Monte Cassino, it survives at least the first turn. The end result is much the same of course; the infantry will advance over the mountains anyway, but at least the Fallschirmjäger have more of a chance of being rescued with the mountainous and rough terrain protecting them for a turn or two:

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Your choice, of course.

When I get more into Monte Cassino, "your" version that is, I'll mention something that I just noticed; the deployment hexes are the same in this map as they were in Cassino. Indeed, some of them are "behind enemy lines." In order to have any chance of saving the Fallschirmjäger, I believe you will need to allow more deployment in and around the abbey.

On that note, it's off to bed. I will resume with Monte Cassino tomorrow.

Thread to be continued . . .
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Re: CSI Sweep: Germany West 1944

Post by Erik2 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:27 am

Bru

The last part of the branches is a bit complicated with the alternative Nijmegen and Eindhoven scenarios.
I believe this is fixed now and I will PM you a new link.

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Re: CSI Sweep: Germany West 1944

Post by bru888 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:53 pm

Erik2 wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:27 am
Bru

The last part of the branches is a bit complicated with the alternative Nijmegen and Eindhoven scenarios.
I believe this is fixed now and I will PM you a new link.
Thank you for the 0.91 update and for exorcising the "Curse of Caen." That confirmed what I had surmised about the Campaign Tree, so here it is:

Campaign Tree - Germany West 1944.jpg
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Re: CSI Sweep: Germany West 1944

Post by bru888 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:10 pm

Monte Cassino v. 0.91

I believe you used the same map for this scenario as in Cassino. The deployment hexes are apparently the same, and these two are actually occupied by Allied troops at the beginning of the scenario (circled and highlighted):

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Also, I repeat my earlier advice to allow additional deployment in and around the monastery. In both Cassino and Monte Cassino, it is crucial to a secondary objective. The trucks will be cut off and I doubt the Fallschirmjäger will survive without nearby deployment.

This trigger should probably be set for "Team 1" instead of the main German alliance because there is a chance that the Fallschirmjäger alliance may retain possession of one or more of the primary VP's:

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This should be "Value > 0" because the Allies objective is "1obj":

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This "Set Objective State" should be "Failed." [Actually there is something else missing. See the post between the two Falaise posts below.]:

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This fighter is assigned to the "Bombers" AI team:

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Another of the same type that is on the map already is also assigned to "Bombers." Units.csv lists this plane as a fighter:

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Come to think of it, this Mosquito FB Mk. VI is also a fighter but it is assigned to "Bombers," too:

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The only true bomber that you have in the scenario to start with is the B25B Mitchell. (Which, by the way, I don't see ever being deployed.)

The Target Unit is missing for this "Deploy Unit" effect. I believe it is the first American P38J Lightning:

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Re: CSI Sweep: Germany West 1944

Post by bru888 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:03 am

Beaches of Normandy v. 0.91

None of the images for primary objectives "Event Popup" messages is in the folder: omaha, gold, juno, sword.

I hate to make more work for you but the AI objectives of "Omaha, Gold, Juno, Sword" should be won if the human player fails his corresponding objectives. For each, a Turn Start / Check Turn / Scenario turn limit should be fine but save yourself some time and effort by doing it this way; I believe it will work:

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Each beach objective provides rewards but also spawns a B-29 Super Fortress? It seems like a mixed bag but, as the briefing says, the player can stock up on "additional self propelled and heavy air defense units."

For the "Destroy all US/UK para units" objectives, there are 5 US paratrooper units in the scenario but only 3 UK paratroopers. Seems inequitable.

Here's an interesting consideration. All of the "Dog," "Easy," and "Fox" deployments are happening on these three hexes:

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There is enough supply surplus on Omaha Beach, but what about space? What happens if the initial "Dog," "Easy," and "Fox" units are bottled up? (If the Germans hold the hexes, then the deployment shouldn't happen so each of these triggers should have a "Check Hex Owner" condition.)

If I recall correctly, if the deployment hex is blocked, units can still be deployed on an open adjacent hex. This will not be on sea hexes, of course (I hope) but an adjacent beach hex or one inland will do. That's why the "Check Hex Owner" condition is necessary; you don't want the U.S. landing units behind German units holding the beach.

One thing that would be interesting to see is if the game will delay deployment until conditions are right because the triggers are set for Turn > 1,2,3, etc. Does this mean, if initial "Dog," "Easy," and "Fox" units have not advanced inland, will the game hold off deployment until it becomes possible?

Same comments apply to all of the other beach deployments: "Item," "Jig," "King," "Mike," "Nan," etc.

None of these "T7/10 air" triggers will work because they are all missing the Target Hex:

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Re: CSI Sweep: Germany West 1944

Post by bru888 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:32 am

Bayeux v. 0.91

This needs to be set for "Primary" VP Type because "Any" means the U.S. holding a secondary VP will fail the "Capture/hold all 7 objectives at scenario end" objective:

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For the "Port" trigger's Event Popup message, there is this sentence: "We have captured bot Wolverines and Sherman Fireflies." ("bot"?)
Suggestions:
"We have captured both Wolverines and Sherman Fireflies."
"We have captured some Wolverines and Sherman Fireflies."

All of these deployments are not going to happen because the condition is set for scenario-end:

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Thread to be continued . . .
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Re: CSI Sweep: Germany West 1944

Post by bru888 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:37 pm

Villers-Bocage v. 0.91

This Unit Definition will present an issue; while most of the command units are tanks, not all of them are:

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You probably don't even need a Unit Definition for that trigger.

Here's an interesting thing. "Difficulty bonus compensation" is not set:

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First consider what it means when it is not set. I assume this condition is literal; after combat, if the unit is as strength 5 or less, it will move to Exit the Map.

So, if the scenario is being played on the lowest difficulty setting, enemy units start as strength 6. This means, the moment they are damaged at all, they will Exit the Map. On the more difficult settings, it may take two or more rounds of combat to activate this. Isn't it therefore more difficult for the new player on lowest difficulty? The units that he is tasked to destroy are attempting to escape immediately.

That's a rhetorical question. Here's another: Does clicking "Difficulty bonus compensation" level the playing field, so to speak, at all difficulty levels? That is, at "Amount < 6" does the game look for a 40% reduction of unit strength whatever it starts at: 6, 8, 10, 12, or 13? Something to think about and resolve for yourself here. I may test it later.

I noticed that there is an extra unit in this AI Team which should only have one member:

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It's this dog of a Dingo who apparently wants to tag along for the ride to safety!:

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The dog. :x
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Re: CSI Sweep: Germany West 1944

Post by bru888 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:42 pm

Caen v. 0.91

Orphan here:

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I didn't even know what that unit was, so I searched. Wikipedia has the Oerlikon 20 mm cannon but not the vehicle. According to them, the gun was primarily used as a naval weapon. I could find reference to "Oerlikon 20 mm Portee" only on a couple of obscure wargame websites. This is one of them; I highlighted their description of the vehicle:

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No, I am not providing a link to that site because I don't want you to be distracted and wandering away from this game. :wink:

Another orphan here, but we all know the noble Sexton:

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Land supply is a tad short but there are several of these neutral supply oases nearby, ripe for the harvest, so perhaps this is by design:

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There are several of these air unit deployment hexes scattered about, yet there are three German airfields which will provide more than enough deployment for 6 planes. Intentional?:

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Following the pattern of the "Caen-Xx" triggers, I would anticipate that the "Check Hex Owner" condition for the "Caen-3a" trigger would have the yellow-circled Target Hex. Instead, it points to the green-circled hex which is the "Move to Hex" destination of the "Caen-2a" trigger:

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This is a bit of a nuance, but the description for the "Destroy all fuel dumps" says, "Surprise reward..." which is accomplished by triggers in the "Germans" folder. Two of the rewards have to do with, and specifically mention, the fuel depots but the third, "Spit," has nothing to do with a fuel depot. It is triggered by the capture of an airfield to the northeast of the third fuel depot. Suggestions, some combination of these:
a) Delete "Spit" and make the prize for the third fuel depot another land unit or, if that is one too many, 50 resources.
b) Make the prize for the third fuel depot a unit or resources and keep "Spit" as an unannounced bonus or another secondary objective.

"Spit" Event Popup message: "This classic fighter should help . . ." (drop the "s" from "fighters")

Heh, a German Spitfire. Now I have seen everything. Also heh, "Churchill Captured!" They wish. :wink:
- Bru

bru888
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Re: CSI Sweep: Germany West 1944

Post by bru888 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:18 pm

Toulon v. 0.91

A couple of orphans. Yes, they are airborne which temporarily resolves the supply problem for the advanced unit but I see no triggers that assign either of these to an AI team; hence they will be idle:

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Speaking of supply, this scenario could be short for the Axis. The map land supply surplus is +110 and the combined land CP's are 107. Add the possible +8 CP's (two specialisations, +2 each, times two factions) and the map will be -5 short.

Theoretically, I suppose, this "Check Unit(s) Strength" / "Amount = 0" condition should work but I would feel safer using "Unit Killed/Removed":

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Again, following a pattern as I always do in sweeps, there is no "Saint Tropez S&D" trigger as there are in the other folders:

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None of the French Partisans have an AI team assignment. Couldn't they at least be allowed Static Defense?:

Screenshot 4.jpg
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Thread to be continued . . .
- Bru

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Re: CSI Sweep: Germany West 1944

Post by bru888 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:24 pm

Montelimar v. 0.91

"Cream tangerine and montelimar,
A ginger sling with a pineapple heart,
A coffee dessert, yes you know it's good news,
But you'll have to have them all pulled out after the savoy truffle."

I don't care to know how many times over the years that I must have heard the Beatles' song Savoy Truffle in which those lyrics are featured. I never knew what George Harrison was talking about (he sang the lead vocals, probably because he wrote the song) with what I heard as "montellyamon" or something like that. I don't know what a "cream tangerine" or the other sweets are either, but I can imagine from the pairing of their nouns.

No sir, from 1968 to this day I have never known that montélimar is "a local nougat [that] is one of the 13 desserts of Provence and highly appreciated throughout the country."

nougat of Montelimar.png
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It is named after the commune of Montélimar, of course. And, as I often learn more about WWII just by being here, the town was an important point captured by the Allies during Operation Dragoon in 1944.

The song came to me as soon as I looked at the title of this scenario. For some reason, I knew instantly that it had a connection to that word in Savoy Truffle. Funny how the brain works. Do you find this interesting? Eh? No, I guess not. Alright, back to sweeping. :(
- Bru

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Re: CSI Sweep: Germany West 1944

Post by bru888 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:33 am

Montelimar v. 0.91 (continued)

Scenario Description: "German retreat from Southern France runs afoul of French resistance fighters backed by American troops."

I would throw another +5 German land supply to cover up to +8 additional CP's from specialisations:

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Care to link this to the objective so that the player can keep track?

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I have a design suggestion. No, don't look away; hear me out. I ran a test of a single Convoy Transport approaching each of the two Exit Hexes. All Allied units had been removed, so there was no obstruction or opposition. Even in such ideal conditions, reaching the Exit Hex directly to the north took 12 turns:

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I'm not sure if traveling along a railroad (without a locomotive) gives the same movement bonus as a road - I doubt it - but the real problem is the forest hexes which as we know negate the road bonus in any case. So say by some miracle the player could get all five Convoy Transports near that hex in 12 turns. It would take four more turns at least to exit each unit, one by one.

The path to the northeast hex is easier - less forest - but even so, the earliest that the player could exit all five Convoy Transports there would be Turn 13 of 15. And this is with no obstructions and no opposition:

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Suggestions:

1) Running a road parallel to the railroad north from Montelimar did make a difference in my second test, so that would help (and probably be more realistic):

Screenshot 5.jpg
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2) How about another Exit Hex here, in case the player wants to try his luck that way?:

Screenshot 6.jpg
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3) Regardless of numbers 1) and 2), adding another 5 turns to the scenario would seem to be advisable.
- Bru

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Re: CSI Sweep: Germany West 1944

Post by bru888 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:14 am

Montelimar v. 0.91 (continued)

The "SS killed" trigger is fine but technically, you need another one like this, a "SS delayed" trigger evaluated at "Scenario turn limit":

Screenshot 1.jpg
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- Bru

bru888
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Re: CSI Sweep: Germany West 1944

Post by bru888 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:51 am

St. Lo v. 0.91

No secondary objective? No way to distinguish between Major and Minor Victory/Defeat.

I assume those four recon units way behind German lines are there intentionally. They are not part of the two groups looking to exit south, so there is no unfair advantage as to their placement.

Hey, I believe this scenario counts as an ace! Nice going.

Thread to be continued . . .
- Bru

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