Final discussion about game balance

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Peter Stauffenberg
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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:22 pm

I think the average turns of severe winter in Russia should be 5 and not 6. 6 means 5-7 turns and that means you can have severe winter in April and that's not right.

What we can do is this:
/* Variation of severe winter length */
CHANGE_FOR_DURATION 65 /* 0..100. Accumulated chance that length = WINTER_DURATION. % chance = 65 */
CHANCE_FOR_DURATION_MINUS_1 75 /* 0..100. Accumulated chance that length = WINTER_DURATION - 1. % chance = 10 */
CHANCE_FOR_DURATION_MINUS_2 75 /* 0..100. Accumulated chance that length = WINTER_DURATION - 2. % chance = 0 */
CHANCE_FOR_DURATION_PLUS_1 100 /* 0..100. Accumulated chance that length = WINTER_DURATION + 1. % chance = 25 */

This means we have 65% chance for 5, 10% for 4 and 25% for 6. That means the chance for 6 turns is slightly higher than for 4 turns. So you might get 6 turns (hard winter) sometimes, but rarely 4 turns (mild winter).

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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by Cybvep » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:53 pm

I like the idea about variable number of Italian surrender cities. IMO it should work in the following way:

1. Base values: 1940-1942 - 3, 1943-1944 - 4, 1945 - 5
2. Control of Athens +1 / Control of Moscow +1 (only of these factors can count at the same time)

The idea is that if the Axis still controls Athens and/or Moscow, then the Italians may think that not everything is lost even if they lose various NA cities and Sardinia/Sicily. Obviously, they would still surrender normally if they lost Rome.

This change would mean that in most games Italy wouldn't surrender before 1943/1944, but if the Axis player completely ignores NA and Greece, it would be easy to knock Italy out of war early.

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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by Schnurri » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:30 pm

Yes - I like this idea. This should curb the early total blanketing of Sicily by evacuating NA. I would suggest you make it 2 surrender cities in 1940 to 41. That way the Brits could take NA and Caligieri if the Axis totally ignored this theatre but with a small effort they could prevent an early fall of Italy. Then, 3 in 42, 4 in 43 and 45 and 5 in 45.

Peter Stauffenberg
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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:21 pm

I think we need to add a prerequisite for Italian surrender and that is France is conquered by the Axis. If France is not conquered then you should have to take Rome for force an Italian surrender. Otherwise you will see an Allied early naval landing in Italy just to make an Italian surrender. They can do it by DoW'ing Italy before Italy is at war.

After France has surrendered the invasion can only come from Egypt and Italy is most likely activated at the time and can respond to Allied aggression.

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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:26 pm

The only thing that I don't like is that Italy should be more likely to surrender early in the war compared to late in the war. Early in the war they hadn't lost a lot of units and the fighting spirit should be higher. Italy surrendered because they got tired of the war (losses to own units and threat of being bombed).

So having a fixed number of Italian surrender cities of 3 and boost the value by 1 for Axis control of Athens and another 1 for Italian presence in Russia is maybe more logical.

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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by rkr1958 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:53 pm

Stauffenberg wrote:The only thing that I don't like is that Italy should be more likely to surrender early in the war compared to late in the war. Early in the war they hadn't lost a lot of units and the fighting spirit should be higher. Italy surrendered because they got tired of the war (losses to own units and threat of being bombed).

So having a fixed number of Italian surrender cities of 3 and boost the value by 1 for Axis control of Athens and another 1 for Italian presence in Russia is maybe more logical.
I agree and it's simplier too (which is usually better). Could we just make Athens a surrender city that is included in the allied count whether netural or controlled by the allies? Personally, I wouldn't complicate it any further with respect to an Italian presence in Russia.

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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by Schnurri » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:49 pm

Stauffenberg wrote:The only thing that I don't like is that Italy should be more likely to surrender early in the war compared to late in the war. Early in the war they hadn't lost a lot of units and the fighting spirit should be higher. Italy surrendered because they got tired of the war (losses to own units and threat of being bombed).

So having a fixed number of Italian surrender cities of 3 and boost the value by 1 for Axis control of Athens and another 1 for Italian presence in Russia is maybe more logical.
That sounds reasonable - good catch on the Paris issue or we'd have another exploit.

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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by ncali » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:59 pm

What about reducing the lingering affects of the Soviet surprise penalty a bit? I don't mean changing the initial efficiency drop - merely how long it has an effect on Russian units in subsequent turns. This would help them in the summer of '41, particularly in the event of an early attack.

Otherwise, I kind of like the ideas for slightly increased affect of Russian winter or some type of modification of Russian tech. But perhaps you could avoid much tinkering with Russian tech if you let the Russians recover from surprise more quickly.

Oh, and I also like removing the possibility of severe winter -2 turns.

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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by Blathergut » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:00 am

Stauffenberg wrote:The only thing that I don't like is that Italy should be more likely to surrender early in the war compared to late in the war. Early in the war they hadn't lost a lot of units and the fighting spirit should be higher. Italy surrendered because they got tired of the war (losses to own units and threat of being bombed).

So having a fixed number of Italian surrender cities of 3 and boost the value by 1 for Axis control of Athens and another 1 for Italian presence in Russia is maybe more logical.
This sounds good.

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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by Kragdob » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:18 am

Stauffenberg wrote:The only thing that I don't like is that Italy should be more likely to surrender early in the war compared to late in the war. Early in the war they hadn't lost a lot of units and the fighting spirit should be higher. Italy surrendered because they got tired of the war (losses to own units and threat of being bombed).

So having a fixed number of Italian surrender cities of 3 and boost the value by 1 for Axis control of Athens and another 1 for Italian presence in Russia is maybe more logical.
Isn't the number 5 right now (Including Tripoli and Tunis)?

Condition about presence means that Axis Player will keep e.g. a GAR far away from front line (Odessa, Brest Litowsk) so this condition virtually means hat Axis has +1 unless Soviet control all their core territory. Do we really want that? I'd suggest Belgrad + Athens (Italy had also territory demands towards Yugo) if we go this way.
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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by Diplomaticus » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:23 pm

Hmmm. The discussion re: Greece is interesting, but with 3/20/12 coming so soon, do we really want to consider such a change? I thought relatively minor play-balance tweaks were all we were considering. I'm worried that these Italian changes will have unforeseen consequences that we don't have time to properly play-test.

My vote would be to stick to Russia for now and make some fine-tuning changes to a) weather and b) labs/quality of the Red Army units. (As somebody pointed out earlier in this thread, right now the German can carve through the Russians with almost zero losses--that can't be right.)

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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by PionUrpo » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:33 pm

I agree with the Eastern Front being too easy for Axis now.

Get rid of the 3 turn SW chance. Stauffenbergs 5 +/- 1 proposal seems good to me.

Remove the April fair chance, >8 turns of quaranteed fair is too much. Wasn't that the high season for spring rasputitsa anyway?

Regarding units' values:

Give some of those removed techs back to the Soviets.

OR

Change Soviet units' EFF gain after DoW slightly so that fighting (at least small scale) can actually be a useful proposition.

EDIT//I wouldn't change Italian surrender now.
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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by pk867 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:33 pm

I am in agreement to leave the Italian surrender rules as is. (no change)

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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by Schnurri » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:40 pm

I still think the Italian change is a good one. We really should have some mechanism to encourage the Italians to maintain a force in NA for historical and game reasons. By the time Egypt activates the Italians are long gone and entrenched in fortress Sicily. If people don't like the Italian surrender rule change how about making a Libyan revolt occur once Italian troops in Italy drop below a certain level? Or, early activation of Egypt if the Italians abandon Libya? There would be historical precedence for a Libyan revolt and the Italian gambit is a key to the Barbarossa strategy - with Italy secure until late in the war Morris can spend all Italian economy on garrisoning Europe or Russia thus freeing up German troops. I thought we had the Russian balance down pretty good until the revised ARM blob strategy Morris developed. This only works if the Axis can assume they are safe in France and Italy for 41-42 at least. The only way to counteract the blob is hitting him somewhere he has to react to.

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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by Morris » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:53 pm

I think I have to express my feeling about the coming changes .
Only two points I agree to adjust as follows which will complete the game balance :
1 No fair weather in April 1941
2 keep severe winter 5 turns , maxium 6 turns .

Besides the above two cents , the change back of netual country tec focus & Italian new surrender rule will destroy the present game balance & give back the clear advantage to Allies !!! If you change these only to defeat my strategy , I can declare surrender for all present AARS . & in the coming new game , I will use allies with completely new strategy . Will you promise not to change back again if I use the new allies strategy to beat Axis to hopeless ?

Actually , I do believe the present game engine is almost perfect balance . If we have to make some small tweak before Mar 20th , Please just change the two points I mentioned above . & keep the other changes to the day when any tester can defeat my allies by using my Axis strategy !! Even if without all these change( just present RC17 ) , I am here waiting for a challenger to defeat my Allies by using my Axis strategy !

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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by ncali » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:23 pm

What I don't like about no fair weather in April is that I don't think it's accurate to see you can have no possible fair weather in April.
Moreover, removing the possibility of fair weather in April would have the unintended affect of hurting the Russians later in the war when they are on the offensive (assuming you get there)! I know as the Axis I usually prefer as little clear weather as possible in '44 and '45!

One more pitch to allow research focus for neutrals. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to focus your tech on killing tanks (with air and ground tech), for example, if your opponent relies on the same tank-hoard of death strategy every game to attack Russia? This adds uncertainty to the game. Maybe neutrals should just get less ability to focus.

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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by pzgndr » Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:30 pm

I made several suggestions a few days ago in the Axis AI thread; not sure if any of those are being considered for the final version. Significantly, I think the amount of western PPs reaching Russia via Murmansk Convoys in 1942 and 1943 was too low. It may be that I did not research heavily enough in industry to boost Russian production sooner, but nevertheless it seems (based on some other comments here) that slightly increasing the default convoy frequency and amount would help some. I also think the partisan spawning rates should be reconsidered a little, to increase Russian partisans starting in 1942 and decrease/delay French partisans to 1943. These are things I will probably edit on my own, but no reason they cannot also be considered for the default settings too.

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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by pk867 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:41 pm

I concur about Partisans spawning in Russia in my 2 games with v210rc.17 I had 3 russian partisans (total) spawn between June 41' to Nov 42' in both games .

Also the spawning of partisans seem to be tied to how active the Russians are in attacking the enemy. No attacks = no partisans.

As far as convoys I have a system of two groups escorting Russian convoys. I was getting healthy ones in 42' 90 + 110 then in 43' they dropped down to 51 and 55.

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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by Diplomaticus » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:54 pm

Schnurri wrote:I still think the Italian change is a good one. We really should have some mechanism to encourage the Italians to maintain a force in NA for historical and game reasons. By the time Egypt activates the Italians are long gone and entrenched in fortress Sicily. If people don't like the Italian surrender rule change how about making a Libyan revolt occur once Italian troops in Italy drop below a certain level? Or, early activation of Egypt if the Italians abandon Libya? There would be historical precedence for a Libyan revolt and the Italian gambit is a key to the Barbarossa strategy - with Italy secure until late in the war Morris can spend all Italian economy on garrisoning Europe or Russia thus freeing up German troops. I thought we had the Russian balance down pretty good until the revised ARM blob strategy Morris developed. This only works if the Axis can assume they are safe in France and Italy for 41-42 at least. The only way to counteract the blob is hitting him somewhere he has to react to.
What an interesting idea, Schnurri! We already have a precedent in that if the Allies don't maintain a certain naval presence in the Med. (after fall of Belgium), there's a chance of early activation of Italy. We could institute the same mechanic for Libya--early activation of Egypt if Libya is under-garrisoned.

This is a relatively minor change, but maybe that's not a bad thing. Just a tweak (since Egypt joins anyway in summer of '40).

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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:55 pm

I will come up with a proposal from all your comments and then we vote for that and go ahead. I hope to implement the final files this weekend.

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