Final discussion about game balance

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zechi
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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by zechi » Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:31 am

I agree that Vichy France should not necessarily join the Allies if the Axis give up North Africa, but I think the current situation, i.e. that the Axis leave North Africa without a real fight is also very unrealistic.

I think most historians agree that from a strategic point of view, that the Axis commitment in North Africa was an error, especially the massive commitment at the end of the North African Campaign.

However, there is no way that the Italians would have left Libya without a fight for political reasons. Would Mussolini have ordered the evacuation of Libya before any real fight with the British, he would have never survived politically. Of course Mussolini would have never done it anyway as it was his political agenda to make a move for Egypt, i.e. he wanted to expand the Italian Empire in North Africa.

The Germans were also forced to intervene in North Africa, as they exactly knew if the Italians are pushed out of Libya, that Mussolini would get into trouble and lose support in Italy, which could mean that Italy leaves the Axis, something the Germans would try to avoid at all costs. This is one of the reasons why the Germans supported the Italians in North Africa as well as in Greece.

The adventure in North Africa was perhaps a military error, but it was also a necessity which the Axis could not really have avoided for political reasons.

Therefore I think the Axis should be forced to stay in North Africa at least initially. Two ideas come to mind:

1. Make it more attractive for the Axis to invade Egypt in 1940/1941. There should be a reason that the Italians are more aggressive after the Fall of France. Perhaps the British should suffer a morale penalty in North Africa if Egypt is attacked before it is activated. Furthermore, if the Suez Channel is secured by the Axis this should also have an effect, such as smaller convoys perhaps.

2. The Axis should be penalised if they lose North Africa. In the past it has been suggested that the Italians should get a morale penalty if they lose Libya. I think this could be a good solution. The morale penalty should be higher in 1940/1941 then later in the war.

Diplomaticus
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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by Diplomaticus » Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:31 pm

To reply to Zechi's last post:

In 2 of my 4 current beta testing games as Allies the Axis were very active in North Africa. Pion stopped the 8th army for many months in a stalemate near Tobruk that wasn't broken until 1942. Zechi experimented with a somewhat late starting assault on Egypt, and he succeeded in taking all of Egypt + Jerusalem & Damascus so far.

Unless these games are totally unrepresentative, maybe it's too early to say that the Axis don't fight enough in Africa.

Secondly, while your logic and historical claims are very solid, we could apply the same thing to a lot of other situations. For example, many players send little or no BEF to help France, but wasn't this a political necessity? IMO we could make a powerful argument, along the same lines as yours above, that we should force the UK to send the BEF to France, or face the consequences.

Similarly, we could argue that the running-away Red Army tactic is totally ahistorical, so we should find a way to force the Soviets to stand and fight. Etc., etc.

Again, I agree with the fundamentals of your argument, but if we're going to make this sort of change, it shouldn't be one-sided. The Allies should be forced to behave more historically too.

Morris
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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by Morris » Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:15 pm

Diplomaticus wrote:To reply to Zechi's last post:

Secondly, while your logic and historical claims are very solid, we could apply the same thing to a lot of other situations. For example, many players send little or no BEF to help France, but wasn't this a political necessity? IMO we could make a powerful argument, along the same lines as yours above, that we should force the UK to send the BEF to France, or face the consequences.

Similarly, we could argue that the running-away Red Army tactic is totally ahistorical, so we should find a way to force the Soviets to stand and fight. Etc., etc.

Again, I agree with the fundamentals of your argument, but if we're going to make this sort of change, it shouldn't be one-sided. The Allies should be forced to behave more historically too.
Yes ! I totally agree ! If we have to be historic , it must be the rule of both sides . But if both sides have to obey the way of historic , it is not a game ,but a WW2 replay on live !

Cybvep
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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by Cybvep » Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:56 pm

Actually, there are already consequences for not sending BEF to France, as France will fall quickly if that's the case. A better example would be Belgium.

I agree about the Eastern Front and I agree with the principle you mentioned.

Peter Stauffenberg
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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:59 am

I think improving GS in North Africa will have to be solved in GS v2.2. The minor tweak we could have done was voted down because people want GS v2.1 out the door asap. It's not like this is a game breaking problem. The Axis player has the responsibility to send enough units to Libya to avoid losing the area too early. if he empties the area then the Allied player has a responsibility to exploit that by launching an early invasion of Libya.

I guess in order to solve this properly we need to analyze why the Axis were in North Africa and the reason for staying there. I guess it has something to do with Germany having to protect Italy's interests to keep them in the war (Greece and Libya). Italy was beaten in Greece and Germany had to invade Yugoslavia and Greece to save their ally. Italy was about to be crushed in Libya as well so Hitler sent Rommel to Libya to save the situation.

I don't think Hitler had any real plans of taking Egypt and beyond. He wanted to save Italy from an embarrassing defeat. When Rommel managed to outfox the British several times then new possibilities appeared, i. e. take Suez. Unfortunately for Rommel the new expectations from the OKW weren't supported by more resources to the DAK so the job could be done.

With a better British commander in Egypt in 1940 then Libya could have been taken. Without Rommel coming to the rescue in 1941 then Libya would have fallen in 1941. So in most GS games we see what would have happened in the real war without sending Rommel to Libya. We can't force players to invest in Libya. The Germans need to invest a lot to get to Suez and beyond. The real Germans dind't either.

One problem with making an option more lucrative is that then players will see this and try to go for this possibility. Personally I think the main change that could come from taking Suez would be that the southern convoy would be smaller since it had to be sent through cape of Good Hope. We can look into this in GS v2.2

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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by Morris » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:49 am

Stauffenberg wrote:I think improving GS in North Africa will have to be solved in GS v2.2. The minor tweak we could have done was voted down because people want GS v2.1 out the door asap. It's not like this is a game breaking problem. The Axis player has the responsibility to send enough units to Libya to avoid losing the area too early. if he empties the area then the Allied player has a responsibility to exploit that by launching an early invasion of Libya.

I guess in order to solve this properly we need to analyze why the Axis were in North Africa and the reason for staying there. I guess it has something to do with Germany having to protect Italy's interests to keep them in the war (Greece and Libya). Italy was beaten in Greece and Germany had to invade Yugoslavia and Greece to save their ally. Italy was about to be crushed in Libya as well so Hitler sent Rommel to Libya to save the situation.

I don't think Hitler had any real plans of taking Egypt and beyond. He wanted to save Italy from an embarrassing defeat. When Rommel managed to outfox the British several times then new possibilities appeared, i. e. take Suez. Unfortunately for Rommel the new expectations from the OKW weren't supported by more resources to the DAK so the job could be done.

With a better British commander in Egypt in 1940 then Libya could have been taken. Without Rommel coming to the rescue in 1941 then Libya would have fallen in 1941. So in most GS games we see what would have happened in the real war without sending Rommel to Libya. We can't force players to invest in Libya. The Germans need to invest a lot to get to Suez and beyond. The real Germans dind't either.

One problem with making an option more lucrative is that then players will see this and try to go for this possibility. Personally I think the main change that could come from taking Suez would be that the southern convoy would be smaller since it had to be sent through cape of Good Hope. We can look into this in GS v2.2
Yes ,sir ! :D
BTW , In GS 2.2 , how about just freeze Libya's Italian & 8th Army until 1942 . Then The med Allies fleet will probably take the control of Med , Italian won't take great risk to transport their troops back . ( just for your reference)

rkr1958
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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by rkr1958 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:40 am

Stauffenberg wrote:I think improving GS in North Africa will have to be solved in GS v2.2. The minor tweak we could have done was voted down because people want GS v2.1 out the door asap. It's not like this is a game breaking problem. The Axis player has the responsibility to send enough units to Libya to avoid losing the area too early. if he empties the area then the Allied player has a responsibility to exploit that by launching an early invasion of Libya.

I guess in order to solve this properly we need to analyze why the Axis were in North Africa and the reason for staying there.
Reference: http://histclo.com/country/arab/lib/hist/lh-ita.html
Colonial Libya: The Fourth Shore

Libya under Ottomon rule was an extremly backward area without schools and modern hospitals. Italian anextation did not bring the modern rule to Libya as the Sanusi Wars has absorbed the Italians. With the elimination of Mukhtar and pacification, Fascist Italy began remaking Libya. Mussolini began calling Libya "the Fourth Shore". Roman Emperor Diocletian had referred to the area as Libya. Italy reorganized its new colony as Libya with four provinces--Tripoli, Misratah, Benghazi, and Darnah (1934). Fezzan was renamed South Tripolitania and remained a military territory. The governor general was given the title of first consul--another allusion to the Roman Empire. He was advised by the General Consultative Council which included Arabs representation, but traditional tribal councils were disbanded. The governor general or first consul appointed officials, including local officials. Government positions were filled by Italians. Border disputes with the British and French colonies of Sudan and Chad were settled. The Italians made major investsments in Libya, in both the economy and transportation infrastructure. These included improvements in the road, railway, and port infrastructure. Other improvements were made in irrigation. Two economic sectors developed. One was the traditional Arab village agricultural economy. The other was the Italian dominated modern sector to extract raw materials. A primary goal of Italian colonization was to use Libya to aleviate overpopulation and unemployment in Italy. Thus Italian settlement was a major element of Italian colonial policy. Mussolini and his Fascists planned to turn Libya into an Italian colony both politically and ethnically. This was, however, only possible after Libya had been passified. The first settlers only began to arrive only 1 year before the outbreak of World War II. Libya's governor, Italo Balbo, organized the beginning of this effort. A huge convoy was organized which brough 20,000 settlers to Libya. These colonists were called the ventimilli--meaning the 20,000 (October 1938). More Italian settlers followed. The Italians reported that there were 110,000 settlers (1940). The tootal after only 2 years was 15 percent of the population. The goal was 500,000 by the 1960s. The settlers were attracted by the offer of land. Italy at the time had a substantial peasant population thant hungered for land. This was especially the case in southern Italy. Italian authorities allocated the most favorable land to the new settlers. The land seized came at the expense of the Beduins. It was their tribal grazing lands. Italian authorities saw thais land as underutilized. It was purchased or confiscated and distributed to Ithe talian settlers. The Libyan Colonization Society (LCS), a Fascist state corportation, oversaw the project and promoted the planting of olive orchards. The LCS helped finance land reclamation and the construction of model villages. The LCS also provided credit to the settlers. Colonial authorities brought modern medical care and sanitation to Libya for the first time. Mussolini often called the Libyans as "Muslim Italians." The Italian investments in Libya, however, were made primarily to extract Libyan natural resources or to promote the settlement effort. Arab Libyans benefitted little. Schools were built, but for the Italian settlers, not for the Arabs. Thus the jobs created by development projects did not develop the Arabs who did not receive modern education.
Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_Empire
During the late 1920s imperial expansion became an increasingly favoured theme in Mussolini's speeches.[23] He argued that Italy needed an outlet for its "surplus population", and that it would therefore be in other countries' best interests to aid in this expansion.[23] Among Mussolini's (not-publicly proclaimed) aims were that Italy had to become the dominant power in the Mediterranean which would be able to challenge France or Britain, as well as attain access to the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.[23] Mussolini alleged that Italy required uncontested access to the world's oceans and shipping lanes to ensure its national sovereignty.[24] This was elaborated on in a document he later drew up in 1939 called "The March to the Oceans", and included in the official records of a meeting of the Grand Council of Fascism.[24] This text asserted that maritime position determined a nation's independence: countries with free access to the high seas were independent, while those who lacked this were not. Italy, which only had access to an inland sea without French and British acquiescence, was only a "semi-independent nation", and alleged to be a "prisoner in the Mediterranean"[24]:

"The bars of this prison are Corsica, Tunisia, Malta, and Cyprus. The guards of this prison are Gibraltar and Suez. Corsica is a pistol pointed at the heart of Italy; Tunisia at Sicily. Malta and Cyprus constitute a threat to all our positions in the eastern and western Mediterrean. Greece, Turkey, and Egypt have been ready to form a chain with Great Britain and to complete the politico-military encirclement of Italy. Thus Greece, Turkey, and Egypt must be considered vital enemies of Italy's expansion... The aim of Italian policy, which cannot have, and does not have continental objectives of a European territorial nature except Albania, is first of all to break the bars of this prison... Once the bars are broken, Italian policy can only have one motto - to march to the oceans."
—Benito Mussolini, [24]

Cybvep
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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by Cybvep » Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:06 pm

To put it bluntly, the Italians wanted to expand in the Mex, while the Germans wanted to have the Italians on their side and cause as much damage to the UK as possible (not to mention the fact that Italy had thousands of troops on the Eastern Front).

The most obvious problem is the relatively low importance of Suez in CEAW. The most obvious fix would be to decrease the size (or frequency of spawns) of the southern convoy if either Suez or Gibraltar is taken.

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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by ncali » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:45 pm

I don't know that it's such a huge problem as is.

You could also just increase the economic value for Egypt/Suez a bit (and reduce the value somewhere else).
And you could increase the economic value a little for Libya and reduce for Italy. Not that Libya was worth so much. But it could reflect the Italian commitment to the war effort - if the Italians were just operating in a collateral role (i.e. expeditionary forces, etc.) and were not actively involved in North Africa.

I don't like tinkering with morale / efficiency - but very slight economic tweaks can help. (Maybe just a couple points in each case.)

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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by Cybvep » Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:33 pm

No, this is the wrong approach. Libya wasn't a rich region and there was little industry there. Conquering Egypt also wouldn't give the Italians that much of a boon, at least not during the war. However, it would definitely hurt the British both economically and politically-wise. The UK needs to feel the pain, but Italy shouldn't get much PP out of it.

The British also shouldn't get much out of Libya when they conquer it. It simply doesn't make sense.

Efficiency drops represent morale loss and they make sense if they are properly implemented. Maybe Italy should get a large efficiency drop when they lose Libya before 1941 and a smaller one if they lose it after 1941? That would motivate the players to make a proper stand there.

rkr1958
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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by rkr1958 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:26 pm

I don't like efficiency drops either. Personally, I think one way to handle this is to let all cities in Libya count as surrender cities.

I forgot who posted the graphic but someone posted a 3-D map that showed the travel routes from the UK to India. One through the Suez and the other around the horn of Africa. You could clearly see that the one through the Suez was much shorter. Also, it was apparent to me that this route would be the safer one both from not having to navigate the rough seas around the horn and exposure to German u-boats. So I think the loss of the Suez and / or Gibraltar could be handled by an economic penalty such as the loss of # number of PP's per turn that the German control either or both of these critical ports.

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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by ncali » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:23 pm

On the other hand, I think the Allies had to suspend most convoy operations through the Mediterranean anyway - even without actually losing Suez. The reason was Axis strength in the central Mediterranean meant it was incredibly dangerous to travel through there (even more dangerous than the longer route around Africa). I would guess the Allies reinstated their convoy routes by 1943, when things were safer.

Maybe this argues in favor of making control of Libya and Sicily a bigger deal?

The fight to get supplies to Malta was itself a big deal. For example, see Wiki article on Operation Pedestal =

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Pedestal

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Re: Final discussion about game balance

Post by rkr1958 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:11 pm

ncali wrote:On the other hand, I think the Allies had to suspend most convoy operations through the Mediterranean anyway - even without actually losing Suez. The reason was Axis strength in the central Mediterranean meant it was incredibly dangerous to travel through there (even more dangerous than the longer route around Africa). I would guess the Allies reinstated their convoy routes by 1943, when things were safer.

Maybe this argues in favor of making control of Libya and Sicily a bigger deal?

The fight to get supplies to Malta was itself a big deal. For example, see Wiki article on Operation Pedestal =

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Pedestal
An excellent movie (I thought) on this was, the 1953 movie, "Malta Story" starring Alec Guinness

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046029/

Though IMDb users give it a rating of 6.4 out of 10, I thought is was well done; especially for 1953. I would highly recommend it.

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