GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

PSP/DS/PC/MAC : WWII turn based grand strategy game

Moderators: firepowerjohan, Happycat, rkr1958, Slitherine Core

Vokt
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Posts: 1222
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:11 pm

Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Vokt » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:14 pm

Besides, less rail capability in cities related to capitals could be based in the fact that capitals hosted much bigger rail facilities than normal cities. Right now by allowing to rail the same number of units both in cities and capitals that fact is not represented.

Peter Stauffenberg
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:40 pm

A simpler way of dealing with this is to consider increasing the rail cost of garrison units from 2 to 3 (same as corps units). That means you can not as easily rail a lot of garrison units without having a big overuse cost to pay.

Doing that and boosting the manpower cost from 5 to 6 could help somewhat again garrison blobs. The main reason to get garrison units is to save cost so you can purchase more units and place them in more hexes to defend.

Vokt
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Posts: 1222
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:11 pm

Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Vokt » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:56 pm

Not sure about that. Players that use garrison blob don't seem to care much about rail overuse penalties. They just want to see the beach hexes filled with units no matter they have to pay high amount of PP's in rail overuse. Furthermore, people might wonder why garrisons spend the same railing points as corps units when for the rest of units railing costs are related to the cost in PP's of the respective units. Also, doing so would punish players that use garrisons properly, e. g. for guarding cities and resources.

Attractiveness of the last option I have mentioned in last posts relies in the fact that it would be an easy-to-learn new rule about railing of units since it would follow an identical mechanism than that for the deployment of newly built units: no limits of deployment in and around capitals and a limit of 1 unit posible to be deployed in cities. Same way for the railing of units: no limits for the number of units that can be railed to capitals and a limit of 1 unit possible to be railed to cities. It was mentioned in last posts about finding rules that have some consistency and here we have one that may comply with that.

AugustusTiberius
Sergeant - 7.5 cm FK 16 nA
Sergeant - 7.5 cm FK 16 nA
Posts: 226
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:11 pm
Location: Yukon

Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by AugustusTiberius » Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:26 am

Rail rules are fine. this is like trying to fix a bicycle and instead you redesign the road.

so... can we hear from the players who practice the garrison blob?

1. Do you win as the Axis because of this?
2. a What happens to your manpower and
b. how does that affect future turns?
3. a. How much do you blow on rail overuse and
b. how does that affect future turns?
4. If you were to fix this, what would you suggest?
5. Or, would you even fix this? Tel lys why you would not?

AT

Peter Stauffenberg
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:44 pm

I'm still looking for examples where we have garrison blobs being a game problem. So far I haven't got an answer telling me that we need to change anything.

What I will not do is to make even more special rules players need to remember. If we change the garrison behavior then we have to change it consistently. So no rail limitations to where you can rail the units etc. What I "propose" are not meant for implementation, but just to show how you can make generic changes that could affect the suggested problems instead of adding special rules. That means altering a value in a txt file instead of having to code the special rules.

What we should ask ourselves is that it could have been possible for the Axis to e. g. flood Sicily with units or quickly rail lots of units to the coastal areas in France. If the answer is yes then we don't have a problem in my opinion.

There aren't that many hexes you can cover along the French coast with rail movements. My experience is that if the Axis haven't placed the units close to the invasion areas prior to the invasion then it's too late to respond. You have to do it upfront. The Allies should have quite a few para units they can drop the same turn they send the amphs to the French coast line. Then it's easy to e. g. drop them along a path to cut-off Cherbourg. Then you can't rail there at all. A critical part of the Overlord planning is where to land your para units. You need to land them so they can prevent Axis build up in the area.

Another critical part of the planning is prior to Overlord to bomb the Axis rail cap cities down to red. This way the Axis rail cap is really low before the invasion. In the real war the Allies could interdict the rail lines and thus prevent the build up of Axis reinforcements. In GS we don't have rail lines on the map. Otherwise we would have interdiction missions that could break rail lines.

We've had numerous games being played and seen that both sides have decent chances winning the game. It's not like German garrisons can prevent an Allied landing in France. They can maybe delay the landing a little bit, but garrisons along the coast line are easy prey for Allied tactical bombers and battleships prior to the amph landing.

If we have real issues we can easily fix then we can surely do that, like moving a Polish corps in the 1939 to lower the one turn conquest chances. However, it's too late to redesign GS v4.0 just because we want to prevent certain playstyles. One lesson we learnt from earlier versions was that if we pigeonhole the players too much then they become less interested playing the game. We try to make historical choices decent ones, but not the only ones. If you have a game with lots of limitations then my claim is that then the game mechanisms are flawed.

A strategic game should allow for ahistorical strategies. I remember similar discussions in games like World In Flames when it was popular among the Axis players to invade Spain and take Gibraltar. It never happened in the real war, but the CHANCE for making ahistorical decisions is part of the attraction to a strategic game. We would be foolish to limit the strategic possibilities. It's when some ahistorical strategy can exploit game engine weaknesses we might have to intervene with adjustments.

So unless we get hard evidence about the garrison blob issue being a problem I suggest we just leave it and move on.

Peter Stauffenberg
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:56 pm

AugustusTiberius wrote:Rail rules are fine. this is like trying to fix a bicycle and instead you redesign the road.
This happens to ALL changes we make in the game. You can't localize an issue to just one problem you want to fix. E. g. changing the garrison rules to prevent Axis use of garrisons in e. g. Sicily or France means you at the same time affect how Russia can defend in 1941. E. g. with limitations to deployment or railing of garrisons. So trying to fix an issue in Sicily or France means you can break the 1941 Barbarossa balance. This is one reason we need to think twice about adding rules to limit certain behavior.

If you e. g. want to limit the number of garrison units a country is allowed to have then you would cripple Russia's chance to defend in 1941. Thus the need for making exceptions for Russia, but then you might need exceptions to the exception because under certain circumstances players exploit this and find a way to use garrisons in the "wrong" way in Russia. The you create a rule mess most players can't understand. One reason I stopped playing World In Flames was because I couldn't keep up with all the rule changes. So how I played the game wasn't how it was supposed to be player and I had to check the manual all the time. I have to check regularly for erratas etc. So I simply gave up.

We just have to accept that creative players will always outsmart game designers. So if you try to plug some holes then they just find other holes to exploit. I think we would be better off to IGNORE such players and make a fun and playable game for the majority of the players. If you deal with players to like to exploit game engine weaknesses then just finish the game and never play against that person again. It's only when the average Joe kind of players can easily find the weaknesses we have a big issue on our hands.

Vokt
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Posts: 1222
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:11 pm

Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Vokt » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:28 pm

In the game in which my opponent used this garrison blob mentioned in other post, Axis won the game, with Allies (me) being able to only take Paris in February 1945. Soviets reached the Oder but they hadn't time to get to German capitals. In that game, I blamed Axis victory on all of those many turns that Allies wasted in getting ashore in northern France due to the thousands of garrisons around.

I don't know if that's hard evidence since that only happened to me in that game. But for me all of that garrison thing appeared like a game exploit or at least as a POTENTIAL game exploit.

I don't think anyone practising the garrison blob will come here saying if that game exploit worked well for them or not. Usually players who practise game exploits keep the secret for themselves so they can keep on using that exploit in the future.

Anyway, I tend to think that we do have a game exploit here that we need to fix. Some other people posting on this topic seem to think that way either. So maybe the best thing to do now is to compile all the suggestions that have been mentioned here so far:

1. Increase manpower cost of garrisons from 5 to 6 (or even 7).
2. Increase the cost of rail overuse.
3. Increase from 2 to 3 the rail points spent when railing garrisons.
4. To set a limit of garrisons units that can be bought per country/year.
5. To set a limit on the maximum morale that garrisons can earn.
6. To permit garrisons to be railed only from resource hex to a other resource hex.
7. To make a slight change in rail rules so it can only be railed to a city 1 unit each turn (this making rail rules identical to units deployment rules).

If I were to vote for any of those I would vote 7 as the best and simplest way to deal with garrison blobs.

Peter Stauffenberg
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:36 pm

I don't see how rail movement is the main cause of a blob. Quite a few players will create the blob before the enemy arrives at the front line or the coastal hexes.

One thing to consider is to allow airstrikes to cause retreats except in cities, fortifications etc. Just similar to regular ground attacks. That means airstrikes can clear some of the second line garrison units so the first line garrison units have a hex to retreat to. That means it becomes harder to make a double defense line that can prevent any successful invasions.

Garrison units will more easily drop in morale when bombarded so they are more prone to retreats. So you will more likely put garrison units in cities or forests so they get cover. Airstrikes are halved in covered terrain so it's less likely to get a retreat result there. This means it's not as good having garrisons filling up the double defense line since they can more easily be dislodged from the air before the important attacks begin.

It won't help with situations where all of Sicily or Sardinia is filled with Axis units. However, you only need to destroy one garrison unit on Sicily to have a hole you can exploit. If you can land an Allied unit near Reggio to cut supply to Sicily via mainland Italy then you can bomb Messina and Palermo down so the supply level on the island drops to 1. Then the Axis player can't easily repair losses. Even before you bomb the cities down the supply drops to 3. Garrisons lose quite a few steps in airstrikes and shore bombardment.

A more realistic rule (probably not suitable for a game like GS) is that resource hexes can supply a certain number of units if the supply level is 3 or lower in the area. So if you make pockets then only some of the units inside the pocket will get supply if you have a resource hex inside the pocket. Now ALL units get supply from just one resource.

Let's say a city can supply 3 units then Palermo and Messina can only supply 6 units on Sicily. That means if you flood Sicily with units then quite a few of them will become out of supply. Sardinia has only 1 resource and would thus supply only 3 units. The excess units could get only supply level 1. Such a rule would have dealt with blobs on islands.

Notice that if you have rail supply to the unit then it will always be in supply because it's linked to a major power capital. So it only works for isolated areas like islands or pockets cut-off from the capital.

To make the rule simpler to implement then you could have a rule for islands only (not islands with a major power capital like Great Britain). Each resource can supply up to 3 units. Excess units will get only supply level 1. The units closest to the resource will get the supply level 3.

Peter Stauffenberg
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:03 pm

Just for the record. The above email is not something we will implement for GS v4.0 since the development is over for that version. It's more like a solution that COULD have been done if we had found the issues discussed above in beta testing. So such solution could be for a future version, if any.

Vokt
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Posts: 1222
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:11 pm

Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Vokt » Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:29 pm

Stauffenberg wrote:I don't see how rail movement is the main cause of a blob. Quite a few players will create the blob before the enemy arrives at the front line or the coastal hexes.
It's the main cause since you can rail as many as 7 units to a city in a single turn.

Creating a garrison blob along the French coast turn after turn will take much more turns and which is more important, that build up of units will be possible to be spotted by your air units. On the contrary, a massive garrison blob can be done in just one turn without your air units noticing it on the previous turn.

Anyway, if nothing is going to be made in GS 4.00 about this, I agree that it's pointless to keep on discussing about it.

Peter Stauffenberg
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:41 pm

The German rail cap should be pretty low in 1944 due to Allied bombing of the rail cap cities. Maybe it's down to 6 or something. So you can only rail 3 garrison units for free. The others you need to pay overuse for. If you get in debt you can't repair your losses etc.

Railing 7 units to a city only works for inland cities and not coastal ones. Garrison units only have 2 movement so if you try to rail to inland cities you need to move them up to the front line.

You can't keep your German defenders inland away from Allied bombers only to respond when Overlord is imminent. Then it's too late. You need to get the units to the area ahead of the invasion. So if the garrison blob is a problem then it's the sheer number of the units that's the problem. Not that you can rail units to some coastal cities. You can't over every costal hex in France in one turn just by railing. Even if you could you can't prevent these from retreating unless you have a double line. Then you can count the number of units needed for that.

A smart strategy for the Allies is to land the paratroopers to cut-off Cherbourg prior to Overlord. So if the Axis player didn't rail units to the Cherbourg area ahead of the invasion it will be too late.

If by chance every hex in France is covered by a double defense line then you invade further north like in Denmark or Holland. You can even consider invading via southern France or Spain if you have to. The Allies should have good intelligence about the Axis presence in France when making the strategic decision where to invade.

I have never seen any Axis player being able to prevent an Overlord in GS v3.0 or later. You can make a slow progress for some time, but like the real Germans did. The Allied superiority in the air and ground will eventually make the Axis line crumble and then it's fast to get to Paris and further. I remember the "good" old days before we had amph capability in GS. Then I was able to prevent Joerock from making an Overlord landing by just occupying every coastal hex in France. I even used air units to plug holes. He was quite frustrated with that. When he arrived in 1944 with the same invasion force he had no problems getting ashore and the defenses crumbled fast. He won that game against me by taking Berlin in March 1945.

Vokt
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Posts: 1222
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:11 pm

GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Vokt » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:49 pm

I just hotseated with the 1944 scenario a garrison blob and could check how the Allies rather struggled with the landings executed in northern France-Belgium. Invasion started in June 1944 turn (transports were moved to the beaches in May turn) and landings could only be deemed finished on the turn of September. One thing about this Northern France garrison blob appears to be that the Allies do succeed in getting several beachheads along the coast but because of the blob those are isolated one from the other, their progress is slow due to the high amount of units around and so, it takes some time to made a link between the beachheads. Add to all of that an active Luftwaffe (in 1944 scenario Germany has a really sizable air force) and do the math.

Another prerequisite for this garrison blob to succeed in delaying the landings is that the flow of railed garrisons has to be steady even after the Allies have succeeded in getting ashore some units. This way, the double defensive line of garrisons keeps the Allies from quickly expanding their beachheads.

Generally, about 30-35 German garrisons units are needed for forming a solid double line of garrisons from Britanny to Holland. About 20-25 may be already on the board, you just have to buy 10-15 garrisons for this blob to be executed.

Of course, I couldn't help thinking that had the cities a limitation of 1 unit possible to be railed each turn, this flooding of the Northern France coasts hexes with garrisons wouldn't have been possible.
Last edited by Vokt on Sat Feb 25, 2017 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Peter Stauffenberg
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:14 pm

Have you tried landing in Normandy and dropping para units to cut-off Cherbourg prior to the landing? There was a reason the real Allies landed in Normandy and not in Picardy near Calais. Maybe the real Allied invaders would have struggled more if they had landed closer to many Axis controlled cities and where the Axis reserves were located.

Vokt
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Posts: 1222
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:11 pm

Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Vokt » Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:11 pm

In my hotseat test paratroopers had bad rolls and took severe damage when landing, only being able to force the retreat of 1 garrison unit and later in Axis turn, being rather easily finished off by German counterattacks. They didn't help much. Furthermore, the fact that they had to be dropped on the third row of hexes (because of double line of garrisons) for them to usefully help on the landings, counted a bit.

I worked with an hypothesis of an already crowded with garrisons beach hexes so there weren't paratrooper droppings prior to the landings. On this hotseat test, paratroopers were supposed to help by forcing retreats of the second line of garrisons so amphs could be able to get ahore by forcing the retreat of the first line garrisons.

It's true that paratroopers are very important in Overlord landings but on this particular case their role was minimal.

Peter Stauffenberg
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:24 pm

Also remember that if you start the 1944 scenario all units would be at full strength and morale. When you decide to start an Overlord landing playing from the 1939 scenario then the Axis units would be quite battered in France. Quite a few air units would be depleted. Some land units would be low on morale and depleted from earlier turn bombings. The rail cap would be down etc.

So you can't make a true comparison by just starting in 1944. You could try to simulate this in the 1944 scenario by not trying to invade asap, but spend a few turns softening up the Axis units in France before committing. The interesting data is how many turns you need from you land until you liberate Paris. There should be enough fair weather turns to allow for getting to Paris before the autumn mud.

Also remember than in the 1939 scenario start players would try to launch Overlord soon after the weather clears in 1944. That means a March or April 1944 landing in France. That gives you quite a few turns extra until the mud happens.

Vokt
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Posts: 1222
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:11 pm

GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Vokt » Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:50 pm

Unlike the 1939 scenario for checking upon the 1-turn conquest of Poland issue, I agree that 1944 scenario is not the best for testing this garrison blob thing for many reasons (the really strong Luftwaffe amongst them) but still could provide us with some clues.

Now that Axis is a bit stronger in GS 4.0, I'm concerned, specially, if something (that we don't know yet) combined with this garrison blob might make it a game changer exploit for Axis in late game.

One thing is for sure: this easiness to spam a location with units because of the no limitations in the rail transfers possible to be made, would sharply be reduced if we limit the railings to 1 per city and turn. This wouldn't be a weird thing within GS rules since we already have that same limitation when it comes to deploy newly built units (paradoxically, more than one time I have wished to deploy more than 1 purchased units in a threatened city!).

Post Reply

Return to “MILITARY HISTORY™ Commander - Europe at War : General Discussion”