[Custom Scenario] Defense of Sanjay Island

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koopanique
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[Custom Scenario] Defense of Sanjay Island

Post by koopanique » Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:41 pm

Hello,

Here's a small scenario I made this week-end.

The objective is to defend a fictional island from a sizeable Japanese invasion force.

If you're willing to try it, it should take you roughly 45 to 60 min to complete.

Hope you enjoy, have a nice Sunday

Screenshots:

Preview:
Image

Screenshot 1:
Image

Screenshot 2:
Image
Attachments
2017-10-28-defense_of_sanjay_island.zip
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bru888
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Re: [Custom Scenario] Defense of Sanjay Island

Post by bru888 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:23 pm

Would you like suggestions?
- Bru

koopanique
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Re: [Custom Scenario] Defense of Sanjay Island

Post by koopanique » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:59 pm

bru888 wrote:Would you like suggestions?
Why wouldn't I? Of course! :)

jeff00t
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Re: [Custom Scenario] Defense of Sanjay Island

Post by jeff00t » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:18 pm

thxs for the scenario !
my custom single player mini-campaign in order of battle : normandie-niemen: Image
http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=374&t=79333&p=676302#p676302

bru888
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Re: [Custom Scenario] Defense of Sanjay Island

Post by bru888 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:37 pm

koopanique wrote:
bru888 wrote:Would you like suggestions?
Why wouldn't I? Of course! :)
Well alright then. I just thought I'd ask first. So here goes, and remember these are only my opinions. :)

First, my compliments in three ways: 1) Anybody who can successfully design a scenario for this game, using the complicated editor provided, deserves praise! As so many of us find out, it is not easy. 2) My hat is off to you in setting up a successful "AI troops sail to disembarkation, land, and attack" maneuver. I tried to do it in my two scenarios and failed both times. 3) Yours is a rather well-balanced scenario that can go either way. When I first looked at it, I said, "Are you kidding? How can I handle all those enemies with this?" But, it can be done. I came close (turn 18) before succumbing.

Now my suggestions.

Put the AA gun just outside of Sanjay City. That way, the city name is displayed during the briefing. The AA gun will not be any less useful outside the city, as it has a very low ground defense factor even when entrenched.

You want "verisimilitude" (simulated reality for greater immersion) in your scenario, so I would not have the briefing mention Resource Points. Instead of ". . . do not spend too much Resource Points . . ." I would say "do not use up available resources on aircraft."

Too many supply ships, too soon. You have 12 of them on the map in the beginning which will provide a total of 240 supply points. By my calculation, including the second spawned wave of army units, you have twice as much supply as you will ever need for the Japanese and that's not counting the supply points that they will capture on land.

The thing with the supply ships is that they head toward land, as they should, but since there being so many of them, they clutter up the beachheads. Also, it takes time for the AI to sort out moving them along with all the other units. Here, there are six of them loitering about in one area:
Screenshot 1.jpg
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So I would cut back on the supply ships initially placed on the map to only those needed by the first wave. I would then spawn supply ships which are needed by the second wave with those units. You probably only need about six in total for the entire scenario, unless you are worried about losses. One other thing: When supply ships reach land, a trigger turning their task to "Idle" would keep them from continually moving around as they jockey with each other trying to "Naval Capture" the same hex.

When directing the supply ships, try not to end up with this situation: A landing with no supply. These troops will be handicapped until supply is connected but also, if they keep moving, they will not have a chance to recover efficiency even when fully supplied:
Screenshot 3.jpg
Screenshot 3.jpg (118.81 KiB) Viewed 668 times
Consider giving the player a break by attaching a transport to the M1 75MM gun. Without transport, it's much too slow and cumbersome to use. It would stand to reason that even in the unprepared situation that you are simulating, they would not leave a gun out in the middle of a field without some way of moving it.

On the other hand, in my humble opinion, while you oversupply the AI, you have the deck stacked against the human player in that you low ball the supply available to U.S. units. In total, before any victory points are lost, you provide only 40 supply points. 7 of them are taken up already with three units that you placed on the map, leaving only 33 to cover the 30 ground command points that you offer the player for purchasing and deploying units.

Problem is, there is no way that the player can hold onto all of the four victory points of 5 supply each. By the time you give the player more resource points, he's probably down to about 25 supply points total (Colimo and Sanjay City). That is why I lost, frankly. I'm not saying to overdo it, but maybe boost Sanjay City up to 25 or 30 supply.

Something else puzzles me. You provide this big Japanese navy, and spawn two more cruisers, but why? These warships do nothing because there is no way to have an adequate U.S. naval presence, given the measly 250 resource points available, even though you provide the human player with 30 naval command points. The player must use those resource points on land units to protect Colimo and other supply points or the scenario is lost.

I kept expecting the Japanese navy to do something, but it looks like all they do out there is pound that radar station to smithereens: "Base, permission to evacuate? The entire Jap navy is out there." "Radar station, hold your position and keep up your sweeps. We need to know where they are in case our own navy shows up." "Base, the heck with that. Flipping the switch to auto-sweep and jumping into our PT-boat right now. Rather face a court-martial than 16-inchers." "Radar station, come in please. Radar station, report. Radar station!"

Just a minor note that may be important to you in the future. Someplace, adherbal once said to avoid "Any Event" as a trigger event because it slows down AI processing. He said using anything else would be better; most of yours would do fine with "Turn Start," I believe.

Some cosmetic matters:

You have four event pop-ups in your scenario. Again in my humble opinion, you should always provide a picture to go with them. Something, anything, other than a blank box. It's a great tool to add to the enjoyment and "verisimilitude" of the scenario. Just search Google for an image, save it in PNG format, resize and crop it down to 512 x 415 pixels, name it, place it in the main scenario folder, and put the name in the Event Popup trigger under Image Filename (leave out the .png extension). Also, you need to keep the Title brief or it runs off the message window:
Screenshot 4.jpg
Screenshot 4.jpg (62.04 KiB) Viewed 668 times
If you wanted to get fancy, you could also provide pictures for each of the five scenario outcomes (Major Victory, Minor Victory, Draw, Minor Defeat, Major Defeat). The game does this for you with default photos but you can customize your own if you wish. See my Scenario Editor Manual for details.

One other cosmetic note. I tend to talk too much in my briefings and popups. You are too terse, I think! You could embellish a little bit to add some background, atmosphere, and suspense. Just don't run out of room in the text box (I use a test scenario for that purpose, to gauge the limit).

That's it for my two cents. You have the makings of a good scenario here already. Keep going!
- Bru

koopanique
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Re: [Custom Scenario] Defense of Sanjay Island

Post by koopanique » Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:26 pm

Oh wow, I didn't except your suggestions to go into so much details :D Thank you very much for your very detailed feedback, with screenshots no less!
bru888 wrote:Put the AA gun just outside of Sanjay City. That way, the city name is displayed during the briefing. The AA gun will not be any less useful outside the city, as it has a very low ground defense factor even when entrenched.
Ah yes, that would be a nice solution, I thought it was too bad the city name didn't appear in the mission but I didn't think it was because of the unit.
bru888 wrote:You want "verisimilitude" (simulated reality for greater immersion) in your scenario, so I would not have the briefing mention Resource Points. Instead of ". . . do not spend too much Resource Points . . ." I would say "do not use up available resources on aircraft."
Actually I indeed thought it would sound a bit weird when writing it! A bit like when a character in a realistic game tells you to press the A button to jump... I'll definitely do as you say.
bru888 wrote:Too many supply ships, too soon.
You're whole point about the supply ships is... on point. When I first playtested the scenario, I realized that the JP units were out of supplies as soon as they landed on the beach; so I gave them three or four supply ships. But I wanted to be absolutely sure that at least one supply ship would get behind every landing party, so I went overboard. Your suggestion of reducing the number of supply ships with some of them spawning with the second wave seems more reasonable.
bru888 wrote:Consider giving the player a break by attaching a transport to the M1 75MM gun. Without transport, it's much too slow and cumbersome to use. It would stand to reason that even in the unprepared situation that you are simulating, they would not leave a gun out in the middle of a field without some way of moving it.
Yup! I noticed it was a pain to move the artillery, but giving it transports went completely over my head.
bru888 wrote:In total, before any victory points are lost, you provide only 40 supply points. 7 of them are taken up already with three units that you placed on the map, leaving only 33 to cover the 30 ground command points that you offer the player for purchasing and deploying units.
Indeed it's low. I'm actually amazed that I didn't give more supply points to Sanjay City. I will keep that in mind!
bru888 wrote:Something else puzzles me. You provide this big Japanese navy, and spawn two more cruisers, but why? These warships do nothing because there is no way to have an adequate U.S. naval presence, given the measly 250 resource points available, even though you provide the human player with 30 naval command points. The player must use those resource points on land units to protect Colimo and other supply points or the scenario is lost.
Good point; the answer is, I wanted the JP ships to fire at the US defenses on the beach. After several playtest, I realized that the ships were doing nothing, but that the scenario was quite hard as it was, so I didn't correct it, thinking that these ships would act as an obstacle, if ever the player wanted to go sink the JP carrier.
I also gave the carrier an escort in order to prevent the player to sink too easily, hence the cruisers and the destroyers near the carrier.
However I realize that the player has other, more urgent things to do with their tactical bombers than go sink the carrier, and that the player has actually no way to know that there IS a carrier anyway :?
bru888 wrote:I kept expecting the Japanese navy to do something, but it looks like all they do out there is pound that radar station to smithereens: "Base, permission to evacuate? The entire Jap navy is out there." "Radar station, hold your position and keep up your sweeps. We need to know where they are in case our own navy shows up." "Base, the heck with that. Flipping the switch to auto-sweep and jumping into our PT-boat right now. Rather face a court-martial than 16-inchers." "Radar station, come in please. Radar station, report. Radar station!"
Hahaha :o I didn't spare a thought for these poor guys in the Radar station; I just thought it was cool to give the player an idea of the threat looming to their North. I guess I could have used a recon plane.
bru888 wrote:Just a minor note that may be important to you in the future. Someplace, adherbal once said to avoid "Any Event" as a trigger event because it slows down AI processing. He said using anything else would be better; most of yours would do fine with "Turn Start," I believe.
Thank you for this tip. Definitely important; the game is *very* slow on my computer, during the enemy's turn. My music playing on foobar2000 even stutters.
bru888 wrote:You have four event pop-ups in your scenario. Again in my humble opinion, you should always provide a picture to go with them. Something, anything, other than a blank box.
Oh yes... In my eyes it's a bit like writing a postcard to your loved ones when you go on a vacation somewhere. It doesn't take too much of an effort, but it really matters. I realize a blank box can be quite the atmosphere killer. You do well to tell me. It does make the scenario look very unfinished.
bru888 wrote:One other cosmetic note. I tend to talk too much in my briefings and popups. You are too terse, I think!
Oh wow! I didn't think one would think that. I wanted to make absolutely sure that the player wouldn't get bored reading through long textboxes -- but I also definitely wanted to 1) use up 5 text boxes, as is the norm in most official DLCs I think (except Burma Road), and 2) give the player every necessary info. So I made the text as short and to-the-point as possible. Will gladly embellish next time!
bru888 wrote:That's it for my two cents. You have the makings of a good scenario here already. Keep going!
Thanks again!!

bru888
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Re: [Custom Scenario] Defense of Sanjay Island

Post by bru888 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:48 pm

Yes, you may have noticed in the game that whenever a unit is on a location, the name of the location is hidden until the unit moves away or is destroyed. Just a minor thing, but for the sake of a good looking briefing . . .

"Assigned Transport: The ground unit must be on the map already. Select the truck or other transport in the unit selection menu bar and Ctrl-Click the ground unit. There is no way to remove assigned transport from ground units; simply remove the unit and add another of its type without transport."

The good news about the Japanese supply ships is that you already have the AI teams set up for them; it's just a matter of reducing the amount of them, timing them, guiding them to the beaches, then turning them "Idle" with a Setup AI Team trigger.

I think just a bit more U.S. supply would be good, and in Sanjay City because the player will lose a few of those other VPs, for sure. But not too much more, because like I said, I almost won even though I could not purchase and place any more land units. The player has plenty of resources later on (enough to create a navy, too, but just not at the beginning) but not enough supply to use them.

If you want the player to do more sea battling, though, you'll gave to give more resource points up front. I devoted all of mine to land defenses, which is why I almost won. There is no reason to go after the Jap navy.

I was only kidding around about the radar station. I would leave it because it gives a dramatic view of the vastness of the Japanese invasion fleet.

Yes, adherbal's point was, with "Any Event" the computer is looking at triggers at EVERY event. The other settings are more focused and therefore take up less AI thinking time. At least that is what I think he meant.

You will be surprised how easy it is to fine suitable WWII photos. Resizing and cropping them takes a bit of knowhow, but not much. I use a program called FastStone and sometimes paint.net.

Finally, don't get like me and become a windbag! Somewhere between one sentence and a couple of long paragraphs is the sweet spot.

My pleasure.
- Bru

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