AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

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Peter Stauffenberg
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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:16 pm

Finland only surrenders if there are too few Axis units in Finland and Finnish cities + rail depots are captured by the Allies. Tallinn (the capital of Estonia and not a rail depot) is also counted. If you read the history of the Finnish surrender you understand why. Tallinn is very close to Helsinki so a Soviet presence there means the Soviets could land or bombard Helsinki.

Regarding Italy all Italian home cities and rail depots count as surrender cities. That includes Trieste.

I think the Axis player can easily avoid losing Finland / Italy prematurely by putting some garrisons in cities.

E. g. when a Yugoslavian partisan captured Trieste then Morris could easily have avoided that by railing a garrison to Trieste before the partisan moved there. A partisan moves 1 hex per turn so it must have been ignored for some time.

I don't think this is something bad with the game. If you forget to garrison your cities then you face the consequences. I always garrison mine. Morris is known for not garrisoning his cities. If you empty a minor ally country of all their forces then you have to blame yourself if the country surrenders if the enemy appears there. The real Finns would never allow their entire army to leave Finland and fight somewhere else. Most minor countries only sent a few of their units to other countries to fight.

We are not changing the surrender conditions for Italy. The Axis can easily prevent Italy from falling early by e. g. having a unit in Tirana and some reserve garrisons that can rail to coastal Italian cities / rail depots if enemy transports or partisans show up nearby.

E. g. Italy can easily block access to the Adriatic Sea with 2 naval units. So the Allies should not be able to sail in there to threaten to land in coastal cities.

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by Morris » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:34 pm

rkr1958 wrote:
Diplomaticus wrote:One thing that I think this AAR makes abundantly clear is that the Axis cannot afford to lose Italy before 1944. (This is one area where the game doesn't quite get it right, since as we all know, the real Axis was able to fight on for two years after Italy surrendered.)
I'm not sure I agree with you on this. I believe we've gotten Italy right. I think in games where the axis collapse very quickly after the surrender of Italy are those games where the axis player has relied very heavily, and maybe too much, for the Italians to defend the west and provide garrisons of captured cities in Russia. I know in the actual war the Italians contributed a very divisions to Russia; but mostly they were concentrated in North Africa, Italy (of course) and Greece. In my opinion a quick collapse of Germany after the Italian surrender has more to do with not having enough German forces in the west, including a strong reserve, than with the game. And, I think this is especially true if the axis player is going for an all out knock blow in Russia.
Borger wrote:Joerock is now Axis against Morris and let's see how he does before making conclusions. Joe is currrently crushing Ronnie in a game where Joe is the Axis.
That game was concluded with an axis ultimate victory. Joe was at the gates of Omsk; but still with a lot of work ahead of him to try to take it (which wasn't a certainty), Joe decided to stay put, run out the clock and get his ultimate victory. I agree with Joe, why risk a sure ultimate victory for some probability (50/50 maybe) to try to capture Omsk at the cost lowering your victory level?
1 actually , Cliff's true meanning should be that :Axis can not afford Italy 's death without any preparation . If Axis well prepared for it , It won't give Axis a fatal wound .

2 Omsk is not the target which an Axis player should plan to get from the beginning stage . It only apprears when Axis had enough progress in Russia in 1941 0r 1942 . For Axis , if they have a chance to Omsk , they must try even if a 50/50 chance ,since if they knock out Russia , it usually end the game unless Axis make a mistake like I did in the game with Cliff. Since the present game , Axis have lessthan 50% possibility to get even a minor victory !

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by Morris » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:42 pm

Stauffenberg wrote:Finland only surrenders if there are too few Axis units in Finland and Finnish cities + rail depots are captured by the Allies. Tallinn (the capital of Estonia and not a rail depot) is also counted. If you read the history of the Finnish surrender you understand why. Tallinn is very close to Helsinki so a Soviet presence there means the Soviets could land or bombard Helsinki.

Regarding Italy all Italian home cities and rail depots count as surrender cities. That includes Trieste.

I think the Axis player can easily avoid losing Finland / Italy prematurely by putting some garrisons in cities.

E. g. when a Yugoslavian partisan captured Trieste then Morris could easily have avoided that by railing a garrison to Trieste before the partisan moved there. A partisan moves 1 hex per turn so it must have been ignored for some time.

I don't think this is something bad with the game. If you forget to garrison your cities then you face the consequences. I always garrison mine. Morris is known for not garrisoning his cities. If you empty a minor ally country of all their forces then you have to blame yourself if the country surrenders if the enemy appears there. The real Finns would never allow their entire army to leave Finland and fight somewhere else. Most minor countries only sent a few of their units to other countries to fight.

We are not changing the surrender conditions for Italy. The Axis can easily prevent Italy from falling early by e. g. having a unit in Tirana and some reserve garrisons that can rail to coastal Italian cities / rail depots if enemy transports or partisans show up nearby.

E. g. Italy can easily block access to the Adriatic Sea with 2 naval units. So the Allies should not be able to sail in there to threaten to land in coastal cities.
1 I lost finland because of the Estonia rail hub Tartu ! not Tallinn ! :x

2 I lost Italy because I did not know the surrender city include the rail hub . It won't happen again . It just because I missed some ruleschange . Why you always try to consider this kind of mistake as my play style ??!! :evil:

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by Diplomaticus » Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:14 pm

Morris wrote:
rkr1958 wrote:
Diplomaticus wrote:One thing that I think this AAR makes abundantly clear is that the Axis cannot afford to lose Italy before 1944. (This is one area where the game doesn't quite get it right, since as we all know, the real Axis was able to fight on for two years after Italy surrendered.)
I'm not sure I agree with you on this. I believe we've gotten Italy right. I think in games where the axis collapse very quickly after the surrender of Italy are those games where the axis player has relied very heavily, and maybe too much, for the Italians to defend the west and provide garrisons of captured cities in Russia. I know in the actual war the Italians contributed a very divisions to Russia; but mostly they were concentrated in North Africa, Italy (of course) and Greece. In my opinion a quick collapse of Germany after the Italian surrender has more to do with not having enough German forces in the west, including a strong reserve, than with the game. And, I think this is especially true if the axis player is going for an all out knock blow in Russia.
1 actually , Cliff's true meanning should be that :Axis can not afford Italy 's death without any preparation . If Axis well prepared for it , It won't give Axis a fatal wound .
What you say above, Ronnie & Morris, is logical, but I respectfully disagree because IMHO actual game play provides solid evidence for my position. In my experience of playing nearly 20 games of CEAW and of reading many AAR's and other discussions on this forum, I've never, ever heard of a single case where a) Italy fell on or before the historical surrender date (September 8 1943) but b) the Axis won the game. I have more than once pointed this fact out and challenged any CEAW player to cite even a single instance where this has occurred. So far, nobody has come forward. From this I conclude that, even though it is hypothetically possible for the Axis player in CEAW to hold out for nearly 2 years without Italy, in practice it simply never happens. That means that Axis players must keep Italy in the game if they are going to have a hope of winning.

Please, prove me wrong!

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by rkr1958 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:54 pm

Diplomaticus wrote:What you say above, Ronnie & Morris, is logical, but I respectfully disagree because IMHO actual game play provides solid evidence for my position. In my experience of playing nearly 20 games of CEAW and of reading many AAR's and other discussions on this forum, I've never, ever heard of a single case where a) Italy fell on or before the historical surrender date (September 8 1943) but b) the Axis won the game. I have more than once pointed this fact out and challenged any CEAW player to cite even a single instance where this has occurred. So far, nobody has come forward. From this I conclude that, even though it is hypothetically possible for the Axis player in CEAW to hold out for nearly 2 years without Italy, in practice it simply never happens. That means that Axis players must keep Italy in the game if they are going to have a hope of winning.

Please, prove me wrong!
Well, I guess as the axis player you better defend Italy and possibly North Africa fairly aggressively. I would make the argument that those games where Italy falls before the historical date and Germany goes on to collapse and lose is because the axis player hasn't adequately defended France and Italy, which includes devoting a sizable quantity German force to such a mission. I definitely understand that this takes away from the east; but on the other hand is it really reasonable to expect the axis player to throw everything at Russia and only defend the west and the Med with second line quality units.

In the actual war when Italy surrendered, German was forced to quickly move quality German units from the Russia to Italy to stabilize the situation.

I view the Italian surrendered conditions as historical as I do the oil model. In the same vein, while it's rare to see most axis players to run out of oil; it is a very real constraint that limits their aggression in 1942 and 1943. I view the Italian surrender model the same. And to support it historically, do you really expect that the Italian people who have continued to support the war after the loss of North Africa, Sicily, Sardinia and allied troops on their mainland with a sizable portion of their army in Russia and France?

I really do feel that we've achieved both good balance and historical realism in GS. Is the game 50/50 between equal players? Maybe not; but I bet it's no worse than 35/65 (axis/allies) against equal and experienced players. One might wonder why you would take the 35% side, if that's the case; but it's the axis that control the direction of the game and that get to have their fun at the start being the aggressor.

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by Kragdob » Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:28 pm

rkr1958 wrote:it's no worse than 35/65 (axis/allies) against equal and experienced players.
I agree that Allies have the advantage. Maybe not 50% as Ronnie writes but still significant. I do not believe Axis can win the game (even minor victory) if Allies doesn't make a serious mistakes.
Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by Cybvep » Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:40 pm

This is 2.2 stuff, for 2.1 the balance is as good as it can get. One of first things that should be changed in 2.2 is the North African Campaign - there are simply not enough games where you see the North African Campaign being conducted offensively by the Axis, it's almost an oddity. This means that the Allies have no real front after the fall of France.

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by Morris » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:36 am

Kragdob wrote:
rkr1958 wrote:it's no worse than 35/65 (axis/allies) against equal and experienced players.
I agree that Allies have the advantage. Maybe not 50% as Ronnie writes but still significant. I do not believe Axis can win the game (even minor victory) if Allies doesn't make a serious mistakes.
If a game between two equal & experienced player, the possibility of victory maybe less than 15/85 ( Axis/Allies). Even if Allies make some mistake , they will have many opportunity to correct or balanced by Axis 's mistake . But for Axis player even making only one big mistake will be fatal ! After 1943 , it is a GDP war , Axis has no hope unless they could gain enough advantage before 1942 winter . But the present rules make the Axis feel so difficult to gain the enough advantage to survive until May 1945 . ( Only for minor victory ) . Axis should never think of a victory better than minor if he is not in daydream .

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by Morris » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:48 am

Cybvep wrote:This is 2.2 stuff, for 2.1 the balance is as good as it can get. One of first things that should be changed in 2.2 is the North African Campaign - there are simply not enough games where you see the North African Campaign being conducted offensively by the Axis, it's almost an oddity. This means that the Allies have no real front after the fall of France.
Yes , but If let me choose one thing to change , I will choose to cancel or delay or reduce the 8 Soviet reserve GARS on Aug 1st 1941 . It is a fatal poison to Babarosa !

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by supermax » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:37 am

Morris wrote:
Kragdob wrote:
rkr1958 wrote:it's no worse than 35/65 (axis/allies) against equal and experienced players.
I agree that Allies have the advantage. Maybe not 50% as Ronnie writes but still significant. I do not believe Axis can win the game (even minor victory) if Allies doesn't make a serious mistakes.
If a game between two equal & experienced player, the possibility of victory maybe less than 15/85 ( Axis/Allies). Even if Allies make some mistake , they will have many opportunity to correct or balanced by Axis 's mistake . But for Axis player even making only one big mistake will be fatal ! After 1943 , it is a GDP war , Axis has no hope unless they could gain enough advantage before 1942 winter . But the present rules make the Axis feel so difficult to gain the enough advantage to survive until May 1945 . ( Only for minor victory ) . Axis should never think of a victory better than minor if he is not in daydream .
Well Morris, i totally agree with your assessment. I think under the actual condition it is very difficult to hope for more than a mnir victory for the Axis.

I guess players like you and I will have to keep trying to dig out the perfect way. Good thing about this now is that they arent making changes to the game now. So, once we find it...

I for myself have devised another idea that i want to test soon. It has all good chances of working well, but then again like you say in 1943 the tide turns inexorably... In that case i will try to make it going a different way.

I now believe that a perfect balance of offensive and defensive game must be attained by the Axis to win the game.

Overly agressive in the start of the game, then, progressively switch to defensive but in such a way that that process eats up most of 1943 and winter 1944.

Anyway, when i find a new player to play against i will test my new strategy, but as you said above we still havent found the key to axis major victories... Right now i just had an ultimate victory in a recent game but thats by killing the russians in early 1943 and overtaking of england before end 1945. >Right now If you want to win, the Russians MUST go down, and in such a way that you can still fend of the western allies.

Is their another way? The future will tell us i hope.

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by joerock22 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:35 am

IMHO, no one has played enough games on GS 2.10 to make an accurate assessment of the game balance. Let's all just stop throwing numbers around and play for awhile. If the game balance has issues, it will come out in time.

Maybe a combined win/loss spreadsheet like we had before would be helpful?

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by Morris » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:48 am

supermax wrote: Well Morris, i totally agree with your assessment. I think under the actual condition it is very difficult to hope for more than a mnir victory for the Axis.

I guess players like you and I will have to keep trying to dig out the perfect way. Good thing about this now is that they arent making changes to the game now. So, once we find it...

I for myself have devised another idea that i want to test soon. It has all good chances of working well, but then again like you say in 1943 the tide turns inexorably... In that case i will try to make it going a different way.

I now believe that a perfect balance of offensive and defensive game must be attained by the Axis to win the game.

Overly agressive in the start of the game, then, progressively switch to defensive but in such a way that that process eats up most of 1943 and winter 1944.

Anyway, when i find a new player to play against i will test my new strategy, but as you said above we still havent found the key to axis major victories... Right now i just had an ultimate victory in a recent game but thats by killing the russians in early 1943 and overtaking of england before end 1945. >Right now If you want to win, the Russians MUST go down, and in such a way that you can still fend of the western allies.

Is their another way? The future will tell us i hope.
Yes , Max you are quite right about the idea of "a perfect balance of offensive and defensive game must be attained by the Axis to win the game." This is a war game ,not a documentary film . It must give both Axis & Allies player equal opportunity to achive major,minor victory . If the best target for the Axis is as historic as an even , the players will lose the interest to play it ! At least no one will like to play Axis . Just as I was so difficult to find an Axis oppoent until some brave elite guys save me ! As a beta tester , we can play a hopeless Axis for beta test , but for the consumer , They won't play a game is hopeless to win & if they know this problem in advance , they won't buy it !

I can make an offer here , from today , if anybeta tester can defeat me by using Axis at normal options on the present GS 2.1 to get a major victory , [edited by rkr1958], But If no one will be able to defeat me ,Will it prove the unbalance ? ( I am not quite good at Allies , actually I like Axis side ) . If anyone disagree with my point , show me a Axis major victory against me or Max ! come on !
:)

rkr1958 -- these types of offers are not appropriate, so let's be careful here.

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by Morris » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:52 am

joerock22 wrote:IMHO, no one has played enough games on GS 2.10 to make an accurate assessment of the game balance. Let's all just stop throwing numbers around and play for awhile. If the game balance has issues, it will come out in time.

Maybe a combined win/loss spreadsheet like we had before would be helpful?
It seems impossible to do any change in GS 2.1 . We just well prepared for the changes in 2.2 to make this game's balance perfect .

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by supermax » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:17 pm

joerock22 wrote:IMHO, no one has played enough games on GS 2.10 to make an accurate assessment of the game balance. Let's all just stop throwing numbers around and play for awhile. If the game balance has issues, it will come out in time.

Maybe a combined win/loss spreadsheet like we had before would be helpful?
Maybee your right on this Joe, but you cannot possibly believe that you could win an ultimate or major victory against an elite player, like in the old days.

I got my ultimate in GS 2.1 against an unexperienced player. Against you as allies, i do not see how i could do that. And i can garantee you that no one can win more than a minor victory against me as allies, they are so easy to play its amazing. Just hoard your strenght and start hitting the axis in 1943, and use space with Russia to make the Germans go deeper and destory his elite forces in Siberia. Its not rocket science, its the way the balance has been organized in this version of the game. Follow the line and whatever you do the historical result will be a reality anyway.

Like Morris says, its almost a documentary :) in the sense that most players will simply do Poland, then France, then 1941 Barbarossa, then start retreating against Russia in 1943, and hope to survive. Italians wont go farther than 43 or 44 in every game, allies land in 43 or 44 (and win battle of Atlantic super easy in 1942). 90% of the games are like that nowadays. Rather rigid wouldnt you say?

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by rkr1958 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:52 pm

Personally, I feel if we're to properly assess game balance we need to do it scientifically and not anecdotally. I think the later (i.e., anecdotally) can lead down a number of rabbit trails and possibly away from the "right" answer.


I have offered to compile such statistics if the GS community is willing to support this. For specific details see: viewtopic.php?p=332831#p332831

I'm not talking about compiling individual won-lost statistics but composite GS won-lost statistics. And to do this right we need a large number of samples across the spectrum of playing abilities and experiences.

Anyone game?

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by Diplomaticus » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:20 pm

supermax wrote:Maybee your right on this Joe, but you cannot possibly believe that you could win an ultimate or major victory against an elite player, like in the old days.
Far be it from me to disagree with my esteemed colleague... but I do, sort of.

Max, I agree with you and Morris that it sure seems like the game is slanted rather badly against Axis. I'm scheduled to play the Axis against both of you guys, and I'm scared to death of just getting creamed. However, I disagree with what you say above. If your opponent is truly 'elite' then why should you expect to earn anything other than a minor victory? If you can win a major victory or better, how elite is your opponent, really? On the other hand, if we have good evidence that with players of equal ability the Allies are winning a lot more--and are winning major or better victories to boot--then that to me suggests that we are in need of some play balance tweaking for 2.2.

To conclude, I think Ronnie's on the right track. Let's stop debating based on purely anecdotal evidence. Let's collect data on the games played in 2.1, win/loss records, etc. The more people who submit data, the more reliable the results should be. Then if we see strong evidence of lopsided results, we can go from there.

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:09 pm

I think most games should be a minor victory for either side if both players have similar playing strength. Major victory happen if you succeeded with a new strategy or your opponent blundered. Strategic victory should happen rarely and is an indication that the winner is way better than the opponent. Ultimate victory should only happen if one side is elite and the other a newbie.

I think that if I play against elite players like Supermax and Joerock I should expect to only lose a minor defeat regardless of side. If I e. g. lose a major defeat without having done a big blunder then maybe there is something with the game balance.

Many of the AAR's we see end up with minor victories and that's within what we can expect with a well balanced game.

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by supermax » Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:59 pm

I dont think we need statistics to prove that the game is a lot more difficult to win with the Axis.

Its not anecdotic either...

As to winning or losing against Elite, well, there used to be a time where the result could vary widely depending on the game. Now, most of the game are minor victories on german sides and more varying results on the Allied side.

This you cannot possibly think or say that we need statistics to prove that.

These non-changing results, in themselves, tells us that the outcome is always the same.

Guys, there isnt anything wrong with the game balance as it is.

What is not right is that the result is always the same for the Axis, you have no margin for error, and almost no margins to do anything but historical if you want to get a minor victory. Maybee its just the way the victory is decided in the engine (with capitals).

That is why i have been trying my fortress Europa strategy, to get a different outcome... Not to challenge game balance.
You cannot possibly refute the fact that right now, as Axis, the ONLY safe course of action if you want to win (minor) is to play it historical.

Historical is fine, but its a wargamme, not a documentary... So as much as it is a lot of fun for many players to do the historical, its also a lot of fun for players like me to try to change the way the war played out and also to get a different outcome. I would hope that you guys just understand that simple fact. For a creative player like me, its kinda frustrating, which is not to say i dont like this game, i love it, I just would like to be able to "play" more.

That is all i am saying. I am not claiming the game is bias in favor of the allies, i am just saying that as it is now there isnt much margin to go different routes or have different outcomes.

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by Diplomaticus » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:46 pm

Well, Max, what you say makes sense. As you say, there is a big difference between balance and re-playability/variability.

Earlier this week I took the time to read your 'America in Flames' AAR for the first time. It made for very gripping reading! As a direct result of that game, the rules were changed so that now nobody goes for an invasion of North America. That is a victory for historicity but a loss for replayability & fun factor.

I have a similar feeling about the situation in the Middle East. Ever since we changed the game so that there is supply 5 and two capitals in Iraq, it has made an Axis attempt to take the Middle East very rare and usually suicidal. Again, this may be more historically accurate (though I have my doubts about that), but it means more conservative--and therefore more predictable and less fun--strategies.

But before we get on the train to Gloomsville, let's just remember that there's still a lot of life left in CEAW GS 2.1. In the 2 AAR's I just concluded I chronicled two wild & crazy games that were both quite non-standard, non-predictable games that both very much broke out of the historical pattern and were a ton of fun to play. :D

To wrap up I'll say that I think the discussion we're having is an important one to have. We want a game that is both historically accurate and full of fun and variety... and which is play-balanced to boot. Getting the right blend of all of these is a tall order, but I think we're really close. As we consider changes for 2.2, really I would suggest that some relatively minor tweaks will achieve the results we all want.

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Re: AAR: Diplomaticus vs Morris--Morris welcome!

Post by Morris » Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:14 am

Stauffenberg wrote: Many of the AAR's we see end up with minor victories and that's within what we can expect with a well balanced game.
Most of them were Allies minor victory , the present 2.1 is difficult for Axis to achive a minor victory between two equal lvl & experienced player . The possibility of both side to achive minor victory seems like 15/85( Axis/ Allies) or even lower . That's the problem . If we can make it 50/50 ,that will be perfect !

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