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Iron War

Frostion
This post was updated on .

This thread is old! Iron War is now discussed here:

https://forums.triplea-game.org/topic/73/iron-war-official-thread



World War II: Iron War

This is my attempt to make a world war 2 era map with Axis vs. Allies. It is my seventh map, and I will hopefully make use of my experience with crafting the other maps. Also, I would appreciate help and suggestions with the development on this one. I know that WW2 is probably a favorite era to play for most people, so there might be some strong opinions out there about what direction a WW2 map should go, but if you know my previous maps, you would know that realism is not my style. I would like to keep this map in the ww2 setting, but there will not be any form of player/political restrictions. Game play, balanced and an even start, plenty of player strategic options and good player survivability will be what I aim for.

Map screenshots:





Round 1, 1939:

Round 1 simulates 1939 and Germany has just attacked Poland. Germany will be able to attack Denmark, Norway, Western Europe and USSR. This map will not have any restrictions on what players may and may not do, and when they may do it. Round 2 is currently 1940, round 3 1941, and so on.

The graphics:

As you can already see, I have tried to simulate some 3D effects, adding shadows to units. Hopefully it can give the illusion of visual depth. Also, I have tried to keep all graphics realistic and not cartoon like. I am 90% pleased with the result. The sea territories was at first more realistic looking, but I found that it gave a better and sharper overview if the sea was more uniform and plain. Besides, I am well past the point where major graphic changes are an option.

The players:

There will be 12 Axis and 12 Allied players, along with pro Axis neutrals (attackable by Allied), pro Allied neutrals (attackable by Axis) and plain neutrals (attackable by both).



Axis:
Germany
Italy
Japan
Slovakia (Minor player)
Hungary (Minor player)
Romania (Minor player)
Bulgaria (Minor player)
Croatia (Minor player)
Finland (Minor player)
Iraq (Minor player)
Iran (Minor player)
Thailand (Minor player)

Allies:
USSR
France
Britain
British-India
ANZAC
USA
French-Colonies (Minor player)
British-Colonies (Minor player)
KNIL (Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger) (Minor player)
South-Africa (Minor player)
China (Minor player)
Brazil (Minor player)

Resources:


“PUs” is obtained from land territories. Also, many Allies will have a PU income from sea convoy zones. Every player also recives a flat rate War Reserve PU income, some players more than others.

“Steel” is obtained from iron deposits around the map, used along with PUs to purchase armor and ships.

“Fuel” is obtained from oil reserves around the map, used to move many land, air and sea units.

“CR” or Colonial Recruitment is obtained from colonies around the world, used to purchase colonial infantry units. Only Allies plus Italy have access to colonial infantry units.

“SS” (Schutzstaffel) is obtained from potential SS recruitment areas around the world, and only usable buy Germany (All axis players will automatically hand over SS to Germany), from neutral Spain, around Europe, Russia, Arabia and even in Bengal, Burma and Malaya. Along with PUs SS can be used to purchase SS infantry and SS panzer units (like regular units, but gives -1 att./def. to 1 enemy unit)

“Pilot” is a unique resource of Japan. It is obtained from Kamikaze pilot recruitment and used to purchase kamikaze suicidal planes.

Map features and goals:

12 vs. 12 players.
10-sided dice.
Rules as the engine and map allows.
No political restrictions or action limiting triggers.
Every nation is at war from round 1, 1939.
Map specific sounds and music.
High AI compatibility.

Beta testing and to-do list:

• Territory name evaluation.
• Unit cost/effectiveness.
• Balancing the iron and fuel distribution across the map (Most players should want to get their hands on more iron and fuel).
• Add custom tooltips to all units.
• Add territory name graphics.
• Move territory names graphics around.
• Move VC graphics around.
• Move PUs graphics around.

Known issues:

• Air units do not use fuel at the moment. The AI has problems handling fuel usage, resulting in AI air units dying after combat if the AI has no fuel to return.

Player quick-guide (…as there are no notes yet):

• Control 15 of 20 VC at the end of a round to win.
• All nations are at war from the beginning.
• All neutrals are attackable, though Axis cannot attack pro-Axis and Allies cannot attack pro-Allied.
• Canals are controlled by a single territories, and these are marked with boom barriers.
• Land vehicles and ships use fuel to move.
• Air battles can only take up to two rounds.
• Factories have 5 HP, cost 50 PUs, can build 5 units and can be damaged by bombing. Repair cost is 10 PUs per HP.
• Tank-Destroyers have 1 extra (isAA) attack against 1 enemy vehicle every combat round.
• Dive-Bombers have 1 extra (isAA) attack against 1 enemy vehicle or ship every combat round.
• Cruisers have 1 extra (isAA) attack against air units every combat round.
• Mech-Inf is a land transport capable of carrying 1 infantry or 1 artillery unit.
• USA can send Lend-Lease aid (PUs) to Britain, USSR, France, China and Brazil.
• Japan can send financial support to Thailand.
• Germany can send financial support to Finland, Iraq, Iran and the German client states of Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia.

Changelog:

v0.0.8 to v0.0.9
• Removed the extra “War reserve income” that some nations had besides their normal territory PU income. PU income is now only based on territory ownership, and only the territories of Japan, Italy and Berlin are worth an extraordinary high amount of PUs (50 PUs each). This income will secure the Axis to have a chance on the map, help the Allies win an Economic Victory and force the Axis powers to protect their home territories. I noticed that the AI would gladly give up protecting Berlin if it just got a hold of the major Russian cities.
• There are now 3 Axis and 6 Allied “major players”. These are all stronger than the “minor players”. The idea is that this should let players know that they are suitable for Human control, unlike the minor who could easily just be AI. Of course all players can still be under human control if this is what players want.
• Congo is now under France control and ANZAC now has control of several British and French possessions close to Australia. This is to strengthen these new major Allied players and make them stronger than the minor. Baltic states now start out neutral.
• “Abandoned Territories May Be Taken Over Immediately” is now “false”. This seems to prevent a game session breakdown error from happening, an error that reads “Should not be possible to have a normal battle in: (this or that sea zone) and have abandoned or only bombing there too”.
• Several British-Colonies, French-Colonies and KNIL territories are will be handed over to the major Allied players if liberated from Axis occupation. This is true for French India, many British possessions in east Africa and the entire Dutch East Indies.
• First version of notes have been added.
• All units prices raised around 20%.
• Factories are now destroyed when captured.
• Air-Transport is now 1A/1D, not 2A/2D.
• Carrier is now 2A/2D, not 3A/3D.
• Anti-Air gun unit now hits with 3 out of 10, not 1/10.
• Cruiser Anti-Air gun now hits with 3 out of 10, not 1/10.
• Tank-Destroyer now hits 3 out of 10, not 1/10.
• Ships now cost more steel.


v0.0.7 to v0.0.8
• Fixed XML flaws that messed up Japans options to financially support Thailand.
• Minor changes to unit setup.
• SS-Infantry is now 2A/3D, not 3A/2D. (They still give -1 A7D to enemy units.)
• Germany, Italy, Iraq and Iran receive 5 PUs more in War Reserve Income / Flat rate bonus PUs.
• South Africa receives 5 PUs less in War Reserve Income / Flat rate bonus PUs.
• Removed Iron from East Prussia, Italy, France, Bamako, USA Midwest, USA North, Madagascar, South Africa, Afghanistan, Darwin, Ulan Bator and Svealand.
• “Sub Retreat Before Battle” is now set to true.
• “Air Attack Sub Restricted” is now set to true.
• Factory now cost 25 PUs, not 50 PUs. (I want to test if this fits the map better)
• Repair Cost is now 5 PUs per damage repair.
• An alliance must now control 15 of 20 VCs at the end of a round to win.

v0.0.6 to v0.0.7
• Fixed some XML sea zone code that resulted in java errors.
• An alliance must now control 25 of 30 VC at the end of a round to win.
• Some armor units' steel cost reduced.
• V1 and V2 rockets now cost less PUs.
• Light-Tank is now 5A/4D, not 4A/5D.
• Air units no longer use fuel, as the AI can’t handle this at the moment.
• German client states no longer receive free infantry units. They now function as all other players, but still depend on Germany for fuel and steel, and still very week players that ought to be played by the AI.
• Brazil can now receive financial support from USA.
• Factory placement now restricted to 5+ PU territories.
• All 1-4 PU territory values are now silver colored, all 5+ are gold colored.
• Many territory value changes. No more ridiculously high PU values.
• Many nations now receive a flat rate bonus PU income (War Reserve Income) as compensation for the huge drop of PUs on the map. Some nations receive a lot, others nearly nothing.
• Adjusted every player’s starting PUs.
• Round 1 is now supposed to be 1939, even though Germany might attack several players.
• German client states, Finland, China and Brazil get access to German/USA equipment in round 2. (1940)
• Heavy-Tank is now purchasable from round 3. (1941)
• Jet-Fighter is now purchasable from round 4. (1942)
• V1-Rocket (Germany) is now purchasable from round 5. (1943)
• Kamikaze-Plane (Japan) is now purchasable from round 6. (1944)
• V2-Rocket (Germany) is now purchasable from round 7. (1945)
• First 12 rounds (1939-1950) now have an intro popup with small gif file movies.

v0.0.5 to v0.0.6
• Fuel and fuel usage is now implemented.
• Many counties have their PU value changed.
• Many starting unit changes.
• Minimap picture proportions changed to be as the actual map, not distorted.
• The AI is now also buying the Cruiser unit.
• Submarine is now 4A/4D, not 5A/3D.
• Battleship price is now 27 PUs, not 30.
• Tank-Destroyers now cost 10 PUs, not 11.
• Factory can now only build 5 units, not 10.
• Factory now cost 50 PUs and has 5 HPs that cost 10 PUs each to repair.
• USSR territory Samara renamed to Kuybyshev.
• USA finical support buttons now correctly display recipient countries.

v0.0.4 to v0.0.5
• Added 3 missing flags to Swedish territories.
• Iraq and Iran can now receive financial PU support from player Germany.
• Thailand can now receive financial PU support from player Japan.
• Peru is now Pro-Allies from game start.
• Japanese Kamikaze planes now move 4, not 2.
• Patrol-Boat price is now 8 PUs, not 9.
• Carrier price is now 25 PUs, not 20.
• Battleship price is now 30 PUs, not 25.
• Berlin PUs raised from 40 to 50 PUs.
• Italy PUs raised from 40 to 45 PUs.
• Libya PUs raised from 20 to 25 PUs.
• Some other minor XML changes.

v0.0.3 to v0.0.4
• Northern part of Sweden now has 1 German Iron.
• Removed 1 German Iron from Buenos Aires.
• German client states now have a modest PU income og 1-3 PUs and not 0 PUs.
• German client states now receive less steel from Germany when aided.
• French colonies now only have 1 Iron in French Guiana, not 3.
• French India now produces 5 PUs, not 10.
• All naval unit prices lowered approximately 40%. (Now the PU cost/effectiveness in regards to air vs. ships is more equal. Also, this makes it easier for Allies to make fleets to transport troops to Europe, and also cheaper for Germany to make defensive fleets and Japan to make transport fleets to capture some islands.)

v0.0.2 to v0.0.3
•  New and smaller naval unit pictures.

v0.0.1 to v0.0.2
• New ReliefTiles with brighter blue water
• British India starts out with one less Iron (Steel generator).
• South Africa starts out with one less Iron.
• USSR starts out with one less Iron (Removed from Murmansk).
• 1 Thai Iron moved from south to north.
• Placed 1 Iron in Pro-Axis Afghanistan. (To let USSR and India try to take it)
• Placed 1 Iron in Pro-Allies Oman. (To let Iraq try to take it)
• Moved 1 Iron from Spain to Northern Spain and made it German. (To place it where real life iron is and let Germany try to protect it and Allies try to disrupt the support)
   Unit changes:
• Tank Destroyer now has the ekstra anti-vehicle attack every combat turn.
• Dive Bomber now has the ekstra anti-vehicle/ship attack every combat turn.
• Dive-Bomber is now 6A /4D, not 6A/5D.
• Dive bomber reduced cost from 14 to 13 PUs.
• Air-Transport is now 4-move, not 6-move.
• Jet-Fighter reduced cost from 15 to 14 PUs.
• Patrol-Boat reduced cost from 15 to 14 PUs.

v0.0.1
• First beta version. Disclaimer! This map is not thoroughly tested and much can seem out of balance. Much needs to be done.

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Re: Iron War

redrum
Administrator
@Frostion - I'm intrigued. How far along are you at this point? Also how do you feel Iron War will compare to some of the other WW2 maps that have been made (WaW, TWW, WW2 Global 40, etc)? Based on what you posted it seems most similar in scale and style to TWW.
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Re: Iron War

Cernel
In reply to this post by Frostion
I want to be the first to say that it looks awesome. This may be the game that will bring TA to the next level.

Can we have a Heavy-Tank-Destroyer, with the image of the Ferdinand for the Germans? It's my favourite armour of WWII.

Also, I think Armour is better than Tank, because tank just means that it is a tank (tank was a wrong name for disguise that stuck).

I'm primarily interested in the fuel part; I hope the oil reserves will be distributed on the map with high historical consistency. Also well representing the synthetic fuel production is a demanding challenge.
History plays dice
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Re: Iron War

Frostion
@Redrum
I think it is TWW that inspired me most. However, Iron War has less territories than TWW, especially in Europe. Europe is about half the territory count of TWW. France is 3 territories, and Germany is 4. There is no Vichy France player. The French Players in Iron War cannot turn coat ;-) The german eastern front haw large spacy territories to allow unit build up and still have room for showing the units graphically. Moscow is 4 moves from Berlin. Russia is the physically largest player in Iron War, but cant seem to hold on without military help. I also think I will have to implement financial (PU) support to help them hold on to Moscow a little time long, as well as let Germany finansialy support the tiny Balkan countries. Russia can survive without Moscow, Leningrad and Stalingrad as their main resources are in Siberia, 4 moves further east from Moscow.

Overall I hope this map will have a much simpler gameplay than similar looking maps, preferably to the extent that you dont even need to read the notes. Just look at the unit stats and go :-D

@Cernel
I am also interested in the fuel part, I have not even implement or tried it out yet. hehe :-) I hope the AI can handle moving around with fuel. I have a few maps from the Internet showing ww2 oil reserves, but any input and info you have them would be nice. Yes, it will also represent synthetic fuel. I don't think there will be a heavy anti tanks though. And the Tank names will also stay tank as all the armored artillery, mech inf and anti tanks are also "armor". Besides, every one knows what a tank is.
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Re: Iron War

The Red Baron
This looks very cool. I'll be interested to see the final implementations of your multi-resource system, as well as how the AI can handle it

I also appreciate your goal of adding features while retaining a simplicity of playing with minimal reference to the notes, though I sometimes tend to tip towards the former, myself. Your Age of Tribes map has shown the power of a good tooltips.properties.

Another masterpiece. Keep up the good work.
"The aggressive spirit, the offensive, is the chief thing everywhere in war, and the air is no exception." - Manfred von Richthofen
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Re: Iron War

redrum
Administrator
In reply to this post by Frostion
@Frostion - Based on your initial notes the things that the AI would have only limited support for today are:
- Multiple resources
- Fuel based movement
- Air/ground transports
- Nukes
- Kamikazes

Multiple resources and air/ground transports are both things that are relatively high priority to implement. The rest are a little harder to say as we don't have many maps that use them.
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Re: Iron War

crazy_german
In reply to this post by Frostion
I'm very hyped for this map. Going for AI-compatibility on a map comparable to TWW will be very interesting. I'm also interested in how having all those tiny axis powers so close together will work out.

Do you plan to use the same nukes as in Age of Tribes?
Correctly crazy, disingenuously German
ice
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Re: Iron War

ice
looking good! well done

i prefer Stormtrooper over SS-infantry and Tiger over SS-panzer
but yust details :)

ice
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Re: Iron War

Cernel
In reply to this post by Frostion
Also, during Veqryn's it was totally forbidden to use "World War II", as it was reserved to THOSE ones only. Idk now. This is why in TripleA you don't see any maps affirming to be "World War II", except THOSE.
History plays dice
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Re: Iron War

Frostion
@Cernel
Don’t worry, I would actually prefer that the map listing would end up reading just “Iron War” and not “World War II: Iron War”. Right now I will keep WW2 in the logo only. The reason for this in the logo was because I felt that a potential player deserved to be confronted with info about this being a WW2 map right away, meaning a few seconds after first glance at notes or at download section. Ultimately, I would like to see some sort of category organization of the maps in the downloads and select map section. Here players could see what war WW1, WW2 and so on.

@ice
“Tiger” would be misleading as the SS armored unit should cover more than that single tank type (even though the picture might suggest otherwise). I did consider “Stormtroopers” at one point, but ended up with SS-Infantry. I am still considering a name change. If there is general opinion about Stormtroopers being preferred over SS-Infantry, then it will change.

@crazy german
I think the map will be beta-released for testing without nukes implemented. Nukes could be worked on later. Maybe nukes could use the same system as Age of Tribes, maybe they could just be suicide units, maybe something else. I am open for suggestions. (It would be cool to see that nuke explosion graphics on the map though  )
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Re: Iron War

prastle
Love the tribes

this looks great

gl

Pras
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Re: Iron War

Frostion
In reply to this post by Frostion
@All
Right now this map has both “baseTiles” (simple white and blue tiles with black borders) and “reliefTiles” (What you see in the screenshots).

Is it ok to only have the relief tiles as base tiles? (Pros and cons?)
Would it (in theory) have any positive effect on the loading speed of the graphics? Like when one uses the minimal to look around?

I seem to recall some maps not having both sets of graphics.
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Re: Iron War

Cernel
In reply to this post by Frostion
If you want to have the SS, I believe you should either:

- Make 1 single SS alternative for each land unit (not only an SS-Panzer, but one for each kind of, otherwise it makes not much sense).

- Just having a generic (Elite) unit, and represent it graphically as an SS (because, otherwise, it would be weird that the SS are infantry only, without any SS tank or whatever).

I really don't like this thing of the SS having only 1 kind of tank. Rather better not having the SS at all, or limit them as being only infantry.

Also, while the infantries you can paradrop in non combat can be whatever, the ones you paradrop in combat should cost much more than the regular ones, and be specialised for it; it can also be a tech, as developing paratroop units for offensive actions is not as easy as one may think (if you look at history, not many had them, and it was quite an effort to have such elements, plus quite rarely actually used). Also, the fallschirmjäger are not less hard than the SS, and generally the air force was quite highly politically ideologised, also the Soviet one.
Also, from 1944 onwards the fallschirmjäger were paratroopers like the Napoleonic grenadiers were grenade throwers; thus the term elite, associate to a SS picture, may be better than SS, as representing whatever elite, comprising the SS.

I really think that if there is a distinction between a Medium-Tank and a Heavy-Tank, there must be a distinction between the Medium-Tank-Destroyer and the Heavy-Tank-Destroyer. The Heavy-Tank-Destroyer of choice for the Germans would be the Ferdinand / Elefant. Also, there were the Light-Tank-Destroyers, usually small tanks with a mere shield and no serious protection, purely offensive (it was a way to make old tanks still worthwhile; typical example is the heterogeneous Marder series).

Also, where is the cavalry (I mean with warhorses)? Unless there is a massive difference in cost between cavalry and infantry, the Soviet should start with about as much cavarly as infantry units. Also in 1940 the USA army was largely cavalry.
History plays dice
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Re: Iron War

crazy_german
In reply to this post by Frostion
You need "baseTiles", or rather something named baseTiles. I just renamed a folder's reliefTiles as "baseTiles", ran the game and nothing exploded. You lose the option to toggle them off though. I'm not an expert with images, but I think you might get some weird things with transparency. I think the big reason for the seperation is that the baseTiles will be covered by certain things, like color of the territory owner, while relief will not

I can't really tell if it speeds the game up though. I do know that removing decorations for TWW will speed it up, (in TWW the decorations are effectively very similar to relief tiles), so it seems like it might work.
Correctly crazy, disingenuously German
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Re: Iron War

Cernel
In reply to this post by Frostion
I remember both the baseTiles and the reliefTiles are optional.

However, I believe you are meant to have baseTiles.

However, total_ancient_war has no baseTiles (the sea is all black, if you switch details off).

However, as long as the baseTiles have just the border drawing and monocromatic fillings, the delays are irrelevant.

Moreover, I much suggest to concentrate all or most details in relief, and leave base as clean as possible, which has also a value for people preferring a clean view (I can tell you that a considerable share of users have a strong preference for not having details).
History plays dice
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Re: Iron War

Cernel
In reply to this post by Frostion
Going back to the SS thing, I would suggest that either you don't have SS at all or you only have the "Elite" infantry-like unit, represented by an SS dude, and no SS armour at all.

The elite armour units were just as good as the SS panzer divisions; there is no historical reason to consider the SS armour units clearly superior to the regular armour units, having about the same equipment.

Some examples of elite regular armour units:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzer-Grenadier-Division_Gro%C3%9Fdeutschland
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/501st_Heavy_Panzer_Battalion
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/653rd_Heavy_Panzerj%C3%A4ger_Battalion

So, basically, "Heavy-Tank" or "Heavy-Tank-Destroyer" is already as much elite as it can get. Not much point having something above it.

Also, in the Ardenne offensive of 1944, the regular armoured divisions appeared to perform better than the SS ones, but hard to say.

Probably better to just skip the SS as a whole, I guess.
History plays dice
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Re: Iron War

Frostion
In reply to this post by Frostion
@All
I have encountered a returning error when play testing this map. The error shuts the map down and returns to player menu, while still being able to see the frozen game. I can see that the error happens when a fast AI/Hard AI player begins combat move.

It happens at a specific player at game round 1, but if I play that player myself it does not happen. But then it happens shortly after, one or two players after, when another AI player makes his combat move.

It looks like this:
(Can anyone determine where the error comes from? A flaw in the map or xml? or is this an AI thing?)

triplea.engine.version.bin:1.9
Loading map: iron_war, from: C:\Users\David-Corsair\triplea\downloadedMaps\iron_war
Loading map: iron_war, from: C:\Users\David-Corsair\triplea\downloadedMaps\iron_war
java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: No neighbors for:null
        at games.strategy.engine.data.GameMap.getNeighbors(GameMap.java:258)
        at games.strategy.triplea.ai.proAI.data.ProTerritoryManager.removeTerritoriesThatCantBeConquered(ProTerritoryManager.java:1032)
        at games.strategy.triplea.ai.proAI.data.ProTerritoryManager.removeTerritoriesThatCantBeConquered(ProTerritoryManager.java:105)
        at games.strategy.triplea.ai.proAI.ProCombatMoveAI.doCombatMove(ProCombatMoveAI.java:84)
        at games.strategy.triplea.ai.proAI.ProAI.move(ProAI.java:154)
        at games.strategy.triplea.ai.AbstractAI.start(AbstractAI.java:433)
        at games.strategy.engine.framework.ServerGame.waitForPlayerToFinishStep(ServerGame.java:531)
        at games.strategy.engine.framework.ServerGame.runStep(ServerGame.java:424)
        at games.strategy.engine.framework.ServerGame.startGame(ServerGame.java:272)
        at games.strategy.engine.framework.startup.launcher.LocalLauncher.launchInNewThread(LocalLauncher.java:61)
        at games.strategy.engine.framework.startup.launcher.AbstractLauncher.lambda$launch$99(AbstractLauncher.java:43)
        at java.lang.Thread.run(Unknown Source)


 
@Cernel
The Air-Transport in this map would symbolize both a paratrooper plane and also a regular “air transport” plane that could airlift soldiers from one place to another. So I think I will stick to not having paratrooper units, or more plane types for that matter. I want to keep the number of unit types down. This also leads to no horses, multiple tank hunter types, mot-inf, elite types and so on.
There are already 26 unit types in the German purchase screen when full access. I wouldn’t want to add more. The more units, the more visual flooding on the map, and more confusing.
SS infantry, SS armor plus light, medium and heavy tanks are already contributing to the crowding on the map, but I planned to include them from the start. They are not accessible to everyone so it doesn’t seem to be a problem. And the units will be different enough, with different stats so that there are good situations to buy them and a point to having them in the game.

If the whole map concept was different, like if it was more realistic when it comes to unit types, I would of course have included horses. Especially if the map was to simulate the early years of WW2 or if it was a WW1 map (@Crazy German  )
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Re: Iron War

Cernel
Then I suggest you remove the Tank-Destroyer and add the Cavalry, instead.

Having a Tank-Destroyer with no difference between light and heavy, while you have such difference for the normal Tank would made no good sense, while warhorses are very important to represent (you can skip pack horses and mules, though seeing the mules would be quite important too, especially for the Chinese, if you have some logistic dynamics).

At the very least, cavalry should be a special unit for the Russians only; even though I believe everyone should be able to raise hordes of cavalry. But really, a Soviet army without cavalry is just not believable.

I'd rather suggest you having 1 Tank only, with no differentiation, before taking into account removing the cavalry with horses. Representing the warhorses is more important than dividing tanks between heavy and light, which is hardly feasible anyway.

You pratically cannot not represent cavalry with warhorses if you have fuel, as that would be the only unit for fast offensive manouvering not requiring significant fuel.
History plays dice
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Re: Iron War

Cernel
Also, cavalry is particularly important for the Chinese, that had about 100,000 cavalrymen in 1940, and especially for the Muslim Chinese and Mongolian armies (Mongolia was a soviet puppet), that were almost full cavalry armies, and also very important for the Manchukuo armies. Tho, such units would be more correctly describes as "Poney-Men".
Cavalry would be the main fast moving units for the Chinese, and the Chinese from Suiyuan and Kansu westward would be full cavalry armies. Plus you have the puppets of the Mongolian army and the Manchukuo army, as said.

With fuel, cavalry would be particularly interesting, as it would be the fast moving choice using no fuel.

If you doubt about the importance of horses in WWII, this is an except from B. H. Liddel Hart (one of the most important WW2 historians) of a citation from Hasso von Manteuffel (one of the most skilled generals of Germany):

The advance of a Russian Army is something that Westerners can't imagine. Behind the tank spearheads rolls on a vast horde, largely mounted on horses. The soldier carries a sack on his back, with dry crusts of bread and raw vegetables collected on the march from the fields and villages. The horses eat the straw from the house roofs - they get very little else. The Russians are accustomed to carry on for as long as three weeks in this primitive way, when advancing. You can't stop them, like an ordinary army, by cutting their communications, for you rarely find any supply columns to strike.
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Re: Iron War

Cernel
In reply to this post by Frostion
Also, I suggest you either reconsider having unrestricted war since round 1 or move the starting time to spring 1942.

I highly advise any WWII games starting in spring 1942, never before, as whatever time before is either requiring too much weird and subjective rules or be highly unhistorical.

If this would be another game like WAW in which you see the Germans attacking France and Russia at exactly the same time, while the Japanese are making Pearl Harbor in the pacific and who knows what in China, that would be not fantastic (and I would not play such a map, because I understand some measure of artistic licese, but there is a limit).

Just saying.
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