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 player survivability will be what I aim for.
I surely think you can achieve this and keep a decent level of realism by just starting in spring 1942, which is probably the most interesting starting point anyway.
Great Project, and work. I just can not say just how great, and good the amount of work, and thinking you put into this. I like the Icons. If you have some issue with the SS icons, and how they show up. The only thing I would say is use a marking like SS or change the base national representation to a more Nazi like one. Or not. Look great the way you have it.
Just a side note but US units like the 1st,3rd,7th, and 9th ID (along with some Armor and other units) had much more combat effect, and this was known because of the amount of experiences they had. Although they never received any special Identification like Guards etc.
Anyway great work, and if I see some way of helping I will.
I don't hate you, just the person that plays you in the real world
I think 1940 is a viable start date, not every ww2 map needs to start in spring 1942 or winter 1941, nor do they all need to be historical.
The SS units will be interesting, giving negative power to the enemy seems like it will be strong in smaller battles. A small group of elite units could take a large amount of territory in small battles while taking very little damage. Will all 4 of Germany's tanks have a solid niche? It seems hard to do
I tried to make a ”generic” SS-shield (on a pole) that could represent a general SS recruitment potential of a territory. And the SS division shield should look like it could fit into the many division shields of the war, while still just being a fictional one. I got my inspirations from all these shields.
I dont know how the three tank types and the tank hunter will turn out. But it is a 10-sided dice map, so it must be possible to make them situation optimimal / let them have a solid niche. Right now the tank hunter is a defensive unit and has an small AA strike against all armored vehicles. The Light tank is the only unit with 3-move capability, and the Heavy Tank is a a tiny bit better to attack than medium, but cost 1 PU and 1 Steel more. (Steel is supposed to be valuable)
A factor to take into account is that some nations, like for example Iraq, only have access to one tank type, some nations two and some of the big nations three.
To be honest, I have not worked much on the unit stats, and have focused my time on getting the map to work and getting the basic start setup in order (even thought it too will have to be Beta-tested and adjusted). I am very close to release the map to Beta, and I hope that we can focus on unit balance to start with before all other aspects of the map will be addressed. Because of the many players, the many seizes of players, the many territories and locations of players, I think this map is many times harder to “balance”, polish and make playable compared to the my previous maps. I have tried to list “things to do” on the first post, and would appreciate any help and experience when it comes to working on large maps like this Iron War.
Here is a little sneak peak more … this time of India The player “French Colonies” has a territories around the world to fall back on, like if French Indochina falls ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_India )
Nice work on this. I can see the map is coming along nicely. French India is a nice touch. I'll be looking forward to taking this for a spin.
I'm interested to know what you decided for the resource-based movement and other features where the AI support may be a bit lacking. I'd encourage you to keep them in. Maybe redrum's interest will be perked
China looks hard to take. I like it.
Russia will be fun to have to go through as well... Have you considered any land transport/railroad ideas?
Also, it looks like France's African colonies belong to France, rather than French-colonies. I'd be interested to know why that is the case.
All very interesting. Will get to try it in time
"The aggressive spirit, the offensive, is the chief thing everywhere in war, and the air is no exception." - Manfred von Richthofen
@Aoun I can see that the territories on my map are pretty large compared to many other maps, and so is the unit pictures. Some are larger than others of course. When Germany has access to ALL possible units, like they will have during the first stages of Beta testing, then I am also afraid that players would have problems viewing the German purchase screen if they have monitors and resolutions bellow 1768x992 pixels, or practically bellow full 1080.
I don’t know big a problem this is. It seems to be the opposite of the “I nearly can’t see the tiny TripleA units anymore”-problem that most high resolution players must have.
If the pictures of the largest/widest ships (Battleships and Carrier) are shrunk a bit, then the German purchase window will of course shrink a little. I am undecided about what to do.
@Red Baron Regarding resources, Steel seems to be working fine. I want it to be a resource that could be in demand by players, so that a iron rich territory would be a nice take that would lead to more tanks and ships and not only puny infantry and artillery. The AI can handle it, but I think it is blind when it comes to the value and awareness of steel. Meaning it just buys units based on the PU cost and what it needs. If the unit also costs iron, and the AI has iron, it will just be spent, and if the AI player does not have iron, then the purchase is just not done. I dont know how large an impact this will has on the fight agains an AI, but one could always compensate by supplying the AI with extra PU flat rate every turn.
Fuel? I have not even experimented with implementing that yet. But I hope the AI at least handles it in a similar fashion. Maybe just spending fuel on moves until it runs out. I hope that we when balancing this map can find just the right amount of starting fuel and fuel income to not severely limiting move options and also making the players want to get hands on more fuel.
China is boxed in a bit (like you can see on the new map with your keen eyes! ) It is intentional as I wanted to give them a chance to survive, even though the Japanese pressure is strong.
France was the hardest country to single out and figure out what to do with. They have (they had) colonies everywhere but it would be too complicated for one player to control them all at once. Real life invasion of France led to Vichy-France and Free-France, but as I said I don’t want any predetermined shifting in alliances and political situations. I felt it would make sense to have one “French-Colonies” player controlling primarily French Indochina and French India (+French Guiana, Syria, Madagascar and some small possessions and islands with an Infantry “stranded” until picked up or destroyed), and a second player “France” controlling France (may fall quickly, or not) and the whole of French Africa. I hope this makes it more easy to administrate and to keep an overview for the French.
You can now download Iron War. Please read the relevant stuff in the first post, right before and after the download option.
It would be cool to get lots of feedback on the first 6 things on the to-do list.
@Frostion - Initial graphical thoughts:
- Prefer the units at around 75-85% size as things seem too crowded and large otherwise
- Would like to see the sea color significantly lighter as the dark seas are difficult to look at
- Many of the ships look very similar and maybe making them a little more unique would help though the icons at least give some way to distinguish them
Other than that its looking really good.
PS. One thing I noticed is other resources (iron, SS, colony, etc) are units instead of territory attachment resources. Is there a reason for that?
I have already lightened the sea a tiny bit since last you tired out the map. But, I am willing to try even lighter versions. After all, I have only seen the map colors on my own home PC and monitor. So here is a zip file with some sea versions (333 MB):
A: Original sea v0.0.1 reliefTiles
B: Lighter sea reliefTiles
C: Even lighter sea reliefTiles
It would be great if people would say if the lighter versions improve the visuals.
Looking at the units, Medium and Heavy tanks are really bad compared to light tanks or tank destroyers. If you are heavily restricted by the steel resource, then mech infantry are the best deal. Mech inf + inf/art is a flexible mobile force with good attack and defense. PU wise tanks outpeform on attack, but unless you have a very high steel : PU ratio (which oddly South Africa does) its not enough.
Dive bombers are really good, fighters and jet fighters are basically the same unit and both worse than dive bombers. Aircraft also doesn't require steel, and is a generally flexible and strong unit, this diminishes the importance of steel quite a bit.
I would consider combining some of the small nations, the scattered british minors are not able to coordinate very well against Italy, who can expand in Africa very quickly. The German minors don't do much other than defend, I even let Russia take Romania turn 01. I cannot see any reason at all to support Slovakia, Croatia or Hungary. I would maybe support Romania or Bulgaria once, if I wanted to develop navy in the black sea or invade turkey.
In my game so far the Axis have had horrible dice, but I still don't see how the allies can win, Germany and Italy just have so much momentum. Italy can pump out enormous armies in Somaliland as well as Aircraft and Navy. The allies in this region cannot coordinate attacks. Germany sunk the entire British navy on turn 1, threatens Leningrad on turn 2 and while Leningrad held the Russians lost the Ukraine (you can't afford to give a Germany a factory). Those 10 production factories are a little broken. It seems very hard to balance when nations can throw enormous armies down at any factory.
Japan is stuck in bloody wars of attrition with USSR and China, and has no plans to expand at sea at all, since the Dutch and Australians will be well dug in by the time Japan can coordinate any sort of attack.
We will definitely have to make some unit adjustments. I hope you will test out many times and nations to get more aspects and experiences. I am personally starting in the smaller scale than germany and japan. I have played a few games as Iraq and Iran and let all others be fast AI. I really like music of those two nations
The German client states are weak, but they are meant to be. One of the advantages of aiding them are that they are given free steel with the PUs. One other advantage is that they have factories far away from Germany. Germany has no chance of supporting them all every turn, maybe supporting none, one or two max. One disadvantage when Germany spends resources on them are that they cannot attack alongside the huge German army. But then again, maybe they can be one step behind Germany and react to the outcome of the German battles? Like you say moving in as defensive troops.
When thinking of unit prices, maybe we should only think PUs? And think of the steel (and fuel) later or as just being a “key” to actually use the steel costing units? I don’t know, but since the map’s steel supply can quickly be changed, I think this would be a good idea. I imagine that unit balance would be the first step and focus of testing, hence the full availability of units.
@redrum- the resources need to be units because they don't always go to the territory owner. Many of the neutrals give income to major powers
I didn't realize that you actually got free steel by sending resources. That does make it more tempting, however I still think that 5 minor powers in that region is too many. Even if you don't consolidate the british powers, I really really think that New Guinea and the solomon islands need to be ANZAC controlled and not british colonies, it is very difficult to tell these units apart and having them
Balancing for PU value sounds a good idea. I would also suggest removing air transports during initial balancing. There are very few territories in certain parts of the world, like western europe, which gives these enormous range and pushes the game towards being absurdly offense oriented. Its hard to balance anything when a massive stack of air transports in Britain is such a strong strategy
@Frostion - I'd definitely choose the lightest (C) out of those though I would even prefer lighter. Maybe I'm just used to most of the A&A maps, Seig maps, and Big World which all have light seas. I'm also a big fan of having the sea lighter near the shores but not sure how much work that is.
The problem is that the territories need to be somewhat large to not get overcrowded. I would not want to make tiny European territories like I see on some other maps. If this was a European only map, I would of course try to make a few more. Right now, I don’t think it is that bad.
I think I will use B (The one that is a little lighter than the one used now in v0.0.1). Here is a comparison of three maps, and I think it is clear that the sea color of the coming v0.0.2 Iron War will be brighter than some of the other maps, even though some maps still might be brighter.
You should not use contemporary data. Iron mining and oil pumping in 1940 was so much different from today. Otherwise you'll end up with the Italians pumping oil from their fourth shore etc..
Also, fuel has some major playability and representativity issues, sadly; it is currently sound only for land units with no transport dynamics.
v0.0.3 is ready for download.
The only changes are new naval unit pictures. I have tried to make the naval units a bit smaller. They were far too big for TripleA’s windows and screens and players did not have a chance to distinguish one ship type from the other. Also, the purchase screens are now a bit narrower.
Here are some of the old and new for comparison:
But, the new images are still not optimal.
Generally I have stretched all units to be their maximum seize. Every unit picture larger than 48x48 px is going beyond the 100% visibility seize in all situations, as far as I have experienced. But up to 54x54 px can also be displayed, but going above this is problematic. All my units are only 54 pixels high and this fits in the windows. Many of my units are a bit wider than 54 px though, and may not be displayed 100%. And sadly the new naval units still have some problems being displayed to the extend where they are easy recognizable. Here are some examples:
I wish TripleA was better at displaying larger than 48 or 54 px wide and high unit graphics, especially now when many player would use full HD monitors. But I also expect that it is very hard to change this, as it would demand major programming work. Right now I am considering if these new units could be OK or if they need to shrink even more.
As I see it, it would be impossible to set up a game where everything happened as or looked like it did in real life WW2. This map can’t simulate iron ore import / export to and from various places and simulate where all nations got their iron. The best it can do is to place iron where there players can get to use it and have something to fight over, and it would just be a bonus if it could somehow fit the places where real world iron ore is located and even better if the iron ore mines there were actually in use in ww2. Any alterations on the map location of iron would have to have the following priorities: To support the game play/player balance, fit real world iron ore locations and hopefully if the mining was active in ww2 – in that order. This also means that any info you got on these aspects are welcome.
There seems to be a lot more info on the most important fuel sites and productions of WW2 out there than info about Iron production. But I did find this site:
http://ww2-weapons.com/military-expenditures-strategic-raw-materials-oil-production/ If (or hopefully when) the fuel is implemented, then the priorities would be the same. But still, even thought all players should want more fuel and iron, some players could still be better supplied than others from the get-go.