Iron War

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Re: Iron War

Cernel
I strongly disagree on prioritising gameplay and balance over historical correctness, so I don't feel enough motivated with this project to give info, sadly. But, yeah, not much point anyway, since everyone is at war with everyone in 1940 and you already made clear about the low priority of historicity.

But good luck with this one anyway.

p.s.: Mostly north Sweden; only modestly less important than east France; shipping from Sweden not possible around winter, thus via Norway (Narvik).
History plays dice
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Re: Iron War

Cernel
My problem is just that I would hate to see correct data sacrificed to gameplay, so nevermind.
But if you'll make a spring 1942 "late start" mod of this I'll try it out.
History plays dice
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Re: Iron War

Frostion
I have thought of making mods / other stating dates besides 1940. But, they will be easier to do after this single xml is done and playable I think.
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Re: Iron War

Cernel
In reply to this post by Frostion
My suggestion for whatever new maps, as well as it was for all the maps made in the latest years, is still to make them tailored for 4k monitors, without caring for the current limits of the engine, and just hoping that some developers will eventually solve them (which means 64x64 or bigger units images).
History plays dice
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Re: Iron War

Cernel
Or at least this is what I did when I made "conquest_of_the_world", and I still believe it was the right decision.
History plays dice
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Re: Iron War

Frostion
In reply to this post by Cernel
Yes, maybe high resolution compatibility is even necessary for TripleA to live and last for some years into the future. 1080 is pressing the limit, 4k seems impossible. But it is probably harder to code than the entire current game itself? I guess
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Re: Iron War

Frostion
In reply to this post by Frostion
A new version 0.0.4 is now downloadable. Here are the changes and the XML file:
iron_war.xml

• 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.)
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Re: Iron War

Frostion
In reply to this post by Frostion
Version 0.0.5 is now downloadable. Here are the changes and the XML file:
iron_war.xml (Right-click download)

• 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.
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Re: Iron War

Frostion
In reply to this post by Frostion
After some hard work and a lot of time spent on balancing and adjusting resources, there is now a new version of Iron War ready for testing. This v0.0.6 has fuel implemented. There are some java errors popping up, but they don’t seem to break down the map.

I would appreciate any advice on getting rid of the java popup errors.

Also, the AI has some trouble handling fuel. The short version is that the AI can’t see that it is maybe running low on fuel, and therefor it still it sends aircraft out into combat even if the units do not have fuel to return home. Some AI air units die during non-combat moves because of this.

Give this version a test please :) I think that especially Germany, Italy and Japan are worth playing. I would tip testers to have the minor AI nation be hard AI, and support them via the greater Axis powers.
Here are the changes:

• 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.
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Re: Iron War

Frostion
In reply to this post by Frostion
So, here are the newest changes to Iron War. And this new v0.0.7 is ready for download.

• 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.

The changes to PU income is the most important of this version and was based on two things: To get the few ridiculously high PU territory values down. For example Germany, Italy and Japan had very high PU values. Also, to make the map balancing work a bit easier.

As I see it, Germany and Italy now have large and fitting ekstra PU income. All other nations, if they are shown to be too week or strong, can have their PU income value changed for balance.
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Re: Iron War

Zim Xero
Frostion,  how about giving the AI unlimited fuel using condition/trigger, so that human players can still enjoy the fuel limitation?  
'thats the way it is' makes it neither desireable nor inevitable
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Re: Iron War

Frostion
Yes, that is a good alternative idea for a temporary solution. Maybe I will try this in the next update. Optimally the AI should have the same conditions regarding fuel as human players, and also Air units should use fuel. This maps will probably not get released until the AI can use fuel more cleverly, or alternatively the TripleA engine forces players to use/reserve any return fuel already in the combat move.

I have seen that this issue i already listed at Github, so I cross my fingers
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Re: Iron War

Frostion
In reply to this post by Frostion
I have uploaded and updated to a 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.

The Axis is now stronger. Maybe too strong. It will probably take a good deal of testing to balance this map, but it is progressing.
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Re: Iron War

Cernel
“Air Attack Sub Restricted” is an extremely unrealistic option, as most subs were sunk by air alone.

Related, “Sub Retreat Before Battle” is kind of correct only if there is scrambling, when they attack; but, on the other hand, scrambling was very inefficient and scarcely effective, which is not well represented in TripleA.
History plays dice
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Re: Iron War

Frostion
Well, I know it is a bit unrealistic, but I am trying out a few different things to see what it does with the gameplay. This sub thing is because I want to see if it motivates Germany to invest in subs and go out and sink Allied ships. As it was/is there is no real reason for Germany to invest in any real fleet, only build to defend Europe and to attack USSR. I will have to do a few games and see if it is better now that the subs maybe have a chance to break out of Europe and not in danger of being killed instantly after build.

It’s really a shame the AI can’t handle building subs and join in the testing.
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Re: Iron War

redrum
Administrator
@Frostion - Yeah, subs are a tough one. Because there are so many different sub rules its difficult to teach the AI when to actually buy then across all maps. Its on the list of things to add though :)
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Re: Iron War

crazy_german
In reply to this post by Frostion
I will try to give some more plays when I'm less busy. So far those changes look like they are in the right direction, this is a crazy map so balancing will be tough
Correctly crazy, disingenuously German
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Re: Iron War

aaminoff
This looks pretty neat. I downloaded and brought up the beta version, but I guess it is not really playable yet for real as the starting forces are wildly out of wack. Meanwhile, a couple suggestions:

 - Get rid of all the tiny islands. Faeroe, Shetland, Orkney, Hebrides, Mallorca, Gotland, etc. They serve no useful game purpose. Maybe Crete and Cyprus could stay, on the theory that Cyprus might be used as a British air base, but I am dubious. (Crete should be part of Greece in 1939.) The Pacific islands are just as small, but you have to have those because they were militarily significant. Jamaica? Puerto Rico?
 - Some territory ownerships seems odd for something that is supposed to reflect the 1939 situation. Egypt neutral? There was some legal fiction to the effect that there was an Egyptian government at the time, but for military purposes it was British. Similarly, Philippines should be US.
 - Do you really want to have PU values for places like Greenland? It looks like you have territories in northern Canada, Alaska, and Russia that have no PU income, so Greenland and some islands should probably be treated similarly.
 - If Denmark is a straits between the Baltic Sea Zone and the North Sea Zone, then West Germany should be as well, as the Kiel Canal was used by the German navy before and during WW2. The current situation where the starting German fleet is split in 2 is weird. All tripleA style games treat naval combat weirdly, but it is what it is.

The art work you have done is spectacular. And yet, I have to admit when I look at the map it looks a little busy. In addition to the profusion of military units, there are the economic things: factories, oil barrels, steel piles, SS and colonial recruitment symbols. It ends up looking very cluttered, and it is not easy to pick out the particular thing you are scanning for. Oil and steel sources, in particular, seem like they should be easier to pick out immediately at a distance. I don't know how you do that, a graphic artist or information designer would know.





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Re: Iron War

Cernel
aaminoff wrote
 - Some territory ownerships seems odd for something that is supposed to reflect the 1939 situation. Egypt neutral? There was some legal fiction to the effect that there was an Egyptian government at the time, but for military purposes it was British. Similarly, Philippines should be US.
Egypt was a politically and militarily neutral territory that allowed the British to stay and operate in it (in contemporary parlance, it would be considered an ally that only provides bases) but, on the other hand, it never factually impeded the Axis to do the same (the British did); thus it can be represented as a neutrally passive territory, allowing everyone to walk over.
Also, Egypt was probably a secret Axis country, but this is debatable. They surely didn't like the British much, tho they never went off like the Iraqis, that were about in the same condition as Egypt, before 1941.

aaminoff wrote
 - Do you really want to have PU values for places like Greenland? It looks like you have territories in northern Canada, Alaska, and Russia that have no PU income, so Greenland and some islands should probably be treated similarly.
Greenland had the only world-wide working deposit of Cryolite, which makes much easier to produce alluminium out of bauxite, which, in turn, make easier to produce aircrafts, although wood aircrafts are not absolutely inferior to alluminium ones; the matter is highly debatable.

http://www.scran.ac.uk/packs/exhibitions/learning_materials/webs/40/cryolite_ore.htm

Greenland was the only major source of cryolite anywhere in the world. The mine is now closed although some stock-piled ore is still being exported.

The mineral was used as a solvent for the aluminium-rich ore bauxite which is a combination of various oxides of aluminium.

It is difficult to separate atoms of aluminium and oxygen during smelting, to produce pure liquid aluminium. The addition of cryolite in the process acts as a flux and cuts in half the temperature required to obtain aluminum. The savings in energy expenditure, and money spent, are considerable. The mineral was considered so strategic during World War II that American troops were stationed in Greenland to protect the mines.

Cryolite is now too rare for general commercial use and has been largely replaced by synthetic sodium aluminium fluoride.


However, I've no data about how much important it actually was, except that my 1945 atlas says:

Greenland
Commerce 1939: imp. 4,129,000 crowns, esp. 1,847,000 (dried and salted fish 817,000, raw furs 380,000, other fishing products 521,000, cryolite ..).

Thus not giving the value in Danish crowns of the cryolite exports and placing them after fish and furs, I guess it was of very little quantitative importance.

According to my original 1940 atlas, at the end of 1939 the Danish Crowns contained 0.40323 grams of pure gold each, vs the 7.32238 grams of the British Pound and were exchanged at 20.92 crowns per pound; thus the above values would be:

imp. 197,000 pounds
esp. 88,000 pounds

Also, Frostion here said that this map is not going to be anywhere historical (he is not even going to put the oil, iron, etc. in the right places); so, it is a moot point, anyways.

aaminoff wrote
 - If Denmark is a straits between the Baltic Sea Zone and the North Sea Zone, then West Germany should be as well, as the Kiel Canal was used by the German navy before and during WW2. The current situation where the starting German fleet is split in 2 is weird. All tripleA style games treat naval combat weirdly, but it is what it is.
After the conquest of Denmark, the Danish straits were fully mined, and Germany used the Kiel canal to move into and out. While the Danish straits are a debatable matter, whoever controls the Kiel canal (Germany) must be able to go into and out the Baltic with no issues. The Kiel canal and the Danish straits are basically parallel canals; if you can use one or the other, then you can go into and out of the Baltic (in turn, the Danish straits are a series of parallel canals, as well; you just need one).

For your info, before the capture of Denmank, Churchill, as First Lord of the Admiralty (which he was from 1939 till becoming Prime Minister), had the plan to go into the Baltic to cut the iron supply from Sweden; the main fear was the German air force (this is why part of the plan involved upgrading the Revenge class battleships to have stronger decks), in particular the stuka, and the plan was never actually carried out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Catherine
Operation Catherine was the name of a proposed Baltic Sea offensive by the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom to be undertaken in the spring of 1940.[1] It aimed at interdicting German seaborne commerce with the Soviet Union, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Latvia. In particular, an objective was to stop the flow of Swedish iron ore to Germany.

This was one of those many crazy projects that Churchill used to come out with, but nobody taking them seriously, like that other one of suiciding one battleships of the Mediterranean Fleet to block the Italian port of Tripoli in Libya, pissing off Cunningham all the times, with that order.



But this is exactly what I meant; if you make a map that looks realistic, everyone will expect it to be historic or have it as a priority; maybe you should put a very big disclaimer about not being so, somewhere. Heck, there are even people around that think that New World Order is supposed to be historical! Moreover, the map looking highly realistic is just going to increase the irritation of people, when they find that it is not.
History plays dice
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Re: Iron War

Frostion
This post was updated on .
I am now releasing version 0.0.9 of Iron War. There are some bigger changes in this release. Also I have decided not to implement nukes in this map in the future. The map is complex and difficult to balance enough as it is, and all other “tech” is obtained automatically as the game progresses. I don’t want any unit that could be considered game-changing to suddenly become available.

The most important change to the map is that there are now “major players” and “minor players”, essentially major players are the ones worth playing and the minors can be played by AI or as a side job when controlling a major player. I see it as it can be up to the individual players if they want to control any minor players also. Here is the complete list of changes:

• 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.

• Several British-Colonies, French-Colonies and KNIL territories are now ”originalowner” of the major players who are likely to free them from possible Axis occupation.

• 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.

• “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”.

• 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.


@Cernel and aaminoff
Some islands might be insignificant to the map/this game, but I would like to keep them in as they might play other roles in mods or other maps maybe based on this one’s tiles and territories. The islands don’t do any harm.

Egypt is not a “neutral” player when this map starts (in 1939). They are pro-allied neutral, meaning that they can be attacked by Axis, not by allies who would just move into the territory and help defend it. Actually Egypt delivers some of Britain’s oil when this map starts. I would like to simulate that Egypt maybe contributed with some resources to Britain in some way, not necessarily oil/fuel. No matter how much Egypt was in fact under British control, it would not fit this map very well to have them be controlled by the British player. Britain-player controls the British Isles and Canada only.

The Philippine Commonwealth is pro-allied neutral for the same reasons. The US is more than welcome to reinforce the defense of these islands by transporting men to them, but there is no USA PU gain from the Philippines.

Greenland has 1 PUs worth income on its territories. This is to motivate both the AI and human players to actually take military control of these areas, as they did during WW2. Both Axis and Allies. As Cernel said, there were reasons to grab Greenland.A quote from wikipedia: “During 1941-45 the United States established numerous and extensive facilities for air and sea traffic in Greenland, as well as radio beacons, radio stations, weather stations, ports, depots, artillery posts, and search-and-rescue stations.”

The problem with the German fleet being split and unable to “join” forces because of closed Danish straits is a bit sub-optimal. But then again, Germany starts on this map and they can easily change this situation. Right now I can’t see how the map can be any different. Would it not be unrealistic to have the Kiel Canal allow a fleet to pass? Denmark always fall to Germany quick, so hopefully there is no problem.

“map looks a little busy” – Well I have raised the prices on units a bit now, so maybe this will keep the numbers down a bit more. The Starting layout looks a bit crowded, but after playing the start a few times it is not that hard to overview. I think it is OK at the moment, and it allows for many possible starting moves.
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