I'd like to implement a stacking limit of 1 for select territories, namely Gibraltar and Malta. The standard player attachment limits won't work because they affect the entire map. The only thing I have come up with is to attach a territory effect called "island" to Gibraltar and Malta that prohibits any land unit except "marine". I'm trying to avoid unit type proliferation though... Any other options?
A bit messy, but one thing you can do rather than preventing additional units is to create a penalty--a negative objective that costs a number of PUs when you have more than one unit in those specific territories. Then add a notification that explains this is the expense of supplying large forces in small territories. Then players can decide if the expense is worth it for a brief strategic advantage, or not worth it. This is basically how I handle the stack tax in Greyhawk Wars.
Like I say, that kind of thinking may not align with the overall feel of gameplay in your map, so maybe not an attractive option. And the AI certainly doesn't understand it.
Thematically that doesn't work. What I'm basically trying to accomplish is that Gibraltar and Malta are defended only by 1 infantry and a bunker and thus can only be conquered with overwhelming air and naval support of a single attacking infantry. Unless of course, Spain joins the Axis...
Very sadly, there are no per territory stacking limits.
If a developer would add per territory stacking limits I think it would be an awesome improvement!
Likely, then, it would be better having the possibility of setting how much space each unit takes (allowing also 0).
Only thing you can really do is opening a request on github and hope (or push an engine change, if you are able).
Myself, doubt it will ever happen, unless in the future there will be the need to clone something with such a feature.
In my mind, the most important application of such a feature would be having sea zones working as ports, with a maximum number of ships that can stay in them (they would have a canal that requires ownership of the relative territory to move inside or outside the port sea zone).
As now, the hacky solution is to have a general stacking limit and put a bunch of immobile useless units to populate the various territories.
Like, you give a stacking limit 100 and put 99 useless units in a territory supposed to have limit 1.
My actual suggestion, as now, is to graphically show stacking limits, somehow, and let the players limit themselves, not exceding them.
Regarding your case, Gibraltar should totally have a stacking limit, because the space was very limited, but Malta should not. Malta has much more space than Gibraltar, and, in any case, you are likely never to hit a realistic limit. The harbour of Malta is very great and you can really deploy a virtually limtless quatity of forces in that island (historically the main issue till 1943 was that it was hard to get there with the ships; thus few forces deployed just because it was hard to keep them logistically supported, for reasons totally unrelated to the dimension of the island or the capacity of its port).
In a grand strategy WW2 game, the only territories with stacking limits should be Gibraltar and the ports, plus maybe a very few of the smallest pacific islands. For anything else, the physical space is much bigger than what you need.
So, the general approssimation of infinite stacking per land territory or sea zone of TA games is very good for any grand strategy scenario, with the only main exception of representing the ports and Gibraltar (I'm talking about stacking limits, not movement per connection limits).
I like the workaround of stuffing areas with empty units. That's much better than requiring players to buy a special unit. Besides I already need at "dirt" unit to for my air combat system, so now it would have dual purposes.
As for Malta, it's not about how many troops you can physically fit - it's about port capacity and supply. The Allies had a huge problem supplying their armies in France until they captured Antwerp. All the ports in Tunisia and Libya were barely enough to support 250,000 troops for the Germans and Italians. That's about 2-3 units at the scale of these games.
To make another example, the shittest situation I can think of, logistically, is Albania.
The port of Malta alone is enormously bigger and better than all the crappy Albanian ports summed up.
So, like, having a stack limit for Malta but not for Albania (at least as long as it is isolated) would not make sense, as what you can supply or gather via the port of Malta is probably tens or hundreds of times moar than what you can supply via the lousy Albanian ports.
I ran with your idea of using hidden units to create stacking limits. I was actually able to devise a system with conditions and triggers that varies the stacking limit in North Africa based on the number of key territories (ports) controlled by each side. I'm really happy with how it turned out. Thanks!
Wow... with a 1 round limit on all combat, supply demands and stacking limits you're really have to examine PU generation for nations and production capabilities. Otherwise this could really turn into a challenge for players to figure out how to spend money or where available units could move to. Additionally, you could run into massive stack situations when combat turns into a war of attrition where you could potentially never have the possibility of clearing an opponent out of a terr. with only one round of combat each turn.
Just some food for thought as I have been chewing over the concepts you have discussed.
“A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition”― Rudyard Kipling
I'm not really using A&A as a basis for the economic or combat system. Repeating combat round after round until one side is eliminated never really any sense to me. Production rates need to be much higher than they should be to compensate. If anything, A&A is prone to the massive stack problem. Stacking limits prevent this from happening. If there are enough territories for each to defend, two evenly matched sides should not reach a stalemate unless there is bad weather or difficult terrain. On your turn, you can concentrate firepower and hopefully break through at your opponent's weakest point. He will try to do same.
Combat isn't really one round. There is one normal round of combat, followed by an exploitation phase where tanks, air, and motorized infantry can advance if they cleared out the territory, followed by another round of combat. If anything, the kill rate was too high so I had to reduce it by introducing a "defense" marker which nullifies combat on your turn if you don't want to fight. Otherwise there are 4 rounds of combat for each contested territory - 2 on the attacker's turn, and 2 more on the defender's turn unless he retreats.
In past (Napoleon and before) most troops converged in a single massive battle in one point in the map, noone trying to hold or even garrison the whole frontline, except forts here and there, of course; so traditional stacky rules are sensible for Napoleon scenarios and before.
Napoleon himself was a supporter of stacking:
Axis & Allies traditional, on the other hand, is very bad and silly in representing WWII and (even more) WWI, especially if you start splitting up territories, instead of having 1 terr for France, 1 terr for Germany, etc., like in Classic etc..
For example, what you do in games like NWO, on your frontline, bores no resemblance whatsoever to how you would strategically dispose your forces in the relative historical scenario.
The exploitation is a neat idea, even tho I'm not sure how you are going to implement it. A nice thing is that if everyone can do canopeners, then they are not anymore absurd.
For example, makes no sense that italians can open the way to germans, if germans cannot possibly do it for themselves; but it may make sense if they can too.
A side note, is that for a logistic based stack system you would need to know the historical portual capacity of all land territories bordering sea zones, which might even be something outright impossible to know.
Anyway, I can assure you Malta was an awesome port. The English moved to Alexandria only fearing the air threat (initially, they overestimated the Italian air power). I've no data, but I recall the port of Malta was even better than the still good Alexandria port. All Italian ports in Libya or Albania sucked (Tripoli was double the capacity than Benghazi, Tobruk was almost nothing).
I like your creativity in bending the engine to do unenvisioned things; new stuff is always nice to look at.
The exploitation phase works great but I had to great creative. "resetUnitStateAtStart" clears all the data for the units but NOT for the territories. So even if the attacker cleared the territory, the engine wouldn't let the units enter another battle because the territory was flagged for a battle until the end of the attacker's turn. I didn't want any other the other end of turn attributes (like collecting income, repairing units, etc...) so I inserted an endTurn phase for the passive neutral player between the two combat phases. That solved just about every issue. This is the German sequence of play: