ROLL THROUGH THE REICH development thread

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ROLL THROUGH THE REICH development thread

m3tan
This post was updated on .


"Roll Through The Reich" is a grand strategic "simulation" of the Second World War in Europe starting in September 1939. Each turn represents approximately 2 months (summer turns are shorter, other turns are slightly longer). All territories are scaled to size at approximately 300 km width and land units are roughly corps or army size. Naval units represent approximately 2-3 capital ships and supporting flotillas. 1-2 air units roughly equates to an air fleet.

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT your typical TripleA map. My intent is to reach the absolute limits of what can and cannot be done with the TripleA game engine. DO NOT expect the game to play like any other map!!!

RULES SUMMARY (this is stub and needs to be expanded)
Resources: PUs, industry, manpower, oil, tech tokens, and heavy water (tracked only for German atomic research).
Land Units: All nations may build corps sized (1 hit point) units. Army sized units (2 hit point) consume corps units and are available to most nations through tech development. Only France and Germany start the game with field armies. Army sized units may only be repaired by factories or HQ units (army group or Soviet front). HQs are non-combat (suicide) units so damaged armies must retreat behind the front line to be repaired by them.
Air Units: Air units provide powerful support bonuses to other units but cannot target land or naval units directly unless they have "air supremacy" - i.e. they are supplied and the other side has no air units. Hence, unopposed air units are EXTREMELY powerful in clear weather but quickly lose efficacy in poor weather or contested air space. Defending air units may not be selected as casualties other than in air combat. To represent airfields being overrun, they are automatically eliminated if no defending land units remain.
Naval Units: Naval units "in port" are protected (-1 to all attackers) when adjacent to home naval bases. Submarines may ALWAYS submerge but are fired upon in a special ASW round before naval combat. Initially only destroyers and carriers may target submarines but that changes with tech development. Naval units without air cover are extremely vulnerable to air units i.e. Taranto, Pearl Harbor, or sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse.
Stacking Limits: Each land territory has a stacking limit of 6 friendly land units plus 3 attacking and 2 defending air units (may overstack by scrambling). The stacking limit is lower for desert and island territories as it is based on control of Mediterranean ports.
Combat: d10 system. All land units move 1. Air, naval and mechanized units consume oil during combat and exploitation movement. Naval combat is optional. 1 round of air combat followed by 1 round of land or naval combat. Tanks target tanks before land combat. Both sides remain in contested territories.
Exploitation: The combat phase is followed by a special exploitation phase where mechanized units in uncontested territories may move 1 additional territory to blitz or start a new battle. Units already in contested territories must fight a second round of battle.
Rail Movement: Any land units that did not battle in the exploitation phase receive 2 bonus movement during non-combat movement. Units do not consume fuel during non-combat movement. It is EXTREMELY important to economize oil by not wasting fuel driving tanks and trucks in combat movement when you can non-combat move them by rail!!!
Supply: Land and air units attacking in enemy owned territories require a consumable supply unit or suffer -1 for infantry class, -2 for mechanized, and -4 for air units. 1 supply is consumed per turn in each enemy territory with a battle.
Maintenance: Capital ships, air fleets, fortresses, mechanized, and army sized units consume PUs. Players will very quickly discover the burden of keeping a large standing army around unless it is doing something!
Terrain: Desert: infantry class units -1, no armies. Difficult (city, hills, woods, light mud): -1 mechanized units. Extreme (alpine, mountain, rubble): -1 infantry class units, -2 mechanized units, air support weakened. Mud (marsh, raspititsa): all land units fight like infantry, defender +1, no exploitation movement except cavalry corps, no air units. Ocean: -1 all units (due to vast search area). Storms: -2 battleships, -1 all other units, no air.
Weather: Each year has 6 turns (1 Winter, 1 Spring, 3 Summer, and 1 Fall). The Atlantic ocean has storms in Fall and Winter and no amphibious landings anywhere. The Northern Baltic and White Sea freeze and most territories in the Western Front are difficult terrain in Fall and difficult or extreme terrain in Winter. Most territories in the Eastern Front are extreme terrain in Winter with mud in the Spring and Fall due to raspititsa. The West and South return to default terrain in Spring. All areas are default terrain in Summer.

STATUS (this will be updated frequently)
RTtR is currently in closed alpha and not available for public download. The map is complete and functional but many rules mechanics need further vetting before the game will be released for play balance and open beta. If you are interested in contributing during the closed alpha stage, please post here on this thread or PM me and I will provide a link to download. I am not seeking testers for play balancing at this time. I need assistance with the following:

- Testing for bugs and game play issues.
- Assistance with addressing known game play issues from XML experts.
- Busy work such as testing all territory connections, checking in-game notices for typos and clarity, refining placement and polygon files.
- Writing a rules manual (I'm too busy with game development).

GAME PLAY ISSUES (this is far from an exhaustive list)
- The placement limit is enforced for placing new units before consuming old units. This means that a territory with 6 units does not allow upgrading from a corps to an army because the game engine doesn't consume the existing corps first and thinks the army is a 7th unit. No known resolution. Opened ticket on GitHub. As a workaround, I increased the placement limit to 7 if the stack includes an army sized unit. Players should not abuse the workaround to place 7 units.

- The movement limit of 2 air units often creates "traffic jams" where "parked" air units prevent other air units from movement through them. The workaround is to move the "parked" air units out of the way, move the other air units, then undo the moves for the "parked" air units. The movement limit won't be enforced after the undo.

- Air units that attacked or bombed in the combat phase must attack in the exploitation phase. The game engine doesn't ask again if a player wishes to bomb or attack. The workaround is to exit the territory and reenter during exploitation if you wish to bomb instead of attack. Minor bug but maybe worth a development request...

m3tan

PS: The name is intended as a play on words for those familiar with the popular boardgames "Roll Through the Ages" and "Roll for the Galaxy".

Below is a close up screen shot of starting Summer 1939 setup.
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Re: Roll Through The Reich development thread

crazy_german
Is this now available for download? Looks really good
Correctly crazy, disingenuously German
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Re: Roll Through The Reich development thread

Cernel
In reply to this post by m3tan
Sounds very interesting, especially the fuel part.

I'm only a bit unconfortable with that 2 hitpoints tech related thing I don't really understand. I tend to dislike multiple hitpoints units, almost always.

If you want I can provide some info on oil distribution and production from original ww2 or around matherial. I can do some scanning of my stuff, and write down info from atlas.

A tip: triggering fuel consumption in and out for noncombat is currently not fully supported, because fuel cost is charged upon loading; this means that you can load in non combat move of the turn before, instead of in the combat move of this same turn, and pay no fuel cost at all for the sea borne attack (this is very unrealistic, think about all the stuff used in D-Day be fuel cost free, just because it hanged in the transports since before).

So, you should specify an user enforced rule for avoid exploiting that (or forbidding keeping stuff loaded, and have a set of triggers for removing land units in sea zones).

I would really love the see the fuel limits well represented relatively to the Italian navy, I can provide some info about that. Main thing is that they started with 2,000,000 t and the navy requires 200,000 t per month with some decency, or down to 50,000 t by really moving the least possible, while keeping about 100,000 mostly light soldiers in North Africa badly supplied. Of course, the Germans could have kept the Italian navy fully working, if they wanted to (and as they actually promised, but scarcely honoured), but that would have meant less fuel for them. Basically, Italy only had has much fuel for their ships as much the stingy Germans (because at the same moment they were getting killed in Russia for lack of fuel) were fine to give, plus the 2,000,000 starting tons. From mid 1942 the Italian navy was basically totally incapacitated, what little fuel was used for the very badly escorted transport ships, just crossing fingers not to be sunk (even the Battleships themselves were emptied of their fuel, to move the few transport ships). Would be awesome to see such dynamics represented (as well as giving the possibility to actually give fuel to the Italian navy from the Germans, meaning less fuel for Russia etc. operations).

Another limit, beside fuel, was that the Tripoli and Benghazi ports are very small, so you can send only a few transports anyway. We already talked about that.

Also, there are no really serious railways anywhere in Libya, and rail starts in Mersa Matruh, eastward. So, there, you have to use quite a bit of oil, for your stuff you unload in Tripoli and move to the Egyptian frontier. I think about anything else but Libya should have at least 1 railway line per connection, on this scale (not very sure, but the exceptions should be very limited).

Cheers!
History plays dice
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Re: Roll Through The Reich development thread

m3tan
This post was updated on .
The map is not yet available for public download. It has loads of potential but is not balanced for play yet. I can't even think about that until I'm done tweaking game mechanics. It's playable up until about 1942 at this point.

PM me and I'll send you a Dropbox download link.
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Re: Roll Through The Reich development thread

m3tan
In reply to this post by Cernel
The 2 hit point system stems from my many years of playing block wargames that have up to 4 step (hit point) units. Those games typically allow you to build a unit at full strength in your home areas but not repair in enemy or contested areas. That system simply and elegantly recreates how difficult it is to sustain a prolonged invasion. I also tend to dislike 2 HP units because the repair rules for A&A are silly and players can easily find ways to exploit them. I'm hoping the HQ system solves that issue.

You and I have read the same articles re: Italian oil situation. I've actually compiled extensive data by combing data from multiple sources to construct the oil model. The only data I'm really missing are the starting oil reserves for Britain and USSR in 1939. I have the data for Germany (2.1M tons) , Italy (3M tons) and occupied Europe - Germany captured a total of 2.7M tons from France, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, and Poland. USA is irrelevant as they will never run out. I also have the oil production rates for all the major oil fields in Europe and the Middle East.
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Re: Roll Through The Reich development thread

m3tan
In reply to this post by Cernel
Cernel wrote
A tip: triggering fuel consumption in and out for noncombat is currently not fully supported, because fuel cost is charged upon loading; this means that you can load in non combat move of the turn before, instead of in the combat move of this same turn, and pay no fuel cost at all for the sea borne attack (this is very unrealistic, think about all the stuff used in D-Day be fuel cost free, just because it hanged in the transports since before).
That level of detail is probably beyond what is needed for the design effect. My goal is mainly to constrain the Germans and Italians and steer their conquests in the direction of oil, not PUs. By D-Day the Allies had more oil than they knew what to do with so it really doesn't matter. The oil system works if Italy runs out of oil in 1942 and Germany has just enough (until 1945) but constantly need to worry about it...

Cernel wrote
Also, there are no really serious railways anywhere in Libya, and rail starts in Mersa Matruh, eastward. So, there, you have to use quite a bit of oil, for your stuff you unload in Tripoli and move to the Egyptian frontier. I think about anything else but Libya should have at least 1 railway line per connection, on this scale (not very sure, but the exceptions should be very limited).
There is no rail movement in desert terrain.
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Re: Roll Through The Reich development thread

Cernel
In reply to this post by m3tan
Will there be a cavalry unit? Meaning mostly mounted infantry, of course (even tho charging while firing with pistols and machine pistols may be fairily effective). It always bugs me when there is no cavalry in WW2 games, unless they are really un-detailed, like Classic or v6, since it was quite good, especially considering fuel savings. Also mules might be good to consider, depending on the level of detail, of course.
So, you have decided for Europe only, rite? Will the English convoys going round Africa and the English aircrafts flying all the whay from equatorial Africa to Egypt be somehow represented?
Guess no option for the Japs to declare on USSR and cut the Vladivostok main line of lend lease.
History plays dice
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Re: Roll Through The Reich development thread

m3tan
Yes but only the Polish and Soviets and can build cavalry corps. The Americans and British were fully motorized and didn't need cavalry, nor worry about oil. The Germans needed the horses too badly as draft animals to risk them in combat.

I have plans for global game but Europe was much easier for me to implement as I am using a map and many game mechanics I already designed for boardgame. That's why I was able to get from nothing to draft version of map in about 5 weeks. I've put a lot of effort into developing the naval rules so that they will be ready for Pacific expansion. I plan to add an adjoining 5500x4000 map of PTO. I will not do a global map as 80% of the globe was irrelevant. The surface area of the earth is 510M sq km. With 300 km areas, that's roughly 1800 territories. No thank you. I'd rather focus on the 400 territories that really mattered and abstract the sideshows in Africa and the Americas...
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Re: Roll Through The Reich development thread

Cernel
Well, the Italians had a very small but good cavalry force also able to perform proper shock actions (like the Polish one). But they rarely used it because in North Africa water was too precious to have horses and only a couple of regiments (Savoia and Novara) were sent to the Russian front, where they performed in some minor actions (it was cavalry with relatively big men and big quality warhorses, so not anywhere as easy to support as the Russian type, and mostly made up by nobles or anyway sons of rich men). Most of the Italian cavalry hanged around in Italy, doing nothing, but it might count for like 1 hardly replaceable cavalry unit, lol.
The Americans had a lot of proper cavalry, fully equipped with pistols, but decided to convert it to not-horse stuff (cavalry not efficient to ship over long distances, especially when you have tons of fuel for motorized, of course).
Of course, you probably already know all of this. Just think that it might make sense for more powers other than Poland and Russia to build cavalry, if they want to (even tho like US and UK should likely decide to never do it).
Late in the war, on small numbers, the Germans went a bit back on the concept of having an actual cavalry, mostly acting as close support mounted infantry, also the SS.
I don't really know about the French cavalry, actually.
I just think cavalry should not be an exception, but everyone in a WW2 game should, under some limits, be able to build cavalry, but some should decide not to (like in regular A&A games some nations won't buy some of the units everyone can buy).
Of course, I'm talking only about cavalry on actual warhorses, or at least horses at all.
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Re: ROLL THROUGH THE REICH development thread

hepster
In reply to this post by m3tan
Lots of really innovative stuff here.  Looking forward to seeing the finished product.

I like the contested territory idea and anticipate seeing how it actually works.  Seems like a lot of workarounds for this concept to function right.

Great job so far.  Looks like a real different type of challenge for the TA crowd.
“A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition”― Rudyard Kipling
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Re: Roll Through The Reich development thread

Cernel
In reply to this post by Cernel
What I mostly meant is that I believe that if the Germans would have "produced" more cavalry, also for combat, like the Russians, that would have been a smart decision, especially to give some fuel-free mobility.
I tend to think that cavalry (with warhorses) has been undervalued (except by Russia and Poland), so maybe players should be given the possibility to decide differently, on this matter.
Of course, cavalry with lances and sabres is obsolete (the sabre can be retained, and it is about as good as the bayonet for the infantry), but if you use pistols and machine pistols is not that bad; for example, the American cavalry used pistols, not lances or sabres, while mounted, and carried rifles for dismounted combat. In my opinion the best weapon for cavalry is the machine pistol; a charge of cavalry firing with machine pistols is a fearsome sight.
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Re: ROLL THROUGH THE REICH development thread

Cernel
In reply to this post by m3tan
I'm also very interested to see how you will represent the syntetic fuel. Syntetic is ridiculously more costly than getting it the easy way, and the factories to produce it take years to complete (and are like the best target for bombing), before they can actually start producing the fuel (most went productive from 1943 onwards).
Maybe the next three strategic matherials after oil might be molibdeno (quality armour), tungsten (armour piercing) and copper (max quantity of electrical stuff you can produce (theorically you can use silver too)); also the loose enough iron constraints (from France and Sweden) might be of some interest, but not really needed.
Only oil tho is good, since it is for sure the foremost and keeping complexity at bay has always a value, especially because it's less work for you to research and finish up.
Ah, and not sure about ammunition consumption. That's a big limit of TA, since, for example, a very big deal of the German production was about making up shells, and one of the biggest strategical element was the projectile at disposals for the artillery (very often in short supply on the eastern front, on both sides). I'm thinking, with only 1 round combat, you could actually represent it; like having shells as infrastructures (triggered out after combat) that receive support from artillery, and like each artillery supports 4 shells, the first at +4, the second at +3, the third at +2 and the last at +1, with 4 shells being like plentiful and 1 shell being like minimum; less than 1 shell per artillery would just mean that the remaining artillery just has the military (mostly fodder) value of the dudes manning it.
Tho, a lot of ammunition production was for the AA guns; duno about that.
Just some random brainstorming.
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Re: Roll Through The Reich development thread

m3tan
In reply to this post by Cernel
I agree. All major combatants employed cavalry units but with the exception of the Poles and Soviets, everything was at the brigade, regimental, or divisional level. Since my units represent corps or army level units, there are no cavalry corps except for the Poles and Russians. The American, French, and German cavalry regiments and divisions are integrated into motorized corps at a scale beneath the level of those units. For the same reason, I eliminated the artillery unit. There was no such thing as an artillery corps or army in WW2...  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horses_in_World_War_II
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Re: ROLL THROUGH THE REICH development thread

m3tan
In reply to this post by Cernel
Germany has a hydrierwerke unit which produces 2 oil but consumes 1 industry per turn. The "currency conversion" for oil to industry is roughly 3:1 though as most countries consume about 3-5 industry and 10-15 oil per turn. The hydrierwerke unit can be bombed, is limited to 1 per territory, and is costly to build so Germany will need to build them slowly and at the expense of combat units.

German oil production breaks down as follows:

1 oil refinery in Austria, produces 1 oil
1 hydrierwerke in Berlin, produces 2 oil, consumes 1 industry
1 oil refinery in Ruhr, produces 1 oil
1 hydrierwerke in Ruhr, produces 2 oil, consumes 1 industry
3 oil received in trade from Romania, increases to 4 oil once German units enter Romania.
1 oil refinery in Hungary, produces 1 oil once German units enter Hungary.
They can capture about 25 oil (one time) from Belgium, France, Netherlands, and Poland.
After that they need to build more hydrierwerke or target Groznyy, Maykop, and Baku in the Caucusus or Abadan, Basra, and Kirkuk in the Middle East...
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Re: Roll Through The Reich development thread

Cernel
In reply to this post by m3tan
Oh ok, if there is no artillery then no cavalry too makes sense.

Myself I tend to think that in a strategical game things haven't to represent the operational subdivisions.

For example, if there are X infantry and Y armours, I would have some Infantry and some Armour units, not actually caring if the generals or whoever take the decision to share these armours they have amongst the Infantry regiments or concentrating them in stand-alone corps. I tend to think that's an operational decision you don't need to represent, but just represent the quantity of stuff, not their distribution, which can actually vary at any moment. So, like, if the generals decide to disband the armour divisions/corps/armies and distribute all armours amongst all regiments, that should not make the armours just disappear, imo (or if they do so for half the armours, then I think you should not have half armour units than before, strategically).

But I see your point, I get it; just it's a way I would not go, especially since then you would need to represent the decisions (changed overtime) of splitting / concentrating the various stuff.

I guess you are more or less going for German corps = Russian armies.

A side note, Russians had a bunch of 150 and 200 artillery (cannons and howitzers, respectively) as purely strategic reserve (but I seem to remember was division level, not sure).
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Re: ROLL THROUGH THE REICH development thread

Cernel
In reply to this post by m3tan
How long does it take to produce new hydrierwerke? Theorically, you could have like a hydrierwerke_1 consuming a hydrierwerke_2 ... consuming a hydrierwerke_X-1 and becoming the finished hydrierwerke.

A major restraint, like in the case of producing battleships, was not just the cost (already ridiculously high, with respect to just pumping out the oil), but the fact that, if you wanted new ones, you would have had to wait more than 1 year (not sure how long, but I think around 2 years) to have them actually finished and pruductive.
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Re: Roll Through The Reich development thread

m3tan
In reply to this post by Cernel
There are many ways to skin the cat...

I get what the artillery unit abstractly represents. It's not a massive artillery unit, but an infantry unit with a greater distribution of artillery and ammunition than the standard infantry piece. Since A&A doesn't have an ammo or supply resource, it works fine as a very abstract substitute. Since I have introduced a supply unit that boosts the firepower of other land units, the artillery unit becomes redundant so I eliminated it.

You've actually made a good case for the inclusion of the cavalry corps for the Germans. Heck, I let the Soviets research battleships so I might as well give players the option for other silly purchasing decisions if the nation technically had the capability of doing it.
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Re: ROLL THROUGH THE REICH development thread

m3tan
In reply to this post by Cernel
For now it just takes one turn to build. Probably not very realistic but certainly no worse than letting the British build factories in India or the Japanese in Manchuria...

Probably the best route is to make a tech that needs to be researched to be able to add more. TA doesn't handle delayed production very well unless you create a bunch of custom triggers use an interim piece like a hull that gets consumed by a battleship etc... I'm trying to keep things relatively simple so players don't need an operator's manual to play. If you want that, go buy Hearts of Iron III, IV or whatever version they are on...
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Re: Roll Through The Reich development thread

Cernel
In reply to this post by m3tan
m3tan wrote
You've actually made a good case for the inclusion of the cavalry corps for the Germans. Heck, I let the Soviets research battleships so I might as well give players the option for other silly purchasing decisions if the nation technically had the capability of doing it.


Aside that going Sovietish for the Germans too might have been a good choice, I like when a game gives you the possibility of not buying obviously wrong stuff, instead of just telling you not to do it. Side note, the Russians actually came pretty close to have new Battleships (they spent a lot of money in mostly totally useless naval building (like 1/3 or 1/4 budget, if I recall correctly), up unitl 1941; of course, players will not do it), and one of these (Ukraine) was actually captured by Axis, and they could have actually conpleted it, but was veeery low priority.

I would much suggest delaying the completion of the syntetic fuel factories, and having some partially built at start game. I would gess even Italy would have produced them, when it was really almost with no fuel, were it non that if you start in 1942 you would get fueled in 1944 or later. Delay would give a lot of strategical depth to the decision, while not delay would turn into low-depth micromanagement, and be very unrealistic (basically like in WaW or Big World when you spam battleships in 1 turn in Hawaii...).

Yes, also the Italians should be able to build syntetic facts, if they want to (start with 0).

You need to phone Putin to know the data for the Russians. I'm actually surprised you got the data for the French; I think it is quite difficult to find French datas, unless you are extrapolating from the stuff that got captured by the Germans, I guess.
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Re: ROLL THROUGH THE REICH development thread

Cernel
In reply to this post by m3tan
To make multiple turn buildings more user friendly, you can have each XXX_Y-1 producing 1 resource that it is needed to build the XXX_Y, then removing with triggers all such resources after each purchase, and having all upgrades in a tab. The purpose of such resources would just be avoid you purchasing more upgrades than what you can actually upgrade (would be better if implemented in the source code, of course). This way, when the player wants just to keep producing all that's already underway (likely, he will want to just keep building all "synfuel_fact" already partly produced), he will just need to open the upgrade tab and max everything, then go back thinking what else to do, with the spare money.
To make such decision more obvious, thus reducing micromanagement, just be sure to have a big share of the total costs (like 1/4 or ever 1/2) in the very first unit stage (the first consumable).
The only drawback is that the Economy tab will become enormous.
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