Showing a warning when attacking a territory where units can scramble.



  • Hey all,

    I have a pull request open to add this feature:

    https://github.com/triplea-game/triplea/pull/5619

    The idea is that when you first move an attacking unit into a territory that can be defended by scrambling units (e.g. fighters in WW2 Global), the game will tell you so.

    Screen Shot 2019-11-27 at 9.50.19 AM.png

    This is useful for new players or players who play across many different maps and may not remember whether a given variant has scramble rules or not. It can prevent mistake moves.

    It will only be shown on initiating the attack, so if you do multiple moves to the same territory, you'll only get the warning on the first one.

    There are a couple points that were brought up on the review that could use discussion:

    1. Should there be a way to turn off this warning? (e.g. a pref setting, or "do not show again option").

    My thought is actual battles where scrambling planes are involved should be sufficiently rare - and heavily scrutinized already by experienced players (e.g. using odds calculator), that this warning in legitimate cases should be very low frequency. And in the case of mistakes, should actually be helpful. So I'm leaning to keeping the UI and code simpler by not having. But I'm curious to learn if my assumptions are wrong - are battles with scrambling planes more frequent that I imagine?

    1. Does this deviate too much from the board game, where there is no such warning?

    I agree it deviates, but so does scramble defense as implemented in TripleA. Since scramble defense tells the defending player already what all the possible scramble options are (via dialog asking which units to scramble), right now it's actually unfair in favor of the defender - they get help from the game UI for defending, but attacker does not get help. So adding this warning in my opinion will give the attacker the same benefit.

    Also, I'd image people would prefer games where strategy is used and not just players making silly mistakes like attacking when not realizing defender could scramble.

    But I'm curious what others think.


  • Donators Moderators

    @Alexei-Svitkine said in Showing a warning when attacking a territory where units can scramble.:

    ... I agree it deviates, but so does scramble defense as implemented in TripleA. Since scramble defense tells the defending player already what all the possible scramble options are (via dialog asking which units to scramble), right now it's actually unfair in favor of the defender - they get help from the game UI for defending, but attacker does not get help. So adding this warning in my opinion will give the attacker the same benefit. ...

    Hi Alexi
    Yea I saw this on git yesterday. Nice idea. I think there should be a way to turn it off though. Generally the more flexibility the better imo. Panther made a good point on being able to turn it off. It does ask the defender if they want to scramble but I think that's just a normal game step.
    I guess you could ask if you want to scramble and not show the scramble options or make those able to be turned off as well, but...

    I'd vote for adding it as an option that can be turned on or off. As you said, it'd be helpful for new players. Experienced players will probably not use it.

    Thanks for the work you're doing over at git. Always nice to see another developer jump in 🙂


  • Moderators Admin

    While I see the benefits of this idea, I must say that I am somehow sceptical.

    Why?

    Well, I don't like it in general when a software takes over more and more aspects that the player himself should consider when planning his moves.

    Talking about G40, A&A is not a game of information transparency. The boardgame is not - and any war is not. Players are not equally skilled - and you should learn your skills yourself. You should learn from your mistakes.

    In case the attacker plans his attack missing a potential scramble - why should the software kick in?
    The software doesn't issue warnings on Kamikaze Strikes, sneaky submarines, bombers in range, potential loss of income due to convoy raids or anything else the players should be aware of.
    All of this is game design.

    And indeed: Actually in Global 1940 scrambling planes occurs frequently - it is not a rare incident. It is pretty standard, instead.

    That is why I would prefer an option. Let the players decide how much responsibility is taken over by the software.


  • Moderators

    For usability, I think such warnings are better all given upon clicking on Done (to end the phase), and quickly acceptable with space bar or something. Of course, in this case, the warning should have the name of the territory, and the screen centred on it.
    Regarding the ability to have them or not (and, as long as they are all at the end of the phase, thus not distrupting movement making in any ways, I'm pretty sure virtually nobody will want to deprive itself of a quick chance for a final check), just add a "Warning" option right under "User Notifications", in the "Game" menu (better not having it in the warning itself).
    However, I've never played a game with scramble.
    By the way, scramble, especially to naval battles, is very ahistorical, as such a practice proved to be technically and tactically scarcely effective, to say the least.
    So, at any mapmakers, if you are making a map that aims at realism, I strongly suggest you forget about scrambling to the sea, unless a developer implement some dynamic to make it far less effective (like roll a dice for each fighter you want to scramble, only those that get 1 are added to the battle).


  • Moderators Admin

    In Global 1940 scrambling adds a welcome flexibility to defending planes, as they can strengthen a defending fleet in a coastal seazone. Also the ability to scramble prevents lonely transports from unloading or force the attacker to better guard his transports. Scrambling is a common feature of the game, frequently occurring.


  • Moderators

    @Panther Yes, I was just saying this is very inconsistent with historical reality, where scrambling (or generally protecting fleets with land based fighters) was near to ineffective. So, I'm just saying that the basic games without the scrambling rule are more realistic, under this aspect, than Global, with that rule.


  • Moderators Admin

    @Alexei-Svitkine said in Showing a warning when attacking a territory where units can scramble.:

    I agree it deviates, but so does scramble defense as implemented in TripleA. Since scramble defense tells the defending player already what all the possible scramble options are (via dialog asking which units to scramble), right now it's actually unfair in favor of the defender - they get help from the game UI for defending, but attacker does not get help. So adding this warning in my opinion will give the attacker the same benefit.

    Not really, IMHO. The defender's scramble move is something totally different:

    It is the attacker's turn. The attacker has to completely plan and execute his turn. Doing so he needs to consider and plan everything. He has to take everything into account. He has to carefully plan his moves, watch the opponent's opportunities and possible reactions (including scrambling).
    It is all totally on his side. He does not get any other warnings related to any other aspect of his move/turn.

    Now why protect him from committing mistakes? Missing things is part of the game. G40/A&A is no way a game of information transparency.

    The defender is in a totally different position: Scrambling is a defender's move during the attacker's turn and thus totally atypical. When the defender is attacked he will know about his possibility to scramble. He is not in a position where he can miss that being confronted with a whole bunch of decisions. At that time to scramble or not is his one and only decision.

    Again I am not totally against this feature. I am just saying make it optional so that "new players" can maybe benefit from a warning, but can turn it off at any time to preserve game design features.


  • Admin

    @Alexei-Svitkine I really like this feature though would like to see it more streamlined. I think having some sort of display on the map that you can hover over to see possible scramble rather than a pop up would be much better. Something like a little scramble icon in the corner of any territory where enemies can scramble that then you can hover over to see a list of possible scrambling units and max that are allowed. I think this should be more of "providing helpful information" and less of a "warning/confirmation". Then you could have a setting that toggles them on/off similar to unit flags.

    @Panther I can see where you are coming from but you could make a similar point around something like the battle calc but the vast majority of players acknowledge that its a helpful tool that helps improve the game (allows them to make more informed decisions and spend less time on adding up unit values). IMO, providing more information and transparency is a good thing as long as it doesn't go so far as to start making decisions for the player. I don't think too many players want to win a game because their opponent didn't see that they could scramble from somewhere.


  • Moderators Admin

    @redrum Allright then, let's include this feature but please let us agree that this will not be the initial start of a "prevent players from committing mistakes by issuing warnings" feature-series.

    IMO, providing more information and transparency is a good thing as long as it doesn't go so far as to start making decisions for the player.

    That is exactly my concern: That the engine will release the player from being careful and thinking about details.

    I don't think too many players want to win a game because their opponent didn't see that they could scramble from somewhere.

    Right. But do they want to win a game because the player missed a counterattack of an enemy submarine in reach? Or that a bomber could target an unprotected loaded transport? Or that an attacker missed a possible Kamikaze strike? Or due to a misevaluation of chances to win a battle? Scrambling is not less standard in G40 as those things listed. Why does it deserve a warning? There is nothing special about it, IMHO. Just another game feature.

    I really like this feature though would like to see it more streamlined. I think having some sort of display on the map that you can hover over to see possible scramble rather than a pop up would be much better. Something like a little scramble icon in the corner of any territory where enemies can scramble that then you can hover over to see a list of possible scrambling units and max that are allowed. I think this should be more of "providing helpful information" and less of a "warning/confirmation". Then you could have a setting that toggles them on/off similar to unit flags

    That sounds like a good compromise that still leaves a bit of responsibility to the player.


  • Admin

    @Panther Fair points. I think scrambling feels different to me than looking at counterattacks of subs/bombers/etc as:

    1. Its more immediate and the opponent will get to decide to scramble during the current turn vs it being on the opponents next turn for counterattacking and other things changing on the map before then.
    2. Because scrambling isn't in many other maps, having some player assistance can make learning something like G40 much easier from revised/v3/etc players where as counter attacks are always a part of the game.
    3. I actually think G40 kamikaze token defense fits into the same category as scrambling and having a little icon showing potential kamikaze defenses would be helpful. I can personally attest to struggling to know when an opponent can kamikaze as its a very G40 specific rule and has a bunch of different behavior for transports vs subs vs surface ships. I kind of see this and scrambling something where the engine can help display/enforce the rules so the player understands the decisions they are making.

  • Moderators Admin

    @redrum
    I see your point of view. To me personally Global 1940 since 2011/2012 has been the current flagship of A&A with its rules being pretty standard and not exceptional, that is why I am so concerned about it.
    Realizing it the way you suggested above appears to be a good solution.


  • Donators Moderators Admin

    @Panther I think my argument would come down to one thing... why does the game automatically prompt the defender to scramble to any and all attacks, but not remind an attacking player that those those possibilities exist during the attacking phase.

    If we have automated the potential options for defender... why then should the attacker have the entire burden of experience be placed on their skill and insight-fullness?

    The argument about what exists in the board game seems moot at this point since we have been forced for simplicity sake to prompt the behavior to at least one of the players already. (Defender in this case)

    I agree that having an entire window pop up might be cumbersome... so I suggest something as simple as this...

    Scramble.png

    An icon that pops up in any attack that has the potential for a scramble.


  • Donators Moderators

    @Hepps said in Showing a warning when attacking a territory where units can scramble.:

    ... why does the game automatically prompt the defender to scramble to any and all attacks, ...

    I'm not sure how triplea could do it otherwise. At the end of the combat move phase is when scrambling takes place ( in the global game ). If there is no prompt asking if you want to scramble, when would the defender have the chance to do it ? Change the prompt to "Any Defender Action ? " and not mention scrambling ? Scrambling is the only action they can take though, so idk how that would be any different.

    The way forum games are played, after the attacker makes his moves they ask the defender if he wants to scramble. I don't see how that is anything other than normal game play. What it doesn't do is say "you could be scrambled on this attack".

    How do ftf players handle it ? I don't ( sadly ) play ftf so idk. Does the defender have to jump in and say i want to scramble without the attacker saying anything ? Maybe a 60 second window for defender to scramble at end of combat move ? You'd still have to say when that window opens which is basically saying the same thing, do you want to scramble ?

    As I said above you could just ask "Any Scramble" without giving the specific options, but that seems as if it would unnecessarily make the whole thing take longer. i guess you could make an option that does that or keep it the way it is but either way the defender has to be asked if he wants to scramble at some point.


  • Donators Moderators

    i think if anything it should be a game option that way it can be agreed upon before the start of the game i think it would def be helpful for players who are getting used to it. Myself i still get surprised by them sometimes especially with the scramble to any amphibious assault option enabled.


  • Donators Moderators

    just had another random thought about this i do like @Hepps UI indicator idea but it might also be good to add it as an option to the battle calc. Like a check for scrambles button or something.



  • wow this got uber in-depth anal-retentive game nerdy 😜


  • Moderators Admin

    @Hepps said in Showing a warning when attacking a territory where units can scramble.:

    I think my argument would come down to one thing... why does the game automatically prompt the defender to scramble to any and all attacks, but not remind an attacking player that those those possibilities exist during the attacking phase.
    If we have automated the potential options for defender... why then should the attacker have the entire burden of experience be placed on their skill and insight-fullness?

    Because it is the attacker's turn, not the defender's. The attacker triggers a potential reaction of the defender. The defender simply kicks in at one time during the attacker's turn when deciding about a scramble. The defender needs an information that he has to perform a single action (scrambling) despite it is not his turn. Once the defender becomes the attacker again (on his turn) "all the burden" is on him. That is fair. It's the nature of the game that the player whose turn it is has all the burden.

    Anyway, I think we have a consensus with an acceptable solution.


  • Donators Moderators

    Would need a new phase 'Scramble" at end of combat move, Don't know how much work it'd take but "Do You Want To Scramble ? " as opposed to saying what you CAN scramble, as it is right now.

    Anyway, I like the Feature, think it should be optional : )


  • Donators Moderators Admin

    @Panther I appreciate everything you're saying and get the rationale behind it. There is something to be said about a player being aware of whats going on in the game he is playing and winning (or loosing) based on the merits of his own gameplay.


  • Donators Moderators Admin

    @beelee said in Showing a warning when attacking a territory where units can scramble.:

    Anyway, I like the Feature, think it should be optional : )

    Would be great if it could be set up as a map option...

    Scramble warning.png

    This way the players could decide at the outset of a game whether they want "training wheels" or not. 😉


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