Atomic bomb - the Wunderwaffe

  • I was thinking about the possibility of introducing a new development like an atomic bomb.

    If a player wants to develop an atomic bomb, he can buy a dice per round at a cost of 5. The dices add up over time. At the beginning of each round, the dices are rolled. In order to succeed, the sum of all dices needs to be 18 or above. So, if someone starts to buy dices from round 1 he will have a first (small) chance in round 3. Obviously, it becomes easier to develop the bomb the more dices are bought over time.

    Of course, this is a big investment so it only makes sense if the benefit is also significant. So, once the player has developed the bomb, it can be carried by bombers or, if available, by rockets. Only one atomic bomb can be build per round and it destroys all units in the field, where it is dropped including AA guns and factories.

    That could allow players that are facing superior enemies to invest in a game changer technology in order to turn the game towards the end.

    Maybe this principle of developing technology could also be used for other technologies but with different degrees of difficulty, i.e. instead of 18 the target value could be lower for other technologies.

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    Atomic bombs would be fun. However I think a technology as powerful as the sun should never be achievable at all with a 5pu investment in luck.

    Ideally all technology should be dependent on management of national resources. I'm currently working on some new techs for Big World 3. If I was to include nukes they would be very expensive and zero luck.

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    BTW, try "cold war 1965". It uses ICBMs and nuke bombers.

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    @Patrik frostion's age of tribes uses nukes as well

  • @general_zod
    My Idea is that you have to invest far more than 5pu for this kind of long term strategic development.

    In the first round, you can buy a dice for 5pu. Obviously, it is not possible to achieve 18 with one dice. In the second round, you can invest 5pu for a second dice. The max you can reach is now 12. In the third round you can buy another dice. This is the first time that you have a remote chance of having a dice roll of 18. By that time, you have already invested 15pu.

    With every further round you can increase the number of dices and obviously the chance of achieving a dice roll of 18 or above increases, but of course there is still a significant chance of failure.

    I think this corresponds to the real scientific process, where more investment over time increases your chance of succeeding, but there is always a good portion of luck. I would think, that on average the bomb will be developed in Round 6 or 7, with an investment of 30-35pu.

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    The mechanism in it self is an improvement over some existing tech models. But there's more to consider too. Here's a couple of them.

    1. If it goes as you stated, then by round 6 or 7 it is highly likely most all nations will either have nukes or will get them very soon.

    2. The balance of game may shift dramatically, but sounds like that's your aim. And that's cool if so. But most likely the game would require further adjustments if you want people to replay it.

    3. The other technologies would have to follow same rules, or would need create a stand alone mechanism for nukes only. A lot of work goes into that, and it might end up slightly different because there are limitations.

    Personally I'm ok with some luck in right areas of technology research to simulate a breakthroughs. For instance, if researching "long range aircraft level 1", give a slim chance to also discover "long range aircraft level 2". Or assured success of development, just let luck determine the time frame to 1 to 3 turns, incrementally increasing, similar to your idea.

    But in general the engineers, scientists, universities, and industry if funded well enough and having adequate materials are assured to eventually develop most technologies within a standard ww2 tech tree. Unless its very exotic and very little known of the physics etc..

    So I have rationalized to myself, why not for most part assure successful technology developments and design it so the cost to develop is the variable a player must contend with and not dumb luck.

    One last point, I would design the game to not allow tech spamming. So only a handful of technologies could even be developed and be expected to do reasonably well militarily. So a big tradeoffs and decisions would have to made. Which technologies will actually help my nation win the war because I cant afford all of them.

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    @patrik Where you thinking of this for an existing map? If so which map.

    What I don't really get... is that as a late game, game changer... a Hail Mary play if you will... it seems odd that you would have to essentially forfeit the game from the first round by deciding to pursue this tech. (Assuming there are other techs available with more immediate pay-offs and that you can only invest in one tech per turn). Seems kinda like the type of thing that would end up being pursued by the nation that already has the lead and has the disposable income to dump into this... there-by making it more of a game-ender tech. (Not that that would be necessarily bad since it would be highly historic).

    Seems like the entire tech field would have to be re-envisioned for this to be incorporated into a game effectively, rather than as simply tacked onto an OOB tech structure.

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    5pu a turn is chump change, every nation would go for it. Unless the economic structure is such that income is very low.

  • @patrik seems like a half decent system to try on some map. Try it in the public servers and see if anyone enjoys it!

  • Thanks for your feedback.

    As a matter of fact, I came up with this idea, because I was thinking of the historic development of WW2. Why would anyone fight to the last bullet and the last square meter as Germany did? Assuming that it was not just pure stupidy and/or fanatism, it seems logical, that once you realize that you have no chance of expanding anymore with conventional methods you try to retreat as slowly as possible in order to gain time to develop a "game changer technology". This is what happend historically (the so called Wunderwaffe that was never actually achieved, but the progress was quite significant and a lot of effort was invested)

    If this is your strategy you will divert a part of your ressource into this development program, hoping that your scientists will eventually be succesfull. Of course, this means taking chances, but it is a rational approach (from a pure military, not humanitarian perspective).

    I calculated the chances of succeeding (based on a target value of 18):

    Round 3: 0,5%
    Round 4: 16%
    Round 5: 50%
    Round 6: 79%
    Round 7: 94%

    Given the high probability of succeeding in Round 6/7 this approach is not simply based on dump luck. So, it could be an interesting option if you want to have a fallback position in case the game does not develop in your favor.

    On the other side, it is also a viable option for someone on the superior side with a lot of ressource in order to achieve victory quicker, which also corresponds to the history. You could endlessly battle down your enemy or you could chose to develop such a technology as a shortcut. So, indeed it makes for both sides to think about this option.

    Of course, 5pu was only an idea, it could very well be higher or lower. I guess, the only way of finding a sensible cost is by trying. The same applies for the target value.

    I based my idea on the Classic WWII or 3rd Edition map. Unfortunately, I am not a programer, so I do not know how this could be implemented for a test.

  • @patrik said in Atomic bomb - the Wunderwaffe:

    I think this corresponds to the real scientific process, where more investment over time increases your chance of succeeding, but there is always a good portion of luck.

    Scientific progress is very random. It is very likely just pure chance that we have a coherent theory of general relativity (Einstein managed to get it right at the first shot), while after nearly a century we still can't say the same about quantum mechanics. Or to take another example, the amount of evidence for heliocentrism over geocentrism was basically the same at the age of Ptolemy as at the age of Copernicus; it could just as well have become widespread in the ancient world a millennium and a half earlier.

    Technological progress, on the other hand, is very different. I wouldn't say there is any reasonable amount of luck involved in developing a particular tehchnology. The reason it seems random is because we can't tell in advance how difficult exactly a specific problem is, and also because it is hard to assess how effectively your engineers can work on the problem given the funding they get.

    Real life set aside, if someone can possibly get this überweapon round 3, and your opponent only gets it like round 7, then he will feel RNG-f***ed. (Quite rightfully so too.) In principle your strategy should be prepared for randomness, but I have doubts whether or not "roll a dice, if you roll 1, you lose"-type randomness is good for player experience.

    The tech system itself is a great idea though. You could have easier and harder technologies. Also IMO it is much better than most other TripleA tech systems, because you can go from "very slim chance of getting tech" to "almost certainly getting tech" by just doubling your investment, so there is a very real tradeoff between PUs and chance.