Units Can Load In Hostile Sea Zones



  • So me and a guy had a bit of a falling out over this.
    Nothing major happened between us but it got me thinking.
    There's a rule against loading transports if there are enemy combat ships present. In general it makes sense. But the bigger the map the more unusual situations it presents.

    All of the original scenarios available have factories on land tiles placed in such a way that not one single original factory ever shares a sea tile with an other.
    There are further not one single reasonable placement for such a factory as the game goes on except for the position of Norway. Norway on the other hand provides several other sea tiles as alternatives from which you're able to load and then hit the german capital no matter what original position you may start on.

    This brings me to the issue at hand. As we've made our own maps we've not taken into account some problems associated with this that IMO go against the spirit of the rule.

    What happens or what is possible is to buy a combat ship in a tile where the enemy has his fleet and suddenly block the loading of troops somewhere that previously was open.

    I imagine the only reason why the purchase of naval assets in otherwise occupied territories is allowed to begin with is to avoid situations where single, weak ships like destroyers penetrate the lines and suddenly block all possible deployment sea zones/tiles around the factory.

    I don't know personally, I think it's fine the way it is even though it's a bit lame. But since it caused an argument to the point of the game being abandoned I think it deserves a discussion.

    So the question is if there should there be an option or a rule exception to allow for the loading of troops if an enemy fleet has been purchased on the same tile that you're currently on or not?

    In one way it makes sense, as long as the transport is escorted...because the unloading itself is possible.

    Proposed Changes

    • Add new property that allows loading of units in hostile sea zones
        <property name="Units Can Load In Hostile Sea Zones" value="true" editable="false">
          <boolean/>
        </property>
    

    PR: https://github.com/triplea-game/triplea/pull/2984


  • Moderators

    @ondis Yes, I agree, the fact that you cannot load your ships in hostile sea zones is dumb. This is what the rules are, but it would be good to have an opt-out option (a property that enables loading in hostile sea zones), for custom maps that aim at some degree of realism.
    In the moment you can produce your Bismark in a hostile sea zone, it makes really no sense that nobody can walk into it or any other ships, like if the enemy ships are in your very ports, barring you from touching your own ones.
    This is itself nonsense and, as you say, it is made even more silly by the fact that you can block loading by placing hostile ships in the sea zone, like if that is easier and you are placing your ships as a wall between the enemy ships and their coastline.
    Really nonsense rules.


  • Moderators

    I think it would be good having a property like this:

    "Units Can Load In Hostile Sea Zones" true/false

    if true, enemy units can never prevent loading (you can always load units in sea zones, no matter what).

    I guess it should also be something easy to code?


  • Admin

    @ondis This is a great topic. A very old and antiquated rule that has survived simply because it has always been the only option.



  • @Cernel
    Chuckled at the Bismarck comparison! Those ghostships sail themsels, arr! No need for sailors to come aboard.

    I think the issue with your idea from the perspective of the engine that is that you shouldn't be able to sail in with a transport fleet into a tile with an empty transport fleet, do combat and at the same time load and unload on an adjacent enemy territory.

    So it has to somehow differentiate between newely placed ships and those already present.

    The way my mind sees it is that we are both sitting on our own ports where we can load and unload as much as we want. But if a new fleet comes in from the outside then I should be able to intercept it and block it from coming to your port to load units. To unload anything though we would of course have to defeat the enemy fleet protecting its port first as is normal.

    In terms of programing I'm not sure how it should be done but isn't it possible to create an attribute that tells the unit that for one turn it is not able to block loading?

    Like If turn = the same turn it was placed then restrict loading = not true.


  • Moderators

    I think units should always be able to load in hostile sea zones, and to impede it the ships should rather be positioned to block getting to that sea zone.
    However, not being able to load on ships that are already in that sea zone is clearly the most extreme case, so a more restricted and obvious alternative to the property above would be:

    "Units Can Load In Hostile Sea Zones Onto Standing Ships" true/false

    if true, units can always load onto sea units that didn't move (yet).

    This way, your ships in that sea zone can always be loaded, no matter what, but if you move more into it, those may not be able to be loaded, if the sea zone is hostile.
    I would certainly suggest a developer to have this property, even if right now applying to no maps. I'm fairly sure that any realism-oriented map would adopt it, based on how obvious it is.
    My guess is that general rule of no loading in hostile was based on Classic, where you can't place in hostile sea zones, either. Then that was allowed, but without rethinking the whole system coherently.
    I'm not a developer, so I can't code this, or I surely would. Plus, there is the problem that, of course, no maps use this property, right now, since it doesn't exist.



  • Ah! Makes sense. I've not played long enough to know classic very well. Then it tag along because it didn't need revision on the still relatively small new board maps and now we are here with it this many years later.


  • Admin

    @ondis I renamed the topic and moved it to the feature request section.

    I actually do agree with this as many of the larger maps end up with allied/enemy factories that touch the same SZ and the enemy can purchase a cheap ship to block loading units on transports.

    I'd probably go for a simple approach to start and just as @Cernel originally mentioned, create a property to never prevent loading in hostile sea zones (Units Can Load in Hostile Sea Zones or something like that). Otherwise I think the rule becomes complex and difficult to understand while still potentially having edge cases if you try to do it for only new transports or only if the transport hasn't moved, etc.

    @Hepps This would actually probably be a good property for TWW as I've actually run into exactly this case in the Pacific in my game vs Wirkey which makes it so I have to keep all my troops loaded on transports which just feels wrong: https://forums.triplea-game.org/topic/533/tww-2-7-7-2-lalapalooza-redrum-allies-vs-wirkey-axis


  • Moderators

    @redrum Cool and thumb up. I seem to remember it may actually be currently possible to somewhat hack this behaviour into it by piling up all of a serie of existing property into having something that at the end works this way. But this is really a kind of needed property, because it finished up the work of allowing placing in hostile sea zone, that in the "official" game was never extended to loading, as would be obvious and natural.


  • Moderators

    @ondis Also, maybe you should tell exactly in which games you would like this property being added (optional and off as default, obviously, especially if the clones).



  • @redrum If you were to completely remove the effect ships have on loading troops then situations could occur where someone buys a large fleet in one province and a huge army in an other 1 tile further down the stream, possibly adjacent to the enemy capital. The enemy would have no way of anticipating this mass purchase. In a game based on dice the enemy may then not dare to scramble in the seatile in fear of losing the sea battle and then losing the invasion it could not have predicted. Also an advancing army could have an earlier position from which to unload into an invasion that was not intended by the designer. So if we take the Manchurian area around Japan an army could attack Manchuria. The person defending the Sea of Japan may considering defending it with planes if he thinks that the army coming over land could invade Japan. Otherwise he may ignore it and let it fall. So an overall change would have a bigger impact. But I'm not saying it would be negative.

    It would be an other "cheap" strategy where a mass purchase could tilt the game the same way a the cheap purchase of a ship could block an entire D-Day or the Downfall of Japan. All of this has a bigger impact on dice plays than on Low Luck where you have to prepare for eventualities.

    Either way I think most players would consider trying out both options on these big maps rather than having the current system if it was available as a box to check.

    @Cernel
    Well I wanted a discussion first if people agreed with it. I think all maps should have the option but most pressing is probably TWW, Domination and Global in that order.


  • Moderators

    @ondis I don't really get the problem. Under the normal rules, the fleet moving in would be able to load units from the other therritories, but it would be still blocked in the battle, unable to move out, and able to unload the units only if it clears the sea zone.


  • Moderators

    @ondis Based on @Hepps reply the matter with TWW would be maybe if having the option of not having this option. 😛
    Domination, I guess you mean Imbaked's. Otherwise, there is the original Domination, and Domination 1901 that is the ice's mod of it.
    Anyway, making a push request to change an existing xml is very easy.



  • What about your 270BC type of maps. Aren't there a lot of places where there can be several cities in and around the same tile. I'd think a lot of blocking could be going on there as well with random ship purchases.

    Here especially I can se merit to allowing loading to happen regardless of if the enemy ships are new or not, this since ships move so slowly. But at the same time, with so many cities in range of a possible landing it could be more risky.


  • Moderators

    @ondis If you mean my variants of 270BC, in those you are unable to place in hostile sea zones, like in "Classic", which makes no sense, but it is kind of necessary because, otherwise, the balance of the Greece - Macedonia theatre would be greatly altered (because the little ships are att/def 1/2), and my variants are supposed to be all about low level changes.



  • Ah I see! Is it the same in the standard version of 270? Just curious. Haven't seen you online for some time actually! You'd often host multis in the past of that and Napoleon.

    Anyway makes (gameplay) sense. And that's frankly the simplest way of solving things but it really hurts countries like Japan that have only one or two tiles for that much industrial production.


  • Moderators

    @cernel Ice's "Rome Total War", instead, allows placing in hostile sea zone and, for this reason, he had to redraw the sea zones in the Aegean Sea, to make some sense with it. I didn't want to make any map changes at all, just mostly correcting what I think turns 270BC regular into a not really serious game to play (like the 80% lucky shot on Lilybaeum on round 1) and what I'm unconfortable with, like all the spam of the 1/1 units at cost 2 (that I changed into 0/1 units that give support).


  • Moderators

    @ondis Yes, all 270BCs are Classic rules and you can't place in hostile sea zones.
    Instead Rome Total War and Total Ancient War you can (and have different sea zone drawing in Aegean).



  • Ah yes, the Total War versions were the ones I tended to play. Hopefully this idea can be discussed and possibly implemented to relieve map makers of some additional headaches too then.


  • Admin

    @redrum As I said... a worthy topic. I would most certainly include this in TWW if it were made available.