Iron War - Official Thread

  • Ps. I also tried a German solo vs the HardAI Allies at 150%. It was pretty brutal. The HardAI just stacked massive. Figured I'd hunker down and see if we could make it till 1945 hehe.

    Here it is at the dawn of the Nuclear era, G is still kicking but my AI teammates are definitely up against the ropes. Italy has been doing reasonably well considering how the minor Allies have been banging away at Africa, but Japan got gutted pretty early on.

    It seems the HardAI Japanese don't fully appreciate the centrality of their transports to victory, and will needlessly throw them away or leave them exposed, just to drop off a couple infantry units here and there. HardAI Japan also seem reluctant to replace their lost transports, which seems a bit curious since most of the other naval powers will buy transports pretty regularly. The Japan Sea Zone alone could cover territories worth 20+ production, but once the transports were gone they got stuck unable to defend the coast very effectively.

    Anyhow, I think 150% is pretty much the upper limit before the continuing bonus makes the game so tough that you have to start switching the goalposts. But it was fun for test run.

    0_1525073369930_Elk Germany vs Hard AI Allies 150 bonus round 12.tsvg

  • Admin

    Thanks for the feedback @Black_Elk. I am taking it all into account. I am also myself doing a lot of testing, evaluation and start setup changes because of the new AI and fuel balancing. I hope to present a new version soon, but time is not something I have in abundance right now 🙄 But soon hopefully!

  • Sounds good, will look forward to checking out the tweaks. Lately I've been thinking more about how to approach the AI difficulty levels idea floated earlier.

    On the one hand I like the idea of something that is consistent/universal for all the AI nations on the enemy team, so that its easy to understand what's going on. But on the other hand, I think there may be some variation in what's needed depending on how hard we really want it to be. While still providing for some nuance, it'd be nice if we could describe what's happening on the machine's side in just a couple lines. The wording can be a little awkward, so it'd be cool if we could come up with clever names for the difficulty levels, but just for a starting point, we might have something like this..

    Standard game, no AI advantages.

    The enemy AI team is not subject to fuel-based movement restrictions. +500 bonus to starting fuel for each enemy nation.(Lets just say whatever fuel number is required so the AI can go a dozen rounds or so without running dry. This alone should improve the challenge considerably, since it would allow the computer to move all its ships and aircraft each round without getting stuck.)

    +500 starting fuel, +25 PU's to starting income, +5 PUs per round recurring income bonus.

    +500 starting fuel, +25 PU's to starting income, +5 starting steel, +10 PU's recurring income bonus.

    Very Hard:
    +500 starting fuel, +50 PU's to starting income, +5 starting steel, and 115% recurring income/resource bonus.

    +500 starting fuel, +75 PUs to starting income, +10 steel, and 125% recurring income/resource bonus.

    Those are just ideas, but basically something to provide a bit more interest and variation between difficulty tiers than just a straight repeating income bonus would offer. I think an increase to starting income/resources, coupled with a recurring bonus per round would be ideal, since it would force a different play pattern out of the first round each time you go up a difficulty level.

    Or another approach might be to only alter the starting resources at the lower levels, and then introduce the recurring bonus as you go up in difficulty. I think the recurring stuff provides a more consistent challenge, but there is also something to be said about front loading things, where it's like, if you can just get over the initial hump, then you can make a break away. With recurring bonuses, things get harder the longer the game goes, so there is an incentive to be ballsy about it early on.

  • Admin

    I have released a new version of Iron War. The changes are as described here:

    World v0.2.3 to v 0.2.4
    • The Anti-Air unit now costs 9 PUs, not 8.
    • Added some more Fuel barrels on the map.
    • Romania is now a 20 PU territory, not 10 PU.
    • Italy is now a 40 PU territory, not 50 PU.
    • Siberia is now a 10 PU territory, not 5 PU.
    • Brazil is now a 10 PU territory, not 5 PU.
    • Start setup changes.

    Many of the changes have been done to adjust the fuel availability and balance the fuel needs of nations. Also, as the map tries to implement a bit of historical realism (alongside the players’ freedom to act crazy) some start setup adjustments have been made as a result of the newly updated AI’s behavior.

    Brazil and Balkan have been boosted a bit in PUs, so that they are maybe more interesting to play if players take control of these nations. Hard AI Brazil still goes like 75% of the time on a mission to conquer all of South America, but at least some times they do help out in Africa and Europe. Since the neutral South American countries are mostly 1 PU territories, I think most human players would not waste 10-20 PU units on conquering this area, even though it is a strategic option for human players.

    As part of the starting setup rearrangement, the UK fleet now starts 1 sea territory further away from the German, so that the Germans do not always wipe out the UK fleet in round 1, but instead focus on conquering some land territories. With the new setup, the German AI seems have a variety of move options to chose from in round 1. And many of the Allied countries use round 1 to move units around and positioning them according to Germany’s actions and battle luck.

    @redrum As @Black_Elk I have also seen the AI, especially Japan and Germany, move transport ships into positions where they are sure to be killed. Many times the AI moves a transport, disembark the units as part of an attack, and then the transport is left undefended at the coast and killed soon after. I think the AI needs to protect sea transports a bit better, maybe by moving escorting defensive ships with them?

    @Black_Elk I would also like to set some levels of difficulty some day, and your play experience is the best measurements we have to date. You have played a lot with increased % income, and this is what I would like to use as “recommendations”. Maybe at some point the engine will support more varied options like AI personalities and stuff, and this would be great to implement as part of any recommended or pre-fixed setup options. Right now I have not implemented recommendations in the notes or coded some sort of map/xml trigger system for difficulty settings.

    @All I really hope to use some time updating Iron War Europe now, so that the Europe version does not fall behind 😛 I hope to do some intensive testing now on Europe. But please keep playing the World version as that version is probably best balanced and most playable atm.

  • Admin

    @frostion I like the changes. If you have some saves where the AI consistently leaves transports vulnerable please upload a save game so I can take a look. Generally, transports are one of the most difficult parts of the AI to do well but always looking for ways to improve it.

  • Admin

    @Frostion Here is a 27 round AI vs AI game after land transports were just added: 0_1527297105272_IronWarAI.tsvg

  • Admin

    @redrum Thx. I will take a look at it when I have the time. I have not had that much time lately to look at anything TripleA 🙁 So I have not been able to look at and make save games of the AI sacrifice transports thing.

    The bad management of transports, where the AI combat moves transports alone and do not follow up with escorting ships, is a problem not to be confused with situations where the AI actually wants to move combat ships with the transports but then does not have the fuel. This also happens in Iron War. Maybe you have noticed.

  • Admin

    PR with AI land transport implementation is merged and can be tested here:

  • Moderators Admin

    @Schulz bumped

  • Been a little bit, busy at work, so haven't had as much time to game lately, but here are a few quick saves using

    I started out with some Solo games to see how the AI held up. I didn't give the AI any kind of bonus, because I wanted to see how the baseline challenge felt after that land transport update, since it seemed like a major game changer.

    For the first few rounds I'd say the AI does a pretty reasonable job of moving their mobile ground forces, though they do burn through their starting reserves of fuel pretty quickly.

    Not sure if the AI has any way to prioritize which fuel units move first, like if it calculates that it should move mobile ground or ships before the more fuel intensive air units, things like that. But I think for the AI to provide any kind of serious challenge into the endgame, it needs a major fuel bonus.

    Having the mech units finally functioning properly definitely helps the AI balance with Russia and Germany, since mech is such a large part of their starting forces.

    I will probably play some full games next for each side to see how it feels with no bonus, then gradually increase to see how it compares to earlier versions. My guess is that it will probably still hover around 20%, though I think that could probably be reduced if it was possible to add just fuel without increasing the PUs or other resources.

    0_1530315932628_elk vs hardAI Allies Germany Solo round 8.tsvg

    0_1530315942437_elk vs hardAI Axis Britain Solo round 13.tsvg

    0_1530315949033_elk vs hardAI Axis USA Solo round 21.tsvg

  • Admin

    @black_elk The AI doesn't take fuel into account when planning purchases or moves. Only thing it does is make sure it has enough fuel before making a move. But yeah having a separate fuel bonus setting would especially be useful for the AI.

    Glad to see the land transports are a significant improvement.

  • Admin

    I must admit that I have not tested out the new land transport. But the AI USSR should really gain some starting benefits from this as they got a lot of starting units far inland.

    I will take a look at your no-bonus games. Regarding fuel needs, since it is now possible to send support as not only PUs but also fuel, I will most likely make use of this now and give Iran, Iraq, south Latin America (USA/UK) etc. the actions and operations options to send fuel to their allies, and therefore place some extra fuel in some selected territories. It would be the job/minigame of some nations to manage and ship fuel around. Any suggestions regarding who/where extra fuel could be given/placed to is welcome??? Especially if there is some historical basis in the suggestion. What territories would be fuel surplus?

    If the AI was able to use actions and operations, It would aslo be awesome!!! (@redrum wink, wink 😄)

  • Played a Russian solo for good measure. It was pretty challenging...

    Tried to snake both Finland and the Middle East at the same time. Figured that Germany would slam into the center, but I just wanted to see how it would play out if I traded the core for the periphery. The European front was fun after the Finland and Iraq factories helped us to stabilize things a bit, but Japan came and gutted us from behind.

    0_1530676900619_elk vs hardAI Axis Russia Solo round 12.tsvg

    I guess I'll try Japan next before moving on.

    As for where to locate more fuel, this link below was just at the top of my google search, but the charts about half way down give a pretty good historical breakdown of the world's distribution of various raw materials during the war.

    Most of the worlds oil was being produced in the Americas and the Soviet Union, but I'm sure it's better for the gameplay if you stretch the imagination. Coal was obviously more widespread and could also count as fuel, so you've got some leeway there to scatter it around.

    Right now the fuel restrictions are hitting the AI really hard during the endgame. Lots of grounded aircraft, and ships stuck at sea etc. Its making the machine pretty incompetent, since it can't really use aircraft effectively or set up the shucks to cross the ocean. In most A&A style maps the AI will eventually find its groove through spamming, even if it's initial purchasing strategy seems suspect. After a while the transports and tanks and fighters somehow end where they're supposed to be (even if it seems pretty haphazard in early rounds) but here, when they run low on fuel, the AI halt gets really grinding. I'd say err on the side of overabundance, since you can always scale it back, but it seems to me that the air war and the naval game are very fuel intensive. My guess is that most players will want the fuel to go from the little guys to the big guys, since they'll be the ones with the larger starting forces and more concentrated cash on hand to buy the big ticket ships and aircraft. But as long as everything can move both ways I guess you could do either.

    For a mini-game it might be fun if the US had the strategic responsibility of sending fuel where it needs to go for the rest of their team. This would match the historical situation pretty well, since the US provided like 85% of the total oil consumed by the Allies during the war. It would make the aid phase at the end of the current round pretty critical for setting up the next round.

    The Germans kind of had their own thing going by creating synthetic fuels out of coal, but each of the Axis powers was trying to get more oil via conquest. They are constantly running and gunning, so I kind of like how they have to overrun Allied fuel rich territories to get ahead. For the Allies though a mini game with American fuel would fit pretty well, like just have the U.S. drowning in oil so they always have enough left over to send somewhere?

  • Tried to do something a little different in my Japan solo by gunning straight for South America. It was pretty fun for a globe trot, though the payoff wasn't quite as spectacular as one might have hoped after the US flew a shit ton of fighters to British Guiana to prop it up hehe. Even after we put the stomp down on Brazil and snatched most of the oil, those pesky British colonies troops are still harassing us from their south american stronghold! We did our best to keep the fight going live in China, but after sending the bulk of our initial forces on a world tour, it was definitely tough to hold the line against the combined might of Russia all the smaller Allies. A seven nation army couldn't hold me back, until it did hehe. After a dozen rounds I think we'll call this one for the AI Allies, but it was a good show nonetheless...

    0_1531112471898_elk vs hardAI Allies Japan Solo round 12.tsvg

  • hey mine does not work when I try t open it. it says could not parse:jar file could I have some help with this because I really want to play this map

  • Admin

    Yes. The map is right now not compatible with the current stable release of the Triples engine. You will have to use one of the newest pre-release versions. Sorry I have not made this clear in the download or in this thread.

    Download TripleA engine here:

    A new version of Iron War is in the works. It will have fuel shipping between nations.
    If you play a few games and have some feedback, please return here and post it ☺

  • Just started a new full game as Allies vs the hardAI. I deleted the old Iron War files and redownloaded the map 0.2.5. Updated to tripleA pre-release

    Saw the new sub pen unit for some of the Axis powers, and noticed some other tweaks like the send oil option during the aid phase, more mobile starting forces in Siberia etc. Excited to try it out and see what's going. I only just got to the second round...

    0_1531793170147_elk vs hardAI Axis full game Russia round 2.tsvg

    I did notice a couple errors tossed off while cycling through round 1 with the Allies. Once with the British, then South Africa and again during Brazil's turn. So figured I'd post the save. Error read like the below. Didn't seem to be game breaking. It happens right as the turn is beginning when the national music usually plays. Not sure if there's something else I need to update?

    Error: java.util.ConcurrentModificationException
    at java.util.TreeMap$PrivateEntryIterator.nextEntry(Unknown Source)
    at java.util.TreeMap$ Source)
    at games.strategy.triplea.ui.screen.Tile.draw(
    at games.strategy.triplea.ui.screen.Tile.drawImage(
    at games.strategy.triplea.ui.MapPanel.lambda$drawTiles$6(
    at java.util.concurrent.ThreadPoolExecutor.runWorker(Unknown Source)
    at java.util.concurrent.ThreadPoolExecutor$ Source)
    at Source)
    at java.util.TreeMap$PrivateEntryIterator.nextEntry(Unknown Source)
    at java.util.TreeMap$ Source)
    at games.strategy.triplea.ui.screen.Tile.draw(
    at games.strategy.triplea.ui.screen.Tile.drawImage(
    at games.strategy.triplea.ui.MapPanel.lambda$drawTiles$6(
    at java.util.concurrent.ThreadPoolExecutor.runWorker(Unknown Source)
    at java.util.concurrent.ThreadPoolExecutor$ Source)
    at Source)

  • Admin

    @black_elk Reported here:

    I don't think that error should cause any harm but is just related to some changes made to the map tile drawing code.

  • @Frostion
    I don't know if you are still planning on implementing an computer controlled player system as discussed here: hitPointsBonus option for techAbilityAttachment

    You asked if it could be done through the map options, that would look something like:

    Also the userActions check could be reworded like:
    0_1532270774588_2018-07-22 (1).png

    One or both way could be used. There are others as @Cernel stated. Was just curious on if you planed on anything.


  • Admin

    @wc_sumpton Yes. The map options version is the one that I think would fit Iron War best. I think it would be the best solution as it could potentially function alongside an AI that could use the Actions and Operations, even just randomly. Then it would not press that button at least, and it would be up to humans if the AI and/or themselves used fuel.

    Could you post the xml so I could use it or copy over the codes you have made? That would be great.

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