Iron War - Official Thread



  • @frostion
    Sorry it took so long to answer your inquiry. I needed to cut and edit some parts of the xml.
    0_1532285800937_FuelMenu.txt
    I hope this help you, it is only the properties section for the 'Map Options' and the conditions and triggers for reading and setting the proper fuel usage.

    One thing I didn't add is another production for costing fuel when purchased, when not using fuel for movement. There are a lot of production frontiers already.

    Hope this gives you some ideas!!

    Cheers...



  • cheers man this helped me out a lot


  • Admin

    Here comes a bit late map update announcement. Now as the TripleA pre-releases actually work with the new Iron War version 0.2.5. I think it is time. (Remember to use pre-releases if you want to play Iron War (https://github.com/triplea-game/triplea/releases))

    The new version does not make use of @wc_sumpton fuel removal system. But thanks for the input @wc_sumpton 🙂 Maybe someday I will get around to make remove fuel from AI players posible, even though I still hope for and would prefer that the AI could just handle fuel and Actions & Operations better instead.

    Iron War version 0.2.5 changes are:
    • USSR Siberia 10 to 15 PUs
    • Added more fuel barrels controlled by USA, Iraq and Iran.
    • Added ability for several nations to transfer fuel to other nations.
    • Added “Submarine-Pen” to the 3 major Axis powers to strengthen Axis at Sea. They give 1 Free Submarine per turn.
    • Other minor changes.

    0_1534675119985_Unavngivet.png
    Explanation on Submarine-Pens:
    I have always felt that Iron War lacked Axis motivation to invest in sea units. As the Axis, like all other nations, are under resource pressure and pretty much forced to invest only in land/air units, I have tested out a few different solutions, such as Navy PUs and higher value convoy zones. I now launch this little “experiment” (Submarine-Pens) and hope it will make the Axis a bit stronger at sea.
    Iron War submarines (First strike/5Att/3Def/2Move) are pretty vulnerable in small numbers if not protected by defensive ships. The Axis nations are now maybe motivated to also build additional defense ships to supplement the subs, instead of waiting like 10 rounds to go into action with submarines only. Either way the players must handle these submarines really strategically and careful if they do not want to just lose them.
    I don’t see this addition as a super strong Axis advantage, just as a little strengthening of Axis sea power. This also seems to make the Allies actually think about how they move their constantly active sea transports around. As of now I only see little impact on how the AI handles the Axis, maybe because the Allies have always had huge superior fleets and now the free subs still really don’t mean that much.

    0_1534675651047_Unavngivet2.png
    Fuel transfer:
    Fuel transfer is available from USA to its allies, USA allies to their minor allies, Iran/Iraq to the major Axis powers and the major Axis powers to their minor allies. Sadly the AI can’t use the shipping system as of now, since AI does not use Actions and Operations, but the game isn’t reliant on Actions and Operations being used and resources being sent around. Still, as Human player, one would be negligent as a fuel rich nation if the fuel surpluses were not sent out to ones fuel hungry allies. And the Axis should do an extra effort to keep Iraq and Iran alive, so that they may ship their fuel out to the Axis.

    If the Sub and fuel system works out well, maybe Iron War Europe will be updated to use the same features also.
    Remember that Iron War may still need many other balance adjustments, so any testing and input is very welcome. 🙂


  • Moderators Admin

    @frostion I'm working on a new sub model which utilizes underwater sea zones where subs can harass convoy centers and shipping lanes, and from which to safely reach enemy coastlines for blockades.
    Only depth charges and other subs can enter the underwater sea zones. Maybe something like this is the solution to lack of interest in Atlantic and elsewhere. At least that's my hope, since it is a lot of work. I will showcase it in "Final Solution". (hehe, no concentration camps, that was "The Final Solution"

    Oh another concept I'm trying to work in, involves strangling by sea, of the United Kingdom being a viable strategy.



  • @frostion does this map have a train? I love the train that sneakingcoward has in the waw variant vxxx. And from the technical standpoint of view. The invasion of poland was caused by the refusal of Warsaw to allow the construction of a railroad that goes from germany to easter prussia (also called koeningsber).

    Thanks in advance for your attention.

    Kind regards.


  • Admin

    @General_Zod Interesting concept with underwater sea zones apart from surface ship sea zones. I never thought about it before, but it would most likely be possible to also have graphical representation of two sea zones in one. Maybe if a territory was split in two or the actual sea zone had a smaller field within the large one, where only subs and anti sub weapons could enter. 🤔 But it would most likely be so game changing and graphically demanding that it would be most suited for a map that was "born" with the concept implemented.

    Iron War is very difficult to alter graphical wise since I mainly used a petty crappy paint program (Photofiltre) that couldn't really save layers. I am working on a new map now and primarily using Photoshop and it's layers. I am learning by doing, so progress is slow. But it seems to be much better. But its more a medieval setting, and therefore subs are not really on the menu 😉

    @Mario-Rafael-Herrera-Vaca Iron War does not have trains. I never thought about it when the map was in the works. If I had thought about it, I might have implemented trains. But now I am not really sure. I think Iron War has a lot of map specific things going on already, and I personally like to keep my maps pretty simple and easy to play, not too advanced. Maybe this is a bit in contrast to Total World War, Global Dominance and other maps, but I don't mind that. Maybe I can satisfy other player types 😊


  • Moderators Admin

    @frostion Yes your correct a sea zone within a sea zone is the best way I can find to implement this concept given the current available functionality triplea offers. And it is optimal and possibly a prerequisite to design this kinda thing into the game very early, so it plays well. It is a huge departure from any existing maps, so even if starting with an existing map it essentially is redrawing the whole ocean, as I currently am.

    There is more to the concept. It will resolve the issues with the isDestroyer rules most maps use as well. So one destroyer can no longer pin down a stack of submarines for a whole battle. Which severely hinders a subs capabilities and main function. Which is to effectively, stealthily and economically move into far flung positions and to harass any surface vessels it encounters. Thus placing great demands on the enemy to truly eliminate the threats.

    My ruleset will allow subs to harass in normal sea zones only, where they will be 100% vulnerable to all air and sea units. When in a underwater sea zone they won't be able to attack or take convoy centers. But even lurking they need to be countered because they will strike at the right moments. Destroyer role will be to wield the depth charges and chase them around. Depth charges will be suicide units that only attack subs and are the only units that can hit a sub in underwater sea zones.



  • Hey there, been a little while, but I finally had a chance to play some full games vs the hard AI with the new changes in place... sub pens, resource tweaking etc.

    My initial impression is that I really enjoy the game when playing as the Axis. I like the re-balance with Siberia, which makes Russia a bit more reliable at the center. The sub pens are fun, and seem to encourage more naval builds on the European side of the board, while also giving Japan a bit more breathing room to spend for ground in Asia, since they can use the sub pens to help support their Pacific naval defense. For the minor Axis powers, Iraq and Iran feel a lot more relevant to the overall game, because of the oil exchange. Even if they aren't expanding overland, or producing much in the way of units, just keeping them alive feels important for the war effort, because they can send critical oil to the 3 major Axis powers.

    I wish the Balkans, Finland and Thailand had the same thing going on. Right now their role for the team is sort of an inversion of Iraq/Iran's role. Balkans, Finland and Thailand are more of a drain on German/Italian/Japanese resources and they have to expand quite a bit before they have enough oil and steel to really function on their own. They also tend to checkerboard the map and move pretty far afield from their starting core, once Germany/Japan do all the can-opening. Personally I think it would be cooler if their role was more resource support oriented, where they send stuff to the big 3 on the Axis team via the exchange phase, rather than going on the march. The ability to trade steel in particular would be cool, since steel much more than oil, really puts the hard limit on what you can build in a given round. If Finland could send 1 steel to Germany, Balkans 1 steel to Germany or Italy, and Thailand send 1 steel to Japan, that would provide a lot more flexibility in a given round, especially when it comes to purchasing necessary transports, or the big ticket items like Carriers and Heavy Tanks.

    Anyhow, that's my only real suggestion for the Axis side, to get Balkans, Finland, and Thailand into the resource exchange, with support for the big 3.

    On the Allied side, I think the resource exchange for the minor powers is somewhat less engaging than it is for the Axis. The Big 5 for the Allies (UK, Russia, British-Colonies, British-India, and USA) are pretty fun to play on their own, but the others are a bit of a toss up. I'd say British-Colonies and British India are now enjoyable, since they have enough going on in the neighborhood to keep them busy, and with aid from the UK they can be even more effective.

    For France it basically comes down to whether you are willing to sacrifice critical early PU's/resources from USA to give the French something to work with, and whether you want to try and prop up Normandy out the gate. I guess China is similar, its up to the USA whether they have a chance to make an impact in central Asia. In both cases though, it's kinda hard to see the PU's being used there over Russia (where they can stack up more) or just keeping it for USA builds or for production expansion in places like Morocco, Norway, Truk etc. China is a bit of a special case, since it's still pretty tough to prop them up, even if sending max aid. Not sure, but they might use a buff. For the most part though it seems to work fairly well as is with the USA aid. I think the other minor Allies are set up kind of backwards though.

    What I mean is that, if you want to utilize the aid phase, the resources/PUs are flowing from where they are more useful to where they are less useful. So for example, to me it would make more sense that KNIL resources might go to ANZAC (or India maybe). Or ANZAC resources go to the British (or British-Colonies). Or Brazil's resources going to USA etc... rather than the other way round. Ideally each of these minors should have like 2 possible ways to send aid, so they'd have a more compelling gameplay choice to make each round. Again the ability to trade even 1 steel would be particularly interesting, since the resource is so scarce. But basically that's what I'd do to make all those minor Allies feel more significant to the team. There's really only so much that you can do with your units when playing as South Africa, or the Dutch, Anzac or Brazil and can feel a little repetitive, but if you could send some aid (even a small amount) up to the big dogs on the Allied side, then those extra few PU's/Resources might make a real difference in the over-all fight vs the Axis.

    The only other thought I have right now for the Allies, is that it might be cool if they had something similar to what the Axis have received with those sub-pens, some kind of specialized production feature that continuously spams units of a given type. Except rather than subs I'd maybe consider something like transports for the USA/UK, so that their North America production is more relevant as the game goes on. Or maybe you could try it with light Tanks, for something that Russia could make use of. I guess for simplicity it would probably make sense to just choose one unit type to highlight the way the Axis have subs. Probably Tanks would be the most fun, since the Western Allies kind of have the opposite problem as the Axis, they usually invest a lot in naval power, and somewhat less on heavy ground. I don't know, maybe its not necessary. Seemed like it was worth bringing up though just for parity by sides, since those sub pens can be pretty powerful after some time has elapsed. If the Allies are trying to match them round for round with destroyers, that's a lot of steel not being spent on tanks hehe.

    Anyhow that's what I got for the moment. Will post some saves when I get home from work a little later. Still my favorite game for the AI I think

    Best, always
    Elk


  • Admin

    @Black_Elk Good feedback! It is nice that you still feel like playing a few games of Iron War once in a while ☺ It is a good idea, to have the minor nations be able to send at least one 1 iron to their bigger allies. Then if humans take control of minors, the humans can decide if it is a good idea to "milk" the minors and take their iron. Maybe this could symbolize if in real life the large nations more or less forced certain resources out of their smaller "friends". I am also confident that the minors access to resources is now pretty balanced, so if the big nations do not milk the smaller, the small can make good use of their own resources.

    In regards to a special unit for the allies, what about the air-transport? This is a unit that would not tilt the balance of power, and also a unit that US and UK is pretty unlikely to build a lot of. It could further motivate for an European invasion build-up. I doubt that the AI, as it is now, could make good use of them. In my mind marking good use of them would mean building up for a good deal of rounds and use them all at once as part of a bigger invasion. The AI would probably use them as attack fodder or something. I don't think the AI can even load onto air transports? Anyway, I still see it as a potential spawn unit.



  • For sure! I also think the balance on total resources across the board is pretty solid, so just having the ability to shift around a few oil points or esp. steel points from the little dudes to the big guys on the team should provide a lot of dynamism. I dig the idea about air transports. Thematically its a pretty good fit for any of the Allies really, and even if the AI doesn't currently make use of the transport ability itself, we know that they will use the unit in regular combat, so at least it can serve as padding fodder. For the human player it will give some logistical flare and highlight a unit at the same cost as the Axis sub, but that otherwise might get ignored in favor of fighters or 2 inf or whatever.
    Conveniently British air transports built in Halifax can reach Europe in two turns via Southern Greenland, so I think it may help activate that north American production hub a bit, without putting a drain on the critical slot at England. Or perhaps air transports placed at Victoria can help the Russians control the back field with a few more hitpoints in the Soviet Far East vs Japan. For the US the unit would certainly be fun. Probably takes a couple rounds to get them into position, but I can imagine the airborne being an effective way to move some hitpoints around once you get a couple air-transport shucks set up.

    Another reason I dig the air transport is that I think it will work pretty well for Russia too, practically I mean, like with the gameplay dynamics. The unit also has a historical basis, since the USSR certainly made use of them, especially early in the war. It's an unlikely purchase under regular circumstances (compared to fighters and the like), but I think if they were spawning every round, it would really help the Russians to bounce their defensive hitpoints to and fro, maybe punching some holes in the Axis forward lines when the Russians invariably starting getting rolled up by Axis tanks in the midgame hehe. I like it.

    0_1540849549756_elk vs hardAI Allies full side Germany round 13.tsvg

    0_1540849569289_elk vs hardAI Axis full side Russia round 7.tsvg

    Here's another as Allies with a 120% bonus to the Axis AI. The 1/5th bonus is pretty fun. Axis caught me with my pants down a few times early on, though we still nabbed a TKO just before they sacked the Russia capital hehe.
    0_1540866127568_elk vs hardAI Axis full side 120 Russia round 6.tsvg


  • Admin

    @black_elk @Frostion Starting to feel like the 2 of you are trying to convince me to have the AI support air transports 🙂


  • Admin

    @redrum Whenever you feel like it 😁 Whenever you have the time 😁 We are ready to test any AI air-transporting abilliy you devs might conjure up 😛


  • Admin

    I have now added “Airfields” and Iron resource shipping from minor powers to major powers.

    v0.2.5 to v 0.2.6:
    • Added “Airfield” unit, a new counterpart to the Axis Submarine-Pen. Airfields spawn 1 free Air-Transport every turn, give all air units +1 move, are destroyed upon capture, and only 3 exists and are placed in USSR Siberia, UK Halifax and USA North Atlantic.

    0_1541374511653_Air-Fields.png

    • Added the option for some minor powers to ship 1 iron each to major powers. The exporter-importer relations are as follows:
    Balkan -> Germany
    Finland -> Germany
    British-Colonies -> Britain
    British-India -> Britain
    South-Africa -> Britain
    French-Colonies -> France
    KNIL -> ANZAC
    Thailand -> Japan
    China -> USA
    Brazil -> USA



  • Sounds good. I was just typing when I saw that update come in haha. The airfield looks rad! And of course I love the steel deal

    Here is a save game from the previous build vs the HardAI Allies that I think really illustrates what I meant about the minor powers during the endgame. I went 18 rounds here setting up for "Invasion USA" (which is clearly playing well beyond the point the victory hehe, but it helps to show the issue over many rounds.)

    0_1541374876307_elk vs hardAI Allies full side 120 Germany round 18.tsvg

    Basically, at a certain point the minor powers will start producing more PU's than they can use effectively. Either because their production centers are too far from the front, or because they lack the resources to move high value units like ships or aircraft in an effective way. So you end up spamming low value units and kind of tediously shuffling across the board to no real purpose.

    Ideally this is where the Aid/exchange phase would come into play. I think each minor should have the ability to send like 10 or maybe 20 PUs a couple different directions, and some smaller amount of Oil or Steel depending on what makes sense for the nation. That way, when the game advances into the final stages, you can just "strip" the minors for cash/oil/steel and send it to the major powers, where it can actually be used.

    So for example, you can see in that savegame that after Russia has fallen, there's really nothing much to be done with the Balkans or Finland, sure you can spam ships with the the Finns or fighters with Balkans, but invariably they run out of petrol before they can move to where they might contribute to the fight. Sending fuel away from Germany to try and get those Finnish/Balkans unit moving doesn't make sense, because at that point its really Germany that needs the gas, since they have the cash and production capacity to make the best use of it.

    Same deal on the other side of the map with Thailand, here I mainly spammed cruisers, went on a little escapade to New Guinea, and then bought a couple bombers, cause I couldn't think of much else to do. But really it would be better if I could just strip Thailand and send all their stuff to Japan, with a couple quick clicks.That way the pacing during the endgame would be faster, as you could just skip past the turns for the minors, and send their cash along to the big dogs.

    I think something like the following, where each minor has a few different options for the aid phase...

    Balkans:
    *Send 20 PUs to Germany
    *Send 5 Oil to Germany
    *Send 20 PUs to Italy
    *Send 5 Oil to Italy

    Finland:
    *Send 20 PUs to Germany
    *Send 5 Oil to Germany

    Iraq:
    *Send 20 PU's to Germany
    *Send 20 PU's to Italy
    *Send 20 PU's to Japan
    *Send 5 Oil to Germany
    *Send 5 Oil to Italy
    *Send 5 Oil to Japan

    Iran
    *Send 20 PU's to Germany
    *Send 20 PU's to Italy
    *Send 20 PU's to Japan
    *Send 5 Oil to Germany
    *Send 5 Oil to Italy
    *Send 5 Oil to Japan

    Thailand:
    *Send 20 PU's to Japan
    *Send 5 Oil to Japan

    plus whatever you already have going with the steel of course hehe. And something similar for the minor Allies.

    I think by having the PU values slightly larger like this, most of the minors would likely have to skip a turn between utilizing the Aid phases for cash (so its not just a constant steady trickle, but when the stuff arrives the influx of cash/resources will have a greater impact.) It also makes the pacing somewhat faster in the endgame, since it will allow you to blow past the purchase when the minors come up, and save up to send Aid next time. Basically gives you a way to offload the excess every other round, instead of doing a ton of micromanaging with units, once you get deep into the endgame.

    Or alternatively, it gives players a reason to try and expand the minor powers, so they can get to a point where they have enough cashflow/resources to use the aid phase every turn once they accomplish their main strategic objectives. So for example, maybe Finland can afford to send 20 PU's and 5 oil every round, if they take over enough of Russia, Thailand can afford to send aid each round if they take a decent bite out of India etc. So having the Aid amounts be somewhat larger than their starting point would work towards that purpose, while you exploit the turn order advantage, but then later (after it becomes tedious and there's nowhere left to go) you can streamline things by just giving the cash directly to a major power on your team who can use it to produce fleets and such.



  • First game with the new build, went 12 rounds vs the HardAI Axis at 120% to see how things shaped up. I like the airbases, they definitely seem to make the fight for Europe more engaging. The steel exchange is also cool, finally feel like the Allies have enough to support the requisite transport and warship builds. I still think it would be cool if the minors had an option to send cash to the majors (since they often end up with a lot of loot/units at the end.) But otherwise I dig the feel of this latest iteration.

    I did notice an air movement glitch just now though... not sure of the cause.

    For some reason I can't bring my dive bombers into this final nuclear attack to spank the last Japanese hold-outs at truck hehe. Tried a few different ways of getting them into the fight, but keep getting denied with the little red X.

    I think it may have happened once or twice during the game at various points. I assumed initially that it was a fuel thing and didn't pay it much attention, but that doesn't seem to be the case here, since the USA has more oil than they know what to do with. Anyhow, thought I'd bring it up just in case a bug needs squashing.

    But yeah, nice work so far man! Keep it rolling

    0_1541452672421_elk vs hardAI Axis 120 USA round 12.tsvg


  • Admin

    @black_elk I believe the reason you can't move the 2 dive bombers to Truk is that the engine doesn't think they'd have any where to land based on believing that the space on your 2 carriers (6 capacity) is filled by the Nuclear Bomb (2 cost) and 4 Fighters (4 cost). So it appears that carrier landing calculations don't properly consider that suicide units wouldn't need to land. If you undo moving the nuclear bomb to Truk then you could move the 2 dive bombers instead. So yeah, this is a bug I believe.


  • Admin

    @black_elk Here is the potential fix: https://github.com/triplea-game/triplea/pull/4322

    I tested it with your save game and seems to work.


  • Admin

    @black_elk I also glanced over your save game and the obvious major error was losing West Germany on turn 2. The issue is that the AI calculates amphib assault potential by trying to strongest units rather than the units with the least transport cost first. So it assumes UK can only transport 4 units (2 tanks, 1 inf, 1 art) rather than 6 units (5 inf, 1 art) which changes the odds of attacking pretty significantly.



  • Makes sense. That's interesting, esp. the amphibious thing. I was wondering why the AI tends to leave W. Germany a little light, but it would make sense if it's thinking about tanks instead of mass hitpoints. In the standard A&A games it probably wouldn't make as much difference for the calc, since there its only 2 hitpoints per transport regardless, whereas in Iron War you can load up to 3 hitpoints if you go only inf/art/aagun, but only 2 if you bring a tank type along for the ride.

    I fired up another game vs the HardAI Allies to see how they make use of the air transports. They were actually pretty effective at smoking my Atlantic fleet early on, and the Russians used them to squeeze out the middle east in fairly short order. I decided to see how it might look if the European Axis went after West Africa instead of the usual center crush. We managed to knock off France and the African minors, but Russia was a total beast at the end. Even with Japan getting busy in the backfield, they've still pushed a stack like 100 deep right up to the German border. We just snaked the TKO, but I'm pretty sure that red bear is about to drop the hammer and sickle on me hehe.

    It's definitely dangerous to let Leningrad survive into the midgame. Russians stacking to the ceiling by the 10th round. Egypt can also get pretty massive if the Italians don't drive hard against them right away. Usually I try to knock out the British Colonies med fleet on the 50/50 shot with the German bomber and subs, but in this one British Colonies went overland to double team the middle east with Russia and put the serious hurt on Iraq/Iran. Japan had to step up in the region, since Italy was all distracted. Tried to pull an end-around and destroy that Siberian airbase with Japanese tanks by racing across China, but got stalled up before we could seal the deal.

    I think Russia could definitely break Europe if they'd cannonball into G full force, but fortunately for us they've been it cautious the past couple rounds lol.

    0_1541525562435_elk vs hardAI Allies 120 Germany round 10.tsvg


  • Admin

    @black_elk Really seems like Japan wins that game for the Axis. Looking at the save, it seems kind of too easy for them to take India and then push into the Middle East. Almost feels like there should be another sea zone in between Gulf of Thailand and India. Otherwise Japan just takes out Sumutra and French IndoChina then immediately invades India.


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