Iron War - Official Thread

  • Admin

    I see in the save that the Russians have mustered a stak of 90 infantry ready to invade Germany! Have you just focused on only sea and African and then let the German homeland defenceless? 😮

    In Iron War there seems to be an AI behavioural tendency that leads India to ignore the Thai/Japan threat and instead focus on taking out Iran/Iraq. The same goes for USSR that seems to not be able to defend the many 1 PU far eastern territories, I guess because USSR is so focused on Europe. It seems pretty fatal strategies to me. The Chinese always fight the Japanese like if their lives depended on it (and it does), but not India and USSR.

    I think that the few times Japan does badly, it is because USA decides to focus a lot on Japan.

    I dont know what could be done, but it seems to me that the AI is a bit blind in regards to "backdoors". I don't know if it could be called related, but the AI also has a hard time figuring out and planning amphibious invasions, like ANZAC and USA should focus on against Japan. @Black_Elk what do you see in this regard?

  • Admin

    @frostion Well at least the most recent save @Black_Elk had, India fell like turn 3 I think. So they didn't really have much chance to do anything. I think the challenge is that Japan starts with 6 transports and can move turn 1 towards Sumatra, turn 2 invade Sumatra and Southeast Asia, and then turn 3 invade India with potentially like 15+ units. I haven't played enough to know if there are viable ways a human would defend India or not.

    From what I've seen, USSR focuses mostly on Europe and Middle East which honestly is probably a good strategy as there are a lot more PU value there and if it doesn't then it could get wiped out by Germany. Probably better to over focus Europe than over focus Siberia.

    I tend to agree that USA/ANZAC need to slow down Japan but the first few turns they can't really do anything quite yet.

    The AI definitely struggles with both planning and foreseeing amphib assaults. That happens to be one of the most complex things to code as it involves both transporting units (which is hard because you have to coordinate land/navy) and planning out multiple turns (which is hard because computers are too slow to deal with the large number of possibilities).

    PS. I think I finally realized that I don't really mind the darker blue water but its that I wish the sea zone lines where white/gray instead of black to have more contrast 🙂

    Also, if anyone wants to start up a PBF game of Iron War, I'd be interested.

  • Yeah, part of me thinks the solution might actually be to give Anzac a buff. The situation with India is kind of tight. Like if you don't hammer Sumatra in round 2, or take a lot of losses in the process then India can stack pretty deep. Japan's dilemma is getting out quickly with their starting ground, since they don't have a ton of cash or production capacity to replace them until they start knocking off a few minors. Russia is also pretty heavy in the far east now which I like. Sometimes they can steam roll into manchuria and such if Japan ignores them or if the Brits or Americans send fighter support. But Australia isn't a big factor in my experience. Sometimes they can do air strikes vs a Japanese fleet or maybe liberate Sumatra with a sneaky transport if you let your guard down, but overall there's not much incentive for Japan to deal with them.

    Usually Anzac ends up with a lot of landlocked ground. So its hard to mount an effective landing there as Japan. There isn't much threat from leaving them, so Japan isn't punished much if they ignore Anzac.

    China and KNIL are the first priorities, since Japan kinda has to deal with them early or risk them getting pretty annoying later on hehe. But I think as far as India goes, if it was framed more as a choice between India and Anzac, that might help.

    Right now if Japan goes after Anzac then they can really be punished by India, but the reverse isn't really true. So anyhow that's my thought, make it harder to ingore Australia by giving them some kind of buff.

  • Donators

    @redrum said in Iron War - Official Thread:

    Also, if anyone wants to start up a PBF game of Iron War, I'd be interested.

    C'mon Elk 🙂 Rise to the occasion : )

  • Yeah I'd be down for PBF. Hard for me to get a decent block of time uninterrupted, on account of the kid/lady hehe, but I could probably swing a an hour or so after dark to post a save. Because of the scale and the number of players, I think the game works really well for solos vs AI. It stays pretty engaging, even after the point when you might otherwise close the laptop, just because its fun to try different expansion patterns, or set little mini-goals for yourself to spank the machine hehe. I really dig that tripleA has a map that works for this purpose. The standard A&A games can be a little dry, since there's only so much going, even in something like global, to be fun vs the AI.
    So that's where my balance recommendations (like with Australia and such) are coming from, but that said, there is no doubt that it will play much much differently PvP.

    Just as a quick example, when we were talking about hitting French Indo-China immediately with Japanese transports and then taking Sumatra on round 2 (India on round 3 etc), that only happens because the machine doesn't consider blocking maneuvers with their ships. It would be fairly easy for the Allies to stall that play by at least another round, simply by sending a French-Colonies patrol boat, or KNIL destroyer to block the Japanese in the East China Sea Zone. That would restrict Japan to non-combat movements in the critical South China Sea Zone. Similarly the Allies could send a French-Colonies destroyer or cruiser to block at Wake Island Sea Zone, and KNIL a cruiser to block at Pacific 4 Sea Zone which would prevent the Japanese player from taking Philippines.

    I imagine that most competent human players would do stuff like that, sacrificing some starting TUV for naval blockers to buy more time, and thereby prevent a bunch of cascading amphibious assaults that might otherwise threaten production centers right out the gate.

    You'd still see the Sumatra/India crush taking place, since it makes sense to hit the weaker Allies sooner rather than later, but at least there'd be a few more hitpoints in place before the Japanese arrived. Getting control of Sumatra/Malaya is still really important for Japan, since you can block naval movement from the Indian Ocean once you have it on lockdown. Once you smoke the Dutch it makes sense to leave at least some transports in the Gulf of Thailand Sea Zone so you can threaten amphibious vs India, but I imagine it'd be more about the drive overland in PvP (through Burma/Bengal), shucking units to Hanoi or some such and then pushing across towards Bengal, rather than an instant transport swoop across the south with all the dudes, like you saw me do when I was snaking the AI hehe.

  • Admin

    @black_elk Yeah, I agree about the naval blockers and that's something the AI doesn't understand yet.

    Cool. Let me know what side/settings you want and we can look to get a game started.

  • Admin

    Here is the improvement for the AI loading transports more effectively: This should help avoid the situation where it leaves factories like West Germany under defended.

  • Sounds good. Probably makes sense for me to take Allies, so you can lead with G and get the ball rolling. Standard settings I'd think, since its still sort of a toss up on balance who can get to 20 VCs by the end of the round.

    also I'll grab that prerelease when I get home and take another crack vs Hard AI Axis to see how the transport tweak changes things.

  • ps. Fired up a game using that latest build with the transport thing.

    This is probably how I would use the French-Colonies/ANZAC/KNIL naval units as blockers to really irritate the Japanese player. Just to jack up their combat/non-com transport movements on the first round hehe.

    0_1541642503650_elk vs hardAI Axis 110 KNIL round 1.tsvg

  • Admin

    This will be an exciting game ☺ Even though we can't balance everything based on one single match, I think there could be a lot to learn in regards to the starting balance of the alliances. And it will be interesting to see if the AI has incorporated so much of @redrums thinking patern into itself, that it is kind of a digitalized version of redrum. In that case, @Black_Elk has a lot of experience in whipping AI behinds 😁

    @redrum Remember, while you are sneaking around below the water surface in free Axis submarines, keep an eye out for those free Allied air transports! They spawn like flies on 💩 now.

    I hope you play so many rounds that the V rockets, maybe Kamikazes and Nukes come into play. These are disturbances that are ment to have an impact, even though not meant to be huge game changers.

  • Admin

    @frostion Should be interesting. And looking back at the change logs, I'd say 0.2.5 was definitely a buff for the Axis and 0.2.6 was definitely a buff for the Allies. I guess if it was closed to balanced before those 2 then they kind of cancel each other out from a balance perspective.

    Given the map hasn't seen much PvP action yet, my gut says it'll be decided before we get to the later rounds but we can all hope 🙂

    PS. You may want to consider adding this property as SZs are rather large and I can see a lot of potential for gamey naval loading blocks:

  • I tend to agree, shutting down an unlimited number of transports from loading just by placing a single patrol boat to turn a sz hostile is kinda rough. Especially since there are a lot of potential production hubs around the key sea zones on this map. It'd be nice if you could load and bounce before having to resolve combat.

    I'm already thinking about how to exploit that one on the first turn in my game with redrum hehe, if I can figure out how to post to the forums. Though it might still be worth dropping a cruiser down, even if it didn't prevent transport loading just to deter a fly over and G fleet convergence on the safe side of Normandy. Still not sure how to play it, maybe better to withdraw and hope to hold out hella long for USA nukes lol

  • Admin

    So would it be cool if Iron War had "Units Can Load In Hostile Sea Zones" true? That can just be a part of the next update.

  • Admin

    @frostion Yeah, I think so. We added it as the default for TWW and most players seem to prefer it. Feels more intuitive and less gamey. I honestly think almost all maps should adopt it 🙂

  • I'm having trouble loading this map. I'm using a mac, by the way. TripleA says I've downloaded this map, however, I cannot get to the screen where I can choose AI and human players. I've loaded the console and got this message:

    SAXParseException: game: Iron War, line: 2033, column: 59, error: Attribute "isDisplayedFor" must be declared for element type "resource".

    this message loaded four times successively for my last attempt. This map looks really cool, and I'd hate to be unable to play it.

  • Admin

    I can take a look at the specific line number in the XML, but I can not immediately recognize this error. A new Iron War version with minor fixes will be out in a matter of days I think, perhaps we ( @redrum ??? 😁) can identify your map error before this.

  • @frostion Could you expand on your request? I'm not as tech savy as a would like to be.

  • Admin

    @lincoln-russell Can you try downloading the latest TripleA release here: I believe that error indicates you have an older TripleA release that can't handle some of the new properties that Iron War uses.

  • @redrum Would downloading this version replace all my original files? Should I make a folder for all my saves, and will they work with the new versions?

  • Admin

    @lincoln-russell You can have multiple versions installed if you'd like. Generally most players keep their saves in a folder outside of the install. Then you can either install it over the old version or in a separate location.