Iron War - Official Thread

  • Kind of long winded in my replies, but just to summarize a few points on how I think it might be improved further.

    1. More variation in unit pricing (steel/pus) so that remainder spending encourages mixed builds. x10 Steel so we can vary the steel cost of units into smaller integers, as explained in the previous couple posts. In general trying to make steel a more significant resource by including it as a build requirement for all units, like aircraft, aaguns, factories, and even infantry. This could be done by having the current no-steel units requiring some fraction less than 10 steel after the current totals/costs are increased x10.

    2. More options to send aid (in PUs) from minor powers to major powers, in smaller increments, say 5 PUs to help with remainder spending. More variety in where to send aid, so that there is a strategic dimension to the choice. For example, each nation has at least 2 possible aid recipients (for steel/fuel/PUs), so that the decision is more nuanced.

    3. More +5 build locations that can support a factory buy in contested areas of the gamemap. Especially territories that can be reached by both teams early on. Alaska, Algeria, Benelux, Greece, Okinawa, New Guinea, Madagascar, Sicily etc.

    4. Consider merging faction South Africa to Britain or British Colonies. Feels a little out of place as the lone dominion singled out for special inclusion, when all others are are composed of like two or more nations. ANZAC is Australia and New Zealand. British-India includes Singapore and Sarawak. The British faction itself includes Canada etc. I think the most logical is to make South Africa part of British-Colonies.

    5. Consider merging Iraq and Iran into a single faction called Axis Near East or something similar.

    6. VC spread: I agree that these are fairly well balanced and that achieving 20 seems to time well with one side or the other "winning" in practical terms. However, I think some VCs are currently uncontested and might be moved. Prime example would be trading out the USA Pacific VC from the West Coast US to Hawaii or East Coast US to Philippines. Perhaps Siberia could trade out for Irkutsk, so Japan has more viable VC targets? If the Near East factions are merged, one of those VCs could be moved elsewhere. I think the main goal here would be to set things up such that Axis have a way to win that doesn't necessitate the crush Russia/India first strategy. Or similarly that Allies cannot win simply by being ascendant in one theater while ignoring the other.

    7. Pace of play, entertainment and overall balance: Right now I think that the balance probably favors Allies FtF, but that, of the two teams, Axis is more fast paced and entertaining to play. This is mainly due to the fact that the Axis have more build options and more opportunities to determine the basic expansion pattern. For the Axis team there is no shortage of "places to go next", whereas the Allies are mainly holding/liberating, with fewer opportunities to build factories as they go. I think a few more production lilly pads for the Allies would help jump start the action for their team.

    8. I think one way to enhance the experience for both teams would be to have more target Neutral, Pro-Axis Neutral or Axis starting territories at +5. This would allow the many Allied factions to compete for their control. The Mediterranean region and Japanese pacific islands in particular could see a few bumps up to +5. Another approach might be to make some of the many +5 Pro-Allies territories into just regular Neutrals, so that the Allies have a way to occupy them more directly. I can imagine for example USA spending their first few turns activating neutrals, by occupying Mexico or the Central/South American neutrals. USA feels a bit cash poor considering all the ships they have to build, and this might help with that a bit. Actually I'd consider just eliminating the Pro-Allies Neutral faction altogether as unnecessary, and going with direct occupation if the Allies want to access those resources. (Its basically what they did historically during the actual war hehe.) Since there are no specific gameplay mechanics associated with the neutrals, I'm not sure having Pro-Side neutrals really adds much interest. Their main function right now seems to be as a way to bury team resources further afield, or to prevent one team or the other from doing a neutral crush in a particular region. I get it, but I think it might be just less confusing overall, for resource tallying, production and movement considerations (esp. fighter landings) if all neutrals were treated the same way. I'd just have them for bonus resources, rather than starting resources, and shift the starting resources from neutrals to home territories as necessary. In any case, if we really need a different kind of neutral, then I think just having Pro-Axis is probably enough to get the job done... Pro-side neutrals are more of a hindrance than a boon to the team (e.g. often you are better off allowing the enemy to capture them, so you can then re-capture them and take direct control, rather than trying to defend them in the first place. If that makes sense.) Sorry a bit long winded there again, but basically, because all the player-nations are belligerents from the outset, I think Iron War is more like a global domination game within a World War II setting. Which I honestly prefer for this sort of game, as opposed to like G40 with a bunch of complex declaration and neutrality rules to try and model the actual politics/timeline of the war. Having neutrals in there is a nice nod to the historical situation at the start date, but beyond that, I don't see any real need for players to check themselves when it comes to stomping on neutrals if they want to.

    9. Nukes/Endgame: Although I've yet to play an FtF game into the nuclear era, I wonder if Germany getting access in late 1945 is a bit premature? In practical terms its probably going to take the USA at least one round to move their nukes into position, so the ability of team Axis to respond immediately with nukes of their own might be a bit much. I'd push it till like 1946 at the earliest before G gets them.

    10. Single Player vs Hard AI. I think this map works really well for a solo against the machine. There is enough going on to keep the newb pretty engaged and it can be a lot of fun to try and expand until you hit monster status. I think some suggested settings adding to the AI's bonus income would be cool. Probably 110-133% for a moderate challenge, or 150% and up for a more difficult challenge, depending on which side you choose and how familiar you are with the map. Right now the main issue for the AI is in managing fuel, and especially fuel guzzling aircraft (which they like to buy in abundance.) So it might be nice if we had a way to give a bonus for fuel independent of PUs/Steel, in which case I'd just set the AI nations to infinite fuel or like 999%, so it's no longer an issue for the machine.

    I think that's all I got. It's a solid game and I like the latest build. Will undoubtedly keep playing it hehe