Iron War - Official Thread

  • @Black_Elk
    After looking closer, I believe it would be good to add 2 or 3 more inf to Norrland since it has 3 iron which is important to Germany. (Let them work for it a little)
    I just noticed that you conquered Norrland turn 1 which is a bit too easy, don't you think?😁

  • Yeah I mean I'm not the best at xml wizardry that's for sure hehe. I'm more into tossing around ideas. But its certainly easier to modify something that already exists than it is to create a whole new thing, so some of it would just be a matter of editing some numbers or a few values of things that are already built. I'd prob hold off to see if Frostion might be down to dive back in for some finale finessing, since I think that works well, and he's had a kind of moderating influence on what might be too off the wall. I think the map is strong though, and for the most part I dig it and think it would be pretty adaptive for different kinds of ideas. It could easily support multiple start dates I think anywhere from like 1937 to 1950s. Tons of units and cool tech ideas and the image work and sound is really pretty solid. Sometimes the anthems blend a little cacophonous when you blast through turn quickly (since they kind of overlay with a fade) but I always get pumped as the player when my turn comes up to hear the National jams hehe!

    Trying to distill some of my main thoughts for a possible update would be along these lines...

    Change turn order to have USSR, France, French-Colonies, KNIL in first Allied turn block, Britain, British-Colonies, South Africa, British-India, ANZAC in the second Allied turn block (after Italy.)

    Simplify the neutrality scheme by ditching the Pro-Side passive neutrals and going True Neutral for all of them. It'd be one less thing to keep track of and to me the idea of moving through Pro-Side spaces or putting garrisons in neutral territories just doesn't feel realistic. It creates weird disincentives for occupation/liberation and creates too many aircraft landing exploits. I still dig the unit art for Pro Axis neutrals and Pro Allies neutrals, but alas I just don't think the system works all that great for the global scale map. I think they could live on in the Europe starter map, since they work better there I think, but I'd just go true neutrals for this one.

    Include more +5 territories in regions that can be contested and which were part of the war historically. I think many more of the islands could support +5s, or else have green barrels or other things that make them more strategically significant to the gameplay.

    I would boost Allies more from doing that type of stuff with PU values on the map than by adding a bunch of units, though I do think some nations could be given a little more to work with. China is a good example. I also really like the idea of having the USA expanding their income by putting Central and South America and the Caribbean islands more under their direct aegis. Having those spots be true neutrals could benefit Brazil as well, or really any of the smaller allied powers in range, at the Allied players discretion based on who they choose as the occupying power. But USA would get the largest benefit obviously, which I think is fine. The Axis are very strong on production, so I think the Allies kind of need it just to stay in the running honestly. In Vanilla if Japan throws its full weight in any one direction, there really isn't a whole lot the Allies or USA can do to stop them right now, so I think Allies could definitely use the cash and it would have the benefit of making the early rounds with USA/Brazil more engaging. But yeah China I think could also use a buff, or maybe a cheapo spam unit like some of the colonial powers have, just so they don't get mowed over too quickly? The USA/China/Brazil turn bloc I think would definitely be a bit more fun to play that way.

    For Fuel, I'd try to high ball it a bit this time, using the green barrels. The sheer number of units that enter the game over 10-12 rounds recommends much more fuel. The green barrels are the most interesting, since they can be thought of as reserves or stockpiles rather than like oil fields pumping the stuff out of the earth. So I think they are more adaptive abstractions than the capture-able barrels. Right now everyone is pretty much running dry by the 3rd round in vanilla. I'd prefer to see them run dry more in round 5-6 or even later. There are so many ships, tanks and planes to move around by then that I think there could easily be like 50 green barrels added into the mix as starting units, and scattered around the map in various battle locations, just to keep things lively into 1942 and beyond.

    Bomber SBR is pretty OP right now, but having more +5 factory capable locations around the map (even if they don't have starting factories) would make the SBR situation more sustainable and less open to exploits over the long haul.

    For Mech I think they should cost 14 PUs.

    For Transports, I'd like to see a few more around the map, since they provide a lot of interest in the opener. But they are also really powerful when they can converge and start moving massive stacks around with ease. I think Japan probably has too many, and the Allies have too few. I like the idea of a few transports in far flung spots. Hudson Bay or Beaufort Sea Zone could maybe work for 1 British transport for example. East Siberian Sea Zone or Kara Sea Zone could be cool for a Soviet transport. USA might have one up by Alaska or down by Panama. Stuff like that to make the naval game more engaging, since the fleet game is really driven by transports. Where they are at the outset, or where they can be built and put to use pretty much shapes the first round. Caspian sea zone is kinda wild right now with just a lone transport. The Black sea can also get kinda crazy if the Bosporus is open. But I really think tweaking the neutral armies so that true neutral spots have larger stacks would solve that and play a bit more in line with historical situation there.

    We can still have a kind of neutral stomp I think, and one that allows for different expansion possibilities. I just feel it should be confined more to the places shown in that map which eventually went to war...
    while still keeping notable neutrals like Spain and Turkey and such more out of bounds, with larger defensive stacks in place.

    Anyhow, that's what I got for now hehe.

    @forthebirds yeah, Norrland was a bit of a coup last game hehe. I'm about to fire up your save as Allies and see what HardAI G does. I'll report back later tonight or tomorrow. Catch ya in a few dude

  • @Black_Elk
    I know that you have given the map a lot of thought & effort. You have many good ideas that I think could really add to the fun of the game. I also think the game has real possibilities. I'm not giving up on the workings of it as it stands now but I do think that tweaking is needed. I'm still looking for the right combination but I haven't found it yet. So again I appreciate you giving my save a try. Let me know what specifically you might do to enhance the save as it now exists regarding placement of units., etc. For now I'm going to go listen to the rain coming down. Take care.

  • Thanks man! And you too!

    Before diving in I wanted to compile a big list of proposed territory PU changes. So going around the map by Player/Region, starting with their industrial cores and moving out to surrounding spots.

    Lower the Value of West Germany from 50 to 30 PUs, and instead spread that cash to surrounding spots. For example...
    Austria-Bohemia from 4 PUs to 10 PUs
    Poland from 5 PUs to 10 PUs
    That'd be 80 total production at the start, scaling up to about 100 or thereabouts from the surrounding neutrals or the conquest of France. Here are ways something similar might be done for other areas.

    Romania lowered from 20 PUs to 15 PUs
    Yugoslavia from 2 PUs to 5 PUs
    Hungary from 3 PUs to 5 PUs
    30 total production at the start

    Finland raised from 10 PUs to 15 PUs
    Eastern Finland from 2 PUs to 3 PUs
    Lapland from 1 PU to 2 PUs.
    20 total production at the start

    Benelux from 3 PUs to 5 PUs
    Denmark from 2 PUs to 5 PUs
    Baltic States from 4 PUs to 5 PUs
    Trondheim-Narvik from1 PU to 5 PUs.
    Greece from 2 PUs to 5 PUs

    Soviet Union
    Siberia lowered from 15 PUs to 5 PUs
    Moscow from 6 PUs to 10 PUs
    Kuybyshev from 2 PUs to 5 PUs.
    Central Russia from 4 PUs to 5 PUs
    Western Ukraine from 3 PUs to 5 PUs
    145 total production at the start

    Algeria from 2 PUs to 5 PUs
    Tunisia from 3 PUs to 5 PUs
    Mauritania should be True Neutral -1 PU
    50 total production at the start

    French Colonies
    Syria from 3 PUs to 5 PUs
    Madagascar from 2 PUs to 5 PUs
    45 total starting Production

    Western New Guinea from 2 PUs to 5 PUs
    Borneo from 2 PUs to 1 PU
    30 total starting Production

    Italy lowered from 40 PUs to 30 PUs
    Sicily from 2 PUs to 5 PUs
    Sardinia from 2 PUs to 5 PUs
    Tobruk from 2 PUs to 5 PUs
    Libyan Dessert from 1 PU to 2 PUs
    70 total starting production

    Iraq raised from 10 PUs to 15 PUs
    15 total starting production

    Khorasan from 2 PUs to 5 PUs
    Kerman from 3 PUs to 5 PUs
    20 total production at the start

    Afghanistan from 5 PUs to 2 PUs
    Kuwait from 2 PUs to 5 PUs
    Armenia from 2 PUs to 5 PUs

    Scotland from 3 PUs to 5 PUs
    60 total Production at the start

    British Guiana lowered from 10 PUs to 5 PUs
    Guadalcanal from 1 PU to 5 PUs
    El Alamein from 2 PUs to 5 PUs
    55 total production at the start

    South Africa
    South Africa lowered from 10 PUs to 8 PUs
    Pretoria from 3 PUs to 5 PUs
    15 total production at the start

    Malaya from 1 PU to 5 PUs
    Bengal from 2 PUs to 5 PUs
    45 total starting production

    North Island from 2 PUs to 5 PUs
    South Island from 2 PUs to 1 PUs
    45 total starting production

    Japan lowered from 40 PUs to 30 PUs
    Iwo Jima from 1 PU to 5 PUs
    Palau from 1 PU to 5 PUs
    85 total starting production

    Southern Thailand from 2 PUs to 5 PUs
    15 total starting production

    USA South Atlantic lowered from 9 PUs to 5 PUs
    California lowered from 8 to 5 PUs
    Southern Alaska from 1 PU to 5 PUs
    Midway from 1 PU to 5 PUs
    USA Northwest from 3 PUs to 5 PUs
    Panama from 1 PU to 5 PUs
    Texas from 4 PUs to 5 PUs
    USA Midwest from 4 PUs to 5 PUs
    110 total starting production

    Chungking raised from 5 to 15 PUs
    Urimchi raised from 5 PUs to 10 PUs
    Burma Road from 2 PUs to 5 PUs
    40 total starting production. I think that fits the scale of the war there much better, it was massive.

    Nordeste from 2 PUs to 5 PUs
    20 total starting production

    Resources in the following neutral regions should be moved elsewhere I think. With the territories lowered in value and sporting larger armies to reflect their neutral status throughout. Where these regions are made up of multiple territories at least some of them should be stacked to create neutrality choke points, with the PUs and resources shifted eslewhere.

    Sweden, Sveeland, Norrland
    Spain, Northern Spain, Portugal
    Istanbul, Ankara, Central Turkey
    Western and Northern Tibet
    Western and Southern Mongolia

    I think all the other neutrals should be lightly defended or even empty, with higher relative territory values, since they all ended up in the fray before the end and make sense siding with whatever belligerent brings them on board first.

    Anyhow, I think that would present a really compelling production spread and fits the historical pattern. Clearly there are many more +5 spots, but I think that is all to the good and will make the gameplay more entertaining, and the trading much more viable. It's cool to insert them near other +5's to create clusters that can be contested by multiple factions at once. Each of those territories listed as +5 candidates are historical, and would round out the starting production for each faction pretty nicely and introduce more cash overall as the game goes on which is fun. A territory at +5 is just infinitely more interesting for the gameplay potential, so I like the idea to spread the money around a bit more, instead of having it quite so concentrated. The production spread here I think would allow for a much more dynamic tug of war, with added springboards or key fall back spots to entice the factory trading game basically. Tried to suggest key factory capable spots in areas where the historical fighting took place. I think Europe and the Med would balance better this way, and esp for a more robust North Africa campaign, since right now it feels really heavily weighted on the south. Same deal more or less with the central Pacific, just trying to fix the locations a bit more on the historical hotspots. I was aiming to keep the starting production levels pretty much on par with the current for each side, just with a few more +5s that made sense to me to put more of that cash in contention. Thoughts?

  • @Black_Elk
    Back at you. Those changes sound very good and it would make fighting for certain territories more interesting. Another territory would be Wake island which could be worth more than 1 PU because of its strategic significance. Also, I found myself wanting to put many more oils and some iron in logical strategic locations like Caucasus & Sumatra for eg. Actually in many locations. Like your ideas. Where's Frostion?😁

  • @Black_Elk
    If , in the future, you try out my saved game I recommend that you make these minor adjustments.:
    Add factory to French India
    Add 2 infantry to Norrland
    Add 3 infantry to Central Russia
    Add 1 patrol boat to Gulf of Bothia
    Subtract 1 patrol boat from White Sea zone
    Again sometimes I find that small changes can have a rather big effect.
    Thanks again for trying it out.
    You have made moves that I or the AI had not thought of doing.
    Catch you later. By the way overnight, we received 5.25 " of rain .How are things your way?

  • Right on, next go I'll try it with those ideas. I ended up watching Cobra Kai for like 12 hours last night and blasted through the day snoozing. Didn't get much done beyond walking the hound lol. Damn that's a downpour right there! I think they said we get some at weeks end, which'd be good for the air, but I'll keep it indoors meantime. I updated triplea back to the stable, cause the screen was kinda messing with me map drag cross bars haha. I'll grab 1.9 and have a look at the edit mode at some point though.

    Glad you're into some of the added +5 ideas and such. I really think the game would be improved by having a lot more. Even across territories that are currently contested like Western Europe, Med, and Eastern Front, but having factory capable spots along the fault lines I think it ups the stakes. And there'd be more pressure to stack/trade across a broader front, with somewhat less emphasis on the huge transport amphib plays. The reality is that most factions can't aford to fill every factory anyway on a given turn, but just by opening up the possibility to build more factories (which are relatively cheap at 25) I think that enhances both the trading game and the SBR aspect. Right now I feel like the economy and resources are bit on the low side for the scale of the map, especially for factions that struggle to produce a second hitpoint, or have to skip/save for later rounds to get in there. Basically I think everyone could easily see an influx of 5-10 PUs or a bit more fuel and it wouldn't hurt the feel. Some of the smaller nations that struggle to build I think could get a boost. Like China with a second tiger, maybe South Africa has a starting transport, or do things like that around the edges to give the smaller factions more of a role. But having more +5 around that could trade hands would be nice. A little guy like South Africa is positioned in Vanilla to target the neutrals which feels a little off. In reality most nations sent their dudes pretty far afield in transport actions, so I like the idea of that. It could work for ANZAC dudes maybe end up Africa campaigns if they had a transport on the west side of the continent. British India and Colonies as well might benefit from having another transport, to give them more options. Maybe half a dozen scattered around on team Allies would be fun.

    Another feature I like a lot of this map is the convoy zone concept. I think more could probably be added and it would be fun. Axis convoys might be cool as well. If trying to build it out for a slightly more high economy feel, that's a cool way to add an extra 5 bucks here or there.
    I just kind of went around the map and tried to round out the starting total in increments of 5s or 10s, cause I thought it would look clean for the quick glance. But starting income is different to starting production for many nations already, so that is another way to balance, just by adjusting the starting values there.

    Frostion's got a gang of projects cooking up I'd imagine hehe. The guy makes some great maps. I'm sure he'll kick back up again at some point. Meantime I dig having a fun AI map WW2 themed to mess about with! So that keeps me grinning

    One last thought. I think it would be cool if Liberated territories did not return to original ownership unless it was a VC, but instead for all the other territories to have control go to the conquering nation. It would vastly change the dynamic, but I think it would be more interesting. Imagining Normandy under British control say, or Algeria going to USA control towards the endgame and things of that sort. VCs would ensure that the minor factions still remain a thing, ever after being conquered/liberated, but some other surrounding territories would open up way more and be a bit more realistic I think. I could imagine like late game German campaigns taking over some territory from Itay or Balkans under their direct aegis, after resting it back from Allied control Or same deal across all of North Africa, Western Europe, the Central Pacific, pretty much across the board. Basically where all the non VC territories can change hands like that. That would be pretty cool don't you think? I wonder if it can be set up that way, return to original ownership only if a VC?

    That would open up a ton of the map, to play more in the way that the actual war broke down. So like maybe Japan takes an island from KNIL or British-India, but ANZAC liberates and is in charge of it after. That sort of thing makes sense for how the liberation/occupations actually worked in the real war, with like zones of control, and the major powers directing the war effort from there. So you can imagine D-Day where France is "liberated" at the Paris VC (direct control, reverts to original owner), but if UK or USA take Normandy or some other non VC spots thereabouts, those don't just revert to France's control when taken back from Axis. Original ownership would only be for the VCs. I think it would work nice for the playpattern. It would advantage the larger factions obviously, but hews a bit closer to the reality, and it might help to streamline the play for a more dashing endgame. Any thoughts on that idea?


  • @Black_Elk
    Original owners are set on a per territory basis. You can even have the original owner set to someone that isn't occupying it at the start. You could have someplace like shanghai originally owned by china.

    @forthebirds Not sure that you can do that from edit mode though.

  • @forthebirds said in Iron War - Official Thread:

    If , in the future, you try out my saved game I recommend that you make these minor adjustments.:
    Add factory to French India
    Add 2 infantry to Norrland
    Add 3 infantry to Central Russia
    Add 1 patrol boat to Gulf of Bothia
    Subtract 1 patrol boat from White Sea zone
    Again sometimes I find that small changes can have a rather big effect.
    Thanks again for trying it out.
    You have made moves that I or the AI had not thought of doing.
    Catch you later. By the way overnight, we received 5.25 " of rain .How are things your way?

    Forgot to add this: Remove German Transport from Greenland sz
    and German transport from North sz.

  • @forthebirds said in Iron War - Official Thread:

    @forthebirds said in Iron War - Official Thread:

    If , in the future, you try out my saved game I recommend that you make these minor adjustments.:
    Add factory to French India
    Add 2 infantry to Norrland
    Add 3 infantry to Central Russia
    Add 1 patrol boat to Gulf of Bothia
    Subtract 1 patrol boat from White Sea zone
    Again sometimes I find that small changes can have a rather big effect.
    Thanks again for trying it out.
    You have made moves that I or the AI had not thought of doing.
    Catch you later. By the way overnight, we received 5.25 " of rain .How are things your way?

    Forgot to add this: Remove German Transport from Greenland sz
    and German transport from North sz.

    Yikes! In trying the game with the changes made I just realized that the political relationship between Japan & USSR should be WAR instead of OPEN BORDERS.
    This makes a huge difference.
    I've attached the "saved game" with changes made.
    IRON WAR(The MASTER!).tsvg

  • Oh yeah that's a biggie haha. Right on, I'll check it out when I get home later.

    I caught Frostion briefly the other night, while doing a big netflix insomniac bender like I tend to do at random hours hehe. He mentioned looking into a possible update in a couple weeks, so that'd be killer. I'm eager to check it out!

    I think a cool approach would be to see what that one entails, and then maybe look into cooking up possible alternative start dates, which is something he's expressed some support for as a way to try a different theme or a different unit set up. I think a late 1941 start date, possibly with a Pearl Harbor opener might be cool. Something that kicks off with USA entry, and then gears into like Midway and Guadalcanal on the Pacific side, and Torch/Stalingrad on the Europe side would be fun. This would give a justification for a new starting unit distribution (maybe with larger forces, drawn on different battle lines, or with a different starting production front?) I can think of a lot of possibilities.

    There is something really appealing I find about a map with multiple start dates, which is something familiar from AA50, and exists already with G40 some community projects. It was also a feature of other map conquest games I liked such as Medieval TW, where you had a choice to begin in the Early Middle ages or Late Middle Ages etc. So I could see something like that for this one being pretty cool, while still maintaining cohesion.

    1941/42 is pretty compelling, since its still early enough in the war to imagine an Axis sprawl, but where USA could still do the build up thing. A late war setting of 1943 is also pretty compelling for a shorter game, but one which featured larger starting armies and more techs unlocked sooner, more advanced production by the front lines etc. I could see a number of themes to open it up for more starts, which would be rad.

    Best Elk

    ps. I do think there is something interesting in @forthebirds handling of the Soviet vs Japan front. Using a Soviet themed neutral power along the border area might be interesting to achieve something like this...–Japanese_Neutrality_Pact

    I said in posts above that my preference is for the True neutral mechanics, but there's nothing to say there couldn't be like multiple True neutral factions that all worked in pretty much the same way, while still having the different unit graphics or territory color themes.

    Maybe a neutral faction called 'Pro-Soviet' that is more red tinged in color, could work for Mongolia, or like a 'demilitarized' border zone in the Soviet Far East section facing Japan, or some spots near the border with China? If doing that we could use em to create a couple choke points in that broad swath of land constituting the USSR. In practical terms it could be used for geographical stuff, like marshlands of deserts or whatever, or just as an abstraction and a way to spice up the geometry without changing the overall look too much. Basically using stacks of 'neutral armies' that don't move, but which help to shape the look and feel of the play lines across the Russian interior and far flung regions in the extreme east that were less active historically. Either side could attack and occupy if they wanted, but used in that way to create the defensive choke points. This might actually be really helpful for creating buffer zones across Eurasia. I could see it working for Iran/Persia front, or China front, or Far East vs Japan front. Also along the front with Germany just to divide up the lines a bit.

    I was just imagining say the space above Siberia called "Ural" as a Pro Soviet neutral stack to create a choke point there, or the space above Irkutsk called "Sakha" same deal. Or maybe Vladivostok, Amur, Kabarovsk, Aldan, Chita etc are all handled in that way to emulate the Non-Agro Pact there. Might be fun. Would still look good if they were like Red colored and such so it doesn't jump out too much, but visually different enough so its not confusing, everyone can see what spots are the open lanes, and which are blocked out as working like true neutrals, and giving a way to create like shields and passes so its less sprawling in some areas between the +5 clusters.

    The main prob I see with the current pro-side neutrality system is the aircraft landing exploits it creates in some spots, and the rush through aspect. An example would be like Italy attacking Gibraltar and landing the fighters in Spain. But things of that sort can happen many places. It would be simpler if all the neutrals were true neutral. You could still have Pro Allied or Pro Axis as the name/icons, but just have them work the way True Neutral does rules-wise eg cannot be moved through until occupied or landed in until held for round.

    Pps. Actually Pro Allies icons already would look good (I mean they got the star already hehe) maybe just change the territory control color to something reddish to have it work that way?
    But all using the same true neutral mechanics.

    True Neutral: white
    Pro-Allies: I think red or red-orange tinged
    Pro-Axis: blue or green tinged

    So in the gamenotes would read "can be attacked by both Axis and Allies" for all of the passive neutral factions, and just remove the thing about being "moved through." Functionally they are all the same, the only difference being aesthetic.

    Then we could maybe add around armies to the neutral spots that make sense, to shape some choke points.

    Anyhow, that's something that could also be explored I think. It might work well as a way to have the campaigns vs Russia work a little differently than they usually do, while still being a total war from the outset scheme, if Pro Allies/Soviet passive neutrals could be used that way. Basically finding ways to use the neutrals from a gameplay perspective, more than a political one. The same thing could be used in Africa, or in North America or wherever, depending on what colors where used for the neutral factions territory color theme there. I think the trick is just figuring out how many neutral armies constitute enough of a pain to deter the player/AI from going all nutso on a neutral stomp there in some spots, but while still allowing it at the player's discretion.

    maybe something like...

    "It is the year 1941. Japan has attacked Pearl Harbor and is still on the offensive. All Axis nations are now at war with all Allied nations. All eyes are on the United States - What will their next move be?"

    Then we could still use the same turn order as whatever 1940 uses (just for consistency) while allowing for a different start position to the turn order. Different starting unit composition etc. I was not particularly fond of the changed turn order in AA50 between 1941 and 1942 scenarios, you know where Germany and Japan switch positions. I think it became confusing once people were used to the 1941 order, and so contributed maybe to less popularity for the 1942 start date. Anyhow, I think it is better to just change the start position, but keep it within the same main turn sequence (whatever that ends up). I still think UK following Italy would be best hehe. Whatever it is, to have that remain the same when moving between start dates on the map. There'd be plenty to do with starting territory ownership, and different starting forces. But yeah, I like the idea of having everything else working the same way, if that makes sense. Keeping the same kind of theme essentially, and the same gusto with a big start, just spinned with the emphasis more on USA1 as an opener for contrast. That might be fun, and popular. I've kind of wished for an A&A or tripleA map that starts with USA on the first turn, right on the eve of entry. Just think it's a cool concept that would make a slick purchasing dynamic, but it hasn't been explored much really. This map would be ideal for it I think.

  • @Frostion

    So I think i am about to 1944 in game. My thoughts so far. I am playing the allies against the hard AI.

    Not sure if you can do anything about this, but the AI seems to not be particularly aggressive towards neutrals. Germany has yet to attack unoccupied Denmark, so what they have of a fleet is stuck behind that 'canal' in the Baltic. They also never attacked Turkey (true neutral) or the Middle East (pro allied neutral).

    From being on the receiving end of it, strategic bombing seems very powerful. I never really properly defended against it, so it hurt a lot, but it looks like it doesn't take too much of an investment for it either, in return for the damage you can do. I think i never saw more than one plane at a time, but they could easily do anywhere from 5-25 PUs worth of damage in exchange for a 1/10 chance of getting shot down.

    I can't decide what i think about the number of nations. It seems like the real advantage of it is to can opener places? It does make for some interesting strategic choices for the Allies, but i would guess only if they are played by a human.

    I don't think the AI has built any synthetic fuel. Can you give them some via triggers or anything?

    Had the apparently new with 2.0 issue of them not building any factories. That might be killing Germany. Might be hurting Japan, though i would guess less than Germany because they have their transports. Speaking of which, they left transports unescorted a couple of times for me.

    It would be worth putting something in the notes about the financial support options.

    I can't figure out what i think of the free air transports.

    I will try to play the Axis next for some other thoughts

    edit: The italians are placing all of their free subs in the Red Sea, right where i have a battleship and a couple other ships, constantly killing the sub.

  • Yeah I just ran another vs HardAI Axis, with a similar sort of experience.

    In this one Japan bombed the Chinese pretty relentlessly. G did alright with their advance, mainly because I went after the Mid East and then Normandy early, and played it pretty fast and loose with the Russians hehe. Total Victory in the 6th round. You can see from this one how Japan has a way of sprawling across the Soviet far east and its kind of challenge to cover the coast from Irkutsk. It tends to stabilize something like this for me usually, since USA has stronger incentive to cut across the south.

    I've noticed the same behavior from Italy placing subs out of Somalia only to get killed by British-Colonies. They kept it up until British-India snaked their factory amphib. Germany I think fails to place their free subs, because the don't have enough production to fill out their buy I suspect. That factory bug is pretty significant for this one.

    Anyhow here's another save using the most recent stable vs HardAI Axis
    Iron War Hard AI Axis USSR 6.tsvg

    I like that idea of using triggers to give the AI opponent more fuel. That would be helpful. More +5 spots would also be killer. You can kinda see from the D-Day ops here, how its difficult to get something going under Frances control. I think if US or Britain could take Normandy and Vichy directly that'd be cool. Or where original ownership reverted to neutral for pretty much everywhere that isn't a VC I think would be coolest, but anyhow it sort of slogs relying on France to do the rebuilding in Normandy. I think it'd have more across the western side of fortress europa punch if Normandy and Benelux could be taken by the larger factions with options to drop a factory and up the stakes.

    I think the optimal shuck shuck for USA on this map looks like the above, with transports in Celtic sea zone transporting USA units from Iceland into Normandy, Bay of Biscay transports shucking from Morocco factory into Normandy. But here we won before really needing the set up. Norway I think goes best to Britain for their shuck, but either way its pulling from there into Normandy for team Allies if trying to push the most hitpoints possible, until you can just kill West Germany directly buying a bunch of fighters. Scotland I think could be +5, and Benelux to spice that stuff up. Then France wouldn't really matter as much. But it'd also give G something to go after, and more to defend.

    ps. Took it another round since G has been clapping pretty nicely on the eastern front. But West Germany is about to crack to UK/USA double it and then its a done deal pretty much vs Europe since AI don't buy production in last stable.
    Iron War Hard AI Axis Brit 7 combat.tsvg

  • @ff03k64
    It's kinda downer indeed to realize, late in the game, that AI you're up against doesn't perform adequately. It should be at least challenging to some extent. I usually play with just one or a very limited selection of countries. And this way there's another thing that often bothers me: incapable allies! But the latter isn't so bad as the enemy which doesn't take the obvious advantage. (My impression is that AI isn't capable of thinking two turns ahead.) Anyway, this issue isn't limited to this great map. (As a sidenote, the most challenging 2nd ww map available, to my opinion, is WAW under 1.9 engine. AI works great there.) To add to SB discussion, I don't know whether the concept is balanced well due to 10- sided die being used. If I understand correctly, chances of being hit by AA are reduced and possible damage increased, in comparison to D6. I have to try it to confirm this. I've just started a game, controlling European Axis. But I play quite slowly.

  • @Mora I really think the simplest way to manage the SBR on this map, would be to expand the number of possible factory locations, esp in the bombing hotspots. Maybe putting some more money on the table as well, for factory expansion/repair/replacement. I think in particular it would be nice to see more in +5s in places that can be covered by AA (either with cruisers in adjacent sea zones, or aaguns positioned in adjacent tiles, since that is more powerful here owing to the fly over rules for AAfire.) Especially for factions that are more vulnerable it would be nice. Like taking Britain for example, Scotland and Northern Ireland could both be worth 5 and have factories. Germany could have one in Austria. Italy could have one in Sicily etc. Just increasing the number of +5 places across the board by like a 3rd, and placing them in spots where major battles occurred, or which make sense from a more historical flare angle.

    Some of the smaller nations that currently have access to strategic bombers in their unit roster probably shouldn't in all honesty. It just makes the gang-up SBR turn order exploits particularly ruthless. So I'd be considering whether a nation like Finland, Thailand, South Africa or French Colonies should even be able to buy those types of units in the first place. Right now I think the only thing holding back SBR from being even more game breaking is that bombers are the most expensive unit to move in terms of fuel consumption, but even there if going cutthroat, I think its probably well worth the gas or not moving other stuff, just to nix a factory out of play before the opponent can even place.

    The shorthand I've been following is that really it only takes 2 bombers to have a fairly good shot of killing a factory outright, which is pretty potent, esp if the enemy only has like 1 or maybe 2 locations that could even house one to begin with. Anyhow that would be my first step, just adding more factories into the mix basically, since that would mitigate the effect I think and make SBR less do or die. In the nuclear era, if the player goes on that long, factories can be basically be auto killed for a cost of 50, so again similarly potent.

    Another interesting approach I still think might be to have a separate kind of factory or method of producing infantry tied to the VC territories, perhaps as a capturable type factory. I think it would make sense for all factions but particularly some of the smaller ones. The thematic rationale would be that VCs represent the major population centers, from which the boots are conscripted, whereas "factories" are more like actual factories, building heavy equipment like tanks, ships and aircraft. To me it makes sense for infantry recruitment to be tied to VCs, since those are kind of stand ins for the major population centers.

    I think right now the Axis 'capital' territories are over valued (at 40-50), and some of the key Allied 'capital' territories are under valued (at just 5 or 6 in many places). So instead of having Axis VCs worth so much I think those should come down, and have the value spread to adjacent spots that can be captured. For the Allies I'd probably just add more value as needed since more of those spots are in immediate contention. For some kind of parity 10-15 vs 20-30 I think would be easier to swallow than like 5 vs 50, when comparing Allied 'capitals' to the Axis ones. Some of the Allied VCs could be easily raised up to at least 10 in many spots I think, England comes to mind, but it would help for some of the smaller guys too like say Egypt. France for example could be worth more, as a way to give Germany more via conquest, so it doesn't have to look as lopsided. Britain at a higher value is also a way to give Sea Lion a bigger pay off. India or China or ANZAC could be worth more to make the theaters there more decisive on the Pacific side. Clearly its all abstracted, with Axis spots worth more for gameplay reasons, but I still think there could be more parity, and it would make the game more interesting for both sides. More of a payoff when Axis conquer stuff, and more of an incentive for Allies to stop them from doing so, when more of the value is placed in contested areas.

    It'd be cool if more territories in Europe were worth 5, 10, 15 or 20 PUs, and have Germany and Italy increase their main income that way via early conquest. While simultaneously lowering the value of Italy and West Germany. I'd do the same for Japan, shifting the money off the home island to surrounding places, and increasing the value of Allied spots that are nearby which can be conquered early. Instead of Japan worth 40, you could drop it 20. Up Hokkaido to 5, Sakhalin to 5, Korea to 5 and you'd still have loot left over to increase Iwo, Oki, or Saipan to get another island in play. Which would be a little truer to their production spread, having a cluster around the home islands and territories controlled prior to 1937. At the same time more of the Allied spots nearby could be worth 5 or even 10, so that the big money really comes from conquest for both sides. I just think the +5s work cooler when they are arranged in pockets like that, with another +5 adjacent, or sometimes one turn away via blitz, or in the case of islands one turn via transport, from another contested +5 spot nearby. It'd increase the pressure to trade across the whole region when set like that. 10-30 ipcs spread around the right way I think could really open up the factory and the territory trading game while also helping with the SBR thing.

    With a couple hundred territories on the map, conservatively I'd think like 1/6th of those should probably be worth +5 for a really tense global back and forth. Like with the fuel, I'd say high ball it for the next go hehe. Aiming for a somewhat higher economy game across the board, since infantry is pretty expensive at 10 PUs. There's going to be that cap on hitpoints there regardless, but it also means that (at least thinking in terms of infantry replacement) you could add 20 PUs in value to the map, and we're still only talking about 2 hitpoints per round in added value to the board. I'd go for stuff like that over dramatically changing starting unit compositions, since I think it'd just make the production spread more dynamic as the game went on. Balance could then be handled after with starting income tweaks, whatever makes sense for the opener.

    ps. I agree that right now its only really playable backloading to 1.9 due to the no factories bug. I played another game just now under the 2018 previous build, and HardAI already has a German factory in Poland and a Japanese one in Vladivostok. Just a much stronger showing when the AI can build. Anyhow, here it is using 1.9 on USA 2, AI clearly much stronger showing.

    Iron War HardAI Axis USA2.tsvg

    In the older build 1.9 the main issue for German collapse looked more like this... where West Germany really is their Achilles' heel. That's why I think some of that value could get pushed back to Poland and Austria etc. I think if one of the Germany spots is higher value East Germany would be better for that. But I think having them more like 20-30 PUs with more of the loot coming from France or the Eastern Front. But I like Austria so they got a fall back spot in the middle after something like this happens. Total Victory for team Allies in the 4th round there... Total Victory can still come pretty quickly if pressing hard. Maybe a few more VCs added and a threshold at 21 or 24 VCs. A couple new VCs could bring Egypt or Greece back into the fold with one, or maybe Malaya or Hawaii on the Pacific side. Might be fun

    Iron War HardAI Axis USSR4.tsvg

    I think it would work better all around for everyone whether AI controlled or not with more targets at +5.

    pps. Went a dozen rounds vs HardAI Allies in 1.9. I think this is about as boss as I've been able to get Germany by 1946 with the mech drive. The vanguard panzers have finally reached all the way to the Pacific ocean hehe. Decisive invasion of England about to commence, pretty massive numbers involved. Fun stuff, better with the AI buying factories again for sure.

    Iron War Hard AI Allies G13 combat.tsvg

  • @Black_Elk
    Hi y'all.
    Just to add to the discussion.
    I kind of follow the advice from Roger's Scenario Thread who tests a lot of games that I believe he only allows himself to do one strategic bomber per country per turn.
    Likewise with this game I don't think you should be able to export anything to another country because the AI doesn't.
    PvP, all bets are off.😁
    I still find it not good for the latest engine not to be buying factories when it should. Especially for Iron War, this is a real problem.
    So, at least, for now I'm sticking with 1.9 for this game.
    As far As WAW, I found that the USA was strictly buying fighters & nothing else. This was a bummer & it seemed to me unbeatable.
    Any thoughts?

  • @forthebirds
    I have many thoughts about WAW. I don't see it unbeatable. Right now, I am giving USA and GB 110% of PU while playing only Japanese countries myself. And it looks like Axis is winning. But I think we shouldn't spam here, because this is Iron War thread. If you wish, we can PM.

  • A display bug, I think.

    Something is goofy with Japan's support to Thailand. I gave 10, and it said they were getting 15.

    I gave 5, and it said they were getting 10.

    I am pretty sure that they did get the correct amount though.

    I will try to repeat it next time I get to Japan.

  • Further thoughts on the map and the production spread...

    Currently the map has 931 production in total.

    I counted about 11 territories that have no value, these are all in the extreme north of Russia and Canada.

    I think those should all be worth 1 PU, just for parity with everywhere else on the map. One of the things I like about Iron War over A&A is that it assigns 1 PU in value to basically everywhere on the map (including minor islands) which makes those northern territories stand out as weirdly inconsistent. I understand there is probably some rationale here that if those territories have zero value then Japan won't take them over, but I don't think that really works anyway, and the map would just feel more coherent if everything was at least worth 1 PU at the floor.

    Making every territory worth a minimum of 1 PU would increase the total production on the board from 931 to 942.

    From there I'd say just add in the remaining 58 production and distribute it across the map in areas contested by both sides, so that you can have a clean total of 1000 Production in play.

    I'd do this by adding more +5s to both sides, or perhaps a few more convoy sea zones, until you hit the magic number of 1000 total. It might seem arbitrary, but there's something to be said for having clean round numbers, and I actually think it would be about the right amount to get a cool playbalance going on this one. 58 PUs is a lot of wiggle room to raise up a few VC values, and to add a few more spots capable of producing factories or adding in some more convoys to spice up the naval game. Especially if it was combined with the idea in posts above to spread out the value from some of the Axis capitals to adjacent contestable spots. All said that should be enough to activate a couple dozen new territories or sea zones at the +5 threshold. So yeah, anyway, that just seemed like a good milestone to try and hit for the next one, since it would also look all neat and tidy from the birds eye, with 1000 Production total as the goal.

    D10 Combat
    Base 10 PUs cost for infantry
    1000 total production on the board

    Just has a good feel don't you think?

    It provides a simple way for people to kind of get their head around things at the macro scale. Thinking in terms of hitpoint replacement, that's essentially 100 hitpoints worth of production value on the board, split across 20 factions. which feels clean to me. I think you could of course design a balance around any production just by adjusting starting income and starting unit position, so I rather like it when I open a map and see a lot of clean numbers in the stats columns for the opening rounds.

    Here's an example of what I mean...

    Turn Block 1
    Germany 80
    Balkans 30
    Finland 15
    (Total 125)

    Turn Block 2
    USSR 155
    France 50
    French-Colonies 40
    KNIL 30
    (Total 275)

    Turn Block 3
    Italy 75
    Iraq 10
    Iran 15
    (Total 100)

    Turn Block 4
    Britain 70
    British-Colonies 50
    South Africa 20
    British-India 45
    ANZAC 45
    (Total 230)

    Turn Block 5
    Japan 85
    Thailand 15
    (Total 100)

    Turn Block 6
    USA 110
    China 40
    Brazil 20
    (Total 170)

    Axis 325
    Allies 675

    Out of 1000 Production on the board.

    Since Axis have the larger starting forces at the ready, and more of the Allied starting production is in immediate contention, this roughs out to be more of a 50/50 production split in early rounds after Axis initial conquest. Basically I went around and upped the values (usually within 5-10 PUs) from the current totals nation by nation. And then going for the whole round number phenomenon of 1000, it was pretty damn close to that split. To match it up with the totals after that I basically just doubled the value of China to 40 PUs. To me this makes sense, both from an historical perspective and from a gameplay one.

    China's contribution to the war effort is consistently undervalued in these games. Historically the United Front in China KMT/CCP tied down the Imperial Japanese Army in a massive way for pretty much the duration of the war.

    The IJA had an army that was what like 1 million strong, preoccupied with the fighting in China for almost the whole decade since the late 30s. The main reason Japan wasn't able to do the kind of wild stuff in the real war that it typically does in an A&A game lol because the war in China was such a grind.

    So to get something more like that going here, easy fix I think is to increase the power of China vs the Japanese stacks via more Chinese production per turn. In the grand scheme even 40 production is still pretty minor, but that just seemed a fitting scale to me, since it at least allows China to actually fight back vs the Japanese stompfest with 3-4 hitpoints per turn if they can maintain their production front.

    Anyhow, that's just an idea of how it could be done, working backwards from the overall totals. The play balance is determined largely by which starting territories are in contention and the strength of the starting forces facing off, but I think most of this would work without having to massively redraw any of the battle lines. It just changes the kind of stuff that can happen after the opener via purchasing and production expansion (since you got more cash for a few +5s to make viable spots). Axis starting totals are based on the current, but I still think the money could come out of the capitals and into the more peripheral contested zones, or even to convoys, and still match up on the totals (Especially if coming down to 20-30 in value for Japan, Italy, West Germany, which I think would be better). Anyhow, that's where my head was with it earlier tonight. What do you guys think?

    The scale of the war in that theater was massive. Just by the sheer numbers it dwarfs many of the other arenas of fighting. Plus it was an active theater from 1937 till the final days, so clearly a long slog.

    In A&A the treatment is generally to have China be like the weak link on team Allies, or treated with special rules or whatever, but I prefer the approach in Iron War where they are a full fledged nation and playing according to the same rules as everyone else. Obv they still spam infantry for the most part, just because they are smaller and that unit is their best buy. Still I think it would be cooler if they were represented more to scale at 40 PUs for a few more hitpoints, so they could go more toe to toe with Japan, or at least hold out a bit longer.

    Best Elk

    ps. I also had a few ideas, more related to starting units. One idea was to give British-India an air-transport in Nepal, so they could do something like this...

    An air transport flown from Nepal, could carry a dude into Chunking on Non-Com, which would represent the air lift. After Japan occupied Burma, that was basically the only route into China for resupply.

    You could also have a USA strategic bomber located at Midway. This could reach Chunking on the first turn, and would signal an opening significance for that island. I'd like to see Midway at 5+ maybe. But anyhow, that strategic bomber if flown to China, could represent all the USA airbases and such and various activities that the US did when they switched support from Japan to China in the lead up to the 41 attacks and the larger Pacific War. US bomber actions from bases in China were like the main reason for the Japanese offensives in 44 to finally destroy those airfields with this one...

    Taiwan/Formosa would be more interesting as a +5 tile during the endgame, and an offset for China, since it begins under Japanese control.

    Xinjiang or Kashgar I think could be a true neutral at +5 to represent the soviet client state that existed there, while giving China something to do to control those western provinces. I think it would be better to have the extra PUs/Steel there in Xinjiang rather than in Tibet, which was pretty remote. But doing a neutral thing for Xinjiang would give China some east/west tension similar to how Tibet functions now. China would have a clear strategic choice to make, between whether to focus 100% on Chunking defense, or risk diverting some units to conquer the neutral Xinjiang spaces for increased production. Or alternatively Allies could take it over with Russia for a more Soviet supported theme in China CCP style. Thematically it would correspond to this situation which had Xinjiang up for grabs...

    But just gives some flair there for a new slant on the playpattern in central Asia vs Japan I'd think.

    On the Pacific side, Japan defeating China should feel comparable to Germany defeating the Moscow pocket on the Europe side, just in terms of scale and play relevance to the endgame. Instead of the usual situation where Japan mows over China and just keeps pressing into USSR without skipping a beat. Using China as more of a linchpin for central Asia, where the Allies have to coordinate their stacks and fly in aircraft to prop it up, but where they have a chance of actually holding the line or fighting back. The way the geometry is set up, Lanchow would be the optimal defense line, but China ends up being split between Chunking itself and Lanchow. I think they just need to be bigger and have more money. Because Japan can land 20+ hitpoints against them easily when they consolidate the transports.

    A bomber from midway could reach most of the Allied active theaters across the pacific, ANZAC KNIL or Russia too so stuff like that would be cool, but optimal would be Chunking which fits the historical pattern.

    I'd also maybe think about putting a few US fighters and air transports scattered across a couple spots in the Philippines chain, Guam, Wake etc. Having US aircraft in places like that would make it more intense, because if Japan didn't kill them on J1 then they could fly to China and represent the Flying Tigers or do other things to give Japan headaches. So that's a way to also create some serious tension on J1. Otherwise I think Japan is just stomping into one VC/factory after the next using all their transports at once for the quick kill. Without a strong incentive to fan out (most islands are only 1-2 PUs) Japan can kind of just ignore the many smaller islands which historically they conquered at the outset of the Pacific War, in favor of a single large push that puts fewer hitpoints at risk on the follow up. Just having a starting US aircraft unit in some of those places would offer a major incentive for Japan to try and kill them off on J1, before they can fly away. Perhaps a pair of fighters in the Philippines chain, or 1 air-transport added to Guam, a bombers at Wake or Midway. Stuff like that. This would create dynamism for the opener in that theater, with more targets for J1 attack. Offering different options for Allied counter play, depending on which US aircraft (if any) survived the initial Japanese wave.

    J1 is always a challenge, because I guess on the one hand you'd want them to focus on French-Colonies for a 1940 opener, whereas the big sprawl actually happened at the end of 1941 when they took over basically the whole south Pacific. But in gameplay terms, I think it's probably easier to have Japan do the big sprawl on their first turn rather than their second. Basically going islands first, then reorienting on India and South East Asia afterwards, since that is where they naturally want to end up anyway. In the current set up, after knocking off French Colonies the strong incentive is to crash immediately into Sumatra or directly against India, rather than doubling back to mop up all the minor Dutch, ANZAC and USA islands in the central pacific. This is because the production is weighted on India, and South East Asia much more than the central pacific, and every additional turn that the Allies can build out of their factories is a massive stall for Japan. If instead, the big Japan sprawl came at the opener, then US fighters could anchor the fighting towards certain smaller islands even without a big price tag on the territory, and still create some optimal attack patterns for J1. The strong Japanese priority would be to destroy US TUV before it can escape on USA1, so that could be used in lieu of higher production values for such islands while still drawing the fighting there. Though I still favor more islands at +5, since then the draw is baked in for either side.

    It may be that I'm thinking more 1941, since this map would be fun for that. But yeah, once the main map is established, I think a lot of that stuff could be handled pretty easily with a set up tweak if you wanted to try for a second start date in late 1941 or maybe corresponding to late 41/early 42. I think the production spread is the most significant thing over all, the actual map PU values, since those cannot be easily changed on the fly in the same way that starting income or starting units can be. I'd like to see what Frostion has in mind for the +5s and such, and then build off that for a possible later start date scenario if people are into it.

    pps. Here's something I tried just for an experiment with the AI. I noticed just now that it is possible to place starting factories using EDIT MODE anywhere, even if the territory value is less than 5 hehe.

    So I just added a gang of factories across the whole map to see how far I could push the idea.. This is a little more extreme/absurd than I think it really needs for a production front, but I was curious how it would play out under such conditions against an AI that was able to build at many more forward locations. Here is a save using post 2.0 stable.... I was guessing there were enough factories in there that the bug wouldn't make a difference. In Iron War once they are destroyed they can't be replaced via purchase owing to the gold spot rule so it was just a one off, but thought it might be interesting to try. I also added either 5 or 10 green barrels to each nation according to their scale so the AI could compete. It gives the player a fuel cushion as well since I did it for both sides, but I think it'd probably feel fine at that level anyway for most. Anyhow I like the idea of a few more factory clusters.

    2020-9-23-Iron-War Added Factories.tsvg

    I took control over the final turn block USA/China/Brazil, so this is what the computer did up to USA1 first turn.

    2020-9-23-Iron-War Added Factories USA1.tsvg

    Kinda cool I thought. Just from seeing this as an example, I'd say a few more starting factories scattered about at a couple additional +5 territories would be pretty cool. Not as many as I added there probably haha, but a one or two added in to each contested theater would definitely crank up the heat quite a bit I think. The computer makes some interesting placement choices sometimes, and seems to spread around a bit. Like Brits bought a tank for Gibraltar, Japan a tank for Saipan hehe. But for the most part they push the hitpoints where you'd expect along the main fronts. Hopefully they can fix the factory bug soon, but maybe a nice reason to add a few more to the set up in historical spots. Austria, Korea, Sicily and whathaveyou, with one or even a couple more for each nation depending on their faction's size. The computer definitely suffers from not being able to build new factories though, especially Germany, but Allies too like USA if the AI can't build out Iceland or Morocco. Maybe Midway, Southern Alaska and Panama would be fun too. Britain probably Scotland or N. Ireland would make the most sense, but I also like Ontario or Labrador or Nova Scotia if trying to light up North America on the Canadian front. Could do the same for the interior of the US, like in Midwest or Texas. Basically so there are some fall backs under invasion USA type endgame, where Axis are ascendant and going globe trot style. Since you know everybody likes to play out that kind of game lol

    Iron War 1941?

    Attached below is a separate Edit save showing what the ownership of the map might look like for a 1941 start date....

    The main feature is that by 1941 metropolitan France has already fallen. Control of Vichy, Algeria, Tunisia, Syria, Madagascar etc are assigned to Germany.
    Hanoi and French Indo are assigned to Japan.

    In East Africa, the last Italian held territory for a 1941 start date would be Ethiopia.

    Madagascar should be a target for Allies in 1941 under Vichy/German control.

    Soviets should control Eastern Turkey(Armenia) and the invasion of Iran by Anglo-Soviets should already be under way to mark 41 in the mid east.

    Otherwise farther on the Pacific side it looks much the same as 1940 for the opener, aside from Indo China, because the start is imagined to be basically Dec 1941 by the time the turn order sequence reaches Japan. This allows for a similar expansion pattern on the first turn from Japan and USA to the one they have in the 1940 map, but perhaps with some adjustments like added aircraft or bolstered fleets to jumpstart the Pacific War.

    The main difference globally by sides would be that Germany is already at their 1941 territorial extent from the start, so in addition to France, the Low Countries and Scandinavia, they'd already be into Belo, Ukraine and the Baltic States too. Axis would also control Greece and Crete by that timeline. Germany would have basically twice the starting production of 1940, so basically a realignment of the German and Soviet units primarily, and to a lesser extent Italy, Iran, France, French-Colonies, British-Colonies to create a balance off that kind German position.

    For the 1941 timeline Iraq should basically be designed to fall in the first round (or at least have that as an option), with Iran up for grabs in the second round, corresponding to the sequence of Allied invasions historically. It would work well if the British block followed the Italy/Iraq/Iran block in the turn sequence for that. That way Iraq could get a build in before British-Colonies moves, and we could create some tension that way for the British-Colonies opener, between Baghdad front vs Iraq/Iran and Cairo front vs Germans/Italians coming from the west side. Italian Ethiopia I think would also play rather differently without Somalia, but it could still present an Axis choke point, and a little bit of tussle there, but with the Allied production front realigned there, I think it shifts the focus more on the North for both sides.

    Having Germany in a more forward 1941 position I think also recommends that USA and Britain have a couple transports for the Atlantic from the start, so they can move on Africa sooner.

    For Japan's part it would be cool to really dime out J1 and give it attack pattern Delta hehe. The challenge would be to hit Philippines, Guam, Wake and almost all of the Dutch East Indies, while sinking the US fleet at Pearl on J1. In China the Japanese front is basically Burma and Changsha for 1941. I think it would have a comparable feel to G1 in 1940 just in terms of scale, it might be cool to have a J1 like that with a big push across a broad front to open.

    I think on the Atlantic side we could design a unit balance that has more pressure on Allied convoys G1, but an accelerated Torch opener by the Allies into North Africa. An El Alamein tank battle could be set up too, since German armored units could be positioned in Tunisia opposite some British-Colonies armor in Egypt for Rommel style fun. This could build to more rapid Allied pressure on Italy via Morocco and the Western Med in rounds 2-3, to offset the fact that France and Scandinavia are under German control from the start. The Germans don't have that initial distraction, so instead Allies would provide a new one with the Torch front and the Egypt/Eastern Med East front.

    Meanwhile the German Eastern Front vs the Soviets can be more advanced and built around the siege of Leningrad and battle of Stalingrad lines, with Germany positioned to take down either the north or the south as part of their opener. Russian counters on turns 2-3 could come from armor positioned further inland, to simulate Kursk and such when they arrive after a delay of a turn or two. Should be able to cover most of the big stuff that went down in 41/42 during the opener so that the second and third rounds still kinda look and feel like 42/43. The basic character on the Atlantic side would be Axis in a more defensive posture (having just conquered almost all of Europe) and trying to hold onto Fortress Europa vs Allied counter press, whereas on the Pacific side its sort of the reverse, Allies trying to hold vs Japanese mass blitz across the Central and South Pacific.

    J1 script would essentially be 7/8 December 1941 when the Japanese took over Thailand and attacked Singapore, Hong Kong, Guam, Philippines, Wake and Hawaii to start the larger Pacific War.

    In January of 42, they attacked Dutch East Indies, New Guinea, Rabaul, Solomon Is etc which could also be possible in a J1 script. Or it could follow naturally off the J1 script into J2. US Aircraft could be used as an incentive to draw Japan into the desired attack pattern vs US territories on J1, Green fuel barrels could be used as an incentive to continue the press vs Central Pacific press on J2. I think that's the easiest way to set it up.

    Africa would also be a little different. For this time period Free France, was basically confined to just the region of Equatorial Africa immediately surrounding Gabon on the Iron War map. Basically the area corresponding to the dark red shown on this wiki

    Since the battle to take Gabon from Vichy in 1940 was the only major battle other than Dakar to take place in West/Central Africa that front is more downplayed here. For a 1941 start date the battle of Gabon could be seen as having just occurred right before game start. I think it would make sense to have France retaking most of those West African territories from Germany/Vichy control with a simple walk in for most cases. By the time of torch in 1942, Allies had retaken all of West Africa, Syria and Madagascar for Free France. In the game I imagine Free France like that, clawing its way up to an income by claiming tiles that are basically empty or just lightly defended. This would work well with Free France moving in the Soviet turn block, but having Britain/British-Colonies move in the next turn block (After Italy). Free France would also need a somewhat larger starting purse to fight from this position, since their production would be even lower here than it is in 1940, but that's fine. As long as they have 1 factory at Gabon and a transport to move units to Ivory Coast and the surrounding zones that's enough to have a role in the game, at least once the USA starts getting involved.

    Italy would be in a weaker position vis a vis Somalia/Ethiopia, so I think this should shift the overall emphasis away from Central Africa as a major theater of war, and put the playbalance more on North Africa where it makes more sense for 1941/42. Some early actions by France and British colonies to occupy largely empty spots in West Africa makes sense, but not a big slogfest vs Italy across the whole of East Africa since that was largely handled by late 41 except for the final Italian stand in Ethiopia. Instead this one would be more about Axis posturing to hold off the Allied advance on North Africa and to defend Italy and the Balkans from Allied invasion there via the Med.

    I just reassigned control and emptied the tiles of all units in the spots that changed hands for a quick read. You can imagine of course that Germany's starting forces would have to be largely rebalanced, and some other changes to starting unit compositions around the globe tweaked to fit the theme, but basically repositioning the starting territory ownership along these lines for the 1941 feel...

    2020-9-23-Iron-War 1941 Ownership.tsvg

    Here's one showing basically the same German starting units as 1940, but fanned out for a more 1941 style positioning. Something similar could be done for the other factions where it makes sense. Perhaps adding a couple tanks or aircraft here or there, to signal that the timeline has advanced a year. Maybe each nation shaves off a few inf as casualties buts gets another heavy hitter like a fighter, a tank, or ship distributed around the hotspots, to give them some added punch for 41. Here the edit shows G with the same basic number of starting aircraft and ships (the air transport repositioned to Crete, Kriegsmarine to Baltic sea etc) but I could see Germany with like an added dive bomber or maybe an extra tank or some extra subs prowling the Atlantic, just to mix it up from the original 1940 start and signal 1941 opener, while still building off similar overall numbers so it'd have the familiar feel.

    2020-9-23-Iron-War 1941 Ownership + G Units example.tsvg

    How to handle Soviet Japanese Non Agression Pact

    I continued filling out that Edit Save to highlight a more 1941 feel, adding some new weight to each faction via starting units.

    Building on the idea by @forthebirds I thought something like this might be cool for the demilitarized border between the Soviet Union and Japan... Basically I added 4 true neutral stacks along the border, just large enough to be a real deterrent, with two territories coming from Japan, and two territories coming from USSR. By adding the Japanese or Soviet flag on top of the neutral forces, it creates that cool 'contested zone' diagonal stripping on the map from the outset, which I think would be a nice way to illustrate the idea of the NAP being in effect. Of course either side could bust in whenever they want, but it would hold for the early game most likely since 10 hitpoints is a pretty decent wall. I just did a generic stack for each, with a fighter for some teeth, but it could basically be weighted to whatever scale makes sense for the Japan/Soviet units nearby. Just to put that front on ice in early rounds so the focus can be on the invasion of Philippines, Pearl, and waring against the Western powers initially. Looks something like this for a basic vibe...

    Iron War Soviet Japanese Non Agression Pact basic concept.png

    I also liked that idea forthebirds suggested to have a few more German subs farther out into the Atlantic gap. Anyhow for this one, everyone got a boost across the board with a couple choice units here and there to round out the starting forces, larger airforces and such where it seemed to fit for the historical play pattern or for logistical routes then current. Just tinkering around the edges to try and create conflict zones that would make sense for 1941 to give a rough feel. Obviously its abstract, so things could be tweaked, but just trying to get a basic shape of things how it might look for that kind of start date. I'm still working on it but figured I'd share where I was at to see if anyone has more ideas for something like this.

    2020-9-23-Iron-War 1941 New Draft.tsvg

  • @ff03k64 said in Iron War - Official Thread:

    A display bug, I think.

    Something is goofy with Japan's support to Thailand. I gave 10, and it said they were getting 15.

    I gave 5, and it said they were getting 10.

    I am pretty sure that they did get the correct amount though.

    I will try to repeat it next time I get to Japan.

    Found it in the properties file. Japan to Thailand is in lines 60-70

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