Iron War - Official Thread

  • @Frostion
    Finally made it through the Axis side. Won it in round 9. I played all axis nations. v0.2.9

    I think the victory settings are a little excessive for the Axis. It might just be the route that I took to victory, but I feel like if they get to 18 VC (maybe even 17) or 550 production (maybe even 500), they really shouldn't be able to lose any more, so those lower numbers could probably be the victory conditions.

    Allies are probably alright economically because of what they start with. But they could probably do with 19 VC.

    How is this map balanced for PvP? it feels like i really couldn't have won against a real person as opposed to the AI as the Axis.

    The Axis minor nations really feel pretty meh... Especially Iran and Iraq as separate nations.

    The Allied minors feel a little better, but still a little over saturated. I feel like British colonies and South Africa could easily be merged. ANZAC and KNIL could also be easily merged. And France could be limited to mostly her mainland territory, and the rest merged with the french colonies. Brazil could probably join the USA. They do add a little extra dynamic to the game, but I wouldn't want to play them all again. Maybe it is better if they are AI controlled though.

    I think it might be fun to have a map like this with just the original 5 nations from original A&A. Not to replace this, but as a new game using the same map and ruleset.

    Until the AI can handle Building factories again, i think SBR needs to go. You could literally remove AI nations from the game on the first or second turn with SBR.

    Until the AI can handle fuel better, they should probably get free synth fuel on triggers periodically. Would have to test to figure out the optimal amounts are though. They get severely neutered after a few turns. I have some thoughts for how to do this, though i don't know how well they will work, it might give you something to start from.

  • I was thinking the same thing earlier tonight, regarding a possible collapsing of minor nations into the larger ones, still retaining a 6 block turn order, but with fewer nations as separate players. I think that might work well for a 1941 scheme where total war conditions and larger break outs would make more sense. The separate smaller nations in this one are a novelty I think, like cool to imagine playing as Free France and the like. But I could also see an advantage to having a single player per turn block, just because it would play faster per round.

    One possible idea would be to retain the map and unit roster ruleset etc, but just dime it out to a 6 man.
    Germany, USSR, Italy, Britain, Japan, USA using neutrals in such a way that Allies have to bring their territories on board in the opening rounds.

    So as an example China/Brazil could be under a US aegis, Free France could be under Britain etc.

    The main challenge usually with these games is how to handle the UKs sprawling starting territories and how to balance the production spread off that. One possibility would be to split the UK in two: the British Empire, and the Commonwealth Dominions.

    British Empire would be UK home islands + Labrador and Newfoundland in North America, the Atlantic/Caribbean, West Africa, Egypt and India. Using the British unit set

    Dominions would basically be the rest, Canada, South Africa, ANZAC/Pacific etc probably using the British Colonies or British India unit set for the most adaptive look.

    Then KNIL, France territories could either made neutral or assigned to one or the other British faction depending on the balance and gameplay interest. For turn order I think you could just block them together in the same sequence, so one moves after the other, but with different production to try and maintain the scale by sides.
    I can also imagine how it might look with all British territories under a single faction like Classic/AA50 etc, but on a map this scale I kinda think a split would work better. I kinda like the division into Empire and Dominions, but it could also go Atlantic/Pacific split along that mid east meridian the way global has it. But even that one threw ANZAC into the Mix for charm heheh.

    China I think you could do direct US/Soviet control, by having a pocket territory at +5 and a rally point that each could start out with and the rest neutrals that have to be claimed. US controlled China would represent Nationalist controlled KMT, Soviet Controlled China would represent Communist controlled CCP.

    The smaller Axis factions could be split between Germany or Italy, or made a neutral that they can take over and I think you'd have something pretty clean. It would be liked a faster slimmed down primer, maybe easier to pick up, but still using new resources and the roster, the tech, ruleset etc. I'd almost think if going that route where each player/faction is larger in terms of starting territory, that the number of starting units could be scaled down somewhat, or re-distributed to offset whatever change in territory ownership/production makes sense for doing something like that.

    Anyhow, I agree that the map would be cool trying to do the original nations. I think I like the 6 block sequence for this one, over the 5 man of Classic. The way the rules work, its better to have another Axis nation in the sequence for can opener disrupting, than it is to have Allied piggyback USA/USSR like the older games so I'd keep Italy in the mix. But yeah, the itself map is rad. I think it could definitely support something like that as a variant, maybe 1941 start date?

    ps. Just for a rough estimate, if every sensible Atlantic territory went to Britain for direct control (i.e. all of Africa, France, French colonies etc) its about 140-50 PUs. If every territory in the Pacific is assigned to India its about 80-100 PUs depending on whether of not the Dutch are included or just made neutral. That actually seems like a pretty workable scale to me. The tension on the one side would be between India and the South Pacific, on the other side between Western Europe and Africa basically. I can also see ways that it could be divided up more in terms of who controls what, if doing a Dominions style approach. You could have some areas on either side of the map controlled by one British Factions or the other just for variety, but Atlantic/Pacific might be simpler. Alternatively a single faction where everything is controlled just by Britain also seems workable, provided they had fewer starting units as an offset, and of course assuming Axis will conquer a large part of it in the opening round. That's basically how Classic worked, but of course on a much larger map here haha

    Here's a quicky example of how it might look, just using edit mode to clear it down for a draft.

    I put some flags in there just for the decorative aspect hehe. Just meant to show how China or France/Vichy and whatnot might be done. I used french colonies flags to show vichy territories under Axis aegis at the outset. Or put them from the just to show which stuff changed hands from one side to the other. This based on the Dec 1941 territorial extent basically, eve of Pearl Harbor. Obviously starting units would need to be reworked for later period, but shows how the territory divisions might break down with a UK faction split Atlantic/Pacific style.

    2020-9-30-Iron-War 6 MAN Brit Split with flags.tsvg

    Think something with that sort of vibe might work? Might be fun for a spin off

    Also just finished another Solo play as USA/China/Brazil. Pretty solid for the entertainment factor. I dig it how the US actually has a reason to try and move on both sides of the board, whereas in A&A its usually optimal to focus on one side over the other. Rally Point had a kinda interesting effect of making the core Japanese territories pretty well stacked for the endgame. Iwo and such sporting like 10 hitpoints a pop, which was cool. We managed to press pretty well into the Med. The rally points there make that front more engaging. I think Spanish landing would probably be fairly standard, since the best +5 other than Norway to try and get something going early on vs Axis. In this one I locked down as soon as I could and then kept gunning on Libya. I enjoy how there are more stepping stones now. Anyhow here it was at the dawn of the nuclear era hehe right before we actually nuked anything.

    2020-9-30-Iron-War 3.0 solo USA 12.tsvg

    I think in general I've favored adding VCs, just since there are so many possible spots that might make sense historically. But the rally point actually functions more the way I wish VCs did in the regular games. Something that has an in game application beyond just the Win conditions. I kinda just play to watch the map change colors after a certain point though lol. For a PvP type situation it'd be more relevant for sure than it is in the skynet stomp. I definitely dig the latest iteration with the rally point. I think those are definitely a great add

  • @Frostion said in Iron War - Official Thread:

    SS-Infantry and SS-Panzer now have a “tuv” higher than their cost, making the calculator take normal Infantry and normal Heavy-Tank as casualties before these units.

    I saw this change to "TUV", and I was wondering how you did it.

    Could you do that to fuel barrels to make it more likely the AI targets them?

  • @ff03k64

    the code is
    <option name="tuv" value="12"/>
    the above line is put the the
    <attachment name="unitAttachment"
    section for the unit you wish to increase.

  • @TheDog Thanks, i will have to make use of this on my map as well!

    @Frostion If it is that easy, i think i would give fuel a value of like 25 and synth fuel a value of at least 10. Thinking of this, i would maybe give iron a value of like 10 or 15 as well. Fuel could probably be even more than that for now, considering how much trouble the AI has with fuel constraints. Steel isn't that big of a deal, but it would be nice if the AI at least tried for it a little.

  • How much should AI be boosted in sinlge playing?

  • @Schulz
    A lot. There is no simple answer to your question, please be specific.

    Currently there are a few AI changes that would make the AI better, top of the list is;
    v2.3 to build factories like it did in v1.9
    and reduce the over stacking of units at capitals when they are far from the battle front.

    There are many others but those two would make the AI more to fun to play against.

  • @Schulz I think if you give them like an extra %50 resources and that helps. But the biggest issue with the AI on this map is not understanding how fuel works.

  • Yeah it was innovative to use TUV as a means of tweaking the AIs behavior in casualty selection, and targeting attacks.

    I can definitely see it going on with the air-transport, since I think that is now the most valuable unit. I've seen the AI take a casualty on a battleship over the air-transport as the attacker. Maybe since the AI already seems to privilege' air over naval for units of equivalent value (which makes sense generally.) I think maybe just making the air transport slightly more badass on attack would be a good way to go. Attack 3 defend 1, still basically just a hitpoint with wings, but more on par with art boosted inf for an independent attack value. The computer uses them strictly like fighters, so at least they'd be a bit cooler sans transportation aspect.

    I think the higher TUV value is maybe also what draws the computer to Rally Points? That's cool

    I agree that if TUV can be used to coax the AI into regarding territories with resources or factories as being more important, then that would make a ton of sense. As a stat TUV is kind of vague anyway, it gives a sense of the overall unit value in play, but without the nuance, Production Income and total unit number are more useful for the quick read anyway, so TUV value of units could be a cool way to actually get the AI to fight harder on the map.

    I think there's a bit of an appetite for cool solo games, so this could be a fun one to try it. Or perhaps instead of meddling too much with the vanilla, we could build out an experimental version and try more of those ideas. With the understanding that the scenario is meant more for that style of play than PvP. Finding a fuel amount that works, or using triggers, whatever makes sense. I think a simplified turn sequence could make it pretty quick even with HardAI, surely with FastAI. Then provide some kind of difficulty setting that can be modified along one dimension or another, to set the play scale. You know, like from "Newb" to "Advanced" to "Wheel of Pain" levels of difficulty heheh, just based on the recommended launch settings/game notes.

    @Schulz I agree with @ff03k64 the simplest way to change the challenge scale would be a way to give the AI more fuel. Unfortunately right now you can't do this directly from the launch screen or via the edit mode.

    It will allow the user to edit the PUs of each nation, but not the other resources. Same deal at the launch window you can add PUs as bonus income but not steel or fuel. If you change the income percentage, then it will increase all PUs and Resources by that level. So if you just want to add 50% more fuel, you'd have to do the same with Steel and PUs.

    You can edit add fuel units manually, but that's kinda cumbersome. I think the AI should just automatically get unlimed fuel on this map, it's the only for their moves not to break down when a lot of fuel units enter play through purchase. If fuel could be made unlimited for the AI, that'd give a baseline challenge level, then adding income % or flat bonus from the launch menu would be an easier way to scale it, since you could go up more incrementally that way. 110% 115% 120% etc or just give a flat bonus. This map doesn't have a bid like some others, instead its a choice of recurring bonus at various levels. A bid might be interesting, but probably the computer would goof it in weird ways and the number would end up needing to be much larger.

    For this one I think it becomes kind of unplayable at 150%, because the real determining factor there is whether Russia or Germany is made so strong through a bonus that it can just steamroll everything in its path hehe. But other than that most of the naval powers can still be handled at 150%, in regions where the stack contest isn't as massive its not as big of an issue. Just a longer grind that way. Probably with a bunch of scrub reloads to actually win lol, kinda the way most single player campaign games work in other franchises. Choosing the ultra hard setting probably entails a few re-tries at that level I'd guess. At that kind of income boost, I think any kind of metagaming is chill. A lot comes down to killing some enemy factories really quickly before they can build up out of hand, especially since where the little guys can stack up in concert. Actually I'm kind of curious I might play one out tonight just to see what it looks like now with all the rally points. I think they might make a big difference with helping the AI to manage at a higher overall income level.

    Ok here is first attempt as Axis vs HardAI Allies at 150% under the 3.0 set up. I tried for the max pressure possible on Leningrad right here at G3. Round 1 bought 3 additional transports, Round 2 max artillery for the amphib with the remainder of purchase on a fighter and a tank destroyer. For Italy plan was basically to shore up the Egypt and then Gibraltar as main priority round 2. Japan went Philippines and French Indo on J1, Changsha and Sumatra by the skin of our teeth on J2, which I think is about as far as Japan is going to get here, before needing to double back on coverage to secure Manchuria from Soviet aggression. Russia collecting at like 200 per turn after the boost (plus all the extra officers and steel etc) makes for a pretty scary Russian Bear ready to maul! Here they stacked the Leningrad VC with as many tanks as they could for defense, but Germany still has the overall hitpoint advantage. Pretty close so far.... but I think round 3 is the critical round. Either Axis make the big crack here to stay in the running or else AI Allies will stack too heavy to crush with such a high bonus. I think it works in the opener at this level but after the next few rounds I imagine the AI starts to really stack up. I'll keep it going for a few and see what tricks they pull lol

    2020-10-1-Iron-War 3.0 Hard AI allies +150 bonus G 3 combat.tsvg

    2020-10-1-Iron-War 3.0 Hard AI allies +150 bonus G 3 placement.tsvg

    Went for the Moscow snag with Finland but got turned back! Figures hehe. Anyhow here's how AI Stalin chose to counter... Not bad considering.

    2020-10-1-Iron-War 3.0 Hard AI allies +150 bonus Italy 3.tsvg

    The AI undervalues Arch, but least they attempted re-stack at Moscow. Would have been interesting to see how it would look instead of the Soviets had just withdrawn their Leningrad stack to Arch or Moscow initially. Not sure if the AI was able to parse out the amphib threat? The large battles can have a really dramatic swing, so perhaps its not a bad risk with such huge numbers, but pretty sure we had them smoked no matter what they built at Leningrad with every German unit available for the G3 hit.

    Here it is a round later on G4...

    2020-10-1-Iron-War 3.0 Hard AI allies +150 bonus G4.tsvg

    At 150% the HardAI Allies have been able to move many more aircraft to the front, so its starting to get a little interesting here. The smaller guys that we weren't able to knock off in the opening rounds are starting to build pretty steady. Just saw a South African carrier make a move against Italy off the coast of East Africa hehe. Not bad! At this point its a little tough to say which battle front would be best to focus on. I think G probably has to keeping dumping hitpoints into the fight with Russia or risk getting stalemated on the Eastern Front. But everywhere else I think there are at least 2 or 3 directions one might go from here, which is cool. I'm zorsted for the night, but I'll keep it rolling tomorrow and see what cracks off in the midgame. Catch you guys in a few

    Best Elk

    woke up in the middle of the night decided to rock a few more rounds haha. Axis took the TKO in the 5th round for VCs, but I'm pressing on because most of the Allied units are just getting into place. Eastern front has been rolled pretty thoroughly by Germany. It took a few rounds to get the Italian and Japanese fronts stabilized, but they're up to snuff on production now. Some of the little guys are still hammering away hehe. South Africa just took Riyadh! Upsetting Iranian ambitions across the gulf just as they seemed to finally be breaking out lol.

    I'd say the major dilemma right now is actually getting the German fleet to forward position off Normandy. USA has like 25 aircraft in range to join their fleet, so I just bought a gang of German PT boats and am waiting on to move one spot at a time. I fear the Italian fleet may be vulnerable if I don't get em together pretty soon hehe. Italy can't take that kind of heat yet. Japan last round finally got the production game going after some back and forth mainly with transports. We got the US to break ranks when we repositioned the IJN off coast of Shanghai. I think it might actually be the strongest home fleet position for Japan now that the Rally points at Iwo Okinawa and Changsha allow for builds there. We expanded at Shanghai last round just to ice it for bigger naval spams hehe. USA thus far has only placed transports in the Atlantic theater.

    Anyhow, here it is on J6 still going to town. Pretty enjoyable, at least AI has got more stuff moving around feels doable at 150% at least as Axis vs HardAI Allies..

    2020-10-1-Iron-War 3.0 Hard AI allies +150 bonus Japan 6.tsvg

    Oh just saw USA buy transports for the Pacific. I did a sneaky strike against Truk while we had our guard down. On the Atlantic side they threw some sacrifice transports forward to liberate Normandy and take Morocco with light forces, repositioning their main fleet on Atlantic Sea Zone 3. It may the opening the Kriegsmarine has been waiting for! heheh

    2020-10-1-Iron-War 3.0 Hard AI allies +150 bonus G8.tsvg


  • Big play from HardAI USA!

    They sank my massive German surface fleet at anchor off Normandy with like 30 aircraft! It was a sav move. I think they may have kamikaze'd like a third of their airforce just to make the hit from Iceland. My wolfpack cut down their carrier, and dove, but they snapped up Gibraltar at the same time with a sneaky transport sacrifice to cut off the surviving U-boats from the Med!

    Slick play HardAI, slick play! heheheh

    Italy mad a big push to kill South Africa once and for all, but then had to absorb some heat coming up the middle. Japan made a breakneck spearhead towards Siberia last round, but USA crept on the home island. Put my India campaign on ice. Had to pull the main fleet back again.

    Still going into Early 1945
    Not bad lol

    2020-10-1-Iron-War 3.0 Hard AI allies +150 bonus G11.tsvg

    Still grinding. It was down to Finland to snake Siberia, but the Soviets still got some kick. The Brits and Americans have started to shuck up into Soviet Far East. Germany rebuilt a pocket fleet up in the far north. Moved on Afghanistan to try and help the Japanese finish off India. Italy is contesting a pretty beefy Allied fleet still lurking in the Indian Ocean! The south african carrier remains a menace hehehe. Had to go on defense and regroup, after a failed drive into Congo. Dutch tanks in Morocco helped AI Allies to get into the mix on the North Africa front.

    2020-10-1-Iron-War 3.0 Hard AI allies +150 bonus G13.tsvg

    Kept going till it stopped showing the years hehe. I think it must be 1950 by now
    Allies did a pretty good fighting withdrawal. Took like 20 rounds to handle Eurasia, and then another couple to bring South America online. Britain has like 40 fighters in Vancouver hehe. I gotta imagine if they took to the skies it would make invasion USA a lot harder lol. The other factions do pretty well with fuel at 150%. I'm sure they're still getting screwed by it, but USSR and USA seemed to move around pretty effectively, and most of the smaller nations got something going. I think Britain's production to fuel ration is still kinda low, since they take a big hit on their reserve once the Middle East is taken. The other dozen barrels are pretty safe in Canada, but they burn through that usually just moving the ships, so I suspect the aircraft that might move on non com just get kinda stranded where they're placed. Anyhow G25. Pretty fun, I'll try switching sides and doing the same tomorrow

    2020-10-1-Iron-War 3.0 Hard AI allies +150 bonus G25.tsvg

  • Moderators

    @Black_Elk said in Iron War - Official Thread:

    Big play from HardAI USA!

    You get a thumbs up just for that 👍 😁

  • Hehe just helped my dad move, arms feel like Jello, so I thought I'd fire up another, switching sides this time vs HardAI Axis at 150% income.

    2020-10-5-Iron-War 3.0 Hard AI axis +150 bonus USSR1.tsvg

    One thing I think that can be done to increase the challenge vs hardAI, is to reload the combat phase if the AI nation makes a particularly lackluster combat move. So here on G1, the HardAI initially wanted to just attack Denmark, Belo, and France light. After reloading they also moved against Benelux, Switzerland and France heavy in this instance, and bombed moscow. So that's a way to at least get a stronger opening going vs the machine I think. This one they did pretty well for the distribution, Belo attack is fairly high risk, but has a nice payoff in that makes the cracking of Balkans harder to pull off.

    I'd imagine at 150% priority would be to knock off one of the little guys to get stuff rolling and prevent Axis from crushing too quickly. With Balkans shot kinda iffy I still think cleanest kill is on Iran. But whether Soviets can break both Iran and Iraq without folding everywhere else I guess is what we'll find out heheh.

    I think there may be an exploit vs Japan which I haven't yet tried in Iron War.

    Anyhow, catch ya in a few hours

    OK this was the plan to screw Japan heheh...

    2020-10-5-Iron-War 3.0 Hard AI axis +150 bonus KNIL1 placement.tsvg

    KNIL unfortunately failed in the final the coup to steal Palau before J1, but otherwise everything went off without a hitch. The idea was basically to box in the Imperial Japanese Navy by throwing up pickets everywhere we could.

    Soviets placed a Destroyer in Sea of Japan. French Colonies blocked the approach to French Indo and Philippines, KNIL throws everything forward to block the Truk line. I'm pretty sure the computer will brain freeze, but I think that's probably what I'd do in PvP, so just curious what the machine will think on it lol.

    We'll find out soon enough

    Meantime HardAI Italy took the Regia Marina after the British Colonies fleet and failed miserably. I gave 'em reload and they had a better luck the second time. But they also flew the fighters away from the sea zone battle to El Alamein in the process. I think the AI probably calculates how to use aircraft for an attack from whatever position they're in, even if there's already assigned to a battle? Probably why G bombs SBR when given the reload. But anyway, for the first round I think it probably helps, since they will typically run an additional attack or two. Stronger opening press from Axis generally, which I think is what they need to be doing.

    Trying to figure out what I want to do with the Brit Block now. I set the French pocket fleet up to guard Ireland Celtic Sea zone so I'll prob buy a carrier and see if we can hold vs Kriegsmarine. Our Soviets kicked ass in all their naval escapades and even snapped up Norway with a balls amphib action, so hopefully Mecha G is just too distracted to even deal with the Royal Navy for now lol

    2020-10-5-Iron-War 3.0 Hard AI axis +150 bonus Britain1.tsvg

    Japan went after the pickets, They swept pretty hard, but the Dutch transport survived hehe. Might not be as brutal as I'd hoped, since J still has strong transport position, but least we had em spreading around. Will have to mull over the American opener for a bit I think. I think at 150% to Ai Axis, USA probably has to go big time to have an impact in time haha.

    2020-10-5-Iron-War 3.0 Hard AI axis +150 bonus USA1.tsvg

    I decided to spread the love around with USA, just sent everyone the max cash and bought a transport, since clearly Japan was preoccupied. China banged out a win in both Shanghai and Canton, so they're sitting pretty. Brazil went boom into Argentina.

    I gotta say, the USSR music is really enjoyable hehe. Our decision to stack Eastern Finland was probably ill advised, since I didn't catch the dudes up in Lapland. They had us dead to rights, but as it happened their attack failed spectacularly! I'd give em another go at it, but neah, the music says hymn to red october! The sub and transport both survived! We must fight for fortress Norway hehe
    But that'll have to wait for tomorrow since I'm all zorsted out.

    2020-10-5-Iron-War 3.0 Hard AI axis +150 bonus USSR2.tsvg

    see ya next round

    Bah who needs sleep? Total Victory out of the second round!

    Allies snitched 22 VCs before USA2. Basically I just sacked French Colonies to kill Thailand. The plan was a quadruple hit, but French Colonies and the Dutch got the job done before British India or ANZAC were even up hehe. So they just stacked it. South Africa killed Somalia with a transport purchase in round 1. Russia smoked Iran R2 no contest. So I guess Norway and Finland by the skin of my teeth was just a bonus lol. Fun stuff! Hard AI was no match for the quick kill attack plan this time. Will play again tomorrow if I got a few hours

    2020-10-5-Iron-War 3.0 Hard AI axis +150 bonus USA2 Victory.tsvg

    Rematch haha

    I tried a similar opener for the Russians, though this time with the focus on Balkans. I think its too good to pass up Germany doesn't reinforce it, or kill Belo or Ukraine on their first turn to push that attack out of range.

    I'm still not sure there's really anything Axis can do to prevent Iran from dying in the second round. Its possible for Russia to get a lot of hitpoints on it if they want to, and the payoff is pretty solid if they can take at advantage. So I think a max commitment (basically German and Italy reinforcing) is the only way to prevent it, trying to make the fight too expensive for Russia to be worthwhile. But whether to attack or not is still the Soviet prerogative, so they can just position/purchase to threaten the kill shot without actually taking it. That's what I did here...

    2020-10-5-Iron-War 3.0 Hard AI axis +150 bonus rematch Britain1.tsvg

    Alternatively Soviets could try to just kill Iran outright. If they bring everything in range 6 inf and 1 aagun, they have a better than 60% chance of knocking off Iran before Axis can even get a build out of it.

    Only the German bomber is in a position to reach Iran on G1, and to do so requires flying over space with AAfire.

    Even if Germany flies the bomber over, this still only takes the attack down to basically a coin flip, 50/50. But with such huge payoff, that I think it might even make the attack more attractive rather than serving as a deterrent. Then it'd be potentially over 100 PUs in enemy TUV destroyed (if including the factory kill), which is pretty juicy, and Soviets only risking like 70 TUV to make it happen. The downside isn't too shabby either, even if the attack fails, since you can still position for USSR2 take, with the mech and sp artillery from Siberia, or with transports and air... likely facing fewer enemy units the second time around provided the first attack shaves off a few hitpoint or two.

    If USSR takes Iran outright, Iraq can likely reclaim it on the first turn, but that still weakens Axis overall position defending against British-Colonies from the West, or British-India from the East. So I can't see a downside really to gunning for Iran early as Allies/Soviet Union. It feels kinda scripted in the same way as like Paris falling for the other team. Its going to happen, question is just how much gets committed to the take down and possibly drawn away from another front as a result. Anyhow, I went for round 2 timing here again, but I think in PvP a first round hit on Iran would be a pretty good gambit for Allies under the current set up 3.0

    Norway is also pretty decent attacks if Germany doesn't block at barrents sea zone. That one is at like 65% odds to the Soviet attacker. It pulls off a few hitpoints from the Finland/German front, and transport seems like it should die as a result but for the VC and the 5 spot, its not too shabby. Lapland seems the most conservative if just trying to grab some steel, but Narvik also has similar odds, if trying for a spot that UK/USA don't want quite so desperately lol. I like the new options provided by the changes. Not sure on balance who has the edge yet, but I enjoy that it adds to the strategic depth of the opener.

    In this one I didn't screw Japan as hard as I did last time by placing a naval unit at Vladivostok. I think a PT boat there or Destroyer can cause a lot of headaches for team skynet. Seems like a dust in the eyes Bloodsport type move that I'd reserve only for when I want to fight dirty, or maybe risk a nut punch. Cause its still kinda of pricy to sack all those subs, or buy even more naval stuff just for it to die in a distraction. And anyhow, French Colonies and KNIL can do some pretty mean street fighting on their own, just with those mini fleets going all agro and throwing down a couple clutch naval blocking plays haha.

    This time I didn't do any resource exchange for Britain either, cause I wanted a carrier and a transport hehe, but it could be pretty potent I think, just shifting some money around on the first turn to one of their satellite factions.

    2020-10-5-Iron-War 3.0 Hard AI axis +150 bonus rematch USA1.tsvg

  • Admin

    @Black_Elk, do you think that the 4 Infantry in Caucasus should get nerfed down to 3? That setup would reduce an USSR round 1 attack on Iran to 54% win chance, not 73% win chance. (Maybe giving India 1 more infantry as compensation, or place this 1 Allied infantry elsewhere on the map, where needed most.)

    Should Iran and Iraq change turn order? Iraq/Iran could benefit from this, as an Iraqi liberation/capture of a fallen Iran would benefit Iraq instantly in terms of PU income.

  • Yeah that might be a cool solution. Better at roughly 50/50 I'd think, because then if USSR tries and fails the Axis would get two shots to shut down the Western Turkistan blitz route. I think the options for a second round hit vs Iran kinda hinge on whether the mech/sp artillery can be brought into the fight. So that way Iran could try to shut it down first, and if they don't succeed, Iraq would still have the tank and fighter in range to try and make a save. Whereas going the reverse order its anyones guess how the Iran fight go hehe. I think the Iraq tank is more valuable used in the west, but I'd first take stock of how Iran held up. Other option might be like a naval escape of some sort. I was trying to think if there might be a good way to trade Iran itself for Riyadh, maybe using Italy fleet or something like that. But obv better to try and hold the line for a couple rounds if possible hehe

    The fighter move I like (since the introduction of Soviet Caspian PT boat makes caspian attack less attractive), is still to try and kill the British-India transport by using the Iraqi PT boats and fighter there. But if Iran went first I think that would be more elective, since priority would prob be western Turkistan to hold the line. Iran then Iraq would allow for a somewhat stronger can opener, if they want to do a tank type thing instead of fighters. I think fighters are strongest, but first gotta get up to 20 on income to make it consistent. I still haven't decided which way I like best to try and divide up the middle east between the various Axis powers in range. Its a cool zone because pretty much every faction can reach it after a few rounds.

    ps. This one has been pretty fun. First time I've had to manage a German press on the north, (I expected them to push Stalingrad, but they doubled back with huge numbers) Soviets had to withdraw. First time to see the Kuybyshev factory making a difference maybe. Trying to reform the line cause I can't see a way to keep the combined Axis juggernaut from sacking Moscow and Arch this round heheh. Meanwhile though they've been kicking ass and taking names in the Soviet Far East. I went with a KJF attack plan, bought a bomber at Irkutsk. Entertaining so far!

    2020-10-5-Iron-War 3.0 Hard AI axis +150 bonus rematch USA4.tsvg

  • @Frostion I read the change logs recently, and I was wondering how you got a fuel transfer system that was compatible with the AI. I think it changed around version 0.1.9, either when you went to it, or away from it.

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    @ff03k64 said: “I read the change logs recently, and I was wondering how you got a fuel transfer system that was compatible with the AI”
    I don’t think that the Fuel, PU and Iron nation-to-nation transfer system is AI compatible, if it is it is news to me. As far as I know the AI does not press any of these buttons / do anything during Actions and Operations.
    I know that an AI cannot read and understand what happens during “Actions and Operations”, as it is perhaps too complicated a system for AI. But I would wish that a mapmaker could have some influence on what AI did during this phase, maybe combining it with how AI handles Political phase. It would be nice if a mapmaker could somehow set a 50% chance that the AI player would press this or that button every round. Like for example if player Iran had a preset 30% chance every turn to press “Send 10 Fuel to Germany” action, at the same time a 20% chance of trying to press “Send 10 Fuel to Italy” etc.
    Maybe such a system could also be used by AI in politic, presetting like the AI player “Germany” would have a 25% likelihood of pressing “Declare war on USSR” every round, etc. This could be sweet IMHO 🙂

    @ff03k64 and @Black_Elk
    Here is a little pre-release XML that you can test out if you like. I think this will make the AI act a lot differently, so we might see a some impactful changes:

    v0.3.0 to v0.3.1 Alpha changes
    • Iran now has turn before Iraq
    • Added “tuv” property to Resources and Units like Rally-Points, Iron, Fuel etc.
    • Minor unit start setup changes.
    Install by simply overwriting the old XML, or rename or backup if you wish.

  • Just played a round, felt pretty good. I like the Iran/Iraq order better. Maybe just the orientation jump back helps I think, and alphabetical that way too.

    Here I went with an Italian reinforcement in the first round to try and hold the line. Then flew in the pair of German starting fighters for added defense. Iran had a money sweep with the PT boats vs the British-India fleet, but then Iraq whiffed at Syria hehe. Anyhow, here we are on Italy2, feels good from Axis perspective. I'll switch sides to Allies later after I play a bit to see how it feels from Soviet perspective, but so far seems cool.

    2020-10-6-Iron-War 3.1 Hard AI Allies Italy2.tsvg

  • @Frostion said in Iron War - Official Thread:

    • Removed USAs, Iraq’s and Iran’s “Fuel unit” purchase and support system.

    I went back and found it again. I am referring to this change.

  • @ff03k64 In the earlier iterations fuel was first a purchasing requirement similar to steel. So some units would cost X fuel to build. Then in the next version after that, fuel was an upkeep thing. So "fuel" units there would consume not during purchase but every turn based on how many of such units were on the board. It was basically a cap on the total number of fuel units that could be in play at any one time (unless those units were also being destroyed through attrition ,eventually the player would run dry simply by having a bunch of tanks, ships and whathaveyou. already on the board.) Then I think it may have gone back to the purchasing requirement thing for a little but, before the more substantial change was made with 1.9 where fuel become attached to movement. I think that's the change being referenced in the quote above.

    The last two big changes regarding fuel were the resource exchange phase, and the introduction of the synth barrel as a unit that can be purchased which produces fuel, but which is destroyed rather than captured when the territory is taken over.

    Anyhow its gone through a number of tweaks before arriving at the current. Each iteration had unique sort of spin or strategic aspect that was a little different. I think the current is the most novel, since I haven't really seen a resource=movement type thing used on another WW2 themed map before. This one is innovative in that regard, but also maybe less familiar. Steel has analogs in a lot of other maps, where you maybe need Wood or Metal or whatever. But needing a resource to move stuff around is pretty wild. I think it creates certain play drivers that I haven't seen in operation before this one, so its fun to tease that stuff out.

    I like the concept a lot, but do worry a little that it may be a bit onerous to track. Unlike steel or PUs, its much harder to get a sense of how much fuel one actually needs, or how disruptive the loss of say a single barrel might be, not just for yourself but also for the opponent. The general sense I have is that the easiest way to screw the enemy in this game is to steel their oil hehe, because after the second round everyone who hasn't invested in green barrels is probably running dry. I think its kinda cool cause it encourages the purchase of the green barrels, though admittedly when I do so I'm usually just guessing at what amounts would be needed, cause its hard to parse. For a shorthand I try to think that I need basically 2 fuel for every steel unit I have on the board, to move unhindered. But for the larger nations the exact numbers there are harder to see at a glance than it is for the smaller nations. I tend to pick up a fuel barrel whenever I have a 5 PUs remainder that I can't spend otherwise, usually from lack of steel to buy a light tank. But I tend to do it more as an impulse buy, rather than from having a real clear sense of like "oh damn I need 3 more movement next turn, so I better make sure I buy 3 synth barrels and not 2!" hehe its never that exact for me. But maybe I'm shitty at counting on the fly, or taking the time to truly map out every movement contingency. Usually its just like 'well, we know we don't have enough, so better buy it whenever we can, unless the enemy is banging down the doors" lol

    I think the best fuel exploit I've come up with is carrier camping. Basically sending 1 friendly fighters to hang out on a teammates deck, because then the fighter will taxi along with the carrier, but without consuming fuel. I think its helpful to leave 2 spots open on deck for your own fighters or so that a bomber can land if it has to, just to enable attacks. Sometimes camping fighters can get mixed up though, if there are multiple carriers in the same zone. Or two carriers from different nations on the same team. Really helpful to be able to move a heavy hitting defensive unit without needing as much fuel. Cause the worst is getting stuck in a situation where you want to move a carrier deck, but can't because your own fighters would require too much fuel to move.

    A stacked carrier with 3 of your own fighters, requires like 8 fuel to move a full two spaces max distance. Whereas stacked with 3 friendly fighters on deck it only costs 2 fuel to move the same distance, but still gives the defense. Still I think you can run into problems with fully stacked decks. Sometimes its better to just roll with 1 or 2 fighters on board, so you can do gamey stuff moving a teammates air around or enable attacks that wouldn't otherwise have a landing spot. But it can be really potent once the little guys start contributing a fighter here and there to up the carrier game,

    There are some other camping type moves that can also be done. Like trying to position subs, tanks or aircraft at placement into places where they can stay put for a round if need be. Trying to find ways to only move 1 tile rather than 2 whenever possible to conserve, or just skipping a round entirely to allow a major fleet movement later. Frequently I will just leave the subs or air-transports that spawn regularly in the position where they were placed initially, just so I can move more critical units like naval transports or carriers. I think the only thing that keeps the bomber unit from being really OP is the fuel cost, since most nations can't bank enough fuel to have more than 1 or 2 flying around without everything else grinding to a halt as a result haha

    ps. Axis just murdered in the 3rd round. HardAI soviets seem to have trouble managing the G3 hit. They attempt to stack Leningrad, but at hopeless odds. With the transported units the attack was 100% in Germany's favor. So I'd think they'd withdraw, but the gravitational pull of that choke point at the Leningrad pocket is just too much for them I guess lol.

    2020-10-6-Iron-War 3.1 Hard AI Allies J3.tsvg

    Started a game as Allies, will have to finish tomorrow. Sleep calls
    2020-10-6-Iron-War 3.1 Hard AI Axis USSR2.tsvg

    pps. Oh one other thing I meant to mention but keep forgetting hehe, I would suggest setting a faster fade put on the Chinese national anthem. Their turn is usually pretty quick, so what happens to me a lot is that the China music starts bleeding into the Brazilian anthem at the end of the game round and sounds kind of jarringly dissonant quite often.

    The game from yesterday was going pretty well, it took about 4 rounds to handled the mideast factions and a pretty thorough commitment from British India. Axis were holding steady but for some reason G decided to suicide vs the Leningrad stack last round. I think they had odds on the attack, but after a bad first round of the combat phase they pressed the attack even though the return fire was certain to see all their aircraft destroyed. I've caught it happen a few times where they AI keeps fighting when it would probably be better to retreat and cut the losses. With the smaller battles they do it more reliably, but for the big battles they tend to go all in and just fight to the death sometimes.

    Anyhow USSR4
    2020-10-6-Iron-War 3.1 Hard AI Axis USSR4.tsvg

  • Initial thought on 0.3.1 - Rally points are not the easiest to see at first. And it seems like there are an awfully lot of them in the pacific. If you get lucky as the US say, you can easily build 3 units in the Philippines sea zone. That seems very strong. With Wake, Midway, and Hawaii, you have 3 more relatively safe production off the mainland too. It obviously has the potential to be strong for Japan as well, So i am not sure if it should be changed. Feels like Africa could use one or two in the middle somewhere, and maybe the soviet far east as well, in a place that isn't so susceptible to being taken by Japan.

    I think that is probably the main change since 0.2.9, I will say more when i actually play the game some more!

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