Iron War - Official Thread

  • Stood them up!

    Ok made it to the 8th round as Allies. Not sure if the war will be over by Christmas, (what with the Americans forgetting to issue orders to half their troops) but at least the miracle of Moscow delivered the Soviets from certain doom. Brilliant!

    0_1492232129246_39 Iron War Elk Allies vs Fast AI Russia round8.tsvg

    I think now that I have a better grasp on where the main production hubs are, its been a little bit easier to develop workable plan with the Allies. Still nowhere near breaking any of the major Axis nations (and Germany has nukes again) but at least the Allied minors are starting to make their presence felt. British India and Anzac and rolling up the South.

    Probably going to call it a night here. Sorry to flood the thread with saves, but its a great map!

    Take it easy all, and thanks again man, for making this one. Been waiting for something like this for a while!

    Ps. Next time I'm going to take a different approach with British India. Maybe an early naval purchase can help me to contain Italy in Africa, instead of going for tanks?

    I like how the limits on total steel guide the gameplay options. The relatively high starting amount allows for an interesting degree of purchasing variety at the outset, but it really forces you to adopt a broad strategy early on. Last time I used it all for tanks and gunned towards Japan. But I think transports might be more bang for the buck, since British India seems to have the best chance of doing something about those Italians before they go monster haha.
    Still not sure what's up with their territories turning French when conquered. When I took Italian Somaliland with British India, it went blue too.

    Will try again after the weekend

  • Played a few more games, in the latest I'm trying a new strategy. Instead of focusing on the hitpoint spam like I had been, or transports (where I just got rocked), I thought I'd try an SBR game for the Allies instead. Just bought nothing but bombers for everyone in the first round and tried to knock out Axis production wherever possible. Will probably still get rolled up on the Eastern Front since I think I went too extreme with 4 Russian bombers hehe, but I think this one still might be the ticket for slowing down Germany and Italy. Now that the Americans have arrived in England with 5 bombers of their own, I think G will be hard up for factories.

    I'm not sure, but I think if the Allies buy bombers from round 1, and work together they can prevent the German AI from ever placing another unit at a factory after the second round, since they can just knock all the German factories off the board before G comes up again in the sequence. Playing as Germany vs another human I think I'd buy as many fighters as I can in the first 2 rounds for intercept, to prevent something like that from happening.

    0_1492375903861_39 Iron War Elk Allies vs Fast AI Russia 3.tsvg

    I really like the Aid phase, I wonder if it could be extended to other major powers beyond just the US and Germany? Perhaps in a much more limited way. For example, what if British India or Anzac etc could also send aid to the UK, or if the UK could itself send some aid to Russia? Being able to trade even a tiny amount more of steel especially, might open up the strategic options. Just a thought. I think its pretty glorious, and allows a fun way (other than sending units) for the teams to coordinate.

    Another thought might be to allow the direct annexation of minor territories or liberated territories (at some cost of course). That might open things up a bit, so you can gain momentum for the production spread. Sometimes its a little confusing to determine who a territory will belong to after a successful attack, until that attack has been run. For example, if Anzac liberates French Indo China for Japan, after the French Colonies have been destroyed, instead of going to Anzac it goes to British India. Things of that sort, where an option to directly annex after an attack might simplify things, even if there was an additional cost to pull it off.

    Here's a different game where I also went with the bomber plan in Europe, but spent about 50% on fighters throughout. Did a pretty solid job of denying the German AI their factories haha. In this one French India went over to British India, after first being attacked by Japan. The Australians managed to snag Sumatra and drop a factory there, which felt pretty epic given what they have to work with. 1945 is fast approaching, and the best I could pull off was a sneaky airlift to take W. Germany for a single round, taking a cheap shot just to stick it to the AI. Russia feels pretty solid in Moscow, now that I have enough fighters to back down any German advance. Though Italy is starting to mess about in the backfield, after a mid-east breakthrough. Pretty fun for a quickie. The trusty fighter with a couple bombers to knock out Axis factories seems like the good bet for the Soviets and Britsh. No steel or oil requirements for aircraft. Fighters are relatively cheap, but pack a nice defensive punch, and the bombers pays for themselves pretty quickly as long as they knock out a factory or two before going down.

    In this one I think I caught another bug, this time with carriers. When trying to place a British carrier in the North sea, I get a prompt asking me how many fighters I want to move onto the carrier... but rather than loading up the deck with 2 existing fighters, it tries to move an air-transport onto the deck instead (one that was already used in combat no less) and leaves the two fighters on land. Easy enough to fix with an edit, but thought it might be worth mentioning. I had been avoiding air transports for the most part, since I'm sure the AI doesn't know how to defend against them, even though something tells me they'd definitely be the most economical way to move units around the map. Anyhow, just started buying them, so this was the first time I saw the issue coming up with the carriers. Save below shows the placement kink...

    0_1492406820301_39 Iron War Elk Allies vs Hard AI Axis British Round 7.tsvg

    This is fast becoming my favorite map on tripleA!

    Just saw an epic showdown between the IJN and USN in the East China sea zone. The scuba diving off Okinawa should be amazing 50 years from now heheh. Finally laid the smack down on Italy. My first time snaking an Axis capital by the 1945 mark. On the fast track to economic victory. Glorious!

    0_1492408128728_39 Iron War Elk Allies vs Hard AI Axis USA Round 7.tsvg

  • Guess I pushed us onto the second page haha. Rather than flood the thread I'll just edit any interesting saves into this last post.

    I just had an idea for something in the future. It would be cool if every round there was a team score, like a final tally of all TUV destroyed + income or something along those lines noted with the reel. Then you could have a "High Score" map for tripleA, which hasn't really been a feature yet. It would be cool for a game like this in SP mode, where you could try to beat a previous score or do challenges based on achieving a certain score by a certain round.

    Still feels to me like the timeline could be extended a bit, with a few more rounds before the endgame. I think it would be nice to have something like... rounds 1-10 = up till 1943, and then one year for every 2 rounds thereafter for as long as the player wants to keep it going. That would feel pretty much dead on to me.

    For map ideas Have you considered any of these for historical interest or as mini waypoint island stopovers?

    Malta sz: Tyrrhenian Sea Zone
    Azores: Atlantic 8 Sea Zone
    Bermuda: Atlantic 7 Sea Zone
    Truk: Pacific 5 Sea Zone
    Seychelles: Indian Ocean 1 Sea Zone
    For the south east Pacific maybe Samoa, Polynesia, or Easter to cover the gap between South America and New Zealand/Fiji?

    Just a thought. Might be a fun to have a few more tiny springboards, since the map is pretty detailed. For now I just pretend the some of the buoy convoy markers are indicating these, but could be cool to have a few more territories to world dominate.

    Another idea might be to include the Rockies and Urals to create a few more choke points in North America or Russia.

    I also love the unit pricing, the relatively high cost of infantry next to the more mobile units, means the hitpoint spam is a lot less pronounced than in A&A. At times it can be hard to spend a remainder, but I kind of prefer it this way. I usually just sacrifice a hitpoints for more attack power. I'm still not totally confident when it comes to planning for fuel consumption. Usually I deal with shortages as they come, rather than trying to manage it via purchasing beforehand. Unless I'm chronically short, in which case I start spamming aircraft instead of armor or ships for a few turns, which seems to do the trick. I really enjoy the effect of resources on the gameplay. At first I was a little skeptical, but now I'm a total convert. It's just a better all around system for the period.

    I really like how the Allied minor powers work. Usually you can knock off one or two pretty quickly, but the Minors you don't concentrate can really stack up. This offset early gains in one area, with long term headaches in another. Which is good for balancing the all out steam roll.

    Here's the first game where I tried a Sea Lion opener vs the Allied AI (took England instead of the Royal Navy). By 1946 the Axis starting moving on North America, with Germany chipping away at Canada. This one has been a lot of fun. Kept it going till Axis economic victory. Finally secured West Africa for Germany and Australia for Japan. The Guianas should make for a nice springboard into the Americas if we wanted to fight on into the mid 1950s, now that Axis have swept Brazil. Russia is still stacking, but the eastern front is thoroughly deadzoned now, so they should get cut to pieces here pretty soon.

    0_1492449257513_39 Iron War Elk Axis vs HardAI Allies Sea Lion Germany8.tsvg

    0_1492465422593_39 Iron War Elk Axis vs HardAI Allies Sea Lion Germany15.tsvg

    I have another Atlantic focused game below, Sea Lion II opener... This time I burned Halifax on the way to the Guianas. I also had fun snatching up some of the tiny islands, Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland, just to be thorough. Doing so made me miss some other tiny islands. HardAI started to go a little haywire on me in the last game, so this time went back to FastAI. Also I think I figured out what's happening with the French in Africa.When Paris is liberated, many territories here go over to the French, even if they were British colonies. Same deal with KNIL territories going to Anzac if Sydney is liberated.

    0_1492500865647_39 Iron War Elk Axis vs Fast AI Allies Sea Lion II Germany Round 8.tsvg

    Another different game, Sea Lion III... This time, instead of taking the fight across the Atlantic after England fell, I just wheeled back with Germany against the Soviets immediately. Kept the middle East for G, but I left the rest of Africa beyond the canal to the Italians alone. Saved the German transports and the Regina Marina to just pick apart the Eastern Med and the Black Sea from early on, while the Kriegsmarine hammered away at the North. Clearly a better plan. Japanese expansion was more deliberate this game, focusing on East Indies and the islands close to home before setting up on India. Here London again went down in the 2nd round (after a preliminary invasion of Scotland on G1). Dropped Moscow in 8th. Total Victory a round later in 1947 with the 15 VC win.

    0_1492658152770_39 Iron War Elk Axis vs Fast AI Allies Sea Lion III Germany round 9.tsvg

    Yet another different gamesave in 1946, Invasion USA this time! Germany just went barreling headlong into Russia, while Japan made North America their number one priority. I was able to lock down western Canada in fairly short order with a Japanese factory build in Victoria to serve as a foothold. California seemed too tough to crack, so I bypassed it. Blitzed and gobbled up the interior instead, while the Americans were busy defending the West Coast against an amphibious assault. Meanwhile on the other side of the Pacific, Anzac, British India, KNIL, and China have been going pretty nuts without facing much opposition. They're starting to creep up onto the mainland! Hopefully Germany will arrive soon, now that the Russians have been pretty much flattened at the center, to help Japan hold it down.

    0_1492657965920_39 Iron War Elk Axis vs Fast AI Invasion USA Japan round 8.tsvg

    Another Seal Lion to Invasion USA game, this time with the Germans invading America proper. Took USA South Atlantic first, then USA North Atlantic to grab Washinton. Italy took Newfoundland for the fighter landing pad, then Halifax. Japan swept in at the last minute to stake a claim to Victoria and USA Northwest. Russia is still massive, but more or less contained at the center, while the Axis stomp around as they please hehe. Fun stuff!

    0_1492678573876_39 Iron War Elk Axis vs Fast AI Allies High Castle Japan round 7.tsvg

    Just tried another game and used Frostion's suggestion of playing one nation with everyone else set to AI. Italy seemed the clear choice, so I tried my best to establish a Med empire for Il Duce from Spain to Arabia hehe. I was surprised how effective the French have been at hanging on by the fingernails here in Africa, but we managed to drift around them and carve a swath across South America instead. The AI managed pretty well with Germany. Japan seemed to struggle a bit more, but was still pretty effective on the double team vs Russia. Even the Finnish AI got in on the action, with a revenge sacking of Moscow! But the Western Allies were pretty formidable too, especially Anzac. Took well into the 1950s for Axis to achieve economic Victory...

    0_1492768289381_39 Iron War Elk Italy vs Fast AI Allies round 15.tsvg

    Did the same thing again, but this time with the Allies. Took control of the USA and set everyone else to AI. Figured the best plan to help the team would be to just gun for Tokyo, so I loaded up on fighters and carriers and made a B line straight for Japan. I don't think they saw it coming before it was way too late. Russia is still getting stomped by the European Axis, but at least we got the Pacific more less cinched up.

    0_1492831040228_39 Iron War Elk USA vs Fast AI Axis round 8.tsvg

    Solo game as Russia vs AI. It definitely took longer for the Soviets to advance without Western aid or fighter support, but Allies achieved economic victory in the 8th round. I think cracking Berlin might require Stalin to start using nukes.

    0_1492875276950_39 Iron War Elk Russia vs Fast AI Axis round 9.tsvg

  • Went a dozen rounds before the Axis VC win, but now cannot upload the file for some reason? Figure something must be going down, maybe an update. Probably try again later, if I get any more games in tomorrow vs the machine.

    Getting the following message when I try to upload it...

    Invalid file type. Allowed types are: .png, .jpg, .jpeg, .bmp, .tsvg, .zip, .svg, .gif, .pdf, .txt, .properties, .xml, .mp3, .wav"

    [0_1492940177210_39 Iron War Elk Japan vs Fast AI Allies round 13.tsvg](Uploading 100%)

    Was another solo game, this time as Japan. Notable mainly for the Axis checkerboard on the eastern front, with most of minors snatching up a piece of the Russian pie, and the French ejecting the Italians from Africa, which was amusing. As Japan we went with a smack down on Anzac for the most part, and tried to get some shucks going. Now I'm thinking the 3/3 split is probably more effective than taking all 6 transports and going for the jugular. Easier to push on KNIL without as many headaches. Will probably take that approach next time I play as Axis.

  • Moderators Admin

    Had a great team game vs the AI yesterday with General Zod. Was a lot of fun. AI seems thoroughly confused most of the time and made some huge miscalculations that allowed us as the Axis to pretty much steam-role the Allies. The AI also spent copious time and resources in purchases that didn't seem to make a great deal of sense nor help the Allied cause.

    Lots of interest from lots of visiting players.

    Couple of things to note....

    After playing multiple games as the Axis one thing that jumps out is that the German Navy seems to have the ability to totally dominate the Atlantic. Britain really doesn't seem to stand a chance. The delay with getting anything going with Britain seems to give Germany the ability to do pretty much whatever it wants. Whether this is simply because the AI doesn't get aggressive enough, I'm not sure. But the Royal Navy definitely feels under represented.

    The European Axis Minors are pretty ineffectual broken up into so many individual nations... they are pretty much time eaters as player nattions and don't add much to the game experience since you can neither buy much of anything with them nor accomplish anything militarily with them other than to reinforce the German front. Spend a great deal of time managing them to very little effect. Slows down the game significantly. Perhaps lumping a few of them together might make them powerful enough to add something to the experience.

    Some of these observations might be purely because we have been playing the AI.... perhaps with a player vs player match we'd get a better feel for the balance and different strategies.

    Those are the main things I've noticed. Other than that there are so many cool and fun things going on around this map that it'd be hard to list them.

    Great work. A real treat to play and a stunning visual experience.

  • Yeah I had a similar impression of the British, and also the Axis minors. Assigning the Axis minors to the AI definitely sped things up when playing vs Allies AI, but mostly they are just adding fodder to the main German stack. I do find that for Finland, Iraq, Persia and Thailand, sometimes I would load them out as human and take control to prevent them from blitzing mech to take territories that I wanted to reserve for Germany, Italy or Japan.

    My thought for UK AI, is that they are pretty easy to smoke. A G2 Sea Lion assault (Scotland G1 and England G2) is almost a shoe-in. And didn't seem to stall the advance against Russia nearly as much as I would expect. Not sure but maybe edit eliminating a single German transport would feel a slight bit more balanced. Or perhaps it might make sense to give the UK an AI income bonus (percentage or flat rate) so they have more PUs to spend? The issue with that though is that tripleA gives the bonus to all AI players equally, so it would mean taking control of the entire team, or else giving yourself an advantage too. And having to take control of all the nation's definitely drags the pace down in an SP game. Another approach might be a bid, but the tripleA logic is pretty busted there. Perhaps rather than a recurring bonus to income or pre-placement bid, it might be easier to edit the starting cash for enemy AI players?

    From the other side, when playing as the British vs Axis AI, the main thing that stalled me up was more to do with the production spread around the home island, since there aren't many +5 territories in Europe/Africa that the British can reach, especially once their navy is knocked out. I still think the solution there might be to give the British Colonies to Britain directly and add Canada as a player nation.

    Just curious, what did you think of the timeline Hepps? When I play as Axis it seems pretty reasonable to have 1 round = 1 year, but as Allies it seems a bit quick. I think 2 rounds = 1 year would feel better for both sides. Even if Axis make a breakout, somehow I like the idea of the average game lasting 15 rounds, and still being in the 1940s. Part of this could be that I've been going against the AI, which is always faster in terms of play pace per round, than if everyone was being controlled as human. But having a few more rounds to mess around before hitting some of those techs like Jets would be cool. Once the V2s and Nukes arrive, the game is pretty much done, because it becomes so simple to annihilate enemy factories. The AI will bomb too on occassion, but they don't go heavy enough to destroy factories, and don't seem to make use of V2s or Nukes, so it becomes a bit one sided. I think it would be cool to see the 1945 Nuclear age crack off in like round 14 rather than round 7, so the human player has to wait longer for the game changing tech to arrive.

    Next time I play I think I will try giving the AI an economic boost by editing their starting cash up maybe 25%, to see how it changes things.

    I love the game though. It's the most fun I've had playing tripleA in a while. Killer work man!

    ps. Here that solo Japanese save from earlier...

    0_1493177294476_39 Iron War Elk Japan vs Fast AI Allies round 13.tsvg

    This is the approach I've been using for Sea Lion vs the British AI. On G1 I move 12 hitpoints into Scotland, and buy the Graf Zeppelin for the North Sea Zone to protect the Kriegsmarine. Take Denmark to open Kattegat and activate the 5th transport, then hit all the remaining easy targets, while staying trained on England.

    This set up is producing a pretty consistent G2 attack with 95% odds and 13 units remaining on average. I think you can push it up to like 99% (using the air transport, which I always seem to botch), and buying a couple more aircraft instead of ground to ice it. Basically you give up the initiative in the East, but it's fairly simple to deadzone that front out of East Prussia until you can redirect in force. Not that this would necessarily work quite as well against the Human, but against the AI its been pretty effective.

    0_1493179124697_39 Iron War Elk Axis vs Fast AI Sea Lion V Germany round 2.tsvg

    For rounds later in '46, Germans vs AI...
    0_1493186822822_39 Iron War Elk Axis vs Fast AI Sea Lion V Germany round 8.tsvg

    Just for kicks I tried a game vs AI Allies where I gave each of the Major Powers twice the starting cash via edit. So France 120, Russia 240, British 200, British-India 160, Anzac 160, and USA 400. It was certainly a bit more challenging, at least France and India were more challenging. Russia also seemed to benefit from the boost, as it took longer to flatten them than usual. The Western Allies still struggled to get something going versus Axis though, despite totally dwarfing us in TUV. I didn't spend much on ships beyond the Graf Zeppelin on G1, and a carrier to help Italy with the Africa campaign, but by positioning the main fleet off England, we were able to hold the Atlantic in a stalemate. Germany carved up Russia from the rear, with an amphibious assault from the arctic to take Siberia, while Japan went all in against India. Pretty enjoyable.

    0_1493285345578_39 Iron War Elk Axis vs Fast AI Allies x2 Starting Cash Germany round 11.tsvg

  • Admin

    @Black_Elk ... I have been spending a lot of time on dull real life stuff, and haven't had the time to look at this thread or the forum. But WOW! You have been testing a lot. I would say that you already have many more hours of experience with this map than me, and you seem to also be a lot better against the AI than me.

    I can see a lot of valuable suggestions to take into account when I return and have time to work on improvements on Iron War. Some of the issues are stuff that I have had suspicions about also, like the too fast approaching year 1945, the maybe underfunded British player and the maybe too strong German starting fleet. If you keep on playing this map, you could try editing the XML and give some of the Canadian territories a bit higher PU values and try removing some of the german starting units or whatever, to balance the start a bit. Or do any other alterations that might improve and balance the game. Its nice to see that you have a lot of playthroughs that you can base your assessments on.

    I am afraid that I have way too much real life stuff to do in the nearest future, and I will probably not be able to work on this map for the next few weeks, but I am looking forward to rereading all your posts again and getting back to editing Iron War! 😃

    PS: I think as this map has a lot of bombing possibilities and that the AI will always be vulnerable (or at least with the current AI limitations). It can for example not intercept. I think this map should try to find baseline starting conditions that is human vs human balanced, but then also have the AI have a default AI PU bonus income that could make up for all the outsmarting humans can do. Dont you think?

  • Admin

    @Black_Elk ... In regards to the Bombing on this map, and fact that humans can bomb the AI players to smithereens, I was thinking that the Bombers' PU cost should be raised to the limit, to the point where the AI and Humans would seldom consider bombing as the way to go. This could be an adjustment alongside a standard default AI bonus income. Do you think that the Bombers' current price should/could be raised? If so, if you do any further testing, you could try raising it a few PUs.

  • Admin

    @Black_Elk In regards to the minor powers as well as the Balkan countries, with the latest versions of Iron War I tried to make the minor nations so unattractive that humans would just let the AI control them. Obviously humans still see them as better controlled by humans. Because of the time consumption they take to manage by humans during play, and the fact that the major powers are the ones meant to play, I was thinking that with the introduction of a default AI income bonus, players would think about letting their small I AI powers be controlled by the AI. What are your thoughts on this? My understanding is that you see the small AI powers as fun to control. Maybe the Balkans are the only real problem?

  • Moderators Admin

    @Frostion One thing to note (as Black Elk mentioned) is that often you don't want the Minor powers controlled by the AI because they will frequently take possession of territories that you would want to reserve for the Major powers since the resources held within are (often times) more valuable than the PU.

    Letting the AI play a portion of the core assets to my cause within the game seems really unnatural to me... but that may just be me. I say this because as you look over the entire map.... a good part of the important battles end up being automated.... especially if you apply this practice to both sides of the war... if you leave the AI in control of Minor powers... Most of Africa is left to the AI to determine.... Central interests of the Axis cause are also left to the AI.

    What was your intention as far as which nations are meant to be AI control and which human?

  • Admin

    @Hepps ... Well, right now most suitable for human control is meant to be Germany, Italy, Japan, USA, Britain (needs strengthening), France, USSR, British India and ANZAC.

    The British Colonies, French Colonies and KNIL territories (Netherlands Colonies) will at the moment not get their territories back when liberated. This was to give the main major players a chance to grow and be rewarded when liberating lost territory. This system is not optimal as it is not self explanatory, it leads to confusion and players might not read the notes and know this. This feature must surely be changed.

  • @Frostion @Hepps In most of my more recent games I'm letting the Fast AI handle all the minors and don't find that I'm missing them. Every now and again Finland or Thailand or Iraq will make an annoying blitz into a gold tile after I've can opened opened it for them. If it seems really critical to the war effort I might scrub reload, but most times I just play on and let them snatch the prize hehe.

    I think it's an interesting idea to use a standard bonus for the AI. I only hesitated since it seemed like taking advantage. But if it was described/suggested as standard in the game notes, I think many players would opt for it, since the play pace is so much faster that way. I do sometimes miss the music though haha.

    I've taken to going Fast AI for the enemy over hard AI. I think sometimes the Fast AI's penchant for brazen or attacks can actually be more challenging than Hard AI deliberate calculated moves. Mainly because Hard AI is more conservative/predictable so you can kind of game it, and force it to play into your hands.

    I have to say, I really enjoy the way factories work in this game. I dig how it's possible to knock them out, and also how they are relatively inexpensive to purchase/replace. I'm not sure I'd change the costs for bombers or anything. Or if so, I don't think I'd make them cost more than say carriers at 40. But right now the cost at 30 feels about right. Who knows maybe Redrum will hook us up with an AI enhancement at some point? But for the time being, I'd probably just have a gentlemen's agreement with the AI not to go too crazy with the SBR hehe. Even then though, sometimes you just want to lay smack down on the machine, and in those instances having a bomber option to smoke their production can be a lot of fun.

    For the production spread I was thinking it might be cool to have Tangier/Casablanca as a gold 5 PU territory to help jump start Torch, since it would be a nice target territory for UK or US. Another worthwhile candidate for a gold 5 might be Hawaii, since it could serve as a spring board for either side. Usually Anzac and KNIL are pretty good at stacking New Guinea, which means its hard to get a production foothold with the US in the Pacific, unless you make it to Sumatra or the Mainland. Hawaii might be a nice for a little extra reach, even if it doesn't have a factory to start.

    All in all I'm having a great time so far with the mod, so I don't know how much I would change. Though I could definitely see boosting the UK somewhat. I think I'll try a few games with the income boost in effect and then report back.

    But yeah man, it's kick ass game. Really, excellent work!

  • Moderators Admin

    @Frostion Yah sorry I reread the motes after I posted.

    I'll have to try to organize a game against an opponent with the Neutrals divvied up as per your design intentions.

    I will let you know how we fair.

    BTW, love the colonial recruitment system you created.

  • Ok just tried a solo game as Germany vs the AI Allies, with a 50 percent income boost to the AI.

    I didn't have a ton of time to game today, so I wanted to see how dramatic the income increase would be, if somebody opted to just play one major Axis power on the team (instead of all 3). In this case I played Germany and left Italy and Japan to the Fast AI. The Italians and Japanese were pretty formidable.

    It's a little unfortunate that the Income bonuses can't be assigned the same way as bid on a per nation basis. I think it would be a useful feature to have for human players as well (not necessarily for Iron War, but for other games too like v5, where you could just let the Allied player have an income boost instead of a pre-placement bid.) That would be a nice feature to have, so the income bonus would have more application than just in games that use the AI.

    For now though, I think as Axis you probably would want to take control of at least the 3 main powers to make a 50% AI increase workable, otherwise the other majors on your team get a pretty powerful boost. It was kind of fun to see some of the Axis minors buying aircraft for a change haha. Here is the situation in the 8th round 1946...

    0_1493491684221_39 Iron War Elk Germany vs Fast AI Allies x50 percent income round 8.tsvg

    Next game I will take control of all 3 Axis powers vs the Fast AI +50% and see how things shake down. Then switch and try it as Allies the same way.

  • Admin

    To handle the problems with the Balkan countries, I have thought about a solution that might improve the game, whether they are played as AI or by the an Axis human (most likely the German player):

    I was thinking about an annexation or "take direct control" option in the German Actions and Operations step. A button for every of the five nation/territory that would just change the ownership of the nation in question.
    If the player wants a bigger Germany instead of small axis players then he could do press the button.

    It would come at a non-PU cost. As the Axis would become overall more effective because of the PUs under one player's control, the annexation could lower the Balkan territory's PU value by 2 PUs. Resulting in only one of the Balkan countries being able to have e factory, Romania I think.

    This system would maybe have to include removals of factories when/if Germany annexes the territories, excluding from the single factory holding 5 PU territory ... and player pop-ups informing about the event.

    If we change the round/year to have like two rounds per year, the map would be changed to start out in Early 1940 = Round 1. So the first German annexation possibility would be in 1940, even though that would probably only be a realistic scenario for Slovakia, a country that actually sent in troops into Poland to help out the Germans fight the poles.

  • Moderators Admin

    @Frostion Updated the bot maps today. Iron War and a few others now available in all bots shortly. 🙂

    done. I wonder if it will ever be possible for a bot to be an ai as well? 😉

  • Moderators Admin

    @prastle Yah a BOT for this would mean you have to play every last player on the map.

  • @Frostion said in Iron War - Official Thread:

    To handle the problems with the Balkan countries, I have thought about a solution that might improve the game, whether they are played as AI or by the an Axis human (most likely the German player):

    I was thinking about an annexation or "take direct control" option in the German Actions and Operations step. A button for every of the five nation/territory that would just change the ownership of the nation in question.
    If the player wants a bigger Germany instead of small axis players then he could do press the button.

    It would come at a non-PU cost. As the Axis would become overall more effective because of the PUs under one player's control, the annexation could lower the Balkan territory's PU value by 2 PUs. Resulting in only one of the Balkan countries being able to have e factory, Romania I think.

    This system would maybe have to include removals of factories when/if Germany annexes the territories, excluding from the single factory holding 5 PU territory ... and player pop-ups informing about the event.

    If we change the round/year to have like two rounds per year, the map would be changed to start out in Early 1940 = Round 1. So the first German annexation possibility would be in 1940, even though that would probably only be a realistic scenario for Slovakia, a country that actually sent in troops into Poland to help out the Germans fight the poles.

    I wonder how this would work in the situation where the Allies are also being controlled by a human, since it would make a Russian offensive into these Balkan territories rather less advantageous for the Soviets?

    I think the ideal would be a universal annexation option available to all major nations. If the concern is that this would allow too many PUs to be concentrated in one nation's hands, maybe the solution is to just make the initial annexation really expensive? I dont know say 50 PUs to annex a single territory, perhaps with a cost in resources as well? This would mean that a player is unlikely to recoup the cost in PUs (or at least not for several rounds), so they would be less likely to do it unless they really wanted the territory for production purposes (ie to build a factory). To me that would be more intuitive than a process that actually changes the value of territories on the map or that is exclusive to just Germany, since I can see that introducing possible confusion or exploits regarding the production spread on the map. I also think in a lot of cases the option to annex would really be more helpful for the Allies than the Axis, since they have fewer +5 territories that can be conquered. The UK or US for example, probably need a leg up here more than Germany does (G does pretty well even under AI control.) It would be really awesome for example if the US could annex a tile like Normandy or New Guinea or somewhere in West Africa, even if the cost was very high, just to gain a production foothold closer to the main front.

    I guess I'm not really seeing what the problem is with the Balkans, other than being somewhat lackluster to play, the Axis minors don't really hurt the German/Italian balance that I can see, and those turns are pretty fast. I think the issue is more with Allied production than Axis production. The US in particular would benefit from more +5 target territories to help them get into position on Fortress Europa. I don't know maybe just having Iceland and Tangier at +5 would be enough to get them into the action for D-Day? Those are both neutrals so it would be relatively easy to do. I still think something to make US/UK production in Western Europe viable would be ideal though. It's hard to build momentum for D-Day in a way that feels historical with Normandy just going to France. Maybe If the Low Countries were +5? Then at least you would have a spot for UK/US to get something going vs G after the beachhead is established.

    I like the idea of early 1940, if that makes more sense for 2 rounds = 1 year.

    I'm definitely going to play some games tonight after work! Love this map

  • Ps. So yeah, I'm thinking that Benelux and Iceland worth +5 would solve a lot of problems for the Allies vs Europe. Right now it is the Axis who make most of production purchases and they can expand pretty naturally with a factory at each new echelon as they grow. But the Allies end up kind of stuck, unable to really build new production hubs as they push out.

    Historically the British had Operation Fork invading Iceland in 1940 to deny it to the Axis. And Germany had a planned Operation Ikarus to seize it. The defense of Iceland was transferred from the UK to the US in 1941. So any of those nations taking control would make sense historically, and the value at 5 would make this play more worthwhile.

    Similarly having the Low Countries worth 5 would open up options for the UK to do a little Dunkirk, or Market Garden action, or give the US a way to establish production in Western Europe (without requiring Normandy.) Probably better as a true neutral, so the Germans don't opt not to conquer it. I think both those make sense.

    One issue that probably should be addressed though is the Sea Lion thing. Right now England caps out at 5 hitpoints in production, whereas Germany has 10 hitpoints in production to start, and can easily increase this to 15 or 20 hitpoints, with a couple factory purchases.

    To get more than 5 hitpoints on England you either have to ferry or fly in units from the US, Halifax or Russia. Canada and the US are both 2 turns from England. Russia can purchase fighters in Leningrad and send them over, but that also takes 2 turns. Germany by contrast can have close to 30+ hitpoints on England by G2. So I'm not sure it's really possible for the Allies to prevent Sea Lion right now if the Germans are committed.

    I'm thinking it might be worthwhile to consider strengthening Scotland, and perhaps giving it a starting factory. Not sure, I'll have to look at the map again when I get off. I think adding to the British would probably be more fun than taking stuff away from Germany, although fewer starting transports for G might end up being easier to balance. Right now Germany can get 13 hitpoints into Scotland at the end of G1 (if they take no hits.) The British have just enough to destroy this at odds, but the issue there is that they can't counter attack in Scotland and defend England at the same time. Since the latter is more important (Capital/Factory) Germany basically can do a walk in. I think this is going to be a tough one to strike the right balance, because it's nice for G to have an option for Sea Lion, but we don't want it too easy. Right now though I can't see any reason not to invade Scotland on the first turn.

    Somewhat related to the Sea Lion thing, is the ease with which Italy and Germany can take all the straits around Europe on the opening turn of the game. Denmark, Gibraltar, Istanbul and Egypt are all pretty easy marks. So the Axis really open things up on the water.

    Russia can certainly have a lot of attack power bearing down on East Prussia in fairly short order, which is a deterrent to some of those naval escapades. But it still takes them at least 3 turns to truly get into position for a major offensive of the sort that could threaten Berlin. By which time Germany can stack England and then transport all the units back to the East, leaving the defense of the West to the Kriegsmarine. A competent human Allied player will handle the naval situation much better than the AI, of course, but right now G definitely has the initiative there, and seems pretty tough to stop.

    0_1493616050343_39 Iron War Elk Axis vs Fast AI Allies G2.tsvg

    Even going with a transport build G1 to ice the invasion of England, it's still pretty straight forward to deadzone the Atlantic. This was a little slower, and ultimatelt more expensive than buying the Graf Zeppelin outright, but still allowed me to wheel back East with plenty of time to hold vs AI Russia.

    I think maybe what the AI Allies (US/UK) need is a string of potential production hubs. Perhaps Southern Greenland +5 to Iceland +5 up North, and Tangiers +5 or maybe Liberia +5 down South would give the US a way in? If they could build a chain out of Greenland or Africa it would at least spread the Kreigsamarine in two directions. Norway or Benelux +5 might be sweet to serve as forward production hub goal for Western Europe, similar to the way Libya or Egypt are for North Africa. Basically what seems to happen for the Allies is that the US AI gets stuck floating, despite having a ton of naval TUV, but without production hubs close enough to the action to really start moving the ball forward. I see something similar happening in the Pacific. I wonder if adding a Truk as a starting Japanese territory +5, in Pacific 5 sz might help? Then the US would have target territory that also puts it in range of the home island. So they'd have some way to hold the IJN in the cat and mouse between production centers. Hawaii +5 might work in a similar way, but in reverse if the tables are turned and its Axis AI. Anzac is pretty good at defending KNIL pacific territory, so the dutch money islands aren't necessarily available as a US springboard. That's why I was thinking an intermediate hub somewhere sooner might help here in the Pacific as well. I guess maybe it wouldn't be an issue if there was some kind of US annexation, so they could set up hubs the way they did historically. Lending materials to lease bases.

    Anyhow here is that Sea Lion game vs AI Allies (regular income) after 9 rounds. Germany just won an epic battle for control of Leningrad, and Italy and Japan are on a steady march...
    0_1493627346500_39 Iron War Elk Axis vs Fast AI Allies J9.tsvg

  • I just discovered the hard way that Denmark connects to Sweden overland! Russia back door blitzed into West Germany with a Tank from Sweden. I was letting them run wild up there, in the hopes that I could reconquer all of Scandinavia once they knocked off all the pro-Axis Swedes.

    I'd say that attack route between Denmark/Sweden is not particularly intuitive, since it took me this many games to realize. Was the connection here intentional? If so it will definitely change my plan of expansion for Germany next time, since Scandinavia would be much easier to conquer walking across the water if I don't need the transports to pull it off haha. Might want to note that connection in the game notes.

    Anyhow, here is another game vs AI Allies. This time I gave the AI a x25 percent income boost, and took control of all 3 major Axis nations. Game was notable for India falling to Germany this time, after Japan couldn't quite get the job done on the airblitz. Here it is in 1945, as Germany scrambles to regroup after that surprise soviet invasion from an unexpected direction lol

    0_1493659372584_39 Iron War Elk Axis vs Fast AI Allies x25 percent income G7.tsvg

    edit: Haha Totally Hepps!

    Still going after 13 rounds. The AI actually pulled out a few more surprises on me, like when Anzac smoked half of the IJN with a glorious air assault. It was a definite setback for the Empire. But Germany, already in position around India, seized the opportunity to establish a Pacific Reich!

    Currently we are battling out of the newly proclaimed German East Indies and trying to break into Australia. Here is the situation at the dawn of the 1950s...

    0_1493669578537_39 Iron War Elk Axis vs Fast AI Allies x25 percent income J13.tsvg

    The Russian AI is stacked deep, despite being cut in two, and the Western Allies have finally managed to get some fighters over to the Soviet core. I think the income boost at x25% plays pretty nicely. The AI purchases more air, and seems to be a bit more effective at moving it around. Though you can still mess with them quite a bit, as this German escapade into the South Pacific is showing me lol.

    I'm certain I will have to play on now, after work tonight, until we plant the German flag over Sydney! hehe

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