Iron War - Official Thread

  • Admin


    "So it let's you pick 1 fighter and 1 bomber for a total of 3 carrierCost but won't let you select 3 fighters which would be the same cost?"
    Thats right.

    "Does it automatically just select 1 fighter and 1 bomber when you choose "2"?"
    Yes, but I cannot choose 3 in any way.

    "Or are you doing something to specifically select those?"
    No, there is no option to choose unit type.

    "If you remove the bomber from the territory, does it then allow you to select 3 fighters?"
    Yes, then I can click my way to 3 units

  • Admin

    @Frostion Alright, I understand the problem. We really need to add the ability to select which air units to move to carrier not just randomly select them. This probably hasn't come up much since most maps only have 1 type of air unit that can land on carriers. Can you go ahead and create a github issue for this?

    As a workaround, you could consider changing the ruleset to make players land air units in the sea territory you are placing the carrier. I personally prefer that rule to the deploying of planes from an adjacent land territory to the carrier.

  • Admin

    @redrum OK, I will post an issue ☺

  • Yeah this has been going down since the first game I played. I think I mentioned it in my initial posts, though in that instance it was the German air transport that was giving me the issue.

    Also sometimes you will run into kinks if two coastal factories border the same sea zone (like Japan and Manchuria for example), where you have to make sure you place in the right order to get the proper fighter prompt for the carrier.

    My eventual solution to bombers on carriers was just to make sure I landed them in a different territory than the one I planned to build the carrier from.

    Would be sweet if that one got a fix.

  • possibly related...

    Saw something in this Solo Japan game of Iron War, where the US AI in round 3 placement phase attempts to place 2 bombers and 1 dive bomber in the Hawaiian sea zone, only to have them crash into the water because there is no landing spot available on the carrier.

    So basically AI just threw 78 PU's into the ocean to no purpose hehe. I think I've seen this happen before with the AI attempting to place air transports in the water too. Often the AI's turns happen so fast it is hard to tell when it happens, but there is definitely TUV lost in the water mysteriously.
    0_1495644060355_Elk Japan vs AI Allies US bomber placement on carrier error.tsvg

  • Admin

    @Black_Elk There is definitely an AI bug there. It appears that the issue is the AI runs out of resources to be able to build all sea units after purchasing a few so only can afford air units in the Hawaiian SZ. It actually realizes there isn't enough carrier room but there is a bug that even though all air units have a 0% chance of being purchased it still selects one of them randomly! Essentially, this is just a rare edge case that has to do with not handling when only air units are available to purchase based on resources in a SZ and none of them have carrier space. This pretty much never happens on 99% of maps since they have cheap sea units like subs or destroyers that would always be available.

  • @redrum Right on. I was wondering what it could be. Managing steel consumption for ships can be a real challenge, so I can see how the AI might botch it occasionally. Even the lowly patrol boat is a steel hog hehe.

    Well, for the glory of the Empire I kept it going until Axis economic victory at the end of the 15th round. I was surprised it took so long, since Japan got pretty rich gobbling up Russia. At this point in 1947, India is like the lone hold out standing in the way of complete Japanese domination of Asia.
    0_1495654071250_Elk Japan vs AI Allies Japan 16.tsvg

  • Admin

    @Black_Elk This is now fixed with PR: Please test once that is merged. I saved the game right before the US turn and used that to reproduce the bug and then verify the AI doesn't do it after the change: 0_1495673931642_test.tsvg

    Hopefully, no more throwing away TUV into the ocean 🙂

  • Admin

    @Frostion Thanks for opening the issue: I'll take a look and see how much effort that would be to implement.

    Also after fixing the bug @Black_Elk reported, I ran a test game with all Fast AI for 17 rounds with no errors and it was pretty much dead even on TUV.

  • Just started my first game with the pre-release TripleA-

    Playing a German solo vs the Hard AI for the Majors and Fast AI for the minors. Happy to report the fighters are now placing on the carriers as they should, and haven't had any issues yet with the bombers or air transports. Also enjoying the save after non combat feature, since I'm constantly forgetting AA guns and such, it's pretty convenient. I gave the AI Allies each a 20% income boost and they're fighting pretty well so far. I figured it would probably be smart to try and win the battle of the Atlantic, so I've been positioning for a G4 Sea Lion. Here it is in later 1941 on the eve of the Invasion of England...
    0_1495874749382_Elk Germany vs Hard AI x20 percent income G4.tsvg

    A few rounds later in 1944. The Soviets have just crushed Finland, but are starting to fold up at the center after I launched an amphibious invasion with German mech to take Siberia. Meanwhile Italy has just pushed through into Stalingrad, so it seems the tide may be turning on the Eastern Front at long last. On the other side of the globe Japan still has quite a bit to contend with, as the Allies now have like 30+ fighters roaming about in the backyard hehe. They were all ganging up at Midway for a hot minute, but just got ALSIB'ed over to the Soviet Far East, where they're sure to cause Axis some headaches. Pretty fun so far!
    0_1495880153032_Elk Germany vs Hard AI x20 percent income G10.tsvg

  • Admin

    @Frostion While fixing the choosing air units for newly built carrier issues, I decided to tackle another issue that has been around and reported for a long time regarding being able to select which factory you use when multiple factories are adjacent to a sea zone.

    Here is the PR fixing the issue and once its merged folks can test the functionality:

  • Moderators Admin

    @redrum Glad you caught that. That issue has in fact been around for a long while.

    And though you can work around it... a permanent solution would be a great step forward.

  • Admin

    Yes, that is a feature people have been missing. I will look forward to testing this engine improvement. We got a saying in my country: "Many small creeks make a big stream" ... 😁

  • Admin

    @Frostion @Hepps The PR is merged so feel free to test it out the latest pre-release and let me know what you think.

  • Got another match going, this time using the TripleA- pre-release. Solo game as Japan vs the Hard/Fast AI. I assigned each of the Allies x20 percent income.

    So far I've been pretty impressed with the German AI, not sure if they've just been randomly lucky this time, or if its the most recent AI improvements, but this is the first game where I've seen them actually gun for Scandinavia. They've also managed to be more effective with the Kriegsmarine than usual, even transporting up to northern Russia.

    Meanwhile the Allies are stacking pretty deep. The Australians in particular have been developing a pretty formidable air force. They have like a dozen fighters creeping around in the Dutch East Indies, and sent a tank all the way to South Africa haha. I think this game kind of shows what I was talking about in the other thread, about how Japan really gets pulled in a lot of directions at once. I like this, because it means by the time you knock of your second minor Ally, the remaining Allies are usually pretty beefy, especially if you give em a little economic boost haha. Anyhow, so far so good, I haven't noticed any major goofs, the AI is probably still buying too many air transports and patrol boats, but they're still pretty effective. Fun stuff!

    Here we are in the 6th round, 1942, about to snake India.
    0_1496323436559_Iron War Elk Japan vs Hard AI Allies x20 income J6.tsvg

  • Admin

    Interesting save game. You make it look so easy to beat up the AI! 😁 It is a shame that the AI seems to not handle stacking up for invasions very well. AI seems too often do a small half hearted invasions into France and then get beaten back by Germany soon after.

  • Admin

    @Frostion So the AI in general likes to trade territories (most cases its better to be a little overly aggressive than do nothing). In this particular case, the major problem is that it doesn't realize the territory ownership goes back to the French who unfortunately never collects the income as their turn is after both Italy and Germany who take it back (if the French were right after UK or if UK got ownership instead then I'd argue its probably a good move as territories in France have decent production). Turn order consideration and original territory owner is something the AI needs improvements on.

  • Yeah it took me little while to adapt to the Iron War production conditions compared to the smaller A&A maps like v5. I think the AI is pretty aggressive and willing to trade units in the near term, but the exploit there is that the unit replacement rate is relatively low compared to the value of most individual territories. The big change getting my head around was how to create proper deadzones with infantry. So like in v5 where infantry costs 3 PUs, attrition back and forth over low value territories is easier to sustain, because you can draw up more cheap units pretty quickly. Even a 1 ipc tile will give you a swing that's about 1/3rds the replacement cost of the cheapest fodder unit there. But in Iron War infantry is considerably more valuable, since 1 PU gained only nets you 1/10th the replacement cost of the cheapest fodder unit and the cap at 5 units per factory also factors into it. So I think the AI is more vulnerable to stack pushing here than in A&A. Usually the strategy I employ is to try and conserve and concentrate like all my starting TUV and push it in one direction at a time, whereas the AI seems more inclined to break their stacks apart and to trade high value ground units for short term PU gains at a loss. On the water the AI will only attack at a clear advantage, so I just try to keep all my naval units together as a deterent to push them back. Usually they break formation at some point, where one of the Allied members of a joint fleet will flee the sea zone leaving another Ally exposed. So I try to pick them apart like that, using concentrated attack power when I have like 90% to 100% odds to wipe them while taking minimal casualties. Then just pull back again and save fuel while I wait for another opening to crush. Basically the best way to screw the AI is through turn order exploits, where you fly in a shit ton of fighter attack power and then spook the AI into a premature withdrawal where they leave their buddies exposed haha. I think the income boost definitely does help quite a bit though. Because the AI seems to buy a lot more aircraft of its own in that case, and factories too, when they have extra cash to throw around.

    I think there is probably a number (x percent) where the AI can overcome it's usual strategic disadvantages through massive fighter spams. Probably I need to start going a little higher than 20% to really give the AI a chance. But I figured it was a good place to start, since adding a 5th of total income each round definitely allows the AI to start developing more mobile attack/defense power. I'll probably jump it up to 25% then 33% then 50%, until I get to the point where the AI can run the board half the time haha. I'm pretty sure that at 100% the AI will pull away and probably kick my ass consistently. So not sure I'm ready to go there yet, since it's kind of fun to stomp em.

  • Admin

    @Black_Elk Yep, another good point. The AI has primarily been tested on A&A and NWO/WaW types units sets that have very cheap fodder units in comparison to production values. This tends to promote trading territories to get that production. The AI calculations need to take into account better how much the units are worth that its 'sacrificing' to trade territories vs how much those territories are worth.

  • Admin

    I have never really given that much thought to turn order. The only thing I have tried is to let the “colony” players be after their main player. So maybe we should try to figure out what turn order would be best fitting to Iron War and not lead to to many futile AI captures of territories and too many “leaving allies in a bad position”. @Black_Elk, do you have any suggestions? I think Germany up to USSR is fixed, but everything after that is open for discussion. And maybe also Thailand has to be after Japan. Here is a list we can alter:

    Germany (Locked)
    Slovakia (Locked)
    Hungary (Locked)
    Romania (Locked)
    Bulgaria (Locked)
    Croatia (Locked)
    USSR (Locked)
    Japan (Locked in regards to Thailand)
    Thailand (Locked in regards to Japan)
    AI-Neutral (Locked)
    AI-Pro-Axis-Neutral (Locked)
    AI-Pro-Allies-Neutral (Locked)

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