@Schulz cool map concept. I always really enjoy seeing different possible ways the China map geometry/production might work. In the official A&A games up to this point we've seen quite a few different approaches and they've all been pretty radically different. G40 probably comes closest to a somewhat accurate modelling, but there's a fair amount of rules overhead in that one hehe.
@beelee yeah on this map, the other factions that have access to a spam fodder unit are priced at like 6 PUs a pop and they use a recruitment resource to cap the number that can be bought per turn like @ff03k64 mentioned. Currently Italy, France, French-Colonies, British-Colonies, British-India and KNIL all have access to them. I think basically the same unit in China would accomplish something similar to the militia unit concept. Conveniently the recruitment resource is already called CR. The C could be Colonial, or in this case could stand for China. Regular infantry attack at 2 and defend at 3 under D10 combat, whereas the Colonial Infantry, attacks and defends at 2. But they can both be boosted by artillery or trucked along with mech, so the spam units can be pretty effective in combat and a hitpoint's a hitpoint right haha, so I think might work. I guess one possibility, if unit art can't be easily created, might be to just make all of China's infantry at the price point and combat values of Colonial Inf elsewhere, though that could be a little confusing since everyone else has a base 10 inf unit standard. Germany, USSR, and USA also each have a variant type infantry unit on this one.
For production, in the last version China is at around 20-30 PUs depending on whether the USA sends them cash. Japan has about 100-120 PUs after the opener. China has 2 production tiles, at Chunking as the primary with a fall back tile in the far west basically corresponding to Sinkiang on most A&A maps. The way things are drawn Japan is basically 2 moves vs the Chunking Pocket, coastal landing and then 1 move to the production front. So Japan has a lot to work with, and its not too dissimilar from Global in that way, except that here there are fewer total tiles for China. I agree with @Schulz that absent other things going on, the danger with introducing too much production in this area, is that it becomes an all or nothing situation, where Japan either has to totally commit to China (in which case they stomp) or else Japan gets stomped if they don't. And that's not really optimal. I think what we want is a situation where its desirable for Japan to pin China, and to hold the stack at an interior tile, but where its not necessarily worth the cost for them to go for the kill. I think some of that could be handled by the surrounding topography, especially since this game has the impassible mountains and nearby neutrals. A shift in PU values combined with a spam unit I think could do the trick, for a 1941 type game where Japan has supposedly been at war there for 5 years already. I think when the start date is earlier like 1940, then you get a kind of different theme going down. Because historically if there was going to be a big change to the Japanese war plan, say the Army plan to commit vs the Soviets rather than the Navy plan to go after the Dutch Islands and central Pacific, then the earlier in the war the more realistic that becomes to imagine. The front in China would be similar for either date, but the unit compositions or things like that might be changed to account for differences in the opener. I'm excited to check out this rally-point idea, because I think that could make a key change to how some of the production fronts and battle lines draw up. USA aid could also be a thing that's explored, perhaps with an option for Allies to drop more cash into the Chinese coffers once the US is scaled up. The AI doesn't use the resource exchange feature I don't think, so that's maybe a consideration for how heavily to weight it, but I think finding a cool balance for China and also for a Soviet-Japan NAP is always kind of a hidden goal whenever I muse on how it might be set up on whatever map lol.
Hope everyone is having a fun weekend! I'm out walk the greyhound for a few, but sure to cruise back through tomorrow. Catch ya guys then
ps. just got the new one downloaded. I ran a quick Solo for the opener taking over the USA turn block. Pretty nice attack pattern from the HardAI, since they took Denmark and such. I'm feeling the turn order too. Look forward to grinding it out and seeing the rally point in action, teasing out the new playbalance hehe. Nice work dude!
Here it is on USA1 after the machine did its bit. AI Ruskies were having none of Romania, and made a big Balkans blast to kick things off. Looks like France is trying down the fort for at least another turn, and KNIL wants to hold New Guinea which is cool. Italy cleared the Eastern Med and is pressing on Egypt. Brit Block felt solid, Aussies moved to back up Guadalcanal which is cool. Japan took Changsha on the coast and Philippines, they positioned IJN at Wake. I gotta skip out for a few, but I'm sure this will keep me up all night hahah ...
2020-9-26-Iron-War 3.0 solo USA1.tsvg
Oh cool I just saw the rally point come into play. Germany reconquered Romania, and then Balkans was able to place their infantry unit. Nice! If not for the factory bug thing, I bet they'd have rebuilt too. Took me a sec to see where they are but now I see the national flag has a slightly larger gold circle around it where the rally points are, and the AI definitely seems to be targeting them. I dig it!
I just got smoked at by HardAI Japan at Pearl lol. I gotta say I definitely think the transport lowered steel cost is cool, fun stuff! It may make Sea Lion pretty wild, but that can always be handled and clearly they'll have Russia to think about if attempting transport spam for that. I think the PU cost will still cap what G can do, but I really like it for the US and for some of the smaller nations that were struggling at the cost of 2 steel. Transports at 1 steel gives them a way to get on the board. Next time I'll probably have to use a bit more steel for US warships to defend the prize at Pearl I guess hehe. I think we can call this one for the machine after that smack down, but I'll start another when I get home a little later. Well done!
2020-9-26-Iron-War 3.0 solo USA2.tsvg
ps. OK I played the second solo for another 4 rounds. I really like the the Rally Point unit, I think it has managed to activate most of the areas where they exist, and the AI definitely seems to be playing better as a result. Given that AI seems to be targeting them, I wonder if it might make sense to have them at Singapore, Denmark, Gibraltar and Panama? Could help for the computer with canal control, or just to highlight. But so far I love the way they work on the islands. Even the spots that got dropped like Iceland and Morocco seem to work well this way. Its also cool because it creates a capture incentive for all those spots. I like the 1 unit cap, it creates some cool incentives to place high value warships or tanks which I think. I think they will also be kinda cool when it comes to units like Rockets or Kamikazes and the like. Its a great innovation! I think its introduction makes the whole map a lot more dynamic. Nicely done there!
I really find this turn order a lot smoother, and the tension on Italy is nice. In this one I moved USA to activate Spain, old school Classic Spanish landing pad hehe. I actually don't mind it, cause it just sort of feels like an expanded space representing Gibraltar or like the whole Med theater of OPs. On Axis side because of the move through, I'd guess G or Italy would probably want to commit a few units to Spanish defense, just to keep Allies off it in early rounds. In this one G opened the Bosporus so Axis got kinda wily in the Black Sea lol. Overall the AI seems to be playing pretty well, using the Rally Point to place units. The extra German starting factory in Poland also helps, as now they spawn their subs as intended. In this game they used the normandy rally point for that, which was kinda cool. Feels like actual sub pens positioning more on Atlantic that way. I like it a lot so far.
Right then off to eat dinner. Catch ya in a few
2020-9-26-Iron-War 3.0 solo USA4.tsvg
Next I'll prob try a German solo, and see what we're looking at from the other side.
2020-9-26-Iron-War 3.0 solo Germany 1 combat.tsvg
Mass transport spam is still potent, but I like the balance. On G2 I think I got London dead to rights by buying nothing but transports since they can move pretty much all their starting hitpoints this way. With the reduced steel cost I think Germany should probably only have 1 transport for the Kriegsmarine at the start in North Sea Zone? That'd prob still be enough to get them on Normandy or Norway. Otherwise I like it, there's already a tough balance off Leningrad, so going for England is debatable. In this game I went for the opening attack on Ukraine which was a bit more intense with the added units, but I think still worth the hit. I think here the optimal it still G3 timing for Leningrad, over taking London. But the London battle is about 70% to German attacker on G2 here. Prob closer to 85% if I'd landed the fighters in West Germany instead of Poland. Though Leningrad I think the bigger prize, even if using transport spam. Anyhow G2 this was the first one out on Axis solo haha
2020-9-26-Iron-War 3.0 solo Germany 2 combat.tsvg
Pretty massive showdown for the G3 timing. AI Stalin isn't messing around heheh. Still I think it's pretty good positioning to crack the north on G3. I dig it. I think there is probably a sea lion G2 play vs the computer which could be fun too, but I went for more standard set up here. I think the Russia factory at Kuyby will definitely come in handy for Allies to manage the Eastern front. Good times so far!
2020-9-26-Iron-War 3.0 solo Germany 3 combat.tsvg
This is kind of a fun fuel dilemma in round 6, cause like after breaking into Leningrad and chasing the Soviets back all the way to Kuyby, it really forces a choice between returning the fleet to the Channel for defense vs Western naval stack, or using the fuel for the Soviets kill. Cause just not quite enough fuel to do both, but that's the kind of thing I like that the fuel aspect involves.
2020-9-26-Iron-War 3.0 solo Germany 6 combat.tsvg
I went for fleet repositioning as top fuel priority, easier to manage a delay on killing Russia while stacking the channel with carrier drop I figured. I definitely enjoyed watching the attack pattern from HardAI Japan on the team. I think the rally points definitely pull them onto the central pacific which is really cool to see. They have basically conquered most of their island objectives, even taking a little piece of Australia, and the major theater of ops has been more Pacific island hop oriented for Japan which is aces. I think everyone likes that stuff when US/Japan both have a reason to hop around to claim the rally points on the islands. Just makes the naval game a lot more fun there too.
Axis I think are within striking distance now in this one, fun for a G solo and feels like a plausible state of affairs for round 7 of the game early 1943, had things gone very well for Germany on the Eastern front at the outset haha.
2020-9-26-Iron-War 3.0 solo Germany 7 combat.tsvg
I'll prob try one with Italy or the Brit block next. I'm digging the feel though 3.0 definitely has a way more engaging production spread. I like it.
yeah Brits it is hehe. The hard AI opened pretty well for Germany, taking Normandy and such. I think the rally point must be drawing them more on target there which is cool. Excited to see how the Brit turn plays under the new conditions. Maybe later night or tomorrow.
2020-9-26-Iron-War 3.0 solo Brits 1 combat.tsvg
Pretty entertaining so far. We beat HardAI US to Morocco, and managed to take Somalia with South Africa. But British Colonies was just crushed at Egypt. We tried to strafe back from El Alamein but to no avail there hehe. ANZAC feels a lot more interesting with the rally points over there too. We tried in this one to cover the Dutch, but got ejected from Guadalcanal, and stomped at Java. But the home fleet is secure and on target for Norway. I like the sequence, it feels smooth to me.
2020-9-26-Iron-War 3.0 solo Brits 4 combat.tsvg
ANZAC has been pretty entertaining. HardAI Japan came at me in Darwin, but we managed to pull a rescue move for South Africa HQ in Somalia and then reclaim Egypt for British Colonies, so they got a dual front going. British India managed to drop Iran, but Iraq is still kicking about. This time Britain activated the Spanish landing pad, again just kinda feels like an extension of Gibraltar so I dig having a bit more room there to house the units. Morocco has been churning out a tank a round for Monty to hopefully get something going lol. I think Allies are set for Total Victory at the end of the round now.
2020-9-26-Iron-War 3.0 solo ANZAC 6 placement.tsvg
Going to pass out now, but might pick it up tomorrow and try the Soviet turn block. Anyhow, good times so far. Till next round