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Victory 2 - What would be good updates

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Adding a Japanese Tech is a good idea for giving the game a new variable. As mentioned each tech has some advantage. Obviously the Japanese tech should be a good tech for naval options and start out fast with slower gains as has already been mentioned. I had two comments with regards to those unique capabilities for the tech.

1. Along with a regimental ground unit I think all their Destroyers/Cruisers should have some cargo capacity. Perhaps it increases later in the game to reflect their use of warships to ship critical supplies. (Real war necessity due to shipping losses)

2. In regards to the Army and game balance perhaps their tech should stay weaker but have a morale multiple. In other words surrenders and eliminations would occur less frequently. This could extend to the other services as well but morale is usually a bigger factor in the Ground battles. (Real world reflection of the numerous battles they won despite the odds. Fighting to the last man, Yamato's 1 way trip to Okinawa, Kamakaze missions etc).

 

Have fun, Rick

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Adding a Japanese Tech is a good idea for giving the game a new variable. As mentioned each tech has some advantage. Obviously the Japanese tech should be a good tech for naval options and start out fast with slower gains as has already been mentioned. I had two comments with regards to those unique capabilities for the tech.

1. Along with a regimental ground unit I think all their Destroyers/Cruisers should have some cargo capacity. Perhaps it increases later in the game to reflect their use of warships to ship critical supplies. (Real war necessity due to shipping losses)

2. In regards to the Army and game balance perhaps their tech should stay weaker but have a morale multiple. In other words surrenders and eliminations would occur less frequently. This could extend to the other services as well but morale is usually a bigger factor in the Ground battles. (Real world reflection of the numerous battles they won despite the odds. Fighting to the last man, Yamato's 1 way trip to Okinawa, Kamakaze missions etc).

 

Have fun, Rick

 

Number 1. could easily be implemented (a variant of the Gamble already present in the US tech, but probably with transport capacity up to 5 for their heavy cruisers) but option 2. would be a royal pain. The link between morale and experience is coded through the entire mechanism down to the coastal batteries, so changing that for a specific tech (and excluding the batteries i presume) would cause possibly unintended side-effects. If implemented consequently by the way, it would include the tech being precluded from tactics options like WTH.

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Your right I did not intend it to apply to fixed defenses and that could be hard to adjust throughout a program. Perhaps a better way to accomplish the same thing would be through a special commander modification. The special commanders already are programed in and effect battle results when assigned. All that would be needed is the addition of 5 new special commander levels associated with the Japanese Tech. I would assume the addition of 5 new special commander variables would be as easy as adding 5 new unit variables and the combat calculations would not change. In other words a Field Marshal is rank 5 while a J-Field Marshall would be say rank 7.5 as an example. As a result the ECM bonus would be 15% and the morale bonus would be 7.5% compared to the 10% and 5% of the regular Field Marshall. By association with the special commander this would make this tech benefit limited and thus your not likely to assign a J-Field Marshall to a insignificant regimental Marine landing force unless its a really important operation as once its destroyed its gone. This also helps to differentiate the Japanese Tech from the British in how it effects the game. Note that since the Japanese Tech already has good Air and Naval units this would just apply to the Ground leaders to reflect those Banzai charges. The same subroutine that checks for promotions would just need to have the J Rank levels added with the same percent chance for promotion. Have fun, RIck

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What Victory! really needs is more players. Specifically, new players. It needs to expand its customer base, pure and simple, or it will continue its slow and inevitable decline into oblivion. While Victory! may have limited options available to it that will broaden its customer base in any significant way, in my opinion the player base will not be increased in any significant way by adding new tech, changing and or adding new rules and altering mechanics within the game. Don’t get me wrong. I'm as interested in and think about rules and mechanics improvements to the game as much as anyone. These ideas are all worth discussing and working towards, but the fact is that those ‘improvements’ may cause some former players to return to the game, but it will do nothing to entice new players to try the game for the first time.

 

What Victory! needs to do is make the game more accessible and easy to play than it currently is. The laborious tasks of managing things like resource usage and especially rail usage are never ‘fun,’ and are definitely not one of the aspects of the game that serve to entice or retain new, inexperienced players. The game’s accessibility and familiarity, specifically to just about all other currently popular game systems and genres, is considered near arcane to most current 'gamers.’

 

The game needs to be easier to manage turn by turn, and turn submittal, processing and results need to be more instantaneous. That’s the way the world, technology and gaming in general now, like it or not. When doing your turn, there should be either a separate program that enables you to track your total rail usage city by city as you enter MCR and MGF orders in a separate program, and or something built into the turn entry program itself that tracks and tallies rail usage. This should also be the case with resource usage and raising and lowering stockpiles within each AIC as you move resources action by action from city to city. Many players have developed their own makeshift programs with Excel, for example, to manage these things, but developing and using such programs is incredibly difficult and time consuming to develop and are usually done in isolation. Individual players attempts to improve their own Victory! gaming experience does nothing to improve the game of Victory! and it’s future health overall.

 

Once again, Victory! needs fresh blood and an expanded and hopefully growing customer base for Russ and the game to survive long term. Thoughts? I'm sure there are those that disagree with or have a different take on my assessment and or with my general ideas for what would have the greatest probability of enticing at least some new players and even bringing back some former ones.

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The game needs to be easier to manage turn by turn, and turn submittal, processing and results need to be more instantaneous. That’s the way the world, technology and gaming in general now, like it or not. When doing your turn, there should be either a separate program that enables you to track your total rail usage city by city as you enter MCR and MGF orders in a separate program, and or something built into the turn entry program itself that tracks and tallies rail usage. This should also be the case with resource usage and raising and lowering stockpiles within each AIC as you move resources action by action from city to city. Many players have developed their own makeshift programs with Excel, for example, to manage these things, but developing and using such programs is incredibly difficult and time consuming to develop and are usually done in isolation. Individual players attempts to improve their own Victory! gaming experience does nothing to improve the game of Victory! and it’s future health overall.

 

 

Entirely correct.

 

Ten years ago, I started out on the Excel route, but quickly abandoned it as too slow, and too cumbersome to help me in making turns.

 

So I went a different route, and made my own turn "entry" program instead. Note here that entry here is marked in quotes as I don't actually enter a single game turn order in it. Instead, it shows me my empire in various lists and matrices, and in the UI I simply specify what I want to change. The program then spits out the necessary orders needed to make these changes happen directly into the turn file. But here's the catch: It auto-sequences the individual turn orders to my personal taste and preferences, which isn't exactly universally applicable :)

 

What is does do, is constantly recalculating the known state of my empire with every adjustment I make. And this includes things like resource stockpiles (and, more of interest: shortfalls), used railway capacity, both on a city level and on a route level, next turn production projections, things like that. And, since I was fed up with manually entering a transport route through specifying the chain of cities each turn, I made support for predefined transport routes. So all I have left to do is select a target city (for outbound transport), or a source city (for inbound transport), and it fills out the MCR city chain automatically.

 

I've even made a start in empire level functions. So I can add research orders for my entire empire with just one push of a button. Or auto-check and raise ADL/IMDL in my entire empire with just one push of a button. It removes the mind numbingly boring handling of empire management in the turn entry ;)

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Thanks for your input JPD. This just illustrates in astounding clarity what I was talking about. If this game is to reach a new and growing audience, one that is not accustomed to having to undertake such 'projects' just to play a game in this day and age, there needs to be developed for all players a program/interface that enables players to reasonably manage their holdings. I know there are those that would claim that it is these 'skills' of nation management under the current system that separate the skilled players from the rest, but I'd argue that it is what is separating the players from the NON-players and the 'players' group is shrinking slowly but surely.

 

Whether these new programs for managing nations is developed under the current game programming or the next I think does matter. Why? Because while doing any of these things takes skill and time, waiting for the new game system to be developed before trying to make the game more manageable/playable is a wait that make take forever. I know I don't have the skill/ability to make any of these changes, but I do believe that it is more realistic and achievable to work towards making a nation management program for the current game. Thoughts?

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Just realised I forgot to include a few, rather essential, details :)

 

What I've build for myself is basically a one-stop-shop for both generating turn orders (like I said, I don't enter, not do I *want* to enter, any orders manually). This includes completely reading and parsing all of the tech/database files, the turn result file, and the turn orders file that's based on said turn result file. So I not only can produce a new turn file quickly, I can also update/edit it effortlessly.

 

Because all the underlying data is at my disposal inside my application, I can do things like:

 

- showing all provinces and sea zones bordering a selected province or zone, so when entering a route I basically just double click from border to border until the destination is reached

- calculating the costs for new builds and repairs on-the-fly. I have no need to rely (or even look at) the AR/IR/AIR damage numbers inside the result file.

- calculating the amount of damage an army group, air force or naval force dishes out on-the-fly (either before or after repairs or a reorg). No need to peek at the listed numbers in the result files.

- do damage assessments (like: if I sustain 30% damage on this army group, how much AR/IR do I need to build to repair it next turn). This comes coupled with the AIC management matrix, so I can just issue all the repairs I want to do, then hit a button to provide for the needed AR/IR's, and instantly see in the matrix how much ARM points I need to transport to cover all that.

- In said AIC management matrix, I see all my AIC-1 centers, and all of the resources. And I can initiate transports from one to another from within this same matrix using the predefined transport routes mentioned earlier. Basically, it's a one-stop-shop to handle my empires resources, where the goal is to get rid of the numbers flaring up in red :)

- The program knows how much fuel and supplies all of the units combined burn each turn, and can line that up against the total production of both. So I don't run into nasty surprises when the time has come to do supply draws.

- To prevent forgotten supply draws, the army and navy managers show each force in color code. The forces in red must draw supplies next turn, those in orange within two turns.

- It knows how to calculate the costs for upgrades, so when I plan to upgrade units, the costs are automatically charged against the correct AIC hub, and thus being incorporated in the transport matrix overview.

- The city/province browser can be sorted and filtered by numerous conditions, so I can quickly zoom in on those of particular interest

 

Of course, the next step would be to use a bit of AI witchcraft, and automate the transport matrix, so it goes from a one-stop-shop to a one-button-push-shop :)

 

Do I need to mention how much I hate micro managing an empire? :P

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Did you win any games?

 

 

No, but I didn't lose the will to continue to play until the very end.

 

The last game I played I had to struggle with the rail capacity until the very end, and that would not have been funny, at all, if I had to do that with the official order entry program. Same goes for the spending budget and the treasury contents. That would have become very ugly, very fast, if I hadn't been able to (let it) calculate the projected turn expenditure to see if it would exceed the treasury contents.

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JPD was in the team that came second in gam #87. In that team,

Iraq and Persia were fighting Scandinavia for Central Russia and came within reach of Warsaw.

Transjordan and Syria had a long, hard fight over Africa and reached Morocco,

and JPD was Turkey and took xBatum. That's about it.

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Well, you can't blame me for trying,

 

Top 5 things to be changed in Victory, that I believe are actually doable without breaking the game.
For comments: please limit yourself to things that can be changed without a complete rewrite of the system.
And if you have other ideas, please include in your comments which of the 5 contenders below should be scrapped from the list.

1: Close the information gap.
Each player receives a mail with combat reports on the last day of the 14 days till the earliest day that his next turn can run.
make 40 extra positions that are run by the computer, without any units, land or economy, but each with a TA with one of the 40 playable positions. So Algeria is TA’d with Algeria-II. Make Algeria II run an “empty” turn 13 days after Algeria and send the turn report to the player of Algeria.
Result: you automatically will get the latest turn reports in time for next turn. You do not have to have TA’s for this. This lessens the effect of large pre-made collective setups.

 

2: Fix the diplomacy.
2a: You can’t Ally, or totally Ally, with a nation that is allied, or totally allied with a country that you are at war with. (That would be considered treason to a high degree)
2b: If you agree to a TA, you automatically will DW all enemies of that TA , even those that you have a NAP with.
2c: BPA’s with dopped positions are always successful.
2d: You cant BPA, PAP or DW’ a virtual position (like those in paragraph 1)
Result: this eliminates most of the abuse of the TA rule. TA’s will be somewhat more difficult to make, but the need for TA’s will be less as information is more easy to come by.

3: Split attacks.
You can appoint part of a force so that temporarily it will remain in the same place as it was and immediately after that perform a hasty attack with it. If it occupies the target territory, the army it split from is not committed this turn and can still perform an action of its own. If it does not clear the location the split is unsuccesfull and the whole force has performed a primary order,
Result: Making land war a lot more interesting.

 

4: Ship fuel cost.
Divide the fuel cost of all ships by a factor of ten. In the real world movement over water is 50 times as efficient as movement over land.
Result: making naval operations more interesting and realistic.

 

5: Forgotten air units.
Change the effectiveness loss by scrapping the overloading at short range and let the effectiveness decline from 100 to 20% after a range of 5. Then all those short-range (fighter) bombers will start to make sense. And bomb racks and fuel tanks are not interchangeable to that degree.
Result:
Long live the Sturmovik! (and comparable aircraft).

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Dag ~ #4, the movement of the ships is what needs to be fixed. The fuel part, not so much ~ but could certainly use some adjustments (minor). The rate of movement just does not match what the ground movement does in the game. It should not take 3-4 turns (6-8 weeks) to move across the Atlantic or a comparable distance. Those variables are very easy to fix. Also, the ships are way too frail and vulnerable to the air attacks. The ships should be much more durable and harder to locate than what they are in the game. Just take a look at what actually happened during the war. This is also very easy to fix.

Anyhow, my two cents. The rest of what you suggest is workable, but not everyone will agree/like those changes.

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Thank you Earthling,

I hope that those people that don't agree with 1, 2, 3 and 5 say so, as we need a discussion to get to some kind of common opinion.

There are a lot of things that people want to change, but a lot of them are difficult to implement.

 

You address two naval problems: the naval speed problem and the naval vulnerability problem. For me the cost of naval movement was nr 4 on the list.

 

Your solution to the naval speed problem is workable, but it also has a few problems

If you reduce the amount of fuel needed to enter each zone it is essentially the same solution as lowering the fuel cost of any SMR, so if you want to change this you have to lower the number of sea zones. That means trouble for the air units trying to cover or try to fly over those zones.

 

Method one:Less sea zones, equal SMR cost.

You can chose to leave the SMR of entering a zone the same. Less zones will mean less fuel cost. But now plaes will use the sea zones as highways for movenment and attack, as each sea zone covers twice the area to traverse for the same movement points, A plane transferring from Narvik to -say- Hamburg wiill now try to use the sea lanes in stead of the shorter land route as there are far fewer sea zones to transfer.
The same thing happenes if you reduce the SMR cost of entering a sea zone: you will get a lot of strange flying patterns.

A lot of ships will find themselves within reach of enemy naval air.

 

Method two: Less sea zones, higher SMR cost.

You could half the number of sea zones but double the SMR costs for naval units entering those zones. THis solves the air movement problem, but now the cost of air units to enter a sea zone becomes bigger. A group of BF 109E3's can now only provide FC to a fleet if it is in a harbor.
. .

Method three: Leave the map as it is, double the SMR of all ships, but do not change fuel consumption.
This halves the speed problem but will double the fuel consumption. Fleets will not be at sea very often, but hop from harbor to harbor. This will decrease the opportunities for surface raiders, subs and air units to pick off ships between movements. (e,g, with a SRM/MS combo), which is hardly realistic.

 

Method four. Leave the map as it is, double the SMR of all ships, lower the fuel consumption to a quarter.

Will solve the speed and the fuel issues.

Interceptability is still a problem, though.

 

I favor method 4, but with a 50% increase in the SMR of some units like AK's . The use of quarters of fuel is already possible with naval air units, so it should not be so difficult to implement this. Your AK's would have a movement of 17. So they stll have to spend 3 or 1 turns on the high sees if they want to go to America.

 

About the naval vulnerability: at the moment each air group is divided into groups of 20. Simply lower the number of air groups that can attack this way to a maximum of 50 groups of 20 and slightly lower the hit rate of strafing and dive bombing attacks. That should do the trick. Level bombers simplyu don't do that much damage to well protected fleets anyway. It is the groups of 25 Ju88a4's and P-47N's that do the damage and this rule will reduce that damage by 33 /50%.

You could also decrease vulnerability by decreasing the $ cost of the basic units. At the moment the output of a simple SHIP factory will cost the same $ as the output of 8 ARM factories and that is a bit out of balance. Granted, warships with all their equipment and trained crew are expensive, a heavy cruiser will easily cost the same as an Infantry division, but 2.5 AK's do most certainly not.

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