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  #51  
Old May 4th, 2011, 10:24 PM

JCrowe JCrowe is offline
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Default PS

PS - Afterthought on the Air Cav: they would not be considered an 'air unit' and thus uber-vulnerable to AA units.
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  #52  
Old May 5th, 2011, 06:14 AM
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Default Re: Post 1.06 Patch Bug List

Thanks JCrowe. Good, detailed suggestions again. Regarding the tactical map, I'd say it would be better if you could divide unit stacks in combat, eg a group of 10 tanks into two groups of 5 tanks or so, instead of having predefined groups of tech level 1, tech level 2 units and so on (which doesn't really make sense). That would make combat more tactical (but probably more difficult for the AI to handle).
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  #53  
Old May 10th, 2011, 05:16 AM
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Default Re: Post 1.06 Patch Bug List

Hey, a new full patch is available now. I'll try it out. Hmm, one thing I wanted to point out: I think Neutron bombs are pretty useless when they can only kill infantry (one of the fixes of the patch). Neutron bombs kill people, but leave buildings, vehicles etc intact. That means they should also be useful against vehicles etc, but not reduce the territory value and destroy factories like nukes (although a territory where all humans are killed should lose territory value, too).
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  #54  
Old May 10th, 2011, 03:53 PM

JCrowe JCrowe is offline
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Fallout Doing the Neutron Dance

Actually, the game's use of neutronic weaponry is pretty accurate. The silly things never really worked as billed, which was why the government cancelled the program and gave up the few we had to treaty.

They were designed to maximize the amount of radiation generated by a fissile reaction, which they did fabulously. (I think the figure was something on the order of 6,000 times the amount of gamma radiation released by a standard nuke of equivalent size.) But once they built a few prototypes and started scorching pigs in the desert (or whatever lucky animal got to play 'test subject'), they realized that they had missed a crucial part of nuclear physics.

And the problem is that radiation can only penetrate so much. Gammas have the best penetration, but whether you're talking about a foot of lead or 1,000 feet of open air, the physics are the same - X amount of mass will block 100% of the radiation. Every time. So it doesn't really matter if you vamp up the rads by 6, 7, or 20,000 times "normal" bomb strength. The gammas still get blocked. Every single time.

Which sunk the project. Because while air isn't very dense, it adds up over distance. And ducking behind some dirt or a hill or a brick wall or etc. does a lot to add to the level of protection a person has from the explosion's epicenter - and thus the source of the gammas. So in order for a neutron bomb attack to be "effective", you'd have to salt the target area pretty liberally with warheads. Which they realized was kinda dumb, when one hefty tactical nuke (migrane strength) would do the job just as well - probably better. So you lost the city. Big whup. Just try pitching that walkup 2 bedroom 3 bath on 5th Street after a neutronic holocaust.

"I know, but you have to IMAGINE it with paint and new carpet! And if you give me a moment with the dust buster, I'll even take care of the former owners for you - for no extra charge! And just THINK how low the heating bill will be for the next three years! Really, the place is an absolute STEAL."

Not
On
Your
%&#^)
Life

In any event, guys huddling in vehicles - even the thinly unarmored type - and spread out over a broad swath of land would prove fairly resilient to a neutron attack. Tank dudes even more so.

For the purposes of World Supremacy, neutrons, cobalts, and super hydros are probably just unnecessary. It could all be summed up under the standard nuclear missile. In terms of play, it might be more worthwhile to open the list of nuke options in terms of delivery system vs. warheads. The ability to launch from subs, mobile launchers, and even bombers might add more interesting dimensions (and urgency) to the game.

But if we were to go with the strange and bizarre, I'd vote for 20-80 megaton superbombs. Hit a target, watch it turn black, and noooo resource points from them forever. Might even turn it into 'cursed' land and deny units the ability to cross through or over it, or you might randomly 'off' units that do as a result of radioactive exposure.

.... or, you could have a darkened icon of a cow in the corner of your infobar. The more nukes that drop, the more the cow begins to glow. The brighter Bessie becomes, the less resource points you gather across the board. 5% ... 10% ... 15% ... Another way of limiting the nuclear option, as players would eventually starve themselves down to a state where they can barely support a few tank and infantry units. Hence, an incentive to ease up on the atom-tossing.
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  #55  
Old May 11th, 2011, 05:44 AM
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Default Re: Post 1.06 Patch Bug List

Yeah, this global radiation level which reduces income when nukes are used sounds pretty good. I think there were some old strategy games that had similar systems.
About the new patch: Seems the version number just stands for the first official patch release after 1.06, there are no changes compared to version 1.08. I hope Malfador don't stop improving the game and listen to our suggestions.
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  #56  
Old May 13th, 2011, 05:52 AM
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Default Re: Post 1.06 Patch Bug List

Man, I think the AI is still pretty weak. You can also win pretty easily without using nukes. You just have to build around 20 or 30 tanks and lots of infantry. The AI simply can't cope with big numbers of units. Tank rushes always work in this game, because with enough tanks you can easily destroy bombers, fighters etc. because the AI simply doesn't build enough. And it often even gives you some territories for free by retreating its troops from them. Man, it needs to learn some defensive measures and how to use its troops effectively. A simple method of defense: It needs to build lots of cheap infantry when attacked, especially along the border. I managed to overrun a whole AI enemy using only infantry and a few tanks and air transports in the last game. If built in great numbers, infantry is pretty effective now.
The AI still is absolutely no match for human players. I still haven't lost a single game.
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  #57  
Old May 13th, 2011, 02:14 PM

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Default Ai Wip

The AI is very much a work in progress. It's light-years ahead of what it was in v1.05, but it still needs plenty of work.

For example, it doesn't invest very much in jets, bombers, or choppers, despite their predominance on the field. It doesn't build many air defense units, either, even when large air fleets menace its borders and gut its armed forces. And when it attacks, it has a tendency to overestimate the capabilities of the units in play. (Under v1.09 rules, you do NOT want to attack 3 cruisers with 2 subs and a destroyer. No.)

Those are relatively easy fixes to make. But there's an issue with the AI's modis operandi that might prove more challenging.

I find that the structure of gameplay in WS is dominated by two operational facts: 1.) Military units are expensive, and 2.) Military units are highly mobile.

Boil these two down into gameplay, and a clear dynamic emerges. Because units are expensive, there's simply no way any player can build a large enough army to guard and protect all points of vulnerability. In simple terms, you can't protect everything, and your empire will always have points of vulnerability. However, the extreme mobility of military units enables players to react quickly to emergent threats or to exploit gaps in enemy defense.

So what I find is that, no matter what strategy I try to follow, I always (ALWAYS) end up with military groups I refer to as Rapid Reaction Forces, or "RRAFs".

The composition of these RRAFs can vary widely - from strictly naval-borne teams to air-only teams to fighter/bomber/tank assault forces. But they are all concentrations of military force that I'll deploy to attack or defend along the line of battle. I can't defend the whole coastline of a large continent, but a RRAF made of a few bombers and some fighters can guard the whole place and threaten anybody who comes snooping around. I can't build enough units to roll a continent, but a strong RRAF can smash any opposition that forms while token "invasion" units seize the unguarded turf. Naval RRAFs configured for bombardment duties cruise hostile coasts and kill anything that moves, for the purpose of either bleeding an enemy through attrition or to thwart the emergence of a credible counter-attacking force.

However it rolls, it's all about tight concentrations of force. The only time I find it necessary (or wise) to disperse those teams is when threatened by nukes, who can stomp the entire RRAF in one shot. But even then, you only have to disperse a little - say, divide a RRAF in one territory into three, so the most at risk of nuclear annihilation in the next turn is one-third of your force (unless your enemy has lots of nukes, in which case, you're pooched no matter what).

THE COMPUTER, HOWEVER ... follows a very different philosophy of war in WS, and one that (in my opinion) doesn't work for a hill a beans. The AI values dispersement, and prefers to keep its forces evenly distributed among its territories - especially those at the front. Almost as if it expects to be under constant nuclear attack - even when it isn't. When the AI decides to strike, it uses the high mobility of its forces to attack the target from multiple surrounding territories. It also apparently values having defensive forces in each of those territories as a bulwark against attack.

In practice, though, what it means is that my RRAFs dominate the line of battle. The RRAF might be weaker or equivalent to the AI's firepower in the area, but because the AI's forces are so dispersed, my RRAF enjoys an overwhelming field advantage in any one given battle. I can target the most dangerous AI concentrations, eliminate them with ease in the first round of combat (first turn of encounter), and then mop up the remainder at leisure in round 2. The devastation of that first turn's attack is usually so devastating that the AI no longer has enough units in the area to sufficiently mass for a credible counter-attack. That and the fact that the AI won't respond to the devastation of this assault by building AAA units and more jets merely compounds the disaster. A nuclear strike would also work, but the AI appears reluctant to use nukes, and really, it's an inelegant solution to a problem that could have been much more easily avoided in the first place by concentrating the available forces into counter-RRAFs and fortifying the area with AAA and new jets or etc.

In simple terms, get there first with the most, instead of being a day late and a dollar short. Heck - if I saw a team of ground & AAA units backed up by 5 enemy fighters, 4 bombers, and 3 choppers, you better believe that I'm going to rush-order some Jets & AAAs for a defensive RRAF, and any RRAFs I might already have within the area are going to hot-foot it to the threat zone. I'm not waiting until a turn or two AFTER they've wiped my arse & handed it back to me on a silver plate before I decide it's time to push back - and have lost all the resource points I needed to do just that.
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  #58  
Old May 15th, 2011, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: Post 1.06 Patch Bug List

Absolutely right, I also use a few big armies to defend my territories and to attack. When you have a short border to the enemy with only two to three territories that border on the AI's territories you can also build two to three armies and conquer the whole AI territory in a few turns. It can't react to massed attacks, so it's always easy to defeat. Often it retreats its troops from border territories so that you can effortlessly conquer them. The AI needs some changes in overall strategy to have more chances against human players. Its action often seem pretty random and mostly aren't reactions against actions by human players. It also still tends to attack neutral or enemy territories with forces that aren't fit for the job. Saw it attack a neutral territory four times until it managed to conquer it in the last game, and it lost a few times against only a fighter and one AWACS unit.
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  #59  
Old May 15th, 2011, 10:08 AM
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Default Re: Post 1.06 Patch Bug List

The game has the same problem as before, single player games against the AI are way too easy. And after you've won all games you played you simply haven't much motivation to play again. You even win when you're in a disadvantaged situation in the beginning of the game, like in the last game I played where I was surrounded by neutral territories with strong armies so that the AI players could expand faster. But when you face them, you always win regardless how fast they expand.
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  #60  
Old May 15th, 2011, 10:12 AM
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Default Re: Post 1.06 Patch Bug List

But I also must admit the AI was even more hopeless and seemed more retarded in the versions up to 1.06. Now it can expand faster and attack multiple territories per round, but that still doesn't seem to be enough to give it any fighting chance against human players. I know it's difficult to make a good AI for a fairly complex game like this, but other indie strategy games have far better AI's.
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