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 Post subject: The Daily Rant. The FAQ For Questions You Never Asked.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:18 pm 
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Ok just for the halibut and because I can. I figured I would add this little area where you can post a rant
about things that bother you. You got something to say let it rip. Have at it. I know I will post a lot
more then most All I ask is that you rant on topic about the game and avoid personal attacks on any
one person. Feel free to treat this section as you might the daily letters to the editor and let it rip
if you want to fire off a Good Rant or Counter Rant of your own to someone's rant. No one is going
to jump on you if you stay away from personal insults. We have thick skins here from dealing with lots
of people who complain about what they were given for free. Seems even at that low low price there is
always someone who wants a refund, Go figure. It's only a game...... Only a game...... Until some
rips on you about it...... Then its a War Game.

There may even be some really good advice in here too.

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 Post subject: Re: The Daily Rant.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:24 pm 
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Is it Gamey or Not Gamey.

This topic is something that really gets under my skin, It bothers me. I see it asked all the time by
players who don't yet know much about how the game works bring it up in an effort to get an opinion.
This topic causes hard feelings among players and when its directed at you personally you have the
feeling that your being called a cheater. This topic concerns the idea of “gamey tactics” to put it
another way is this tactic unfair or cheating?. It is often asked by someone who didn't like it when '
this tactic was used against them in a game. Ok thats fair. Lots of things can happen in a game that
you might not like and in some cases it could be considered unfair. Part of my problem with this
subject is that we have large factions of players who will defend to the death the right to play the
game as they want to play it. Anything new or something that goes contrary to what they think is
how the game should be played is shouted down by the use of the phrase “I (or in some cases we
or X forums) support all modes and methods of play.” Ok that is fair. Nothing at all wrong with
that right up to the point where the questions is answered by one of those faction members who
espouses support for all modes and methods of play. They can't tell you anything more then a
personal opinion and half the time they are going to make a fool of themselves by giving you an
opinion and then turning around and saying to someone else that they support all methods of play.

The answer has to be simple. IF the game allows it to happen it is fair and not cheating or gamey.
Does that mean that there are not whole groups of players doing it? I don't think so, I also don't
think that it is correct for others to sit in judgment of a given tactic if the game allows it and the
players who are using it are fine with it. We are not talking about a bug or game system exploit here
we are talking about something that can be done in the game often by thinking outside the box and
using it.

Lets looks at a few things that can or could happen in a game and see what you think of them.
Think about these a bit before you commit to an answer.

Your sitting there in the woods and you move your rifle squad out 1 hex and see a enemy scout
team in the open. You fire off a shot at them and miss No op fire happens so you shoot again.
This time you hit them and they take 2 men killed and are now pinned. But you draw op fire
from a nearby enemy rifle squad. They too missed but your thinking oh hell time to get out of here
so you pop smoke and pull back into the woods. Is this gamey use of smoke? You shot and
killed 2 men and then ran when the enemy returned fire? What if the Visibility were set to 16
What if it was set to 30? (smoke is not a force field preventing return fire at higher visibility)
What do you say Gamey or not gamey?

How about this one.

Your sitting in the woods with your tank. You move out 5 hexes and stop and shoot all your rounds at
an enemy tank. You didn't kill it. You hit the smoke discharger button to pop your defensive smoke.
Gamey or not gamey? What if you pulled out 2 hexes and shot twice and missed hit the discharger
button and pulled back into the woods with the last of your movement allowance? Gamey or not gamey?
What if the visibility was set at 30 and smoke did not block los? Gamey or not gamy?
What if the visibility was set at 20 and smoke does block los? Gamey or not gamey? . What if you
just pulled out of the wood shot twice missed the enemy tank and went back into the woods leaving no
targets to return fire on? Gamey or not gamey? Didn't you just dodge the return fire from the enemy
by moving out of his los before he got his turn to shoot?

Lets look at something else.

Lets say your moving along and your truck full of men is fired on. You dismount the men but the truck
is out of movement allowance for that turn. Its stuck there. You don't want to lose the truck so you
dismount the crew making the truck show as abandoned and no longer a target for the enemy. Next
turn you kill off the gun that fired on your truck with another unit. The crew gets back in the truck and
you loadthe men back up and go on your way. Is this gamey? Or is it a case of the driver being afraid
to die jumped out of the truck to take cover? You tell me. I really would love to know what you think of
this one.

How about this one.

Trucks full of your Infantry company are rolling forward from deep in the rear. Your enemy has been
plotting aircraft and artillery on you all day long. So when trucks reach end of turn they all unload the
men in back. The crews stay in the trucks. Start of next turn all the units load back up. Trucks move
out. Is this a gamey attempt to avoid losses from artillery or air strikes? Or could it be just a rest stop?
Lets say the whole trip would see this happen 3 times before they reach the end point and get out of
the Trucks for good and walk up to the front lines. Is it even more gamey or not as gamey if they
only did it that one time?

Same example as above but the trucks stop moving 6 hexes short of the full movement allowance and
unloads on the road. The trucks then pull off the road 2 hexes out into an open field. Is this an
attempt to draw off an air attack by making the truck a bigger target to an airplane that we all know
loves truck for dinner. Is that gamey or an honest tactic? Would it help you make up your mind if I
also told you that the units being dropped off had all weapons turned off and ranges set to zero and the
trucks had max ranges set? Does that even make a difference in your opinion of is it gamey or not?

Take a look at this one.

On board artillery has set up in a nice little area with ammo crates for reloading and nice big fat trucks
for transport. The guns are dug in deep in a set of woods as is the ammo crate. But the trucks are 2
hexes away out in the open behind the woods. They are a bit spread out so that a single bomb or
artillery round won't get all of them.... But if your expecting to see an enemy air attack is this
considered gamey to keep your transport out to draw the plane to them over the guns? Is this just a
case of keeping the guns and trucks apart and the only place to park the trucks and do that was behind
the woods out of direct fire line of sight? If there were no Aircraft allowed in that game is this still a
gamey tactic or does the use of aircraft all of a sudden make this look really gamey? Would it make a
difference if the trucks were dug in?

Here is another one for you.

Ammo crates weigh 105 carry capacity of a small utility vehicle is 105 Ammo crate can be moved
by this small utility vehicle. Real world this vehicle is rated at 1/2 ton (1000 lbs) max. Payload space
is not all that much bigger then the back of a jeep. 4 men would be uncomfortable sitting in it. Yet
this same vehicle is going to haul all the ammo that a 4 gun battery of 150mm guns could ever want
and supply them for a 40 turn game. Gamey or not gamey? What if it was a 20 turn game? Gamey
or not gamey? Would this even be an issue if a large truck were used or an ammo carrier rather then
a utility vehicle? Would it matter if the ammo was used to supply light or med mortars rather then the
larger guns which fire shells that weigh more and take up more space?

How about this bit of forward planning.

Game was set up with No Paratroops allowed. No Infiltrators allowed.
Player has plans to move a very large armor force forward shooting at everything along the way just
because he can. He is using his CS tanks to shoot smoke and plotting mortars he is hauling forward to
drop smoke in his path, Knowing that in a few turns he is going to need more ammo he buys a couple
of cargo planes and ammo crates and sets them to dorp the crates on turn 8 at the location where he
plans to pull up and wait for following forces to catch up. Is this gamey? Or not gamey? Did he break
the rules? Does the wording used matter? Para Drop or Para Troop? Is there something you think
is implied by the original wording of the rule that may not be 100 % clear to someone?

More you say......

Map has a lot of water on it. But it is a pure land battle. Arty limit is 10% no other restrictions were
stipulated. He buys Naval Guns for artillery In case you do not know they are not something you want
to have falling on your troops. Is this gamey or not gamey?

Another one

Player drives a cheap car forward at really high rate of speed and keeps coming until you kill it.
Crew bails out and digs in with all weapons off and range set to zero. Game goes on but all of
a sudden it dawns on you that the Artillery is accurate and seems to be falling on units that are not
in the line of sight of units where the fighting is taking place. Then it hits you that crew was sent
forward on a mission. They are spotting for the guns. Gamey or not gamey? What if that car
had an Fo in it that bailed out just before it was destroyed and you never saw it happen? Gamey or
not gamey? What if a motorcycle lmg did this same thing? Gamey or not gamey?

Ok enough of that. I think I have made my point. Its hard to tell isn't it. What seems gamey under
one set of conditions could be looked on differently under another. Even the measure of can it or did
it happen in real life is not a good measure of gamey or not gamey. So how can you tell what is and
is not gamey? Can I ask in the forums for an opinion? Is that a good measure of gamey or not gamey?
I don't think it is. Your getting opinions of what players think. This is all well and good. But the only
people who matter are you and the person you are playing the game with. If the two of you think that
something is gamey then by all means don't use it. If you both think that it's fine to do it then go for it
and have fun. But I would hope that if you can't agree about something you work it out perhaps by
limiting it in some way or allowing it in every other game or some other way to keep both of you
happy. There is nothing to be gained by calling a players tactics gamey other then to **** them off.
For all you know they learned to play that way and in the group they play in it is allowed to do what
they are doing and it is you who are in some way doing something they see as gamey.

It is better to avoid even asking the questions of a group. Tell the player who is doing it that you are
not comfortable with that tactics and state your reasons for it. Ask them for the reason they use it and
see if there is some middle ground. If you run to the forums and say is this tactic gamey for all you
know your complaining about a legitimate tactic done by a veteran player who is well respected. You
more or less have accused him of cheating you or being unfair to you in some way. Do you plan to
apologize in public in the same place you posted your questions in if it turns out you are the one who
is blowing things out of proportion and were wrong about a tactic? The sad part here is the answer to
that is probably not. View these things as a learning opportunity find ways to deal with what is done
to you and file that for latter use. Talk about it during or after that battle and let it go at that.

Gamey tactics are like art and porn. Sometimes its in the eye of the beholder to know what is art and
what is porn. For some a naked work of art by Michelangelo is porn for others its Art.

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 Post subject: Re: The Daily Rant.
PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:26 pm 
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Problems with a Zip file or the wrong turn or game file.

Time for another Rant. This time its about those times when your playing a Play by Email game
and some how the turns get messed up, I think everyone who has ever played a PBM game has
had this sort of thing not only happen to them but did it to someone. I am not saying it was even
done on purpose. I don't think anyone needs to sink that low to get out of a game they are not happy
with. But maybe I am wrong.

Anyway. While the cause of this sort of thing can be several reasons one of the big ones seems to
be playing the game with Explorer open in the back ground to the Email folder. When the game goes
to save off the new files it does it as expected. But the computer is not necessary showing those
newer files when it gets zipped up and mailed off. Since you have the files its not a big deal to
resend the files in a new zip. Or at the very least hit the F5 key to when in explorer to refresh the
folder contents

Another cause of this thing is closing the game by saving the turn using the Up arrow button rather
then the Left arrow button. Again not a big deal you just have to open the turn up and save it
properly. Then zip up the files and send them off again.

And the last one is closing the game too fast and jumping into the folder to zip up the files. Some
of us have slower older machines and we have become so set in how we do this process that we have
become faster then the machine when it comes to clicking the mouse button. (Knowns as Happy
Fingers) We did not give the machine time to process the files before we jumped in grabbed them
and zipped them. Again easy enough to fix, Just slow down a bit. Take a breath or two.

All of these things are just annoying and no one is hurt by them. They are easy to fix and often the
game will go on as planned with no problems. So no worries.

Every now and then you run across a player who is out to win no matter what it takes. These guys
are not all that common since they seem to get booted from most sites that offer a challenge area for
games Things that they are known to do not only include the replaying of turns when something doesn't
go there way. They will also run cheap fast units forward after a turn to get a peak at what is out there.
If they can fly an air mission to get a look at the lay of things. But you never see it. They didn't send
that turn they sent one where they played it out using that info they cheated to get. Rather then get into
it about these losers lets just do what needs done. Ignore them and write them off. This game is not
that secure that if you can't or don't trust the people your playing you probably would be better off
not even playing this game against them. Find someone who just wants to play and won't need to
cheat to do it.

But there is another kind of player who can make a mess of a game. The lazy one. They don't bother
zipping up files they just dump the just played turn into the zip you sent them and mail it back to you.
Since they just trashed the only back up they had of the turn they just played if the file they sent you is
garbage they will have to ask you for the turn back and then they will have to play it over again. This
is probably not something they do to beat the system or get an advantage it is just the way they do things.
Obviously they have never lost data that was critical to a business or was not replaceable because they
should have learned about this sort of thing. Don't trash the files to save time. If your life is moving at
that sort of pace quit playing. You will have more time and maybe screw up less stuff along the way. .

And we have the Multiplayer Play By Mail games which I think will require a rant of its own in the future.
But with more players trading the files back and forth it is very easy to lose track of it or for one of the
above problems to happen. Because the number of players involved in a game like this it can be a bit
harder to sort it out and get moving again. At worst you end up doing a turn over again from the last
working save game. More often then not what happens in a game like this is someone hit the end turn
or save turn button when they were supposed to use the other one. It happens. Part of the game when
your stretching what is possible to do.

Now a few years back I started pbm and one of the first people I played numbered all of his zips when
he sent them. I liked that. I now do with myself. I would suggest it to everyone. It helps you keep
track of the files. For a MPBM game if players each “sign” the zip as they send it it is easy to see who
had the file last and know if it is the file your supposed to open and play. Makes it a bit easier if your
willing to spend the time to name a zip file something other then Email.zip. Those sort of files have
to be opened and the date stamps checked to see what turn they might be. Often you will have to
load it to find out. Just makes sorting out a mess harder and more time consuming to do.

Save your self some grief take a bit of extra time and number the zip before you send it.

The system I like to use is to put a few letters of my name in the beginning of the file and then
end it with the slot number and turn number. If I sent you a file for a game on turn 10 in slot 4
it would look like this ToyEMail4T10,zip If you have any questions of what turn and game
that belongs too your beyond help. They stack nice in a folder too all the turns are in order by
slot and turn. Makes finding a turn for a game really easy to do. Comes in very handy when I
need to locate a turn file from one of 6 games that I have running at the moment. Much easier
then digging in 6 different Email.zip files to find it.

Most of the players I have played have been kind enough to adopt at least a turn number but when I
get one that isn't going to fit well in a folder with other games I will name it myself. That way I have
not only your turn but mine numbered in order. I keep them at the very least until the game is over.
This allows me to go back and look at things from the other players viewpoint after the game since
we exchange passwords at the end of the game. (oh another rant topic there) It helps you learn if you
can look at your turn and then look at what the other player can see. You have no idea of how useful
this is when it comes to learning to hide better. If only for this reason alone I hope you consider doing
something like numbering and saving the turns you play until the end of the game. I would rather play
games against someone who grows as they play and presents a constant challenge then a player who is
nothing but a punching bag for an easy win. I hope you would too.

Now one last bit here for the guys trying to sort out MPBM games.
Each player should number and sign the turn as they pass it along

JoeEMail3T01,zip That's Joe's first turn. He is player 1 on the Allied team he sends it to Ken

KenEMail3T01a.zip That's Ken's turn. We know Ken played it and we know it is the 2nd part of
turn one for the Allied Team. Ken sends it to Bob who is the Axis Player 1

BobEMail3T01,zip Bob's turn 1 is a game in slot 3 He sends to Al

AlEMail3T01a.zip Al's turn. We know he has played Turn 1 of a game in slot 3 and he is the second
player on the Axis team.

If there is a 3rd player on each team they would add the letter b to the end of the file name to show that
it was the 3rd players file.

If the File Bob gets is JoeEmail3T01.zip He knows that it is really Kens turn not his and can say something
about it. If Bob gets a turn from Ken but it is no good and Ken doesn't have a turn that is going to load
correctly for whatever reason he can open up the JoeEmail3T01,zip replay his turn and send it on. There
is a lot less work trying to figure out the last good working turn and there is a way to recover it if all the
players are keeping a backup of the turn they get and the one they send out. Failure to do something like
this can end a game or cause a complete mess where players may have to go back to the last good turn
that someone who has one can dig up.

You spend a lot of time playing and setting up and doing all this to risk a waste of time on a missed
or garbled Email. Make it simple and easy to recover from it. Save and Label the zips you get and
send to the other players.

Used this idea or not. Up to you. But if your games are getting disrupted because of file problems
its not anyone's fault but your own and the people your playing against.

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 Post subject: Re: The Daily Rant.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:59 am 
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Two rants in one day.... If I keep this up I might even run out of rants. This one may not be all that wordy.

Using the end game password and looking at the old turn files.

I have only played 2 games where at the end of the game the other player refused to send his password
and I know only 1 person who will say up front he is not going to give it to you. It is there right not to
share that password after all. But I really can not see why they are so worried about it. They will claim
it allows the other player to see what they do and how they play making it easier to win against them in
the future. Well ok. I guess they just feel that winning against a player is more important then allowing
a player to lean from playing you. Maybe its me. I treat every game I play as a possible learning
experience. I get a sense of joy helping players be better players. I guess that is why I post all this stuff.

I wonder about it at times, Why anyone would want to play the game against players who are not learning
to play better. I would hope that if I played someone and it was a few months and many games latter I
had the chance to play them again that they were better at the game then when I played them the first
time. I know I get better with each game I play. I learn from being blown up as much as I do from blowing
up your stuff. It is after all a game. But we spend so much time on it. Some of us have several games
running and with the exception of one or two players I know who are very fast players and can turn around
a turn in matter of minutes. It takes an hour so for me to play out a turn and it would take even longer if
I really did all the tings that I should be doing each turn. So why not offer your games to your opponent
as a learning tool?

In my last rant I talked about how I saved the turns and with the end game password I could go back and
see that set of turns from the enemy stand point and learn how and why I got my *** handed to me or
why my attack was so successful. I can tell you for a fact that if you do this sort of thing you are going
to cut down on the amount of time it will take you to learn to be a better player. You can see for yourself
in living color all that the enemy saw as you attacked and what he did in his turn. What an eye opener.
You have no idea of how much your not seeing happen when you only get half the picture.

To a lesser extent I also make it a point to take end game screen shots of the battles. This was something
that has shown to also be a big help in learning to play better. Sure it takes a bit of time to patch up a map
at the start of the game and a bit of time to keep it current and make notes on it. But every bit of that time
is returned in the quality of my play. I recently ran a set of these pictures in slide show fashion and from
that alone I was able to see my force move forward all along the line. It helped me in that game to judge
how long it was going to take to make it to an objective I had not reached yet. It helped me plan the
timing and it showed me where I had gaps in my own lines. It even helped to some extend as I saw the
enemy forces that were spotted each turn and where they were in latter turns. While not as good as the
end game turns for seeing what is going on it helps. I suggest you consider taking the time if you are at
all serious about becoming a much better player then you are now. It does take time and it means you
spend some of it doing the dreaded paperwork stuff. But it shows in battle in the end.

So back to my main point. I ask again for players who refuse to share the end game password to give
some consideration to changing there mind and letting others learn from having played them. Isn't the
main reason we play to have fun and to learn to play better?

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 Post subject: Re: The Daily Rant.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:55 am 
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List of things to do.

How about a list of things that you should do to get a battle going where your going to try and give
your best maximum effort to kick some serious butt. Not a fast game or one over in an hour but
one where you are going to get really serious about it and plan and do all the stuff I have told you
it will take to get to the point where your opponents tell you your a good player.

I often forget half this stuff myself at times so this list is going to be printed out and posted near my
computer for me to remind myself of all the stuff I should be doing if I expect to win.

Obviously I have taken or will issue a challenge so I know the game conditions and map we will be
using to play on. This is where you work out the rules not after the battle starts. Remember that.
Once the game starts it's a bit late to complain about something you don't like.

Pre Game Stuff (This stuff I do for every battle this is the easy stuff)

1. Make a Map Thing Map. Shows elevations and the holes to hide in and other things not always apparent.
2. Make a Png or Jpeg Map so I have a map to use as a planning map and to paste screen shot updates too.
3. Make several plans up and pick one to go with for this battle. Sleep on it if possible.
4. Make a list of the forces I want to use for that game in the order I plan to buy them.
5. Make a list of notes of known attachments I want to make to alter the forces during deployment turn.
6. Make a separate folder someplace and put all these files in one place. I do this all on the computer.

Deployment Turn Stuff

1. Buy the forces using the list I made and confirm I have met the limits if any are used.
2. Make any attachments I want and shift units around to build those Alpha platoons and Slacker platoons.
3. Deploy my forces according to my plan.
4. Set All Units Objective flag just in case I miss a few units they at least know which way the front line is.
5. Cycle through Units, set all objective flags and ranges Set Gold Spots and Infiltrator or Para/Glider units
6. Take a set of screen shots showing my deployment positions. Mark the Gold spots on the Planning maps
7. End turn and send a labeled Zip file to my opponent. Begin to second guess what I have done.

Playing Turn Stuff
Open Zip file in the Email folder and renamed the zip if necessary
1. Review any notes and screen shots from previous turns to get up to speed on game. Load game turn.
2. Turn on combat logging. I don't always use it. If I need it I would have one if I remember to do this step.
3. Watch replay if there is one. If something critical happened take screen shot on the 2nd viewing of it.
4. Cycle through all units turning them in place to see if they spot anything. (this is important spotting trick)
5. Decided on course of action and which units to move first. Begin movements or take shots as necessary
6. Note anything that you want to add to the end game pictures such as unit types, kills or fall of arty.
7. Review the units for range and facing if needed. before moving to new area of the map. Keep fights local.
8. Move to next area and repeat steps 5, 6, and 7. Don't jump around fight local battles not overall picture.
9. Plot artillery and air sections. Take a last look around for anything that looks wrong.
10. Review roster for ranges and stances shown for odd looking things (take picture of it)
11. If roster shows something fix it then take end game screen shots covering all the forces even rear area.
12. End turn and label zip and send turn to opponent. Always do at end of turn so you know you sent it.

After Turn Stuff.
1. Copy combat log to a doc file for latter review or for use in writing AAR or DAR.
2. Cut and paste Screen shots on to map and using my notes add them to the pictures.
3. Second guess my actions and review notes and pictures Note any change of plans on the maps.
4. Wait impatiently for turn to come back.

Now I am sure I may have forgotten something and If I did I am sure someone will tell me. Right Jeb?

Here are a few optional things you may want to do.

During Deployment turn Check to make sure the Retreat and Reinforcements hexes are correct. This
should of been done by the player doing the game set up but it never hurts to check them.

On turn one before spending a lot of time playing the turn. Check the game preferences to make sure
they are the ones you agreed to play with.

If either of those two items are wrong this is a good time to stop playing and get it fixed. On turn 15
it is a bit of let down to notice things are not right.

After some smoke plumes are evident on the map. Make a note of the wind direction. Latter you may
find this helpful if you are looking to find that annoying mortar and take it out.

While they can fool you it also never hurts to watch the replays and check the combat log to see if an
air strike was hit by AA fire. It is very helpful to know that the enemy planes won't be coming back
because they took damage but were not shot down.

As you can see it is a system of play. Not just a case of having at it. It seems **** in its methods but I
can promise you if you do this stuff you will begin to kick some serious butt and you will begin to see where
you are making mistakes in your own play. It does mean that your going to have to commit more time to
playing out a single turn, but if your really into the battle as a serious game it is by far the way to go. If all
you want it fast easy game you don't need to do all this stuff. But unless you have a really good memory
odds are your not going to remember what you were doing if it takes a few days for the turn to come back
to you. With Command and Control On you really don't have that luxury if you want to do well you need
to be able to get your head back in the game fast to make the most out of each turn. Pictures and notes
are the way to do that.

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 Post subject: Re: The Daily Rant. The FAQ For Questions You Never Asked.
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 6:37 am 
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Why can't I win a battle when playing this nation in this year? What am I doing wrong?

Rant Time. The light bulb popped on again after another post I just made. Seems I have beat my head
against a wall trying to better explain why Command and Control is a good thing and not all that hard to do.
I think I did a fair job of that task. And built the tools players need to get started. What was bothering me
is the players lack of desire to look into this more. Then it dawned on me..... Some players don't want to
have the new players get better or learn just how screwed they are when they pick a given nation and date.
Not all but some of them want you to remain an easy kill. They don't want to consider altering settings or
playing in a mode they are not better then you at. They want an ego stroking victory.

That has got to be the answer to it. They don't want players to learn they are being set up for destruction
in a game that is almost a forgone conclusion when they accept the nations and dates selected. They want
to keep a steady supply of suitable Targets on hand to always give them a game they can win.

The game in its current mode of use was built for running the Scenarios and Campaigns that were built to
make a profit (doubtful they ever did do that) But that is what they were looking for when they did this
game up and put it out. We are trying to play it in a mode that is not or ever would make anyone any
money since the game itself is free. Do you think they worked on balance or fairness in PBM play?
I don't.

So the game needs to be looked at and worked on for PBM play. Ok I can understand that your saying.
But where do you come off saying that some players want targets and don't want players to see they
are being set up for a kill? I say this because it is the only possible answer I can come up with why skilled
players have not said or done anything to advance the level of play past the Killing Field game they are
playing it at. Yes that's right I am now saying that playing a game with Command and Control off sets
up a killing field for players willing to accept the challenge of taking the side with the weaker weapons or
less experienced leaders and troops and where the games overriding condition is one that allows full
freedom of movement on every turn. Think about this a bit. Its a given the weaker side is in trouble.

With C&C off the way to win is to see the enemy players units. Once you have seen that unit you send in
a unit to shoot at it. IF you don't kill it you send in another unit to shoot at it some more. This goes on
and on until you kill it or it becomes routed and runs away. It will be easy enough to kill it next turn and
rather then spend movement on bringing up a unit from farther away to kill it you look for the next unit to
focus on and repeat the above process. On and on over and over its see it shoot at it and move in more
and more stuff until you have it dead or routed. Is there a lot of skill in that? I don't think so. The skill
is in doing it and not becoming a victim of that same thing when it is the other players turn to do it to you.
Getting back out of sight is where the skill is needed. Piling on to a spotted unit is idiots work. Getting
away from his buddy's who will be hunting you as soon as your turn is over is the hard part. Or is it?

Is it feeding a meat grinder to keep sending in units to hunt down the units that have been killing you?
Sure is if those units you send in are close enough to be spotted before they can exact revenge for
units that they are trying to avenge. Doing it with units that are at an experience disadvantage and
which have weaker armor and lesser capable guns is making it even worse. That's feeding a meat
grinder that has a high speed setting and a big hopper to take in more meat. The only way out of this
mess it to not get into it in the first place. There are very few tactics to get out of this sort of thing
that really work. Your guns lack the range to stand out of harms way and shoot at the enemy. Your
units lack the experience and morale to get in close and duke it out in a stand up fight. And if you
keep bringing up more and more units you never seem to get enough of them in one place to get the
kills on enough of the enemy to end this sort of thing.

Who does it help if the players are NOT stuck in a preset cone of movement where it is much harder to
move around when they wish to conduct this sort of attack each turn? It helps only the player with the
advantage in Armor thickness Better guns or Higher experience and morale settings. It does nothing to
help the side that lacks those things. It makes it harder to fight back. Not easier. Let that sink in a bit.

In nature it is possible for a smaller faster animal to kill a much larger one. Think of a Tiger or Lion who
attacks the Elephant. Odds are they won't get the Bull Elephant but they can get the baby or the one
who is injured or hurt even if it is not taken in a surprise attack. What if two more equal animals had
it out for some reason. Logic says that unless luck plays a part some advantage one has over the
other will come into play. Be that longer claws, more speed or just plain tougher hide. The same thing
is going on in the game. The weaker beast is going to lose most of the fights they start unless they
get lucky or they are much better at hunting then the opponent.

In game terms each turn is a hunt. Each and every turn. Now if each turn you have limits on what
direction you can hunt in or in which direction you can move to seek new prey you don't have the
ability to defend your self as well from those who are trying very hard to get off to your flank or
behind you. Your stuck moving in your direction of choice. Sure you can always shoot behind you or
to your flanks but you can't offer up movement in those directions so quickly as a means of reaction to
a sudden surprise attack. This is what I am telling you allows the weaker forces to have some means
of taking down the Bull Elephant. Its the restrictions on movement that the C&C system puts on all
players equally that allows some sort of tactics to get on to the flanks or behind a stronger more
effective unit and offer some reasonable chances of getting a fair shot at it.

This is why I make the charge that Skilled players who are playing in Non C&C games are looking
to slaughter easy meat. They know its a slaughtering ground they are on. The new player who is
coming in thinking they can use tactics or some thing that they can learn in practice against the
AI or even other players that will allow them to fight a fair fight, Doesn't know this. Its a done deal
before the game is even started. You don't see to many Skilled players taking on each other unless
the sides are somewhat better balanced. They know what they are getting into and accept that as
the game they are going play. Its the newer players or those who have illusions that the game in
some way will model history and that the Allied side has a chance to win in a battle that history says
they won.

The problem is that the game and the players are not telling them that and they don't know enough
to ask. Only after repeated beatings does it sink in. This nation is screwed when up against that nation
in this month and year. The game does some what model history but that does not make a good
game only a good tool for modeling the out come of those battles. The game works if your in a campaign
against the AI and with each battle your given replacements and skills build up so as time goes by you
start to beat the other side into the ground. The game doesn't do that in PBM mode it is broken as is.

If I told you that we are going to play a game and your going to get your *** handed to you no matter
what you do will you still want to play it? I doubt it. If I told you up front that you have no chance of
winning it unless you are looking at it as a learning experience to see what happens why do it. How many
times do you need to see it happen. Once? Twice? Ten times? Where is it you catch on? If you were
told up front the chances of winning playing a given nation in a set time frame was not likely would you do
it or pick something that was more favorable to fair play? I think most would look for a game that offered
a fair shot at winning. The catch is no one is going to tell you up front they are going to take that game
slaughter you and tell you what you did wrong but not tell you that there is no way to win it outright unless
your playing someone even more in the dark then you are. The cycle is now complete. Sooner or latter you
understand that your only going to win if you play a given nation in a set time frame against a new player
and tell them its a chance to learn. A whole schooling system is set up to feed a meat grinder. And its
defended to the death by players who don't want you to learn that there are other ways to play the game
and that things can be done to even the playing field. Now I am not calling out the Depot School here.
I want to make that clear. They will teach you to do things like move units around and shoot the guns and
all the other things that you need to know. I am calling out those who feel that there is no need to explain
the details of the games set up preferences and how they can be used to make any nation one that can
take on another when they are taking on a game from someone who admits to being new. I am calling out
those who know how to do these things and won't tell others how to do it. But they will sit back and take
games from those who don't know any better. Is that they assume you know already how screwed up a
given battle is? If I am wrong in this, Please some one give me the link to the posts or link to the tip file
that comes out and tells you what your getting into as a new player who thinks that its all fair and you have
some chance to get a few wins playing the nations you favor the most. I can't seem to find it.

Ok so we need to fix the game or alter the settings to make some nations better match ups in some years.
That is being worked on here. A PBM mod is in the works. But it is designed to use Command and Control
not just be more friendly to C&C players by fixing some of the problems. It is being done that way because
to remove that killing ground you are on you have to make the Prey earn its meat not just wait for it to
come to them. Until that mod is out or until you learn to use Command and Control in your games the
only way to get off that killing field and fight on better terms using some nations in some time frames is
to look to alter the Preference settings. Consider this the next time you take or issue a challenge and
begin to talk about the terms. Make sure your opponent knows what he is getting into and what can be
done to make it a fair fight if he is a new player. The game you get will be much more enjoyable for both
of you. They don't need to see the slaughter if you tell them up front that what they want to do is not
going to be a lot of fun. If they persist give it to them. Eat them for Lunch. At least then you can say
you told them up front they were asking for it. If they ask for help or suggestions on what to do tell
them what settings can be adjusted or what nations will play better.

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 Post subject: Re: The Daily Rant. The FAQ For Questions You Never Asked.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:15 am 
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Posts: 338
Location: Combat Information Center, Sir!
Fair and Balanced....Why?

No, I'm not talking about FOX News, I'm talking about the unwritten law that says "every battle, scenario, and campaign must be fair and balanced". Right up front, I'll tell you that I hate this law, and have no sympathy for players who rely on it.

Now, you may be asking your self, "what is this law, and why is it such a problem?" Well, let me explain. First, a little background:
There are 2 types of scenarios/campaigns built for this game - the first is the "AI Only" type, and the second is the "AI or Human Player" type.
The "AI Only" scenarios are designed to be played by 1 human player against the game's AI routine; the designers, to compensate for the AI's deficiencies (which we won't get into, suffice to say they are many, and are well-documented) typically do one or more of the following things:
  • Adds more units to the AI side, so as to improve the chances of it having enough strength to give the player a challenging battle
  • Deploys the AI units in such a way as to give it a good head-start at beating on the player's defenses, before it loses too many units
  • Uses the Reinforcement hexes to "sneak" AI units into the rear areas or flanks of the human player, since the AI is incapable of doing this on its own
  • Adjusts the AI units' stats, making them better than they would be if bought "off-the-shelf", which also makes them harder to kill off
  • Adjusts the human player units' stats, makign them weaker than they would be "off-the-shelf", and making the human's task more difficult
There may be other things done, but these are the most common ones.
Now, when building a scenario that may also be used for a human-vs-human game (the "AI or Human Player" type), the designer has an easier time, since he may not have to compensate for the AI; however, he will usually obey the "fair and balanced" law, which means he has to make both sides roughly equal in strength and capability.

Why, you ask, do both sides have to be equal? Ahh...therein lies the problem.

You see, most "power-gamer" types, the ones who play a lot of PBEM games, want their battles to be fairly straightforward, so as to allow the "better player" to win. They don't want artificial handicaps to hinder one side or the other, nor do they want to play battles that favour one side or the other. In fact, they would prefer to not play pre-built scenarios, but instead use the Random Generator to "create" a battle, where they can buy the units they want, use the map they want, and deploy their forces as they want. Now here's where the "fair-and-balanced" part comes in...

To make sure that it is the player's skill at the game, and not the limitations of his units, that determines whether he wins or loses, a battle must have forces of roughly the same size, same strength, and same abilities, in order to be "fair". Otherwise, complaints arise that one side or the other was not "given a chance" to win.

Poppycock.

War is neither "fair" nor "balanced". In fact, it is often the most unfair, unbalanced endeavour undertaken; one does not play "war" by the Marquess of Queensbury Rules. Overwhelming force, local superiority, feints, misdirection, surprise attacks, and more all are "fair game" in war. But many players don't want this...they don't want to play the side that is weaker, or has some disadvantage, or is "doomed to lose". What they want is Chess With Guns. Well, I say maybe they ought to go play Chess, instead of wasting time screwing up a perfectly good war simulator.

And this brings me to another aspect of these "power gamers", and their PBEM games...Game Setup Negotiations.

To begin with, the only negotiations that need to be agreed to are the Battle Date, Map, Nations, and Turns/Weather/Visibility. Everything else should be "fair game". But it isn't, not for these players. Oh, no...they have to have the same Purchase Points for both sides, and only so much can be used for artillery, and No Infiltrators, and No Paratroops, and No Targeting Smoke Puffs, and No Gamey Tactics, and so on, and so on, and so on.

Really? This is war?
:duh:

What it boils down to is this: Players who don't want to be bothered with protecting their rear areas, or having a Reserve Force to deal with flankings and infiltrators and other surprises, or dispersing their artillery parks, or setting up "kill sacks", or any other tactic that requires forethought and planning. If no infiltrators are allowed, then they don't have to deploy units around those 2 rear groups of VH flags to protect them. If artillery parks can not be targeted from the smoke plumes, then they don't have to provide AA support, or worry about moving the guns after firing. If only 10% of the points can be used for artillery, and they know the starting Points, they can figure what kind and how much artillery their opponent is likely to buy, and what to use to counter it.

:pile:

As far as I'm concerned, anything is allowed. But then, I prefer my battles to have some grounding in history, even if it means I have to play the "underdog".

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 Post subject: Re: The Daily Rant. The FAQ For Questions You Never Asked.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:35 pm 
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I just have to add my 2 centavos to Flash's comment above. I mainly play against the A1, either for pleasure or testing, many a time when I start a game I know that I will be lucky to get a DRAW if I see it's historical. If I won a victory I would suspect something was rotten in some of the battles. ie: Just recently did all the D-day beaches and since there were no ALL OUT victors on D-day I assumed a draw and that's what I got. If I attack IWO I expect to get a Victory, if I play it correctly. If I'm asked to test a historical scenario and know histrically that there was no outright victor I EXPECT a draw or a leetle bit better. I detest a historical battle that has all tanks when that was not the real case, just as I start, I dump it. Since 2000 (with ver 4) I have played 2000 scenes and I don't believe I drawn better than a draw on 1500 of them, I could be more accurate if the house frau had not made me throw away my records (hehehe). I even replay many scenes hoping for better, but alas it's not to be. I have been playing all the games of late with "LO CAS" settings and have recently tested two both ways (FR 2009 and Fr2009 Lo Cas). Oh yeah, I'm trying to get a victory at Wake Island and Corregidor< (1942). Now if I only can learn how to pick a force that wins I might get in my grad game.........adieu mon amis

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 Post subject: Re: The Daily Rant. The FAQ For Questions You Never Asked.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:03 pm 
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I too want to drop some words on something Flash hit on. But when it comes to PBM games we have
players who still need to have some idea of where the important ground is yet they use the Game made
victory hexes. That' just nuts. Isn't that Bridge over the river you need to cross far more important then
that cluster of Victory hexes sitting in an open field? Isn't that hill top that over looks that same Bridge
more important then those 4 victory hexes put on a small village half way between the two sides?

Its the player who expects fair and balanced fights yet wants to do it with a game that is not set up to
give them one unless they first create it. You don't get balanced fights using historical units. You get
something closer to a recreation of that battle. Odds are the winning side had more forces or better
units or weapons or some other event happened to allow it. The battle for Singapore is a good example
of this. The British were beaten severely yet they out numbered the Japanese. The Japanese had the
better weapons were moving faster and had a plan and were doing it. The British were reacting to the
enemy with poor weapons untrained units and no real plan. But to play that as a game its not loved by
players who want fair and equal battles. There is no way to do that battle as Fair and Balanced it was
just not a fair and balanced fight. You can't make a historical battle be Fair and Balanced. What you
can do is use Historical units and make a battle that can be fair and balanced but your not going to
get one unless you first make it that way. In the above battle could you claim a British victory if they
held out for 40 turns at the causeway to Singapore City? Could you say they British gained a victory
if they managed to cause better then 50 percent losses on the Japanese forces? You could if that
was the agreed on measure of Victory for that match up. But that is not what the game does for
you, it gives you only the score based on total damage and points scored for Victory hexes.

Its a case of what were the Victory conditions for that battle. Sure it is still possible to get slaughtered
and win a battle if the victory conditions were such that you met them and the other player did not.
The Fair and Balanced crowd is looking at the end game score which tally's meat hung on the hook and
the points awarded for Victory Hexes. Those really are not the best means of determining which side
really won the battle. It is possible to lose a greater number of men and equipment then the other
player (which would score as a loss for them) yet still hold all the real keys to who would of been
judged the winner if other more logical means were used to determine who won the battle.

I guess its time to do a rant on what should the Victory Conditions of the battle be and how to set
some that give you a more balanced and fair game when doing a PBM battle.

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