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Re: Russian Revolution 6/23 p. 3

Postby Industrial Helix on Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:49 am

Ah ahh... I see. Hmm, this is a problem and few ideas spring to mind...

1) Wish the XML would allow me to have two sets of starting positions independent of each other... Not likely to happen but one can wish.
2) Toy with the Czech and British bonus to act as a counter weight. Yes a player may start with less troops, but he's right next to something that pays out bigger.
3) Reduce the number of low pop territories to reduce the effects of the uneven distribution. (Probably the best and only solution that addresses the starting game initial deployment).
4) Add a regional bonus to the low pop area to balance...
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Re: Russian Revolution 6/23 p. 3

Postby MarshalNey on Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:54 pm

Good ideas... hmmmm

(1) Amen, I think multiple sets of starting positions would be the answer to many a mapmaker's prayers.
(2) This occured to me, but I wasn't sure how much you'd like it given that, as you say, foreign support did not actually factor in much. However, it seems clear that foreign support had the potential to be a major participant, if the rural generals had shown more saavy. And since any historical CC map is as much 'what if?" as it is history... well, I think it deserves a look.
(3) I hate to see it go this route, as it really makes the 2-troop regions more of a thrown-in oddity rather than a bold gameplay feature, but it has as you say the benefit of fixing the problem directly and simply.
(4) This could work, if there is a bonus area (or two) that would make sense... I'd have to defer to your knowledge on the topic.

Of course, a combination of (2) and (4) might also do the trick ;) I'm hestiant to make any direct suggestions until I get a sense of what, historically, would make the most sense to you.
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Re: Russian Revolution 6/23 p. 3

Postby Industrial Helix on Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:08 pm

Well... I guess its not so much the bonus arrangement that makes it unfair, but more the troop disparity, as you've pointed out.

I'm still thinking about it.

Though I want to say that although the game starts uneven, it doesn't start unfair. Which would bring in the bonuses, which brings me in a circle.

If I brought back the old flag bonus system, my worst case scenario is that a player drops majority of the high pop zone and still managed to get nearby access to the flags, thus dropping the game.

Here's a radical option... make it a conquest map? Turn all those 2s and 3s into neutrals? I dunno how I feel about it though.

In my mind, using random deployment on most of the map essentially amounted to having smarter neutrals. Given the number of men on a commander, that would inevitably be the main thrust of the player's moves, even in 2 player games as he's got 4 commanders. So in the end, the 3s and 2s were inconsequential. They could be dangerous as a player had control over them. But in the end, the main threat was the commanders... does this make sense to you?
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Re: Russian Revolution 6/23 p. 3

Postby MarshalNey on Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:20 pm

I've been trying to think how exactly to clarify my thoughts all day long, but I guess I'll just have to put something out there and hope it comes across.

Industrial Helix wrote:Well... I guess its not so much the bonus arrangement that makes it unfair, but more the troop disparity, as you've pointed out.

I'm still thinking about it.

Though I want to say that although the game starts uneven, it doesn't start unfair. Which would bring in the bonuses, which brings me in a circle...

...In my mind, using random deployment on most of the map essentially amounted to having smarter neutrals. Given the number of men on a commander, that would inevitably be the main thrust of the player's moves, even in 2 player games as he's got 4 commanders. So in the end, the 3s and 2s were inconsequential. They could be dangerous as a player had control over them. But in the end, the main threat was the commanders... does this make sense to you?


Of course, I'm not sure that I'm understanding 100% your thoughts here, but I think the gist is this:
(1) The bonus arrangement for the drop is fair
(2) The troop disparity is unfair... but maybe not important? (undecided, see #4 and #5)
(3) Messing with the bonuses could be a case of fixing something that isn't broken
(4) The non-commander regions are more barriers than avenues of attack for players; players' tactics will (should?) center around the Commanders
(5) Given (4), the distribution of the non-commander regions is largely irrelevant to gameplay balance

Actually, before I give my thoughts, maybe it would be best if you could check me on the above. It's actually a lot of stuff and it'd be foolish for me to put words into your mouth and then debate them.
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Re: Russian Revolution 6/23 p. 3

Postby theBastard on Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:00 am

Industrial Helix wrote:Well... I guess its not so much the bonus arrangement that makes it unfair, but more the troop disparity, as you've pointed out.

I'm still thinking about it.

Though I want to say that although the game starts uneven, it doesn't start unfair. Which would bring in the bonuses, which brings me in a circle.


I think there is possibility how to set up startting positons for fair. there are 2 commanders in "high population" zone, 1 in Latvia, 1 in Ukraine and 4 in "low population" zone.

player from Latvia could try to gain Baltic states bonus and is close to Polish bonus or has near several "high population" territories, player from Herson could gain Ukraine bonus (which will be harder as Baltics), player from Oren is close to Czechoslovak Legion´s bonus, player from Kuban could gain Navy bonus and player from Novgorod is close to British 6th Batalion bonus and is close to several "high population" territories.

only Saratov looks as any disatvantage but here are close "high population" territories.

what is question for me - how will Moscow works? player from Muscovy could quickly gain Moscow and will have good strategic position. ofcourse there will be also many roads for attack him...

Industrial Helix wrote:If I brought back the old flag bonus system, my worst case scenario is that a player drops majority of the high pop zone and still managed to get nearby access to the flags, thus dropping the game.


I like the "new" flag bonus system more, but as I´m auto-deploy fan ;) (and map is a little buil on auto-deploy), what about give them +1 auto-deploy and bonus for holding all three +4 (random...)?

Industrial Helix wrote:Here's a radical option... make it a conquest map? Turn all those 2s and 3s into neutrals? I dunno how I feel about it though.


oh no, please. this could kill initiative...

Industrial Helix wrote:In my mind, using random deployment on most of the map essentially amounted to having smarter neutrals. Given the number of men on a commander, that would inevitably be the main thrust of the player's moves, even in 2 player games as he's got 4 commanders. So in the end, the 3s and 2s were inconsequential. They could be dangerous as a player had control over them. But in the end, the main threat was the commanders... does this make sense to you?


I think that each 2 player game could has this problem...

to Marshal, congrat to you blue coloured name :)
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Re: Russian Revolution 6/23 p. 3

Postby Industrial Helix on Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:50 am

Hmm... thanks for the input Bastard. I think you make a good point about each player having their own way to a quick bonus... though Ukraine might be a bit tough. Saratov, well, he's right next to a city and gets +1 auto deploy.
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Re: Russian Revolution 6/23 p. 3

Postby theBastard on Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:50 pm

Industrial Helix wrote:Hmm... thanks for the input Bastard. I think you make a good point about each player having their own way to a quick bonus... though Ukraine might be a bit tough. Saratov, well, he's right next to a city and gets +1 auto deploy.


not at all.

the same advantage (commander right next to city) has also Oran, Herson, Kuban but they have not border with so many "high population" territories as Saratov (but Tsaritsyn has not railroad).

only what is question how Muscovy will works, with only "high population" territories around and possibility to dirrect attack Moscow - the centre of railroads...
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Re: Russian Revolution 6/23 p. 3

Postby Industrial Helix on Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:53 pm

Muscovy is going to be an interesting position to have. Personally, I think its the most difficult of positions as there is so much to do... like Germany in Axis and Allies. But at the same time, very powerful. In the end, is Muscovy the dominant player int he game... I don't think so but I think only Beta will tell.

Marshall... yes, you've got the gist of it. Though I want to elaborate on number 4: Yes, in my mind the 2s and 3s are more barriers... but at the same time they allow players to check a commander in a stronger position. For Stalin, the 3's are more important than for Trotsky who has his base right in Muscovy. The main idea behind this map is that for each player, there needs to be a different optimal strategy (unlike classic and its clones, where strategy is consistent but chances (troop drops) of following it vary).
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Re: Russian Revolution 6/23 p. 3

Postby MarshalNey on Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:03 am

OK, now that I understand where you're coming from, here's my two cents:

Considering player drops, even in a Commander-centric map like this one, as 'smarter neutrals' can possibly be a bit misleading for three reasons:
(1) The possibility of taking spoils in Flat Rate, Escalating and Nuclear games.
(2) The possibility of reducing an opponents' region count.
(3) The size of the troop reserve, particularly in Unlimited games

To elaborate, in spoils games, a 3-stack of troops is a godsend, while a 2-stack is trouble. Not every player does this (and more should), but a dispersed 1-1-1 deployment with an initial 3 troops, for instance, gives an additional chance with 4 vs. 3 over the more common all-3 deployment that gives a single 6 vs. 3. It may seem trivial, but taking (or not taking) a spoil, particularly in team games, can mean the difference between victory and defeat.

Even in No Spoils games, however, there's still the desire (usually in team games or 1v1s) to try to reduce an opponent's region count before she gets her turn. That often involves making multiple attacks with small deployments, much like those designed to take a spoil.

So starting with more 2-stacks than one's opponents has four negative results for a player/team:
(a) they will have a more difficult time later in the game taking spoils (obviously the Commander gives everyone a better than average chance of taking a spoil in the first turn) and also more difficulty "piling-on" an enemy.
(b) they will be more vulnerable to being attacked for a spoil/being 'piled-on' themselves
(c) they will have more limited options of where they can feasibly attack from to disrupt their enemies plans
(d) they will have fewer troops to reinforce to offensive stacks/places of vulnerability

Really, though I can sum this all up with the general statement:
The more troops you have, the more options you have and the harder you are to kill, and vice versa.

Yes, the Commanders are a key ingredient, but they are also balanced (more or less). So all other things being equal, it is the inequity in the drop of 2's vs. 3's that may give a player an edge from the first turn.

Your other question was (and quite pertinent), Is this edge significant? Well, considering that the disparity may be possibly (if unlikely) as high as 5 or 6 troops, and given the consequences outlined above... yes I do think that the edge given from a bad drop might be significant enough to overshadow/dramatically affect the operations of the Commanders.


In a conquest map, this does all become moot, but as TB said I think that would kill some of the fun of this map, and unnecessarily.

Giving some advantage to dropping a 2-stack could compensate, even if it was just a potential, long-term advantage. The Russian population was still largely agrarian in 1917, wasn't it? Didn't the communists conscript a ton of farmers, with disastrous consequences for the harvest? I think maybe there might be a way to justify giving some signifcance to the lower-density pop areas...

Or you could always make the 2-stacks mostly neutral, there are only 11 of them; reducing that number would reduce the potential disparity. I'm not keen on the idea, but it's certainly better than making this a conquest map.

Or an idea as radical as conquest perhaps... you could actually make all of the stacks 2-stacks. I like it because then it forces more focus on the Commanders, while making the drop equitable... Heck, you could even make a few places 3-stacks, if they held a particular location that needed it for game balance.... just a thought.
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Re: Russian Revolution 6/23 p. 3

Postby Industrial Helix on Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:45 am

Well said and you make some good points. You idea of neutral twos is a good one and one option to consider. The other option to consider is to make the whole map 3s.... I'd rather do the latter because I dislike neutrals.
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Re: Russian Revolution 6/23 p. 3

Postby iancanton on Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:38 am

making the randomly-deployed regions all 3s also avoids the situation in manual-deployment games where one player can start with a much bigger stack than another. in manual, i know that normal high-density regions start as 1, with the rest being deployed at will, but will all low-density regions that are coded as 2 automatically start as 2, thus further handicapping a player who has lots of low-density regions by reducing his freedom to deploy?

ian. :)
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Re: Russian Revolution 6/23 p. 3

Postby Industrial Helix on Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:41 am

You can wipe that smile of that post Ian cause that's not what I wanted to hear :P

Ok, I think the best route would be to make the map 3s or 2s all around and let the bonuses do the population talking. Thoughts?
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Re: Russian Revolution 6/23 p. 3

Postby ender516 on Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:34 pm

This may be your only option that will prevent a lot of whining about balance under manual deployment.
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Re: Russian Revolution 6/23 p. 3

Postby MarshalNey on Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:57 am

Well, I still like the idea of all 2s, since that would put more focus on the Commanders. And it would be a somewhat unique, but also have a purpose- not just tacked on there to be different.
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Re: Russian Revolution 6/23 p. 3

Postby theBastard on Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:42 am

what about to do towns start with 3 neutral (they are important because their +1 auto-deploy and cosses over rivers and rail) and other territories start with 2 neutral?
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