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Thread: Development Diary #8 - 3rd of December 2008

  1. #181
    Philosopher of the Future Alexander Seil's Avatar
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    Easy to counteract by defining tasks at the level of Theater and Army Group AIs. Let's say you have a Theater-level AI on the Eastern Front, commanding an Army Group with 2 armies in it.

    Tasks:

    Theater AI - attack the Soviets once the spring mud dries up; Army Group X advance towards Baku
    Army Group AI - assess Soviet strength along the front; Army 1 and Army 2 form the two prongs to encircle the largest concentration of Soviet troops known to exist on the way to Baku; issue orders for two armies to advance to provinces Z and Y (determined by the combination of shortest distance and weakest resistance on the way)
    Armies 1 and 2 - assess Soviet strength along the army's sector of the front; rinse and repeat Army Group-level tasks at the Army level (Corps I, II, III given their target provinces)
    Subordinate Corps - rinse and repeat with Divisions

    That's the conceptual outline of how it works. This iterative planning process is COMPLETELY impossible to implement with HOI2's monolithic "fronts." You can't break down the tasks into trivial components, like "attack province Z."

  2. #182
    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander Seil View Post
    There's a bit of a contradiction in demanding micromanagement AND a decent AI simultaneously. Unless there are MASSIVE coordination penalties for microing divisions all the time, the player has an inherent advantage over the AI. Giving incentives for the players to use Corps-level AI means that the player has less of an edge, and the game becomes more challenging. Believe it or not, but, just like the AI, sometimes generals do REALLY STUPID THINGS. That's a fact of life everyone clamoring for "better AI" and "realism" on this forum always forget to mention. (I could also go on about the fact that in real life you don't get to reload, either, or play the game for 50 times until you get it perfect.)
    Or read this forum telling you exactly how to exploit the AI

    Yeah, I like the contradiction of those who want "real life", but then forget that NO supreme commander controlled the day-to-day operations of every unit in his armed forces. Despite all of Hitler's "stand and fight to the last man" orders, most German commanders still retreated. Churchill visited Montgomery at El Alamein and told him to advance, but it was weeks later before he decided to actually do it.

    For those who have the time and inclination to micro-manage two or three hundred units across 10,000 provinces, good luck to you. Especially as some of you want to micro the Brigades in your Divs as well, and have province-level air missions. So you are going to have 10 or 20 times more micro than HOI2.

    But surely you can see that many of us would want to play the game and at least let the AI control:

    1. Rear areas, dealing with partisan uprisings

    2. Convoy raiding (Blue Emu has alot to answer for!! Weeks of micro-management to try to destroy UK's convoys. I'm going to rename one of my leaders as Admiral Blau Emu and assign him to control the subs)

    3. Control SOME of our frontline forces. After all whether you are in the Allies or Axis, you might still want to micro Europe and let the AI do it for you in the Far East. If you play as UK, then in HOI2 you got a crappy experience in Europe if you let the AI maintain control of the US, but if you took MC you had to control the Pacific War. And even UK forces, spread across the world Burma, Egypt, Singapore, etc. are just a nightmare to effectively manage.

    What I like about PI's OPTION is that it might really be possible to play a "Grand Strategy" game on a Strategy level. Worrying about whether Wolf Pack 37 in obscure sea zone has suffered severe damage and needs to be brought back to port, then remembering to keep an eye on its repair level every week, so that I can send it back to obscure sea zone (now where was it patrolling before, was it in left-mid Atlantic or centre-right Atlantic?) for another go as soon as it's ready. THAT AIN'T FUN. And finding an airunit that's been sitting in it's base for weeks because it finished its mission and you forgot to issue the same orders it had before. THAT AIN'T FUN. And in the middle of a carefully executed plan involving dozens of units to carry out a massive envelopment of enemy forces, getting diverted by ONE partisan unit. THAT AIN'T FUN.

    And if it all works, I might actually get a game finished

  3. #183
    Quote Originally Posted by potski View Post
    What I like about PI's OPTION is that it might really be possible to play a "Grand Strategy" game on a Strategy level. Worrying about whether Wolf Pack 37 in obscure sea zone has suffered severe damage and needs to be brought back to port, then remembering to keep an eye on its repair level every week, so that I can send it back to obscure sea zone (now where was it patrolling before, was it in left-mid Atlantic or centre-right Atlantic?) for another go as soon as it's ready. THAT AIN'T FUN. And finding an airunit that's been sitting in it's base for weeks because it finished its mission and you forgot to issue the same orders it had before. THAT AIN'T FUN. And in the middle of a carefully executed plan involving dozens of units to carry out a massive envelopment of enemy forces, getting diverted by ONE partisan unit. THAT AIN'T FUN.
    Dude, just name the wolf pack after the sea region it's operating in, and set the air unit to run its mission until 1946.


  4. #184
    Maybe it is in another thread but nowhere in this DD have I seen Johan mention that the AI will be controlling your divisions now that there are higher HQ units. I don't see anywhere that you are less able to direct your individual divisions and corps as always.

    Where is this information/supposition coming from?

  5. #185
    Philosopher of the Future Alexander Seil's Avatar
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    Johan said you can't stack divisions, meaning that if you want to avoid giving AI any control, you'll have to be managing upwards of several hundred units as Germany in the middle of the war (and that is just LAND units). Note that in HoI2 you were managing stacks, not divisions.

    Sure, there are many wargames (and scenarios for PC wargames) where the number of units is in the hundreds, but typically those wargames are turn-based. I doubt you'll be able to micro every division every hour of every day for 6 years of the historical war. That's just a nightmare. I don't think the player will want to go below the Corps-level AI except in the most critical operations.

    EDIT: Imagine the living nightmare of managing the Red Army in 1945 at the divisional level during a general offensive. I'd rather hang myself.

  6. #186
    Major Radu's Avatar
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    Johan also said that Corps will still exist as a unit, including physically.

    What I think Johan covertly tells us is this :

    Corps = The old HOI2 (decently sized) stacks of divs that we all know from HOI2.
    Regions = Old HOI2 provs (bigger size,fewer than HOI3 provs)

    Basically we might have the option to go into quite a bit of detail, but equally the option to manage corps under Generals exactly in the same manner that we did in HOI2.

    I don't think HOI3 will force you to manage ops at the level of its entire 10,000 provs. I think we might well be allowed to zoom out to HOI3 region level.By the looks of things Size Regions=Size of Old HOI2 provs.

    This could mean that if you don't want to dive into the admittedly intimidating scale of 10,000 provs, you don't have to. One could stick to Region level, thus keep the scale zoomed-out at HOI2 levels.

    As the Paradox people have stressed,one has the option , and I applaud them for considering breadth (multiple choices) as important as depth.

    So lighten up people

  7. #187
    Quote Originally Posted by kstanb View Post
    That would be highly unlikely (I know, I know, it is only an alpha shot).

    Historically, Peru had tanks in the 30's (Czech LPT ~ Panzer 35t) but those were too few (24 units) to form a panzer division.
    Also, Peru's military followed the French doctrine, therefore tanks were mostly used as infantry support.

    I am very curious to see the northern frontier of Peru, basically to see what Ecuador-Peru frontier Paradox will use, should be the Status quo 1936 and not the maximum Ecuatorian aspirations, as seen in HOI2
    Just to explain, i only said that because of the terrain, i know Peru had strength to have tanks! Even if they were WWI Tanks.

  8. #188
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    Imagine the living nightmare of managing the Red Army in 1945 at the divisional level during a general offensive. I'd rather hang myself.
    Actually, we call that an OCS-linked game (GB2 + Case Blue) and it's GREAT INCREDIBLE FUN!
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  9. #189
    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander Seil View Post
    Johan said you can't stack divisions, meaning that if you want to avoid giving AI any control, you'll have to be managing upwards of several hundred units as Germany in the middle of the war (and that is just LAND units). Note that in HoI2 you were managing stacks, not divisions.

    Sure, there are many wargames (and scenarios for PC wargames) where the number of units is in the hundreds, but typically those wargames are turn-based. I doubt you'll be able to micro every division every hour of every day for 6 years of the historical war. That's just a nightmare. I don't think the player will want to go below the Corps-level AI except in the most critical operations.

    EDIT: Imagine the living nightmare of managing the Red Army in 1945 at the divisional level during a general offensive. I'd rather hang myself.
    Even if you can't stack divisions, won't you still be able to just drag over a group of units and select them all? Division level control will be a bit harder without stacks, but it won't mean you'll always have to click each and every division and assign it orders individually.

    Unless you want to get fancy, and assuming we'll still be able to drag to select more than one unit, you'll only have to issue as many orders as you have frontline provinces. That will be more because there are more provinces, but not totally unmanagable. It seems like things will only be as complicated as you want them to be... Which is excellent.

  10. #190
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    If we are able to let generals to command some of our units, will the generals have a personality? For example some generals could be very stubborn, some wouldn't care about casualties, some would be extremely loyal etc.

    Would make it more interesting to choose generals and would make roleplaying a dictator more fun.
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  11. #191
    Bad mojo Supermoderator Veldmaarschalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander Seil View Post
    Johan said you can't stack divisions, .
    Where did Johan say, that you can't stack divisions ?

    What he said was

    Quote Originally Posted by Johan
    Another important aspect of this is the fact that every division is its own unit on the map, and so is every HQ above it. Now you may think that this will increase micromanagement? Well, we have some pretty interesting plans on how to handle unit orders.

    The only one that has said that there will be no stacks is you, by assuming that, that is what Johan means with his statement. Which might be a totally wrong assumption.

  12. #192
    Philosopher of the Future Alexander Seil's Avatar
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    It quite clearly says that "every division is its own unit on the map." So, sure, there are still stacks. Stacks consisting of one division each. The one assumption that's clearly wrong is that it will work like HoI2 (where divisions most definitely were NOT always represented as individual units). My assumption is fairly conservative. Unless Johan meant the opposite of what he said, my guess is probably correct.

    EDIT: I also assume that the sun will rise tomorrow. Now, it may not, but it doesn't mean it isn't a pretty damn good assumption. Given how long this discussion went on, I would think that either King or Johan would have stepped in by now to calm the masses and inform them that their precious stacks are still in. I, for one, hope that they are not.

  13. #193
    Bad mojo Supermoderator Veldmaarschalk's Avatar
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    It quite clearly says that "every division is its own unit on the map."
    This could just as well mean that each division will keep its own commander, even when stacked together. Unlike HoI2where stacked divisions only have one commander in total

  14. #194
    Quote Originally Posted by Veldmaarschalk View Post
    The only one that has said that there will be no stacks is you, by assuming that, that is what Johan means with his statement. Which might be a totally wrong assumption.
    Exactly, this non-stacking of divisions is tosh.
    He has already told everyone in the combat model you may have 20 divisions in a province but only four (depending on your front size) may be engaged at one time.
    Now looking at the screenshots do you see space for 20 individual divisions in a province?
    I do not.

    What he said is "Another important aspect of this is the fact that every division is its own unit on the map."
    I think what he was implying here is every unit requires a general and is treated like an independent unit on the map.
    Ie casualties will not be generically spread over the entire stack but will only effect those units in combat. Leader special trait or abilities will effect the unit they command and not be a generic force multiplier.

    In Ho2 it was the senior general that gave individual unit’s penalties or benefits, now it goes from the lowest rank (division) all the way up the influence of the Theatre HQ.
    This reduces the abstractness of previous incarnations of the game where you could throw 20 stack hordes at an enemy line and all units involved would get the benefits of a victory or penalties for defeat.
    Now only the units actually engaged will suffer casualties’ etc.
    Nowhere has he said "There shalt be no stacks" He has just indicated that the game will treat each individual division as a unit or entity with all its pro's and cons.
    Say you have six fast infantry divisions without any art support.
    They are the units engaged in the battle.
    In the same province, you have another five slower units with arty support.
    They will not be involved at all in the combat, and their attached arty brigades will not give their support. As stated only the divisions that can fit on the front and fight will be involved the others will be kept in reserve and may or may not join in later depending on leadership, doctrine etc.
    Obviously as a commander, you may wish to switch this around but in this example you can see each individual division can make or break you. This has nothing to do with stacks but everything to do with divisions being separate entities on the map (despite being in stacks.)

  15. #195
    Major Radu's Avatar
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    And I say again,you don't know that.

    "Every division is its own unit"... You could have the exact same thing in HOI2 if you really went on to bother. In fact,the AI used to do this all the time,meaning group together divisions,but assign each under a Mj Gen and an HQ under a full General and not merge them.

    You haven't even seen the game interface properly,none of us have, yet you bitch and moan about it as if you did.

    Third,you consider yourself in quite a big league if you think you have the ear of the devs.You honestly think the way to extract more info from them is to make a "I want my staaaaaaaaacks!!" ruckus like a spoiled child? Why should they step in? Maybe the answer will spoil the next diary. Maybe they actually enjoy all the attention paid to the diary threads.

  16. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corelli View Post
    Maybe it is in another thread but nowhere in this DD have I seen Johan mention that the AI will be controlling your divisions now that there are higher HQ units. I don't see anywhere that you are less able to direct your individual divisions and corps as always.

    Where is this information/supposition coming from?
    It came from the initial press release where we stated that you would have the option to use the AI to control all, some or none of your troops.
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  17. #197
    Quote Originally Posted by Radu View Post
    "I want my staaaaaaaaacks!!"
    Show me the space for individual divisions?
    Last edited by Bobb4; 05-12-2008 at 09:09. Reason: Sorry it took ages to get the link up

  18. #198
    I must admit I have been wondering about this as well.

    I am not sure that you can jump from the idea that every division on the map is its own unit to that there is no stacking of units but ........

    The stacking of units does seem to cause problems when you look at the ideas about combat width and frontage.

    I see the size of the front line as a real barrier in combat, if you cant fit your divisions in the front line they wont engage with the enemy.

    It has been stated that a Corps commander increases the chance of a reserve joining combat that seems to suggest to me that if a single division is forced to retreat from the front line a Corps can somehow replace this division with one of its own.
    That causes a problem for me when I try to visualize the front line as a fixed length, 2 divs cannot replace 1 div if theres only room for one

    But this may be the case, once a Corps is formed it will act as one unit with a total combat width equal to the amount of divisions\brigades that it has, it will need a commander and at least two divisional commanders it will have a better chance of operating as a reserve but only if there is room on the front line.

    As you proceed up the command structure forming Corps and Armies each level adds value to your overall abilities but you also need commanders for each level.

    It seems to me you could form an army out of one division something you would never do because you would be wasting 3 commanders but it could be possible.
    Alternatively you could form an army out of 100 Corps but your first attack would fail because the combat width of that army would be too big for any front line.

  19. #199
    General der Tso's Chicken Bullfrog's Avatar
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    Stacks = stairway to Heaven made of counters.
    This does not mean anything in HoI3, because only a few units fight per province. In HoI2, stacks meant a dogpile of units without regard to physical space the divisions took up. There was no problem with literally 400 division battles taking place in Luxembourg. That is the true meaning of 'stacks' as I see it.
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  20. #200
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    A bit OT but I found an old screenshot I wanted to share. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you all:

    The super stacks of doom!



    This is from an EU2-->Vicky-->HoI2 game me and a friend played, so don't bother asking how that's possible by 1944 :P
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