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Thread: Italy needs a complete change

  1. #81
    Covert Mastermind Demi Moderator Secret Master's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by podcat View Post
    oh god. we should probably fix this loophole
    You guys didn't know? We've been doing it since release!

    Japan can do the same thing as long as she does not DOW any major or any country guaranteed by a major. I conquered the Germans and Italians one time right out from under the Allies, after conquering Persia, Turkey, and Portugal (to get naval bases within range). Oh, and I conquered Vichy, too, so I ended up with half of Europe under my control.
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  2. #82
    lol How many troops did your Ai want for the russian front ?

  3. #83
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    An easy way to stop mass invasions of everything would be to set up a system of guareentees where unaligned minor is guareented by at least two countries of different factions.
    East vs. West is cancelled. Will we ever get a cold war game?

  4. #84
    They shouldn't just be guaranteed by default, but it would help if the majors would start guaranteeing minors near you in response to you being overly aggressive.

  5. #85
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    It would help of the AI had a pre-defined sphere of influence that it paid attention to. You don't need guarantees as such because the AI can already DOW anyone that has sufficient threat. But the AI should DOW anyone annexing states in an area it pays attention to the moment the threat/neutrality threshold breaks.

    Kind of like how the UK will attack Germany after 1940 if Germany's threat is high enough, regardless of how much of a jerk Hitler has been.
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  6. #86
    No thread griping about the state of Italy would be complete without complaining about the fact that the majors are hard wire programmed to never declare war on a neutral Italy no matter what it does and no matter how threatening it gets.

    This game was just vanilla FtM without any cheats. Germany had no problem as Italy absorbed Austria,
    Poland and all of Scandinavia. The UK had no problem as Mussolini annexed Ireland, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
    Nice work. Is this the optimal impire at using of wargamemechanic between neutral countrys or? Every win again neutral country give 20 neutralpoints for all others? KI never use spy to lowering neutrality.

    You guys didn't know? We've been doing it since release!

    Japan can do the same thing as long as she does not DOW any major or any country guaranteed by a major. I conquered the Germans and Italians one time right out from under the Allies, after conquering Persia, Turkey, and Portugal (to get naval bases within range). Oh, and I conquered Vichy, too, so I ended up with half of Europe under my control.
    Thats what i see everytime when i play with buddy. He is Nippon. I play Italy.

    Japan: never build tanks - only infantry

    1. Middle 1937 China was claimed.
    2. Later 1937 Guang Xi is falling.
    3. Middle 1938 New Zealand and Australia falls. No change join Allys. Australia never have panic when Japan conquer New Zealand. Better trade with Japan.
    4. Middle 1938 South Africa goes an Japan.
    5. Jan 1939 Portugal's colony in Asia and Africa was attack.
    6. Feb 1939 Portugal was completly claimes - Japan stand in Europe.
    7. Sep 1939 Japan attack Netherland colonys and make peace with him but is now at war with ally's.
    8. End of 1939 Liberya new puppet of Japan.
    9. End of 1940 Great Britain have lost most areas in Asia and Africa. Jeman, Irak and Oman was new puppet of Japan. Free France has lost most areas.
    10.Italy control Swizz and most of Mediterranean Sea - only Vichy and Turkey are there.

    And what have Germany all done? Little Trigger Events. Take Poland. Denmark and France. Not Nethertland. Not Belgium. Not Luxemburg. Not Norway. But which country has now the big threat? Germany!

    Great Britain:

    180 threatpoints Germany
    80 threatpoints Italy
    78,2 threatpoints Japan - they have kick GB so hard, have take him all what they can and kill most units

    USA:

    27,6 threatpoints Japan

    SU:

    192 threatpoints Japan - and the most russian troops stand at germany border.

    Japan has end of 1940 more Ik Power as Germany. Have conquer half world with infantry (never build tanks) and the most countrys like Nippon more as Germany. Ok - it was a humanplayer. Ki is to 90% to stupid conquer China. But it can not be, that the one and only gamemechanik they can slowing (not stop) Japan powerrush the KI Shipbattles and the heavy IK transfer in convoybuild's are? I think there must be a paranoia-trigger for some country's when Japan or Italy was to fast to strong.
    Last edited by Umbosch; 24-04-2012 at 09:41.

  7. #87
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    Threat generation is, perhaps, reduced too much by distance right now, but that's not relevant, either. The AI just doesn't care. The UK AI really only gives a damn about Germany. Hell, France doesn't even care about anything else. It's the UK that initiates the war, never France (assuming no German DOW against Poland).
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  8. #88
    I think ny commonwealth country should be guaranteed by the UK.

    Italy should guarantee Albania. The Soviets probably the Baltic states and Finland. In fact after 1939 it indeed guaranteed the Baltic States.

    Germany should Guarantee Austria and Denmark. Maybe Sweden and Norway for metal.

    Balkans is a very specific place where ganging up on a aggressor was common. In some way they guarantee each other but I do not think this guarantee should work against majors, except Italy.

  9. #89
    Lt. General tommylotto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnplastic View Post
    I think ny commonwealth country should be guaranteed by the UK.

    Italy should guarantee Albania. The Soviets probably the Baltic states and Finland. In fact after 1939 it indeed guaranteed the Baltic States.

    Germany should Guarantee Austria and Denmark. Maybe Sweden and Norway for metal.

    Balkans is a very specific place where ganging up on a aggressor was common. In some way they guarantee each other but I do not think this guarantee should work against majors, except Italy.
    That sounds about right, but guarantees should not be absolute. They should just start a decisions tree. If a nation attacks a country another nation guarantees, the guaranteeing nation should get a decision: ignore or ultimatum. If it decides to issue an ultimatum, the attacker would get a decision: ignore or offer peace. If the attacker ignores ultimatum (or if attacked refuses peace offer), then the guaranteeing nation gets a decision: enforce ultimatum with dow or back down.

    The chances of enforcing a guarantee would depend on proximity, relations and historic spheres of influence. Then Benito would have to be a riverboat gambler to attack a minor guaranteed by Stalin. And Argentina could finally teach those Chileans a lesson without necessarily bringing down the wrath of the United States Marine Corps.

  10. #90
    Good idea. For the sake completeness that sequence should not be immediate. Give at least a couple of days for each step.

    There could be also a cease fire demand. The parties keep what they conquered until further negotiations. It could be used especially for non faction fighting. In fact cease fire demands were very common in between the World Wars.

  11. #91
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    I play Italy a lot as well and with a lot of effort, you can turn them into the Suez-rushing, RN-crippling Force they were supposed to be (in the heads of Axis leadership).

    This, however, would not be completely historic, nor would it give you the strategic challenge of bad leadership, insufficient industry and complete lack of enthousiasm for the war. I remember in CORE 1 (for HOI 1, youngsters) the Italians got a nice big reduction in everything you need (org, morale, combat effectiveness etc.) until mid 1943 (IIRC) when the italian army was reorganized. Which I thought was cool. Ok, my troops are not as effective as the Allies, I will need to work with that.

    Would be cool to see that again. And also very doable.

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  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Reeps View Post
    So you don't want a challenge?
    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    Then you can forget about a challenging, unpredictable AI. With hindsight, even a poor strategist can beat the AI every time if it always does the same things RL countries did IRL.
    I do want a challenging AI. But this means that the AI should be a decent opponent in military and diplomatic actions, but not changing historical path on its own. I don't want the AI to replace the importance of the player. I want the player to play the key role in changing the historical course, not let him watching AI doing that.

    Weak players can now beat the AI military just because it is not capable of decent military strategy. (Still, it is a huge step forward if you compare it to HOI2.) From my point of view, there is no reason to artificially improve capabilities of Italian military to make it more challenging. Don't give more to the AI, it should instead "be learned" how to PROPERLY deal with what it has at its disposal as it had in real life. Let the AI think more like human commanders did, don't just give it more resources to be able to keep up with the players.

    And that's a big difference.
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  13. #93
    It's not a change to the ITA AI that is required here, but a change to both the way the starting OOB's are set-up and the military AI.

    It is clear that the ITA OOB is "correct" for 1938-39 - the standard Inf Div consisted of two Inf regiments ("binary" organisation). I say "correct" because the Div also included in an Art regiment. Oddly, given the much heralded introduction of the different brigade types in HOI3 before it was first released, I find it strange that the standard Inf Div set-up for ALL countries in the so-called historical OOB's at the starting points, only ever included Inf Brigades. There is only one exception of note to this - the few "Mixed Brigades" in JAP.

    The inclusion of Art Brigades in the ITA and other majors OOB's for 1939 would clearly give ITA an advantage against say Yugoslavia, for example in a straight fight 2 ITA Divs attacking 2 YUG Divs. This is not to say that historically minors had no artillery in their Inf Divs, but that this was more likely to be of smaller numbers and/or using very obsolete equipment, as to not warrant inclusion in minors' OOB's in-game.

    This, I think, should improve the AI v AI situation of ITA, without giving it a completely ahistoric advantage over some of it's minor neighbours.

    By 1940 IRL ITA had re-organised its Inf Divs, so most also included an MSVN (Blackshirt) Legion, this could be regarded as roughly equivalent to another Inf Brigade in-game. I'm not sure if this is reflected in-game for the ITA OOB's for later starting points, but certainly on a 1939 or earlier start the ITA AI (as with all other countries) is incapable of this sort of re-organisation - it will never add a brigade to an existing Div, always producing new Divs.

    The "binary" organisation of the ITA Divs was certainly a RL weakness compared to UK and GER in 1939. This was coupled with "binary" organisation at Corps level as well - most ITA Corps consisted of only two Divs. So in Sept 1940 when ITA invaded Egypt, the 10th Army consisted of 5 Corps, each with 2 weak "binary" Divs. That's a total of 20 Inf Brigades in-game. This RL structure caused problems with command and supply arrangements.

    A human player can easily improve on the situation for ITA by re-organising the 10th Army into one Corps consisting of five Inf Divs, each with 4 Inf Brigades (assuming no support brigades). Straightaway this gives an advantage over being able to provide better generals commanding each unit, because you only need 7 generals, instead of the original 16, so you can pick the best ones.

    But it gives more advantage than that, even for countries with decent leaders available. By my guess you get anything up to a 25-50% advantage when the AI controls a single 4 brigade Inf Div, compared to two x 2 brigades. IMHO any human player can easily win the game simply by organising units to max out the brigade structure. This is because the whole 4 Brigades act together, defending and moving/attacking as one. Even a very dedicated human micro-manager would be hard-pressed to make sure the two separate 2 brigade units acted closely enough together to come near to the effectiveness of a single 4 brigade unit. But under AI control this never happens.

    The AI is quite happy to attack with one of the 2 brigade units, when the other is unable to move after a previous attack, even when it is clear that it needs to use both units to have any hope of success. Even when both are available to attack, it is very likely to split the direction of attack, so instead of both attacking a weak enemy unit in front of them, one attacks a different unit in another province even when that province is being attacked by an already overwhelming odds from elsewhere on the front. Massing brigades together into the largest possible Div units prevents some of this stupidity.

    This is because the military AI has no conception of corps/army/group formations. It makes no attempt to assign objectives to higher-level formations, and keep the units belonging to those formations together on the battlefield as a co-ordinated force.

    You can see this on some of the later starting point OOB's, where the Divs comprising a Corps are nowhere near each other on the battlefield, and the AI makes no attempt to move them into the same or adjoining provinces.

    I do not think the ITA AI is specifically nerfed in any way, and improving the overall AI in the way I mention above, while improving the general game-play, could cause major problems with ITA. IRL in Sept 1940 the ITA 10th Army comprised 10 Divs, although individually weak Divs as mentioned, they still massively outnumbered the defending British forces which comprised only the 4th Indian Inf Div and the 7th Armoured Div. But Gen Graziani commanding the forces in Libya chose to advance only 5 of his Divs, and called a halt while still 80 miles from the main UK defensive positions. He then dug-in to create nine "fortified" camps (so mostly one Regiment per camp) which were not close enough to provide adequate cover for their neighbours. Eventually the British counter-attacked and the camps were fairly easily destroyed one by one, and the British forces then were able to advance into Libya.

    Even if you could get the AI to recognise the rather cowardly leadership of the ITA forces, a fairly average human player (as per the OP) looks at this situation and says: "I'm going to group all of those 10 Divs in the 10th Army together into a concerted attack and should be able to sweep away such meagre UK forces. It's a fairly narrow front, so easy to micro-manage. Even a large (3 or 4 brigade) well-led and well-equipped Armoured Div can't withstand an attack on more than one front from that amount of Inf."

    An ITA player with some experience also knows that once FRA has fallen through the Vichy events, that there is no need to keep the whole 5th Army in western Libya protecting the border with Tunisia, and some of those units, especially if there are any armoured/MOT, could join the 10th Army's advance into Egypt. It's hardly likely that any human player would call a halt to the advance after capturing only a single province!

    There is then one other specific weakness of the game mechanics in North Africa, where a human player could utilise the ITA forces far more effectively than the AI can. Away from the coast there are very low infra provinces which units are unable to move into. While this narrows the front towards Alexandria and helps to favour UK defenders concentrating around El Alamein, it doubly cripples an Axis AI. It sees all of the provinces it controls in Egypt which adjoin UK controlled provinces which it is unable to attack as part of the "front", even though it cannot be attacked from these provinces, and so the AI places units in each of these provinces to defend them. It is this above all, not the lack of the DAK, which usually prevents the ITA AI from succeeding in Egypt. The AI is simply incapable of bringing enough of its forces to bear in a series of well co-ordinated attacks to be able to regularly push the UK forces back into the Nile delta area.
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  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by potski View Post
    The "binary" organisation of the ITA Divs was certainly a RL weakness compared to UK and GER in 1939. This was coupled with "binary" organisation at Corps level as well - most ITA Corps consisted of only two Divs. So in Sept 1940 when ITA invaded Egypt, the 10th Army consisted of 5 Corps, each with 2 weak "binary" Divs. That's a total of 20 Inf Brigades in-game. This RL structure caused problems with command and supply arrangements.
    Indeed... by keeping those twenty Regiments (in-game, "Brigades") organized into ten Divisions and two Corps, instead of in five Divisions and one Corps, the Italian command succeeded only in doubling the required number of typists, office clerks and telephone operators.
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  15. #95
    Quote Originally Posted by potski View Post
    But it gives more advantage than that, even for countries with decent leaders available. By my guess you get anything up to a 25-50% advantage when the AI controls a single 4 brigade Inf Div, compared to two x 2 brigades. IMHO any human player can easily win the game simply by organising units to max out the brigade structure.
    In fact I heard the opposite that more units AI have even if they are smaller better it performs.

  16. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnplastic View Post
    In fact I heard the opposite that more units AI have even if they are smaller better it performs.
    But Italy always fights on a very narrow front, where a lot of small units don't help in the way they would in any other campaign.

  17. #97
    Quote Originally Posted by cogitor View Post
    But Italy always fights on a very narrow front, where a lot of small units don't help in the way they would in any other campaign.
    But then many of its units go to firght to the USSR with only garrisons staying at home..

  18. #98
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    potski makes some nice points.

    The Italian defeat in North Africa was in a word -- inexplicable. Mussolini may have been surprised by the rapid collapse of France, but even so, Italy entered the war at a time of their choosing. So, it is unforgivable that none of Italy's three armor divisions were in North Africa ready to go at the outbreak of war. Nevertheless, the Italians had clear superiority of force, and Graziani still had at his disposal sufficient armored elements to give him the edge in this area too. Nor was military doctrine the problem. Italian military theory was relatively advanced for the time. They had taken the experiences (and mistakes) from Ethiopia and Spain, and in 1938, they developed, and established as official military doctrine, the Guerra di Rapido Corso -- the Italian version of mechanized maneuver warfare, or Blitzkrieg.

    Had the armored division been where they should have been, Graziani would have swept to Suez. Even with the forces at hand, had Graziani advanced with celerity (no pun intended), at the outbreak of war, employing official Italian military doctrine, he would have swept to Suez. Instead Graziani did nothing for months, giving the British precious time to reinforce and organize. Graziani had to be ordered by Mussolini under threat of replacement to get him to move. Then, instead of maneuvering and attacking as doctrine dictated, he advanced with foot infantry in mass, relying not on maneuver but on sheer weight of numbers. Given the tactics, the result was no longer inexplicable, but predictable.

    Ironically, Graziani had successfully employed early mechanized maneuver warfare on the Southern front in Ethiopia with great success. So, he had demonstrated an understanding of the concepts that would eventually become Guerra di Rapido Corso. Why didn't he employ established Italian doctrine? Maybe incompetence, or maybe he lacked confidence in his troops and subordinate officers to implement the doctrine against the British as oppose to Ethiopians. Whether he was incompetent or Mussolini was forcing him into action before he was ready, the results could not possibly have been much worse than they were in real life.

    It poses a fascinating "what if." That's why Italy is the most intreating nation to play.

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