Update 12 Test

Steam Testing Branch.
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Re: Update 12 Test

Unread postby Guderian21 » Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:35 am

Part 2 of my feedback on new content. Reminder: I'm playing on Easy, restarting scenarios until I get Gold.

Herbstnebel: (1 attempt for gold) I fortified as many units as I could during deployment, and planned to hold the starting front line if possible. This payed off to a certain extent, with the AI ignoring several fortified infantry divisions and leaving them isolated. Unfortunately, the enemies supply situation is strong enough to supply their salient even without the main roads in their possession. My reinforcements were just able to occupy Bocholt and Enschede before the panzers arrived, and the AI was not able to dislodge the paras. By turn 5 all but two of the panzer divisions on my side of the Dortmund-Ems Canal were destroyed. I was not able to secure the optional objective due to attrition of my specialist steps and difficulty getting units capable of kicking out the infantry there in time.

Final Vienna Award: (10+ attempts, I gave up on gold) Even on easy, I could NOT find a way to capture my objectives on time. I fully reinforced all of my units, spending as much prestige as I needed to optimize my force. I made several attempts using four paratroop cards to cheese the enemy's supply situation, but the geography is so tight that the paratroops are largely able to be destroyed on the first turn after drop. My normal strategy would be to send 3 divisions over the pass between Graz and Linz, usually 10th mtn, 92nd US, and 4th Indian. Once I tried sending and armor division and two extra infantry divisions by this route, but the fortified German infantry in the pass pretty much have to be starved out. Even this enlarged for took 5-6 turns to actually get over the mountains, and the supply situation for them is terrible. When units going this route get out of the rough terrain, German mobile forces quickly counterattack and make short work of even my experienced units. Going east from Graz seems to be the only viable choice, and this is a slog. The highway isn't viable due to the quality, fortified German units there. The entrenched units south of the highway aren't too bad to get through with only minor casualties, but it still takes time. The Hungarian armor CAN inflict some losses though. No matter what I tried, I could not get through the logjam in the southeast corner of the map fast enough to get gold here.

Battle for Bavaria: (1 attempt) Similar to the historical scenario in this region, building a single pontoon bridge north of Karlsruhe was the cornerstone of my strategy. With a significant force across the river on turn two, the Germans can't really do anything to stop your advance. Supply is the main enemy here, particularly for the French in the south. The thing that slowed me down the most was my French 1st Army HQ being unable to cross the pass east of Freiburg. This prevented repair of bridges near Munchen until it was almost too late.

I'll post again tomorrow with my thoughts on everything up to Unthinkable.
Last edited by Guderian21 on Tue Apr 28, 2020 6:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Update 12 Test

Unread postby artemidont » Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:20 am

Hello, game still crash in history mod.
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Re: Update 12 Test

Unread postby juoc » Sat May 02, 2020 1:19 pm

Hello everybody!

So, I've played through all the new scenarios (standalone, not campaign) on normal and half of them on classic so here's my thoughts (that I know you've all been dying to hear ;))

I'm going to focus on things I think could be improved gameplaywise for the upcoming DLC.

AI: In Liberation of Bohemia, three strong, but supressed and encircled panzer units where rescued by three other german units who managed to get an elite infantry with 3 specialists to retreat. Seeing those three panzers slip away to resupply was by far the coolest moment for me with this new content. I'm guessing this happened because the AI had offensive objectives around Vienna. Please try to make the AI more prone to break encirclement. It's probably optimal to stay fortified on the railway line and hope for the turns to run out in most cases, but it makes for far less exciting gameplay.

Cards: Although I like getting cards when taking bonus objectives I've never bought cards at conferences except supply cards in case I have trouble reaching an objective with infantry.

I think both increased and decreased importance of cards could work but you seem set on increased importance so I'm going to comment on that. I found Classic less entertaining than Normal due to having one less supply depot. On Alpine Redoubt and Liberation of Bohemia my only supply depot had to be used to keep a victory objective in supply which felt limiting tactically (moving it every turn to keep two fronts in action feels too gamey). Lack of recon was annoying on both difficulties.

I think it makes much more sense to have the card buying in the battle preparation phase on every scenario instead of having it on conferences. You inspect the battle field and then buy the cards that fit your plan instead of like now buying blind at a conference.

Large scenarios: Unthinkable is a great conclusion to the campaign although I prefer (and my laptop agrees) smaller scenarios so I hope that stays the norm. I think larger scenarios should have more forgiving turn limits though. Losing your three hour battle because your tank unit had too few movement points to capture that empty town on the edge of the map is an anticlimactic ending to put it mildly. Find the difficulty somewhere else than in turn limits in large scenarios please. I did capture that last town if anyone is interested btw, but I hope I will be strong enough to not play it on Classic or Hard (I won't be...:)).

Campaign tree: I really like the alternative routes but I think I will stay on the historical path for now and save the ahistorical scenarios to play as standalone scenarios.

I would like the system to be more flexible. Failing on the ahistorical path should send you back to the normal path unless you choose to replay the scenario. If you fail on a scenario where you've already gotten further than historically you should have the option to end there (like at final Vienna award) and still win. If that means teleporting units I'm fine with it, but judging from this board I realize others won't be...:).

I wouldn't mind you experimenting with one or two ahistorical "bad" scenarios in the DLC if you fail an important objective on a historical scenario. Could be fun.

The tech tree: This is by far my least favourite thing with UoC2. In it's current state it's basically just a trap for new players. To those who like it, please enlighten me as to why?

I think it should be removed from the game. Let the scenario dictate what tactics are available on different HQs instead. If that change is too drastic, at least make tech unlock globally for all HQs. Playing these scenarios I really got to appreciate Recon in force and Counterattack. I never bothered with that level in the campaigns since I couldn't justify a 75 x 8 prestige cost.

Turning advanced tactics into cards could probably work if changing the game mechanics are on the table for a later DLC. Probably not worth the effort though.

Really excited for any future DLCs!

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Re: Update 12 Test

Unread postby Danielefc » Sun May 03, 2020 11:09 am

Hey Juoc and welcome back :)

RE: AI and encirclements
How the AI handles encirclements is as good as it gets - for now. There are several problems with making it any "better" that will require a lot of time to solve (improvements have been added since launch though).

RE: Cards
Good points and we will be giving cards a look for any DLC

RE: Huge scenarios
Don't worry - "Unthinkable" is a one off. Future scenarios will follow our true and tested formula of a good mix of small/medium/large.

RE: HQ Tech tree
Yea this one will also be looked over for any DLCs. Much as with the cards: this was an entirely new feature and now that we comfortable working with it many of its shortfalls can be ironed out in future content.

As always thanks for the feedback :)


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Re: Update 12 Test

Unread postby Clx- » Sat May 23, 2020 1:31 pm

Finally getting around to playing through all this. Amazing work.

I'm guessing it is impossible for me to have a mixed German/Allied force facing off against the Soviets but here's hoping!

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Re: Update 12 Test

Unread postby sourdust » Wed May 27, 2020 4:13 am

Very interesting conversation.

I too find I almost never buy cards during conferences, the prestige just never seems to be justified compared to what I need to get in terms of HQ upgrades, and what I can get through specialist purchases. A 60-prestige card - usable once, or at best once per conference period - just can't really hold a candle to the juice I can get out of 2x SP Artillery attachments, for example.

The cards are fun, and useful. SHAEF I consider indispensable for maintaining unit experience, but I can count on picking it up along the way. Ditto for truck and air/naval support cards. I always hover over the airborne divisions, but almost never get them.

Maybe one tweak would be to get rid of the prestige cost for cards at conferences, and just allow the player to pick one of them from the four available. That makes for an interesting choice, and the overall cap of cards at any one time ensures you won't be too OP at any given point in time.

Another possibility would be to start with 2 card slots only, and have to purchase additional card slots with prestige. The idea could be that you are investing in better inter-service coordination, given a lot of the cards involve air / naval support or special forces or central intelligence assets. Combine those two ideas - start with fewer card slots, but you get a free pick at each conference, and can buy more card slots, and I think the issue is solved!

On the tech tree... I like it on the whole, it really has the sense of armies gaining in capability and flexibility over time, until they become well-oiled machines by 1945. But some tweaks are definitely in order. I'd propose a decreasing cost for each additional army that gains the same skill. So for instance, "Logistics 3" might cost 50 for the first army to get it, 35 for the second, and 20 for each army thereafter to acquire. Or whatever. This would simulate armies on the same side being able to learn from each other. (Or possibly just do this within individual nationalities, eg US&French armies are one grouping, Commonwealth armies are a separate grouping). Obviously would need some careful balancing against overall prestige available in the campaign.

I also really like that different sides have different base costs and skill levels for unlocking the specific abilities. It really hurts in Battle of the Bulge when you're playing as the Germans and realise that re-supply costs 4 command points, when you are used to upgraded Allied armies that can do it for 2 CP or 1 CP!

Another approach would be to have all abilities be technically available to all armies, but with very high CP costs to start with. So maybe "counterattack" starts off costing 6 CP for a given faction, but you can bring this down by 1CP for each of three possible investments in "operations". Exactly which abilities get reduced, by how much, for each investment in a given tech branch would be faction-specific, so still lots of room to differentiate the various nations.