PGF: "Ephemeral" Posts (ask questions or comment here)

Panzer / Allied General Remake: Strategies, Tactics, Efiles, Custom Campaigns, Customizations, Documentation.

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Re: PGF: Limited Replacements between Scenarios

Post by Lettos » 2021-07-26 12:02, Monday

By the way, why can't you make a campaign with limited Replacements between Scenarios?

Prerequisity:
UNITS: REPLACEMENTS & OVER-STRENGTHENING
Strength Factor Procurement Feasibility
viewtopic.php?f=100&t=531#p9874

Main condition: the Free Elite Replacements (between Scenarios) option in the Campaign must be disabled. As we know, this option actually turns off not only Elite, but also Usual Replacements.

After win in Scenario 001 Player enters the intermediate scenario 002, which is used to upgrade the Core. We have already discussed this and accepted it as a perfectly workable option.

But in "Limited Replacements Campaign" in intermediate scenario the player has:
- only 1 turn, or very limited turns (2-3-4)
- Deployment hexes for Ground units have both Terrain Desert, and/or/not any other type.
- The number of Deployment hexes in some case may be equal to the number of Core Ground units, and in some case may be much less than the number of units.
- Deployment Hexes on airfields in some cases must allow only Air units. That is, the airfield already must have some kind of friendly non-moving AUX unit on it.
- Deployment hexes can be adjacent to one or two enemy units, which must have completely safe parameters, e.g. Attack=0, Defense=100. The icon of such a unit can be quite player friendly. At least... draw a can of beer :) A red target when pointing the cursor should not mislead the player, which should be explained in the campaign rules. Do not shoot cans of beer instead of getting Replacements :)

As a result, it is possible to create conditions for a friendly ground unit in which the Replacements received each turn will be issued by exe-file according to the sequences:

For Ground Units only:
Desert with 1 adjacent enemy unit = 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 (max)
Desert: 1-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 (max)

For Ground Units deployed on Non-desert terrain and for Air Units on Airfields:
Hex with 2 adjacent enemy units : 1(2)-4-6-7-8 (max) or 3-5-6-7-8
Hex with 1 adjacent enemy unit : 1-7-9 (max)

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REPLAY FINISHED

Post by Cat Leon » 2021-08-01 11:56, Sunday

When playing standalone scenarios, a player very seldom play a scenario at once from start to finish. We usually save the game and then continue it using 'pgsav' file. But if we load 'pgsav' and continue the game, we always get a 'REPLAY FINISHED ' message instead of 'AXIS VICTORY' or 'ALLIED VICTORY' in the last turn! In other words, a player cannot find out if he won or lost... Is there any way to avoid this situation? :huh
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Re: REPLAY FINISHED

Post by Lettos » 2021-08-01 12:41, Sunday

Cat Leon wrote:
2021-08-01 11:56, Sunday
When playing standalone scenarios, a player very seldom play a scenario at once from start to finish. We usually save the game and then continue it using 'pgsav' file. But if we load 'pgsav' and continue the game, we always get a 'REPLAY FINISHED ' message instead of 'AXIS VICTORY' or 'ALLIED VICTORY' in the last turn! In other words, a player cannot find out if he won or lost... Is there any way to avoid this situation? :huh
Just recently I came across the same nonsense. It turned out to be a long-known bug.

"WHAT ? DID I NOT JUST WIN ?"
viewtopic.php?f=100&t=554#p9099

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[EPH] An Emailer Wonders...

Post by HexCode » 2021-08-02 02:13, Monday

Just the other day, I got an Email from someone who's been reading my "stuff" in these forums. Mercifully, he didn't mention anything about "Open Mike"... :phew The Emailer pointed out that I never post specifics about my playing. In a nutshell, the Emailer suggested that the only practical utility he saw in these forums is for people to post After Action Reports (AARs). The point of view expressed in the Email isn't particularly new or surprising.

OK, here's my take:

A) I consider playing per se to be a strictly private matter, period. :deal

B) These forums accommodate "publicly" accessible posts. To the extent that such posts are helpful in somehow positively influencing wargame title / support utility development and corresponding content design activities, that's great. As for the rest, well, it's just... gravy ! :)

My favorite post excerpt:
Bottom line: PGF's play system minutiae and "quirks" often play a rather important role in fashioning content that's not necessarily connected with 20th century historical warfare; at least, not in SSI's "way"... :bonk Relatively speaking, ahistorical strategy content is more likely to benefit from PGF's play system minutiae and "quirks" than historically themed or HHD content. Careful though, I did write "relatively speaking", didn't I ? :evil :)
Clear enough ? :ihope

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Trick with 'Sea Transport'

Post by Cat Leon » 2021-08-02 10:08, Monday

After some testing I can say that If you give an unit 'Sea Transport' instead of 'Land Transport', this unit will only be able to move along a roads and through a cities! When moving that unit uses his own movement method and movement quantity. The options 'Mount'-'Dismount' don't work. I think this trick can be useful in some cases. For example you can use armoured train which will only move along the roads or for 'anchoring' some units if needed! :notsure
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Re: Trick with 'Sea Transport'

Post by Lettos » 2021-08-02 19:18, Monday

Cat Leon wrote:
2021-08-02 10:08, Monday
After some testing I can say that If you give an unit 'Sea Transport' instead of 'Land Transport', this unit will only be able to move along a roads and through a cities! When moving that unit uses his own movement method and movement quantity. The options 'Mount'-'Dismount' don't work. I think this trick can be useful in some cases. For example you can use armoured train which will only move along the roads or for 'anchoring' some units if needed! :notsure
Hi Cat Leon! :howdy
I'm glad you've joined the small community of people climbing inside PGF :)
Congratulations on your first exploration! :)

1) Speaking of the armored train itself, this could come in handy.
2) More globally, it's almost like a supply line that SSI has NOT implemented.
3) After your post, I tried to implement the same thing, and I see this in the PGF:
Image
That doesn't surprise me, you explained it perfectly! :cool

In FPGE I gave one INF unit SEA Transport 299 in the same scenario in PG1.
And I am surprised by what I see in PG1:
Image

Hey, we have a wonderful case of a programmer repeating a bug in a primary program while writing a program from scratch! :D :D :D

Or is this still a bug in FPGE? Very, very unlikely...

4) The PG1 code doesn't seem to be any big secret. May I have a look at the battle formulas? :evil :o :nyet :huh

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Re: [EPH] Outside SSI's... Box

Post by Cat Leon » 2021-08-03 09:08, Tuesday

HexCode wrote:
2021-08-02 22:42, Monday
Now, may I ask you a question ? What draws you to PGF ? I mean, Open General (OG) has all these bells and whistles... :)
I have started with PG2. Some time I tried to play PGF but then again switched to PG2 and OG. Yes of course, OG is much more modern and advanced but everything becomes boring sooner or later (even black caviar if you eat it every day ;) )! Besides, OG is tactical level game while classical PGF provides strategic level. About year ago, I almost accidentally found old PGF folder in my computer and frankly speaking, looking at some scenarios, maps and names in MAPNAMES.STR I wanted to smile and cry at one time! Then I decided to make my own mod in order to add realism as far as possible. In particular, we know that AI is not too intelligent (to say the least) when buying new units. Therefore I always place the maximum number of AI units on map with decreasing AI prestige and units quantity that AI can buy in the scenario. Now I have graphic files, Efile based on my PG2-OG Efiles, many reworked scenarios and maps (some of them are in fact new). However, it will take time to complete all that! :phew
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Re: [EPH] An Emailer Wonders...

Post by Lettos » 2021-08-03 14:32, Tuesday

HexCode wrote:
2021-08-02 02:13, Monday
Just the other day, I got an Email from someone who's been reading my "stuff" in these forums. Mercifully, he didn't mention anything about "Open Mike"... :phew The Emailer pointed out that I never post specifics about my playing. In a nutshell, the Emailer suggested that the only practical utility he saw in these forums is for people to post After Action Reports (AARs). The point of view expressed in the Email isn't particularly new or surprising.
Just the numbers on the subject of "I played well" - well, that's really weird. Go to Tokyo, it's the right place for new records.

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I was actively involved in the life of a forum closely related to strategy games.
They raised the question of whether to make an AAR section. It was clear to all moderators that AAR would be boring for everyone, except for game scenario author.
In addition, often a lot depends in game on the strange Random.
So 20 years ago we decided to make such AAR department with a condition: AAR must be based on game data, but it must be fiction-literary!
Slavs, what a complaint to them. They will always come up with something :)
I'll be honest - some of the literary fiction based on AAR was worthy in quality, humor, and artistic imagery to enter serious literary contests. And then the forum made an AAR contest. The text volume of the universally acclaimed winner was staggering - more than 100,000 characters! It was a small but fully literary novella! And it was very interesting to the forum participants! :clap

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Re: REPLAY FINISHED

Post by Cat Leon » 2021-08-06 10:19, Friday

In Standalone Scenario play mode, when play resumes on the basis of a game-state save effected in mid-stream due to prior play interruption, the coveted (hopefully) victory pronouncement at scenario's end is being replaced by a cold, clinical invitation to just... replay things ! An observed, rather harmless oddity...
I would say irritating oddity... :irate I have made special pg.pgcam with only one scenario to be tested. I just need to change scenario name for testing different scenarios... ;)
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[EPH] Re: REPLAY FINISHED

Post by HexCode » 2021-08-06 22:53, Friday

Cat Leon wrote:
2021-08-06 10:19, Friday
I have made special pg.pgcam with only one scenario to be tested. I just need to change scenario name for testing different scenarios...
I see you've decided to put your "researcher" hat on for good. I like that. :yes By the way, the Library's contents aren't sacrosanct. There's always room for improvement; especially when it comes to nuances. Unfortunately, the unavailability of PGF's source code forces some of us to speculate as to, say, how many angels can dance on a pin's head... :lol

So, this is PGF's second decade and there're four of "us" right now; just like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. :P Interestingly enough, the literal meaning of the word "Apocalypse" is "uncovering". :evil :bonk

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Re: PGF: "Ephemeral" Posts (ask questions or comment here)

Post by Cat Leon » 2021-08-08 09:39, Sunday

When testing a scenario an "Entrenched infantry" unit with LEG movement type and movement of 0 shifted to adjacent hex after being attacked by a tank. It happened twice in different situations! Is it possible? I haven't noticed this before. Units with movement of 0 remained in same hex until they were completely destroyed... :huh
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Re: PGF: "Ephemeral" Posts (ask questions or comment here)

Post by Radoye » 2021-08-08 14:16, Sunday

Yes, only class #7 "fort" units never withdraw. Regardless of the movement type, even a MOV = 0 unit will withdraw if there's a suitable hex if not in class #7 (i'm talking about ground units, not air or navy of course). This is why i created a "Garrison" unit and modeled it as an infantry with MOV=0 but put it in class #7. It will never withdraw, but it will surrender. Although, under different circumstances using anchors and other tricks to keep an unit in place yet allow them to withdraw might be preferred to having one that always remains in place but surrenders.

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Units strength limitation

Post by Cat Leon » 2021-08-19 09:26, Thursday

Is there any way to limit the maximum unit strength by some number (less than 10) regardless of unit experience or available prestige in a scenario? :notsure
First of all I mean the weapon like German sIG IB, sIG II which were always used in small numbers (separate companies).
For such an items it is possible to use unpurchasable duplicate with very high price (100000 for example) in the Efile. As a result the strength of that duplicate can never be increased in the game! It is clear this only works for standalone scenarios in which these units are placed on the map... :|
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[EPH] Re: Unit strength limitation

Post by HexCode » 2021-08-19 10:09, Thursday

Cat Leon wrote:
2021-08-19 09:26, Thursday
Is there any way to limit the maximum unit strength by some number (less than 10) regardless of unit experience or available prestige in a scenario?
Unfortunately, the engine subroutine which specifies STR = 10 as "normal" hasn't been identified yet.
Cat Leon wrote:
2021-08-19 09:26, Thursday
First of all I mean weapons like German sIG IB, sIG II which were always used in small numbers (separate companies).
For such items it is possible to use non-purchasable duplicates with very high price (100000 for example) in the Efile. As a result, the strength of duplicates can never be increased in the game! It is clear that this only works for standalone scenarios in which these units are preplaced on the map...
1) Yes, this is technically feasible; However:

a) If such a unit were to lose any Strength Factors (SFs) due to combat, the player won't be able to replace them in-game.

b) Eliminating even one such SF will grant the enemy a substantial amount of Prestige.

2) Such units can appear as prepositioned Auxiliaries in Campaign Play Mode as well.

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Re: [EPH] Re: Unit strength limitation

Post by Cat Leon » 2021-08-19 11:29, Thursday

HexCode wrote:
2021-08-19 10:09, Thursday
b) Eliminating even one such SF will grant the enemy a substantial amount of Prestige.
I forgot about it! :doh This is bad way then... :no
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[EPH] Advanced Interests Come With Difficulties...

Post by HexCode » 2021-08-25 09:44, Wednesday

Elsewhere in this forum:
Lettos wrote:
2021-08-23 20:43, Monday
I apologize for your wasted time!
Comes with the Territory...

No problem. Not that many modders dare touch PGF's executable. However, once the binary file gets treated as just another... external support file, one has to be extremely vigilant when it comes to experimentation. I mean, all sorts of passive code data and active code constants become modding game... :)

Egghead Details & Opinions...

PGF's pseudo-randomization is just a "black box thing" and the Rugged Defense chance display mechanism is carelessly (and almost disarmingly :) ) "primitive". Presumably, PGF's engine treats all displayed chance values greater than 100 as, well, 100. :ihope Be all that as it may, I assure you that other way more transparent computations are plainly nonsensical (e.g., Suppression calculations and their effects). To repeat: PGF's programming isn't anything to write home about... :eek :2cents

Oi Poloi Don't Give a Hoot...

The overwhelming majority of PGF fans who just wanted to somehow play SSI's "flagship" (i.e., PG1/AG) content without having to deal with such horribly exotic, technical monsters :lol such as... DOSbox and Windows Compatibility Modes, couldn't care less about the quality of PGF's programming or posts in forums such as this one, for that matter. :bonk

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[DEV] Eastern Panzer Attack

Post by joroi » 2021-09-04 21:22, Saturday

Hi all,

I am Jordi Guillen author of Spanish General, Pacific War and Thuderstorm series that are included in PGF.

When I stopped developing games I have one that was unfinished. It was "Eastern Panzer Attack" and was focused on Eatern front. We actually finished the equipment list and even finised some scenarios but the list of scns was big and it is a petty since many maps were finished (55) some of them with new focus like city fight. I am wondering if there is someone here skilled enough and with time to finish this project. I will send him all already done stuff and might even help if needed.

All the best for all of you!

Regards

Jordi

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Re: [DEV] Eastern Panzer Attack

Post by Radoye » 2021-09-04 22:28, Saturday

Hi Jordi, nice to hear from you again :howdy

Maybe our friend @Lettos would be interested to pick up from where you left off?

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Re: [DEV] Eastern Panzer Attack

Post by zjorz » 2021-09-06 04:58, Monday

Radoye wrote:
2021-09-04 22:28, Saturday
Hi Jordi, nice to hear from you again :howdy

Maybe our friend @Lettos would be interested to pick up from where you left off?
@hexcode this might be the project for you. Pretty sure that if you spend your time posting on modding it would result in an amazing campaign

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Re: PGF: "Ephemeral" Posts (ask questions or comment here)

Post by Radoye » 2021-09-06 13:38, Monday

I believe newavenriquez has done some edits to the UI to allow his additional purchaseable unit classes.

I've seen an alternative UI that Jorge44 was distributing (not sure whose work it is actually) which was mainly changing the colors of the various elements on the screen.

And i dabbled a bit - trying to fix some alignment issues on the unit purchase screen and elsewhere when unit names get a bit too long, as well as adding some cosmetic changes to the Briefing screens. The latter include pictures, but the other two are purely text edits.

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Re: PGF: "Ephemeral" Posts (ask questions or comment here)

Post by Radoye » 2021-09-06 14:56, Monday

I will - once i'm done experimenting with it and am fully satisfied with the results. It's still a WIP. :deal

If you wish, we can discuss the general principles in private so that you can do some experimenting of your own, but at this stage i'd rather not publish the exact changes i made before i have them fine tuned.

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[EPH] Verify, Don't Assume

Post by HexCode » 2021-09-06 15:11, Monday

PGF is a remake of SSI's Panzer/ Allied General(s), not a 100% replica. Most players and "light" modders need not overly concern themselves with any... lurking differences. They may as well forget about SSI's "old ways" and enjoy PGF in "as is" condition. That said, certain "advanced" modders better be careful. I'm thinking of individuals possessing PG1-DOS "advanced" modding... credentials :) who decided to migrate their activities into PGF modding territory (I'm one of them). "Advanced" modding is all about nuanced, technical details. To this effect, most differences are to be encountered in such details.

:bullhorn So, "advanced" modders (such as myself) better verify every little detail and assume nothing !
Last edited by HexCode on 2021-12-20 23:26, Monday, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: [DEV] Eastern Panzer Attack

Post by joroi » 2021-09-06 22:35, Monday

Thanks all!

Let's see if @Lettos or/and @hexcode are interested in continuing EPA. It would be great to give all that stuff live again. We did quite a lot of job. We were 4 people working on it and in fact I even did a kind of logo calling us "poker of Js" since all our names start with J... good times!

Equipment list was great (with lots of new units and more countries and pretty well balanced in my opinion), maps were good with some new focus especially for Stalingrad and Berlin city fights), icon art was great and the few scnearios completed (see list below) were done after deep study of OoBs and careful "translation" into EPA/AG what give very good playability. Basicly we tried to mainly feature operations not covered by original PG and AG although there are also some classics of the Easter front that can't be avoied.

This was the list of planned scns (with an * the ones completed at least for one of the sides):

FINLAND40
MINSK*
BESARABIA
KIEV 41*
CRIMEA 41*
JELNA*
TYPHOON*
MOSCOW DEFENSE
DEMIANSK*
CRIMEA 42
OREL*
NOVGOROD*
KHARKOV42*
MURMANSK*
BLAU*
KERCH*
MAIKOP
STALINGRAD APROACH
STALINGRAD CITY
URANUS
MARS
WINTERSTORM
CAUCASUS WITHDRAWAL*
KESSEL
LENINGRAD43 (SPARK)*
DON - LITTLE SATURN
TO THE DNIPR
PAVLOGRAD
KURSK Pokhorovka
KURSK FULL
LENIGRAD 43 (GERMAN)
SMOLENSK (SUVAROV)
POST KURSK (KUTUZOV)*
MOSCOW 43
ASTRAKHAN
CRIMEA 43/44
BUKRIN*
KIEV43
UKRAINE
LENINGRAD44
VOLGA
FINLAND44
LITHUANIA
BRAGATION
MOLDAVIA44
BALTIC
ROMANIA
BELGRADE
BALKANS
KONIGSBERG
POLAND45
HUNGARY
SEELOW
HALBE*
BERLIN CITY
SOUTH REICH
BUDAPEST*
FREDERIK - PRAGUE
ALPINE FORTRESS

Regarding PGF I only remmeber I dowloaded it and "my games" were there. Not best quality for some of them, but they work quite nicely.

Regarding sharing maps sure there will be no problem. If no one takes the lead to continue EPA I can share all of them.

Regards

Jordi

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Re: [DEV] Eastern Panzer Attack

Post by joroi » 2021-09-07 06:56, Tuesday

Hi there,
1) Regarding your own involvement with EPA, which wargame were you targeting ? PG1-DOS, AG-Win95 or some other wargame ?
All my wargames were done initially under Allied General for Windows. Anyway I have no problem if final EPA ends under another format.
2) Did you have any involvement in the conversion of Spanish General, Pacific War and Thunderstorm aiming at rendering them playable under PGF ?
If I am not wrong Alexander Shargin was the PGF creator (or at least the one I was in contact with - sorry it was 10-12 years ago). We were in concatc since I contacted him to ask for some editors upgrade to make EPA development easier. In fact I think he started working in PGF to acommodate EPA. I was asking him so many things that he decided to do a new engine much mor editable and felxible. Then in Dec 2009 he asked me if I want to get my previous games there (SPGen, PacWar and TS1 & 2). Obviously I was more than happy to agree. Afterwards due to the success of PGF a game company contacted him and he cretaed the Panzer Corps series comercially. Anyway regarding what you asked all the IT work was done by Alex so I did not have an invovement in the conversion itself (in fact I am an IT illiterate).
certainly commend you for your "easygoing" attitude. :clap This forum's Moderator and I have been championing "openness & sharing" of content and technical information for many years. It's gratifying to come across a hobbyist who doesn't torpedo the hobby by being... evasive / uncooperative / secretive.
Well all my work has been always for free so I can't understand it in any other way. In fact I worked over a marketed product (AG) without permission and without lots and lots of free collaboration from many other PG fans I would never succeeded to do my games. So if anyone can upgrade of take profit of my job to advance in his projects I will be honoured to help.

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Re: [DEV] Eastern Panzer Attack

Post by Lettos » 2021-09-07 11:09, Tuesday

joroi wrote:
2021-09-06 22:35, Monday
This was the list of planned scns (with an * the ones completed at least for one of the sides):

FINLAND40
MINSK*
BESARABIA
KIEV 41*
CRIMEA 41*
JELNA*
<...>
You mean this Yelnya: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yelnya_offensive ?
In one of the parallel realities that just happened in reality, there were no tanks. At all. Or was it 35-100 on the Soviet side after all?
How did you solve or were you going to solve this problem in the context of "Panzer Attack"?

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Re: [DEV] Eastern Panzer Attack

Post by joroi » 2021-09-07 11:23, Tuesday

Yes that Yelnia.

I am not sure what do you want to mean by no tanks. In this scn we set up 3 German vehicles (Recon) and 4 Soviets (3 tanks + 1 recon) out of 150 units deployed (60 Germans + 90 Soviets). Do you mean thes is historically wrong?

Regards

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[EPH] A Fundamental Bifurcation ? Not Really

Post by HexCode » 2021-09-08 01:23, Wednesday

An excerpt from Prima's PG Strategy Guide follows:
One other consideration is casualties. Although casualties, either inflicted or suffered, have no effect when the level of victory for a scenario is determined, keeping losses down and troop quality high during a campaign game can have a profound effect on your long-term prospects during the war. Also, during a campaign game, left-over Prestige Points are transferred to your resource pool for use in the next scenario.

When you're playing a single-scenario game, however, these real-world concerns are irrelevant. You can sacrifice entire divisions in suicidal attacks and blow every last Prestige Point you earn without consequence, provided you capture the objective cities, of course. Consequently, purists definitely prefer the realistic leadership and management concerns imposed by the campaign structure.
I believe that the Guide's authors were unduly influenced by SSI's "flagship" content, especially involving play against the AI module. A designer possessing even moderate technical skills can readily put together challenging scenarios where suicidal attacks are out of the question; if one wants to... win, that is. :) In addition, biting Prestige scarcity often becomes a veritable nightmare, unless one is extremely careful and somewhat lucky as well.

The preceding applies to H2H play in spades. However, strategy scenarios explicitly designed to be played against the AI module and requiring the utmost restraint and attention to detail by the human player are not such I tall order to author. My young nephew who likes duking out with the AI Module has been the... beneficiary :) of my "informal" scenario authorship strictly undertaken as a gift to my young relative. :) He's a clever boy and, most importantly, likes the challenge. ;)

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playing PG Forever against the Computer

Post by whalse » 2021-09-08 09:05, Wednesday

I've just set up PG Forever on my PC. It seems to work fine...except I cannot work out how to play against the Computer. Can someone tell me how to do this please...thanks.

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Re: playing PG Forever against the Computer

Post by Parabellum » 2021-09-08 12:21, Wednesday

whalse wrote:
2021-09-08 09:05, Wednesday
I've just set up PG Forever on my PC. It seems to work fine...except I cannot work out how to play against the Computer. Can someone tell me how to do this please...thanks.
Hello, first a note: you are not in the right forum. If you have questions about PGF, please ask them in this specific subforum viewforum.php?f=95

The question is very general, so it can be answered here anyway.
Start the program, choose your command (Axis or Allies) on the start page, choose the campaign you want to play on the next page and press the "Start" button, activate the game settings etc. ...

The video can serve you as a tutorial.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-pDa7BeUBM
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Completed CCs: 1, 2x3, 3x2, 4, 5x2, 6, 7x2, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18x3,19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 50, 51, 56x2, 59, 60x3, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76x2, MTC I

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Re: [DEV] Eastern Panzer Attack

Post by Lettos » 2021-09-08 16:30, Wednesday

joroi wrote:
2021-09-07 11:23, Tuesday
Yes that Yelnia.

I am not sure what do you want to mean by no tanks. In this scn we set up 3 German vehicles (Recon) and 4 Soviets (3 tanks + 1 recon) out of 150 units deployed (60 Germans + 90 Soviets). Do you mean thes is historically wrong?

Regards
This is absolutely right and correct!
A typical "positional warfare" battle, according to von Bock.
Then I have a question - how did you plan for the development of the "core" of those very panzers in the army, which, as it turns out, simply could not be in this scenario?
From the previous scenario comes an army of panzers and other units, in this scenario the panzers should disappear for a while and then reappear briefly.
Panzers in Murmansk (none at all), Leningrad (tanks withdrawn from completely impassable swampy terrain in 1941), Crimea '42 (there were a little over 100). These are infantry scenarios.
I'm not a gamer, and in my reality tanks don't go over mountains and swamps... What about your emulated reality?

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Re: [DEV] Eastern Panzer Attack

Post by joroi » 2021-09-08 17:43, Wednesday

Hi Lettos,

Thanks for clarifyng.

Well this is a game and we have to live with certain limits. Said that I don't rember being concerned about this (that is why external feedback is always so precious). We were just building scns and not yet wrried about campaign path and so on. Anyway I think that with editor you can limit the number of Core units that take part in each scn making it very low if you want or even making it zero. Perhaps it would be a good option to eliminate core units at all from all scns. Scenarios are well balanced and then the huge ultraexperience core army appears.... not nice no matter if they are tanks, planes or men.

You can also raise down prestige availble to minimize the options that player can buy many of these very powerful units. In fact in all scns we finished, most units present were not the most powerful ones. My colleague John was in charge of the OoB (he did very detailed Excel sheets) and was very strict with this. Superpowerful units were pretty uncommon in most battlefields.

Anyway it is pretty difficult to bring that to zero (no cores + no prestige?) since this will impact playability perhaps too much and at the end this is a game.

Warm Regards

Jordi

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[EPH] Victory & Weather Conditions

Post by HexCode » 2021-09-09 18:27, Thursday

Preliminaries

Scenario balance issues have already been covered at some length here:

Scenario Balance is Elusive (Part I)
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=503#p8283

Scenario Balance is Elusive (Part II)
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=503#p8284

Victory condition types have also been covered here:

Victory Conditions: Terminology
viewtopic.php?f=100&t=543#p8976

What to Do About the Weather...

Content designers have always been faced with a dilemma. How does one calibrate a scenario's maximum duration in the face of potentially adverse weather condition vagaries ?

Campaign Play Mode

The dominant approach has been to calibrate "things" so as to give a human player an even chance of achieving a Major Victory in the absence of significantly inclement weather conditions. Relatedly, the very same requisite calibration was also invariably aimed at giving the human player an even chance of achieving a Minor Victory under actual, adverse, inclement weather conditions.

Standalone Scenario Play Mode

I'm not aware of any past, pertinent, "public" discussions. My own approach is tough. :) Namely, the requisite calibration gives a human player an even chance of achieving Victory in the absence of significantly inclement weather conditions. Should the human player be unlucky enough to experience adverse, inclement weather conditions, well, he should be expecting to lose ! :2cents

A somewhat different scenario design approach would go something like this: Irrespective of actual weather conditions prevailing during repeated scenario play, a modder-player will adopt the shortest performance time frame to date within which he has achieved success; he will treat it as the scenario standard applicable to future play. This standard may subsequently get even tighter if and only if the modder-player achieves success within a shorter performance time frame, some time in the future.
Last edited by HexCode on 2021-11-03 23:15, Wednesday, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [DEV] Eastern Panzer Attack

Post by joroi » 2021-09-10 06:04, Friday

Hi there
Would it be possible to ZIP your EPA files and send them over to some "trusted" hobbyist ? If that were to happen, interested parties would be free to contact that hobbyist and request access to the material should the need arise.
Anyone that want to check EPA only have to send me a private message and I will provide him all material. ;)

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Re: [DEV] Eastern Panzer Attack

Post by joroi » 2021-09-10 16:11, Friday

I have played some of my games under PGF and I liked it a lot.

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[EPH] Accidental... Playtesting

Post by HexCode » 2021-09-23 18:29, Thursday

PGF hobbyists have been playing content under the wargame for years. Per se, this is a quintessentially private matter; the hobby's equivalent to the moon's dark side, if "you" prefer.

On occasion, one comes across apparent annoyances or programming oddities during play. More often than not, hobbyists just shrug their shoulders and move on with their lives...

On rather rare occasions, the odd hobbyist DOES bother to "publicly" communicate his observations by, say, posting in venues such as the present forum. It's this act of communication which renders the hobbyist an... accidental playtester. :yes

Of course, other hobbyists may decide to look into the matter in order to find out whether the observed, presumed "wart" is "apparent" or "real". However, this is besides the point.

The key thing here is that the hobbyist DID bother to tell the... hobby. :bonk

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[EPH] My Young Nephew's Preferences

Post by HexCode » 2021-10-08 19:42, Friday

Ok, he likes girls and chases after them. After all, he's young and healthy. :) However, this post has to do with his PGF play preferences ! :bonk

Besides liking to pit, say, the Finns against the... Spaniards :lol

1) Both sides aren't allowed to:

1A) Purchase New Units.
1B) Over-Strengthen Units.
1C) Achieve more than 2 Unit Experience Levels.

2) His side isn't allowed to:

2A) Disband Units.
2B) Procure Elite Replacements.
2C) Procure Regular Replacements for Units having more than 6 Strength Factors.

3) He does play against the AI provided:

3A) The AI is given a Defensive Posture.
3B) The AI is set at Intermediate Level.
3C) The AI isn't given any Unit Transport capabilities whatsoever.
3D) The AI is given quite a few prepositioned, stationary units all sporting 9 Entrenchment Levels.
Last edited by HexCode on 2021-11-26 02:37, Friday, edited 7 times in total.

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[EPH] Superior Online Language Translation Site

Post by HexCode » 2021-10-13 19:20, Wednesday

A Heads Up

No forum reader / poster can meaningfully read, let alone write, text written in any and all languages he might ever come across on the Internet; even English. :bonk

To this effect, interested parties might want to give

www.DeepL.com/Translator

(free version) a try. In my experience, its translation quality is head and shoulders above, say, Google Translate. I highly recommend this Web site.
Last edited by HexCode on 2021-10-22 16:54, Friday, edited 1 time in total.

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AD ships

Post by Cat Leon » 2021-10-19 11:06, Tuesday

:howdy
Some Efiles contain AD ship - the unit of AD class but with naval movement and target type. I have also included such an unit (AD cruiser) in my Efile but when testing I was very disappointed that it could not be attacked by a submarine! :( This looks realy odd so I'll probably remove it from Efile... :|
Leon, the friendly cat who walks by himself, plays PGF, PG2 & OG and bores busy people!

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[EPH] Re: AD ships

Post by HexCode » 2021-10-19 20:14, Tuesday

Cat Leon wrote:
2021-10-19 11:06, Tuesday
Some Efiles contain AD ship - the unit of AD class but with naval movement and target type. I have also included such an unit (AD cruiser) in my Efile but when testing I was very disappointed that it could not be attacked by a submarine! :( This looks realy odd so I'll probably remove it from Efile... :|
The nature of the general challenge is outlined here:

Establishing True Causation
viewtopic.php?f=100&t=536#p11357

Such empirical findings like the one mentioned above shed considerable light on the underlying programming. If all Naval Targets could be attacked by a Submarine Class unit then such units could attack enemy Submarine Class units as well. Clearly, this isn't the case. So, it looks like the underlying programming goes something like this:

"Yo, Submarine Class Unit:

1) If your enemy Target IS NOT a Naval one, just move along to hopefully accomplish bigger and greater things.

2) If, per chance, your enemy Target IS a Naval one OTHER THAN a Submarine Class unit, hey, go ahead and attack if you wish, BUT:

3) If, on the other hand, the enemy Naval Target IS a Submarine Class unit, well, once again, just move along to hopefully accomplish bigger and greater things".

Dual-Mode, Composite Units (DMCUs) tend to complicate "things" even more... :evil :)

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[EPH] Which Audience ?

Post by HexCode » 2021-11-03 00:19, Wednesday

From Father Time's Jurassic archives...
I believe the time-honored distinction in economics between consumers and producers can serve as a fruitful guidepost to PGF's overall assessment. SSI's commercial ventures in the 1990s have resulted in the emergence and continued survival of a hobby culture enamored with the World War General (WWG) play system paradigm.

SSI were, of course, the producers. The "masses" that bought all those game titles were the consumers. In general, these consumers bought SSI's wargames for the following then compelling reasons:

A) The wargames were commercially available and, hence, accessible with minimal effort on the part of interested consumers.

B) There was a widespread ideological presumption that the wargames would be more or less problem-free in their "as released" condition. The ideology at work here was that "consumers are kings by virtue of the money they spend on commercial purchases and, therefore, producers responsibly and automatically cater to their professed demands".

C) The wargame titles were in vogue at the time.

D) Play encompassed significant "eye and ear candy".

In general, the "masses" tried out SSI's wargames for a few fortnights and moved on becoming royally bored with the same old thing...

Enter PGF, half a generation later... I believe any reasonable person would conclude that this remake can NEVER attract a mass following. The reasons are rather obvious. PGF is NOT a commercial product. Moreover, an interested hobbyist would be hard pressed to even find the game on the Web and download it, let alone install it. Just on the basis of the preceding obstacles, "conumer kings" will NEVER touch PGF. But, wait, there's more. Namely, WWG play systems are no longer in vogue (Panzer Corps notwithstanding). To boot, oh horror, PGF does NOT sport too much "eye and ear candy".

Well, does the above effectively kill PGF ? Quite the contrary, I claim ! You see, the hobby culture revolving around the WWG play system paradigm has long placed itself outside the usual, run-of-the-mill consumer / producer divide. Enter the "prosumer"... I maintain that almost all hobbyists who still participate in some aspect of a WWG play system or another are "prosumers", whether they realize it or not. What makes a hobbyist a "prosumer", though ? For starters, it's a matter of attitude ! Here it goes:

1) There's NO ideological attachment to the notion that the only things in life that are fun can (should) only be bought...

2) There's NO ideological attachment to the notion that commercially available software are essentially problem-free and easy to install and use just because some company "supports" them...

3) There's an implied commitment to prolonged involvement with the particular hobby culture irrespective of fashion. Something at the heart of the wargame (e.g., the underlying play system) just "permanently and powerfully clicks" with the hobbyist's innermost play desires.

It's such hobbyist attitudes that make the WWG hobby culture an enduring reality. They're the foundation upon which all practical aspects of the "hobby" ultimately rest. It's important to appreciate that, in and of himself, a "prosumer-type" hobbyist combines elements of production as well as consumption in varying degrees with respect to the "hobby".

In the present, specific context, a "prosumer-lite" hobbyist is fairly comfortable with the idea of trying out various freeware and "mods" in "as encountered" condition. If something "works", well, all's fine and dandy. If it does NOT, well, it's not the end of the world; let's just move on to something else etc...

It's my assertion that an "effective" assessment of PGF cannot invoke an imaginary "mass" hobbyist audience to justify the game's presumed relevance. Moreover, such an assessment should plainly admit that, essentially, "prosumer-lite" hobbyists are harmless second-fiddlers as far as the "hobby" goes. Such hobbyists do NO harm to the "hobby", of course. At the same time, their role vis-a-vis the survival and evolution of the "hobby" is rather marginal.
Last edited by HexCode on 2021-11-03 19:49, Wednesday, edited 1 time in total.

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[EPH] Hard-Core Following

Post by HexCode » 2021-11-03 19:48, Wednesday

From Father Time's Jurassic archives...
The purpose of this post is twofold:

First, it aims at providing "newbies" and "lite-type" hobbyists with a general idea as to what kinds of individuals belong to the hobby's" hard-core. This can prove to be quite useful in the long run. After all, "newbies" and "lite-type" hobbyists DO try out and play "mods" that hard-core types occasionally make available on the Web... It's only fair to inform these souls about what they can realistically expect in this area...

Second, it provides "prosumer-pro" hobbyists (henceforth referred to as PGF's hard-core following) with an opportunity to reflect upon their own attitudes and approaches to the "hobby", hopefully in preparation for an eventual "second push" regarding PGF proper !

Below is a list of the main characteristics of PGF hard-core following's attitudes and behaviors, as I perceive them.

1) They're knowledgeable in the ways that legacy wargame titles and their support utilities can be installed and played on more recent vintage hardware and operating systems. They have the patience to do so...

2) They're reasonably aware of PG1-DOS, PG1-WIN9x and AG-WIN9x (PGF's progenitors). They have the patience to research technical matters now applicable to PGF as well...

3) They've become quite knowledgeable regarding support file internal structures located outside PGF's executable. Some of them may have even acquired some insights into that executable's internal structure as well.

4) They're eager to tinker with the internal structure of support files to introduce their very own custom slant on wargaming situations, including the introduction of scenario construction novelties (i.e., "mods" of varying degrees in originality).

5) A few of them have authored support utilities allowing tinkering to take place in a way more efficient manner than in the time-honored ways of direct hex-editing...

6) Most of them tinker with things on their own. They seldom make their "creations" available to the "hobby" via the Web. Moreover, they rarely communicate with other hobbyists either by e-mail or through forum posts. In other words, they're the "hobby's" invisible, silent, hard-core majority...

7) Those few brave souls that attempt to communicate with others in the context of the "hobby" are invariably faced with twin disappointments. For starters, quite a few "newbies" and, even, "lite-type" hobbyists adopt an unreasonable, lazy attitude by peppering this obliging minority with all kinds of (many times, frivolous) demands. It's the childish syndrome of "I want, I want, I want"... However, there's another "darker" disappointment that comes from the very heart of the "hobby's" hard-core. Namely, on a few occasions, hobbyists in the technical know, selfishly and in bad faith have kept vital information to themselves, thus impeding the "hobby's" progress...

8) Quite a few of them aren't native English speakers and aren't comfortable writing technical English. Many more don't like to write or document things at all, period...
"Newbies" and "lite-type" hobbyists don't post much in this forum. Therefore... :evil :)

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[EPH] Not An Auditor...

Post by HexCode » 2021-11-08 00:18, Monday

As some forum readers are aware, I'm currently curating PGF's Online Library. A lot of materials featured therein first appear under [ADV] posts subject to eventual deletion. This is going to be a process of quite long duration (measured in years).

Salient Points

It's extremely important for readers to internalize:

1) Whether it's PGF, its predecessor PG1-DOS, or some relevant support utility, my starting point is always the software itself, NOT its Developer / Programmer. When it comes to such individuals, I'm completely agnostic to the point of deafness...

2) As far as I'm concerned, PGF features SSI's play system. That's it, that's all.

3) SSI, Prima Publishing and PGF's Developer / Programmer have left "us" some documentation describing certain aspects of SSI's play system. So be it. That's a useful point of departure when it comes to documenting SSI's play system. Nevertheless, it's just that; a point of departure...

4) It's inevitable that the documentation mentioned under preceding point (3) won't accurately reflect the software's "underlying realities" on some specific matter or another.

Key Statement

Arriving at solid conclusions and documenting them do NOT constitute... audits of personalities. Nay ! They solely and singlemindedly support PGF Online Library's gradual expansion on a sure and reliable footing.

Humor

To break the monotony of technically documenting "things", I sometimes resort to humor. Be that as it may, this in no way constitutes critique, let alone criticism, of SSI, Prima Publishing etc. These entities were addressing the perceived needs of mainstream video wargamers, NOT board wargaming hobbyists such as myself !

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[EPH] AI Settings & Capabilities: My Take

Post by HexCode » 2021-11-18 20:16, Thursday

Suggested Reading

[EPH] My Young Nephew's Preferences
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=174&start=200#p11313

Personal Opinion

As per my nephew...
3A) The AI is given a Defensive Posture.
3B) The AI is set at Intermediate Level.
3C) The AI isn't given any Unit Transport capabilities whatsoever.
3D) The AI is given quite a few prepositioned, stationary units all sporting 9 Entrenchment Levels.
However, a human player watches a... comical scenario play show whenever the AI is:

a) Given an Attack Posture; and / or
b) Set at Advanced Level; and / or
c) Given Unit Transport capabilities; and / or
d) Not given a sufficient number of prepositioned, stationary units.

Units rushing forward in totally inchoate fashion as well as units routinely abandoning their garrisoning roles over at objective as well as other important hexes are, well, ridiculous ! Also, reckless, bordering on suicidal, attacks are plainly... grotesque ! My nephew doesn't care for such wargaming shows. I second that despite the fact that I never really play against the AI. ;)

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[EPH] Ever Increasing Toughness...

Post by HexCode » 2021-11-26 04:04, Friday

The... Movies

My nephew and one of his girlfriends have been showing some interest in watching "retro" movies. Curiosity... :)

SO

From the movie "The Blue Max" (1966) ==>

KETTERING : No confirmation, no claim. That's a squadron rule.

LT. BRUNO STACHEL : But I saw it. It was a kill.

KETTERING : Then you have the deep satisfaction of knowing you have served the fatherland.

A Suggestion

Earlier under this topic, I wrote:
Irrespective of actual weather conditions prevailing during repeated scenario play, a modder-player will adopt the shortest performance time frame to date within which he has achieved success; he will treat it as the scenario standard applicable to future play. This standard may subsequently get even tighter if and only if the modder-player achieves success within a shorter performance time frame, some time in the future.
Parallelism...

UNCLE : No quicker victory, no bragging rights. That's my rule.

NEPHEW : But I've won the very same darn thing in the past.

UNCLE : Then you have the deep satisfaction of knowing you're not always a... loser.

GIRLFRIEND : Enough with your... toys. Did you like serving in the army ?

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[EPH] PGF Exceptionalism ? Just An Offbeat Angle

Post by HexCode » 2021-11-29 07:16, Monday

The Pub topic entitled "Open Mike" (OMK) contains a few references to nations / countries which exhibit rather hubristic, exceptionalist tendencies. However, the posts containing such references have long been like trees in a virtual, petrified forest... :)

Is PGF exceptional in some way ? I don't believe so. PGF is just another historically-themed video wargame which players can enjoy without needing to know too many play system details. Modders invariably tinker with SSI's "flagship" content and, in any case, emulate its style. The preceding description certainly applies to PGF's first decade under the sun. For all I know, it may still be a pretty close reflection of "things PGF" continuing to take place in private.

What about PGF's "public" footprint during the wargame's second decade though ? Is it still... business as usual ? No, it's not. Besides a serious and persistent, "grognard" critique of the wargame, the present decade has seen the rise of an offbeat angle focusing on generating detailed documentation as if PGF were a board wargame. PGF's Online Library is the offbeat angle's concrete, ever evolving manifestation.

A few months ago, this forum's Moderator and I briefly discussed modeling "Refugees". At the time, I promised that, eventually, I'll get around to documenting "Non-Aligned Owned Hexes & Nominally Aligned Units". Well, this is actually, methodically happening in successive, "chewable" chunks (under the [ADV] topic) as "we" speak. Contextually:
Radoye wrote:
2021-11-28 17:18, Sunday
I was planning to follow up on this with further experimentation (like, what happens if we have Neutral owned victory hex which can't be captured by either side? Or what happens with the hex ownership if we have the same nation listed as both Axis and Allied? What happens if we only have units on the map which belong to nations not listed as either Axis or Allied for the particular scenario but they're assigned to their respective side?) but there's never enough time... :huh :dunno
I know that this forum's Moderator is quite familiar with the following Political Philosophy expression:

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs".

Within the context of "things PGF", I loosely paraphrase:

"From each according to his curiosity, time availability and communicativeness, to each according to whatever's being publicly... served by a few others".

PGF's Online Library is intended to be a very long-term project. Therefore, there's no hurry ! :bonk :)
Last edited by HexCode on 2021-12-06 15:50, Monday, edited 1 time in total.

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[EPH] Risk-Taking Play: Just the Right Balance...

Post by HexCode » 2021-12-05 11:22, Sunday

Some forum readers are already familiar with the rather extensive critique that PGF's AI Module has already been subjected to in the past. In particular, they're quite aware of the extreme recklessness exhibited by the Module under the "Advanced" difficulty setting. Hence, some recently expressed opinions that one should, perhaps, combine a Module Defensive Posture / Stance with the "Intermediate" difficulty setting rest on a reasonable foundation.

Now, what about human player behavior ? In particular, what about risk-taking play ? The usual content requirement which imposes challenging time constraints upon a human player's chance to score a victory certainly invites a measure of risk-taking play. Simply put, the human player is in a hurry and, hence, must take chances pressing on with his attacks. Ok, but at what point does such risk-taking play boomerang thereby becoming a fatal liability ?

In my opinion, the question of what sort of risk-taking play might be just right (i.e., achieving that elusive balance) can only be answered within the context of content specificity. That said, having been involved with the hobby for many years, I've zeroed in on what I consider to be the key content design requirement. Namely, an "extremely reckless" human player should be virtually denied the ability to effectively replace / strengthen units which have been eliminated or suffered grievous Strength Factor losses due to his "extremely reckless" play. Needless to say, the effective design of such content requires focused, iterative play testing. :2cents

I'll say that any content which readily allows, even rewards, "extremely reckless" play behavior on the part of the human player belongs to the "Beer & Pretzels Play Universe". :banana Can it be fun though ? Yes, for sure ! :) ;)

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[EPH] It Had to Happen...

Post by HexCode » 2021-12-08 17:22, Wednesday

Players reasonably familiar with PG1-DOS and PGF frequently come across a series of "pseudo-random" events that can be described as "persistence of good / bad luck". In fact, probability theory does have something to say about this...

BUT

There's a difference between emerging bias due to pseudo-randomness and bias due to unfortunate programming enabling pseudo-randomness ! Sometimes, 10 Capital Ship Class units serially bombard one and the same enemy Structure Class unit without a single hit. Other times, they collectively get something like 7 hits...

Ok, here's what happened to my nephew. ;) Quite likely due to PGF's iffy programming, a couple of AI-controlled, enemy Submarine Class units practically devastated something like 6 Destroyer Class units of his. Quite tellingly, the first 8 back-to-back attempted attacks by the Destroyer Class units and a couple of his Tactical Bomber Class units were aborted due to the enemy units promptly evading / submerging again and again and again... Courtesy of the AI Module, the one eventually surviving (intact !) enemy Submarine Class unit "protectively" entered a port hex which was also an objective hex owned by the AI Module. It stubbornly stayed there turn after turn after turn, thereby making it impossible for my nephew to clear the port hex by employing "pushy" Ground Super-Class units to dislodge it. It took something like 20 attacks by Tactical Bomber Class units to finally eliminate the enemy Submarine Class Unit lurking in that port...

Bottom Line: Some of the empirical results I've documented in PGF's Online Library which deal with chance events have been derived under conditions of reasonable experimentation control. However, the realities serially experienced during actual play often are excruciatingly frustrating or ridiculously uplifting. O fortuna ! :evil :rotf

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[EPH] Obstacles...

Post by HexCode » 2022-01-09 06:08, Sunday

Extraterritorial... Background

Elsewhere in these forums:

Good Samaritan
Panzer General Forever (a.k.a. PGF) - a quasi-emulator of original PG that allows one to run PG/AG scenarios and campaigns on modern PCs, but with certain differences compared to the original (different AI module - not an improvement IMO, some additional game rules etc); you can get it here:

https://panzergeneraldownload.com/panze ... rever.html

(you can visit the PGF subforum on these boards, scroll down towards the bottom of the main page to find it, there you can download additional campaigns and mods)
Clueless Poster
My record for dismal failure is, as usual, unblemished. I downloaded PGF, unzipped the file...and it won't open. It seems my new computer is running in "S mode", and I have no idea how to change that. (I'm probably just too stupid.) I give up, sorry to waste everyone's time. I momentarily forgot how stupid I am.
Commentary

1) IQ tests are imperfect, indicative tools used to ascertain one's numerical score on the rather well known "Stupidity - Brilliance" spectrum.

2) Being hopelessly clueless about technological matters isn't necessarily due to an underlying low IQ score.

3) What prompted the hapless poster to choose (?) a Windows 10S / 11S operating environment ? Alternatively, did someone else "decide" on his behalf ? In any case, did he bother to understand the restrictive implications emanating from the "choice" ?

Look, on a number of occasions I've "publicly" stated that some of us aren't willing to spend our precious hobby time serving as latter day... heroic, technical support for SSI or PGF's Developer / Programmer. The fact of the matter is that PGF is a video wargame. Running it presupposes a minimum level of understanding computers and their operating systems. The creeping... "democratization" of the human experience as it relates to employing computers to accomplish a myriad of diverse tasks does NOT necessarily imply that computer users should just be... sleepwalking. "Easy" does NOT necessarily imply "automatic" or "no downside whatsoever"... :2cents

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