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

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

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Lettos
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Re: AI Units -- Movement, Attack, Replacement & Purchase Priorities

Post by Lettos » 2021-03-09 10:35, Tuesday

HexCode wrote:
2021-03-04 00:59, Thursday
I've just finished documenting PGF's *.PGSAV internal structure.

*.PGSAV (SECTION 15)
AI Behavioral Instructions

viewtopic.php?f=95&t=496#p8358

should be of particular interest to content designers aiming for "interventionist" human play against PGF's AI. Fortuitously, the 24 bytes involved are placed at the very end of the file; hence, it's child's play (pardon the pun) to locate them and experiment with them. By the way, there're 2 settings the meanings of which I haven't been able to "decipher". Anyone interested in taking over and finish the "job" ? After all, I'm a H2H play guy... :)
It is possible that yes!
But here's a technical problem. When all the children were engaged in a constructor with nuts and bolts, I went to the river and made boats, and then played toy soldiers. :)
Hexcode, will it not be difficult for you to write instructions for children of 4 years of age on how to get into these files and then save them correctly for testing? :huh

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Re: "Creativity"... Challenge

Post by Lettos » 2021-03-09 12:07, Tuesday

HexCode wrote:
2021-02-09 06:21, Tuesday
Hello fellow "researchers" and "dreamers".

Think of Ground units located in hexes having been assigned some specific Terrain X (i.e., UTR). Consider the following... anomalous unit Replacement properties:

On behalf of such a unit, a player

1) Has the full freedom to choose either Normal or Elite Replacements.

2) Isn't able to procure more than one (1) Strength Factor and one (1) Ammo Point per turn.

3) Can keep on procuring Strength Factors unimpeded by the usual restrictions imposed by the unit's Experience Levels (i.e., "Stars") or by any scenario-specific cap on unit over-strengthening.

4) Can keep on procuring Strength Factors unimpeded by the adjacency of one (1) or even two (2) enemy units.

5) Can keep on procuring Strength Factors unimpeded by prestige unavailability. In fact, Accumulated Prestige may even turn negative (i.e., prestige on... credit).

Any "creative" ideas ? Like this forum's Moderator observed a few moons ago: "we're always trying to push the {modding} envelope around here" (paraphrasing somewhat) ! :yes
I have pondered your idea, but there has been no practical result yet. We can use it somewhere, but I don't know where yet.

But as a by-product, the idea of a "railroad" and a transport route in the ocean emerged.
Introduction:
The idea with the Event and the Black Hole and the sudden appearance of a lot of units from the AI in some cases may not work exactly as planned. But these are small things compared to the fact that you have to create two different scenarios for the game in Human-2-AI and H2H modes.
But what if you put all the units that simulate the "strategic reserve" on the map and make sure that the AI or human player cannot physically bring them into battle before a certain turn?
For example, Winston Churchill awaits the arrival of convoys in Alexandria in order to win the battle of El-Alamein in 1942. Or Joseph Stalin relocated Siberian divisions from Far East to Moscow front in 1941.

Can't we do it like this?
Image

Blue lines are Neutral hexes. In case of convoy to Alexandria these neutral hexes can be Red Sea coasts, or usual ocean tiles.
In this example transport with red dot carries Hurricane fighter. Equipment file must be modified to allow Hurricane be transported by sea.
Transports with blue dots - tanks Matilda.
We make the map larger than it is necessary for the battlefield. We only need the territory to the east and south of Alexandria for the convoy.
AI will move transports towards the place of unloading. At least he can do that, regardless of whether he plays the AI in Defensive or Offensive scenarios. The player for Allied will do the same in H2H mode with only one exception: gentlemen's agreement not to unload the plane for transport. AI does not do such tricks :nyet :)
But a Axis bomber can fly into this "transport corridor" and attack transports. :shock
To prevent such speculative actions of the player and and to exclude any damage to sea transports as a result of air attacks, we need to create the new Sea transport and slightly change the parameters comparing with usual sea transport.
Air attack = 0, Air Defense = 200-1000. Adjusting MVT to 1,2,3 we can simply calculate and predict when reinforcements arrives.
If we need to unload transports faster we can place on map more unloading hexes at the end of the path.
Only one problem observed during testing. Sometimes AI move first Hurricane, but sometimes - Matilda's. There are no warranty which unit will be unloaded first.

How to made a railroad for Siberian reinforcements?
Prepare one Clear Terrain tile with "RR" letters. (It is for example only!).
In new created unit replace Sea transport icon with train. And at the end of path place some kind of Train junction tile. Maybe it will be a tile of a city without a flag, only with letters "RS".
Both Stalin and Churchill are happy, and Rommel and von Bock are more interested in playing :lol

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[EPH] Re: "Creativity"... Challenge

Post by HexCode » 2021-03-09 16:01, Tuesday

Lettos wrote:
2021-03-09 12:07, Tuesday
But what if you put all the units that simulate the "strategic reserve" on the map and make sure that the AI or human player cannot physically bring them into battle before a certain turn?
This is technically feasible. The "reserve" units are pre-placed on map hexes in a map zone surrounded by neutral hexes (likely bordering on a map edge) with, perhaps, one or two hexes serving as potential "exits". One pre-places there specially designed enemy surface and / or air units sporting very high defense / strength values and MA=0. In order for the "reserve" units to be able to exit from... bondage :) they'll have to totally destroy those immovable, blocking obstacles first.
Lettos wrote:
2021-03-09 12:07, Tuesday
...the idea of a "railroad" and a transport route in the ocean emerged.
As an aside, the design of a unit which is constrained to move along "roads" only has been documented elsewhere in the forum (i.e., submarine class organic transport).
Lettos wrote:
2021-03-09 12:07, Tuesday
How to made a railroad for Siberian reinforcements? Prepare one Clear Terrain tile with "RR" letters. (It is for example only!). In new created unit replace Sea transport icon with train. And at the end of path place some kind of Train junction tile. Maybe it will be a tile of a city without a flag, only with letters "RS".
I'm afraid I lost you here. Are you thinking of a "corridor" flanked by neutral hexes ? How to you visualize unit embarkation and disembarkation ? Will transportation be "faster" ? If so, how ?
Lettos wrote:
2021-03-09 12:07, Tuesday
Can't we do it like this?

Image

Blue lines are Neutral hexes. In case of convoy to Alexandria these neutral hexes can be Red Sea coasts, or usual ocean tiles. In this example transport with red dot carries Hurricane fighter.

Equipment file must be modified to allow Hurricane be transported by sea.
Not necessary, if pre-placed.
Lettos wrote:
2021-03-09 12:07, Tuesday
... gentlemen's agreement not to unload the plane for transport. AI does not do such tricks
If pre-placed, one can grant the air unit just one (1) fuel point...
Lettos wrote:
2021-03-09 12:07, Tuesday
To prevent such speculative actions of the player and and to exclude any damage to sea transports as a result of air attacks, we need to create the new Sea transport and slightly change the parameters comparing with usual sea transport. Air attack = 0, Air Defense = 200-1000. Adjusting MVT to 1,2,3 we can simply calculate and predict when reinforcements arrives.
Yes, all this is technically feasible. :)
Last edited by HexCode on 2021-04-07 23:25, Wednesday, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Creativity"... Challenge

Post by Lettos » 2021-03-09 17:29, Tuesday

HexCode wrote:
2021-03-09 16:01, Tuesday
Lettos wrote:
2021-03-09 12:07, Tuesday
But what if you put all the units that simulate the "strategic reserve" on the map and make sure that the AI or human player cannot physically bring them into battle before a certain turn?
This is technically feasible. The "reserve" units are pre-placed on map hexes in a map zone surrounded by neutral hexes (likely bordering on a map edge) with, perhaps, one or two hexes serving as potential "exits". One pre-places there specially designed enemy surface and / or air units sporting very high defense / strength values and MA=0. In order for the "reserve" units to be able to exit from... bondage :) they'll have to totally destroy those immovable, blocking obstacles first.
It looks a little complicated. And what prevents an anti-AI Human player from sending several bombers to this reserve and bombing them a little? And why are you sure that AI will actually try to get out of this sanatorium? In the sandbox, AI just ran into the Tiger II with STR=15 and EXP=5 and didn't nothing.
HexCode wrote:
2021-03-09 16:01, Tuesday
Lettos wrote:
2021-03-09 12:07, Tuesday
...the idea of a "railroad" and a transport route in the ocean emerged.
As an aside, the design of a unit which is constrained to move along "roads" only has been documented elsewhere in the forum (i.e., submarine class organic transport).
It's here, right? viewtopic.php?f=95&t=189#p2246
Probably submarines can be used as well. But transport with Air Defense = 200 and Air attack = 0 in this case looks more reliable.
Lettos wrote:
2021-03-09 12:07, Tuesday
How to made a railroad for Siberian reinforcements? Prepare one Clear Terrain tile with "RR" letters. (It is for example only!). In new created unit replace Sea transport icon with train. And at the end of path place some kind of Train junction tile. Maybe it will be a tile of a city without a flag, only with letters "RS".
HexCode wrote:
2021-03-09 16:01, Tuesday
I'm afraid I lost you here. Are you thinking of a "corridor" flanked by neutral hexes ?
Exactly! I drawed it on map... :phew
HexCode wrote:
2021-03-09 16:01, Tuesday
How to you visualize unit embarkation and disembarkation ?
One coastal port with some sign meaning what it is not usual port what can be occupied by Player. Clear terrain type. Sea transport will disembark units in these tiles.
Or You mean something another?
HexCode wrote:
2021-03-09 16:01, Tuesday
Will transportation be "faster" ? If so, how ?
MA = 1,2,3 - it is a player's choice depending from Scenario. There is no technical problems to create slower sea transports in equipment file.
HexCode wrote:
2021-03-09 16:01, Tuesday
Not necessary, if pre-placed.
Yes, You are right! This makes the task even easier! :)
HexCode wrote:
2021-03-09 16:01, Tuesday
Lettos wrote:
2021-03-09 12:07, Tuesday
... gentlemen's agreement not to unload the plane for transport. AI does not do such tricks
If pre-placed, one can grant the air unit just one (1) fuel point...
Now I'm going to check what the AI will do. But there is one more nuance in where the planes will be unloaded. AI will unload them where - to the coastal line tiles? Although there will be a friendly airport nearby? Need to be checked :)

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[EPH] Re: "Creativity"... Challenge

Post by HexCode » 2021-03-09 17:56, Tuesday

Lettos wrote:
2021-03-09 17:29, Tuesday
And what prevents an anti-AI Human player from sending several bombers to this reserve and bombing them a little? And why are you sure that AI will actually try to get out of this sanatorium? In the sandbox, AI just ran into the Tiger II with STR=15 and EXP=5 and didn't nothing
Frankly, I wasn't thinking about the AI at all. Clearly, one can't expect too much from PGF's AI, can he ? As for H2H play, an appropriate "house rule" should be sufficient... :2cents
Lettos wrote:
2021-03-09 12:07, Tuesday
... gentlemen's agreement not to unload the plane for transport. AI does not do such tricks ... If pre-placed, one can grant the air unit just one (1) fuel point ... Now I'm going to check what the AI will do. But there is one more nuance in where the planes will be unloaded. AI will unload them where - to the coastal line tiles? Although there will be a friendly airport nearby? Need to be checked
Yes, if one opts for air unit fuel... starvation, a disembarkation hex with friendly underlying airfield terrain will be required. Hex adjacency will also work. Finally, one can get really fancy and place an aircraft carrier class unit on the disembarkation hex... :)
Last edited by HexCode on 2021-04-07 23:25, Wednesday, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Creativity"... Challenge

Post by Lettos » 2021-03-09 18:26, Tuesday

HexCode wrote:
2021-03-09 17:56, Tuesday
Lettos wrote:
2021-03-09 17:29, Tuesday
And what prevents an anti-AI Human player from sending several bombers to this reserve and bombing them a little? And why are you sure that AI will actually try to get out of this sanatorium? In the sandbox, AI just ran into the Tiger II with STR=15 and EXP=5 and didn't nothing
Frankly, I wasn't thinking about the AI at all. Clearly, one can't expect too much from PGF's AI, can he ? As for H2H play, an appropriate "house rule" should be sufficient... :2cents
Lettos wrote:
2021-03-09 12:07, Tuesday
... gentlemen's agreement not to unload the plane for transport. AI does not do such tricks ... If pre-placed, one can grant the air unit just one (1) fuel point ... Now I'm going to check what the AI will do. But there is one more nuance in where the planes will be unloaded. AI will unload them where - to the coastal line tiles? Although there will be a friendly airport nearby? Need to be checked
Yes, if one opts for air unit fuel... starvation, a disembarkation hex with friendly underlying airfield terrain will be required. Hex adjacency will also work. Finally, one can get really fancy and place an aircraft carrier class unit on the disembarkation hex... :)
This is the point, when creating scenarios, I have to constantly think about this AI, an idiot in the form of a reflective amoeba ...
And I have to look for a simple solution, understandable to him. It seems to be working out a little. :)

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Re: Hex-Editing, Again !

Post by Lettos » 2021-03-09 18:48, Tuesday

HexCode wrote:
2021-03-09 17:32, Tuesday
The requisite technical expertise isn't particular to PGF's binary files. Basically, one must know his way around a hex-editor. The Web contains oodles of information on this.

NOW, half a generation makes a big difference. Back in the mid-1990s when SSI's PG1 was released, quite a few computer users identified themselves as "power users". To this effect, certain types of PG1-DOS modding were decidedly, technically "advanced". They included extensive hex-editing of various binary files.

Fast forward to 2010. When PGF's programmer started coding the game, there were no "power users" left willing and able to hex-edit anything. In fact, a couple of posters proudly announced to the hobby that they would never hex-edit anything, period. Relatedly, Open General's programmer was giving players almost everything they were asking for on a silver platter. This (quite laudable) approach inevitably generated an atmosphere of disdain for any sort of "adventurous" technical modding; the PGF hobby was impacted as well.

Bottom line; hex-editing re: PGF is usually seen as hopelessly "retro" and, perhaps, even weird... :P
Talking about "retro"...
Once upon a time, in 1988, my programming device was a calculator that used Reverse_Polish_notation
I don't remember anymore if the cars were running on gasoline or using steam engines. ;) I would not be able to programmatically add 2 + 2 on this calculator right now. But I wrote pretty good programs. There was 4 kilobytes of RAM!, if you translate this strange assembler to the equivalent of the BASIC language code.
That is, I was dealing with prehistoric devices. But they were already the next generation after the hexadecimal code ... Read something from the translated books of Niklaus Wirth and something on AI from the literature of the 1980s. Perhaps something from what you read even still somehow affects the thought processes? Not sure whether the answer is positive or negative. :huh :dunno

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Re: Scale Consistency & Scalability

Post by Lettos » 2021-03-10 22:52, Wednesday

HexCode wrote:
2021-03-10 17:56, Wednesday
Half a century ago, two seminal hex-based, turn-based wargames, Blitzkrieg and Panzerblitz, launched two partially overlapping wargaming traditions. Blitzkrieg ushered in the era of Strategy Wargaming. Panzerblitz did the same for Historical Wargaming.

Two of the topmost concerns in Historical Wargaming have been how to establish geographical and magnitude consistency as well as pursue scalability across the board. The object has always been to render multiple battle situations playable under the same rules and unit specifications.

The goal of geographical consistency is to establish definitive, unchanging dimensions underlying a typical map hex. In this context, scalability poses the challenge of designing maps sporting hexes of varying dimensions while somehow tinkering with rules and unit specifications so as to keep "things" objective...

The goal of magnitude consistency is to establish definitive, unchanging interpretations of the meaning of a typical unit strength factor. In this context, scalability poses the challenge of specifying units of varying sizes while somehow designing appropriate maps so as to keep "things" objective...

In my opinion, PGF's design isn't adequately suited to effectively pursuing "objective" scale consistency and scalability aims in the context of custom content generation. :2cents
"isn't adequately suited" - this is a very correct estimate! :yes
On the other hand, we somehow live in this environment? :huh
From the point of view of scalability, I am currently interested in one fundamental point of the game. Or, in more detail, two of the same section: Max Ammo and Fuel.
There are at least three levels of scale here, i.e. Unit is equivalent:
1) Division
2) Battalion
3) Company or Platoon

To explain the question, I will mention one fact: Soviet tanks on June 22, 1941 had a maximum of one or one and a half ammunition inside the tank and in warehouses. It mean about 100 shells per tank. For some tanks such as KV-2 even less than one full set (36 shells). How much AMMO it is in the PGF/PG1 compared to the minimum weekly ammunition of the Wehrmacht's Panzer division? 1? 2? or 1/4? :dunno :D

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[EPH] Re: Scale Consistency & Scalability

Post by HexCode » 2021-03-11 04:04, Thursday

Lettos wrote:
2021-03-10 22:52, Wednesday
From the point of view of scalability . . . There are at least three levels of scale here, i.e. Unit is equivalent:
1) Division
2) Battalion
3) Company or Platoon
In my opinion, PGF's play system is reasonably suited for Grand Tactical (i.e., company level, 1 day / turn) engagements. However, most SSI "generals" would vehemently disagree with me. The allure of purchasing new units is just too strong to resist... :) So is the "glorious", albeit, inevitably historically counterfactual Campaign play ! :2cents

When it comes to Strength Factor interpretations, I'm decidedly against the often "revealed" conceptualization that one can take, say,... Berlin with a few soldiers, tanks, artillery pieces and planes... :lol You see, it's those damn icons ! :P I choose to view Strength Factors as constituent sub-units (not necessarily identically equipped) collectively comprising the normally displayed unit.
Lettos wrote:
2021-03-10 22:52, Wednesday
From the point of view of scalability . . . I am currently interested in one fundamental point of the game. Or, in more detail, two of the same section: Max Ammo and Fuel.
Yes, PGF's play system has often come under severe criticism here. Interestingly enough, turn duration enters the scalability considerations big time as well. For example, what does it mean for an air unit to be flying around for days on end without being resupplied at some friendly airfield or aircraft carrier ? Also, resupply and replacements are subject to rules uniformly applicable across the board; there's no play system room for targeted differentiation... :(
Last edited by HexCode on 2021-04-07 23:26, Wednesday, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Scale Consistency & Scalability

Post by Lettos » 2021-03-11 20:03, Thursday

HexCode wrote:
2021-03-11 04:04, Thursday
I choose to view Strength Factors as constituent sub-units (not necessarily identically equipped) collectively comprising the normally displayed unit.
I am now considering one practical example from recent history.
Everyone knows a "simple" thing - the Wehrmacht division. Let's compare these divisions?
Some info to start: https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/German ... .html#fig5
Please scroll to Figure 5. (Continued) [II-9] and Figure 6. [II-10]

So many numbers that would seem to be very useful in determining the answers to some important questions ... but... can you apply these numbers to the PGF? I can not, too. There is a bit more work to do here to get a slightly more readable result.

I have simplified the table a bit by combining a number of similar weapon types.
Image

Same image: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1y3s64L ... sp=sharing

Can we now compare divisions in terms of firepower?
Unfortunately not. Until we know how many rifles are equal to one machine gun, and how many mortars are equal to a machine gun, the comparison will be biased. And even if we find out these coefficients, worked out by the harsh brutal practice of fighting, what can this give in the PGF? Some coefficients are for urban battles, where a machine gun is almost equal to a machine gun, and others for a battle on a plain.
It remains only to operate with such concepts as "it seems to me", "probably", "most likely", etc.

So, it seems to me that I probably, most likely and very likely and subjectively see the following in this table:

First section - infantry divisions (with or without transport vehicles):
- Division '42 (Old type) is more stronger in Hard and Soft Attack than the 1944 division. And, accordingly, a little stronger in Ground defense.
- And Div'42 is much more stronger in Hard Attack and Ground Defense than Div'38-39-40-41 due to ATG 75mm replaced 37mm guns. SA is equal.
- Two-regiments Division is almost equal to Division'44.
- Volks Grenadier division is mostly equal to Div'44 but should have a better Close Defense.
- Mountain Division is less weaker than Div'44.
- Air Force Parachute Division is better than Div'44. Weaker than Div'42 in HA but stronger in Soft Attack and Close Defense. Increased Air Attack and Air Defense.

Second section - motorized and armored divisions:
All three types are much stronger than Div'42 in HA, SA, AA, AD, GD. Coefficients can be calculated "Seems and Probably" looking to table data.

But... talking about PG/F there are mixed two types of our great units!
Army armored and SS Armored are TANKs.
Army Motorized is... INF with purchased Sdkfz 251 or 250 as "transport". But it is not only transport such as taxi cab for infantry to move better over mud.
Everything that could shoot and ride on wheels is attached to these armored personnel carriers as a trailer. And trained personnel included. So Sdkfz 251/250 were very expensive units, if we'll look on Army motorized Divisions as on very complicate army complex. Talking in PGF terms - transport unit with more higher HA, SA and Defense than standart values, but not so high as for Tanks in same time period.

That is, when buying an armored personnel carrier for the infantry, the player does not just transfer the infantry to the all-terrain vehicle, but actually changes the type of this infantry.
The point of upgrading the infantry after 1942 is not to buy supermen of the 1944 model, but to upgrade the transport and make the division motorized.

It's historically interesting - to go hunting not on the Sdkfz 7 all-terrain vehicle, but on the Sdkfz 250, accompanied by 48 Pz IV ... This thing must be very expensive. :) :lol

Again, I come back to the idea that armored personnel carriers in the PGF should be more important than in the old basic version from the PG/F: viewtopic.php?f=95&t=467&start=50#p8468
But this does not apply equally to all WW2 armies.
Last edited by Lettos on 2021-03-12 13:05, Friday, edited 1 time in total.

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[EPH] Re: Scale Consistency & Scalability

Post by HexCode » 2021-03-12 00:08, Friday

Lettos wrote:
2021-03-11 20:03, Thursday
But... talking about PG/F there are mixed two types of our great units!
Army armored and SS Armored are TANKs.
Army Motorized is... INF with purchased Sdkfz 251 or 250 as "transport".

. . .

... when buying an armored personnel carrier for the infantry, the player does not just transfer the infantry to the all-terrain vehicle, but actually changes the type of this infantry.

. . .

Again, I come back to the idea that armored personnel carriers in the PGF should be more important than in the old basic version from the PG/F . . . But this does not apply equally to all WW2 armies.
All such challenges stem from something foundational to all SSI 5-Star General play systems, including their various emulations:

Units can't be combined so as to simultaneously participate in one and the same attack / combat !

In traditional tabletop wargaming territory, multi-unit simultaneous combat is, well, old hat... Oftentimes, unit diversity is quite desirable. For example, an infantry division assisted by an armored regiment triggers beneficial column shifts in the good ol' Combat Results Table (CRT). That's combined arms warfare for you ! :)

In the early days of the WWG hobby, a few "grognards" attempted to get around the aforementioned "obstacle" by coming up with "scientific" formulas which would "objectively" reflect the composite effect of any historically accurate, underlying sub-unit diversity. As far as I know, the hobby just... shrugged ! :|

The preceding notwithstanding, I certainly don't view custom content design to be a popularity contest. It's up to every designer to effectively pursue his interests. If others find his ideas, approaches and creations useful / enjoyable, great. If not, too bad, so sad ! Yeah, I know, I'm a bit... jaded ! :lol
Last edited by HexCode on 2021-04-07 23:27, Wednesday, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Ale » 2021-03-12 00:28, Friday

yes, yes ... just it is based on Japanese game Daisenryaku play system, whose PG and series and all till this date are emulations. SSI designers and owners said themselves.

:lol rightful intervention, misters. must say do not play much of your beloved game, but throw an eye sometimes ; good luck with what you are doing...

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Re: Scale Consistency & Scalability

Post by Lettos » 2021-03-12 11:11, Friday

HexCode wrote:
2021-03-12 00:08, Friday
All such challenges stem from something foundational to all SSI 5-Star General play systems, including their various emulations:
Units can't be combined so as to simultaneously participate in one and the same attack / combat !
HexCode wrote:
2021-03-12 00:08, Friday
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=503#p8548
My short answer to Duke of Wellington: Knishops attacking! Why not? Kni-ght + Bi-shop? Knishop is allowed to go ahead as knight but can retreat backwards only as Bishop due to the horses are very tired. :lol :lol
Or take a piece of chewing gum or a piece of plasticine and stick it on one of the squares of the board at the beginning of the chess game. We choose the square at random. Piece can enter the square but sticks until it is captured by opponent's piece wich will be affected by plasticine again. How easy it is to break a centuries-old system with one sticky lump ... :( :dunno :lol

Ok, back to PGF and two invented "knishops". Both units created not instead of old but as additional types of existing ones.

1st. Anti-aircraft ATG 8.8cm "Acht-acht".

Idea: viewtopic.php?f=95&t=467&start=50#p8468

Class = 5 (Anti-aircraft!)
Soft Attack = 4
Hard Attack = 18
Air Attack = 15
Naval Attack = 8 (? Should be something equal to Destroyer)
Ground Defense = 4
Air Defense = 6
Close Defense = 0
Movement type = Wheeled or Half-Tracked
Initiative = 12
Range = 2
Spotting = 1
Target Type = 0 (Soft!)
Movement = 2
Max Fuel = 40
Max Ammo = 8
Can Have Organic Transport = 1 (Yes)
Cost = very expensive. If PzIVD cost for example is 200, Anti-aircraft ATG 8.8cm should cost about 300-400. (It's only my assumption)

And "usual" transport unit which is available for purchasing also for any another unit. But I'm not sure if someone will buy so specific unit for example, as usual infantry transport ...

Sdkfz 7 with "trailer"

Class = 15
Soft Attack = 1
Hard Attack = 10
Air Attack = 8
Naval Attack = 4-6 (Something less than Z-Destroyer)
Ground Defense = 8
Air Defense = 3-4 (need to be adjusted)
Close Defense = 0
Movement type = 1 (Half-Tracked)
Initiative = 12
Range = 0
Spotting = 1
Target Type = 0 (Soft!)
Movement = 5
Max Fuel = 40
Max Ammo = 8
Cost = much more expensive than SPW 251.

Transport with such parameters is quite suitable for an attack a Hard target. And is extremely weak if attacked by enemy ATY or INF. So the best usage of this transport is to place it somewhere close to enemy tanks, may be hitting one weaker, and immediately provide him a stronger "shield" of friendly tanks. And prevent any attacking by enemy INF. It looked pretty good in the sandbox test! But it need to be tested in real Scenarios.

2nd. Panzer-Grenadier (Army Motorized Division) "true" version.

Idea: viewtopic.php?f=95&t=174&start=100#p8551

The 1943-44 model "Wehr HW 1944" infantry division itself is well balanced in the PGF.
From WAW equipment file:
Wehr HW 1944 - SA=8, HA=8, GD=8 (Cost 120)
Gebirgspioniere 1944 - SA=8, HA=6, GD=8 (Cost 396) By the way, why here is so big difference 396-120?
INF units are OK but... looks that they need more stronger transport.

PanzGr 44 Sdkfz 251

Class = 15
Soft Attack = 6
Hard Attack = 8 (or 10?)
Air Attack = 1 (or 2-3?)
Naval Attack = 1
Ground Defense = 9
Air Defense = 9
Close Defense = 1
Movement type = 1 (Half-Tracked)
Initiative = 8
Range = 0
Spotting = 2
Target Type = 1 (Hard)
Movement = 5
Max Fuel = 40
Max Ammo = 8
Cost = much more expensive than SPW 251.

Please take a look how these "knishops" can be realized in icons:
Image
Same image: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LoWP2Z ... sp=sharing
Two versions for Sdkfz: 251 and 251/9 with Pak 75mm and Sdkfz 7 with 8.8cm ATG.

And some words about this Sdkfz 251/1 in 1939-1942 ... Comparing armor and armament, this is the same as PzI. Even better, because in addition to machine guns, soldiers can fire from their own weapons. But PzI have SA=3 and SPW251 Soft Attack is only 2! May be it's better to increase SA to 4? :huh

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

Post by Radoye » 2021-03-12 20:01, Friday

Speaking of scale, IMO HexCode is probably closer to the right answer here, although Company might be a tad too small, i always considered it being at a Battalion level - so 4 Companies with their command and support units included (light mortars and AT). Definitely not a Division.

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

Post by Lettos » 2021-03-12 22:47, Friday

HexCode wrote:
2021-03-11 04:04, Thursday
In my opinion, PGF's play system is reasonably suited for Grand Tactical (i.e., company level, 1 day / turn) engagements. However, most SSI "generals" would vehemently disagree with me. The allure of purchasing new units is just too strong to resist... :) So is the "glorious", albeit, inevitably historically counterfactual Campaign play ! :2cents
Grand Tactical (i.e., company level, 1 day / turn)
Frankly speaking, I did not understand your terminology. Are you talking here about the company level? That company, of which there are three or four in the battalion?
Radoye wrote:
2021-03-12 20:01, Friday
Speaking of scale, IMO HexCode is probably closer to the right answer here, although Company might be a tad too small, i always considered it being at a Battalion level - so 4 Companies with their command and support units included (light mortars and AT). Definitely not a Division.
What scale do you think is appropriate on the map when talking about a single hex?
1 unit = 1 company, 1 hex = ?? km
1 unit = 1 battalion, 1 hex = ?? km

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[EPH] Hex Area Symbolism

Post by HexCode » 2021-03-13 03:14, Saturday

Momentarily putting a "grognard" hat on, :) my preference would be for the area symbolized by a typical land hex to be dimensionally able to physically accommodate one company therein, maximum. Mind you, interpretational issues arise what with over-strengthened units... :evil
Last edited by HexCode on 2021-04-07 23:27, Wednesday, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Radoye » 2021-03-13 03:22, Saturday

It would be a herculean task to rework the entire PG/AG SSI map catalogue to a consistent single scale. PacGen had a scale modifier value in scenarios which would change firing ranges (so that Iwo Jima and Central China make more sense within the same campaign, especially with appropriate turns per day / days per turn settings), unfortunately we don't have that in PG/AG/PGF, and if we try to stick to a consistent scale Sevastopol would be just a single hex on a map rather than a whole scenario map. Every single map would have to be redone from scratch. So IMO that ship has sailed a long time ago.

Trying to model single units as divisions - in fact, anything larger than a battalion - these would have to include everything at once (except planes and ships), infantrymen, artillery, cavalry (where applicable), tanks, armored cars, bridging equipment, your uncle and my grandma... And there's no good way to model this under PG rules as a single unit, you can't give it the capabilities of infantry and tanks and artillery all at once, unfortunately it doesn't work that way.

So HexCode is right in that the game rules favor smaller unit modeling where an infantry unit is chiefly made up by infantrymen, tank unit by tanks/armored vehicles, artillery by artillery pieces etc. Once you go above the battalion scale this breaks down and no longer can suit the purpose. But if you go below battalion scale, you're no longer talking kilometers for a hex size but meters (and we arrive at Steel Panthers territory), so larger scale PG maps no longer make any sense and if we reduce the scale to company level you're no longer invading a country but at best maybe a railway junction or a river crossing. I mean, that's perfectly fine too for those who like it like that, let there be a 1000 blossoms bloom i always say, but then we're no longer talking about Operation Barbarossa or Normandy landings or some such - which will not sit well with others who like it that way. :dunno

So, since the map scales are already widely inconsistent, IMHO as the best compromise (and you're free to disagree with me), battalion scale for unit modeling is a perfect fit because it's the largest organizational unit that is still made up largely of the same type of troops - with some added support elements that we can calculate into the stats - infantry is still (mostly) infantry, tanks units are tank units etc. This is also considered as the smallest military unit capable of independent operations on the other hand. It works (somewhat) in a Sevastopol / Washington scenario type, it works (somewhat) in a Moscow / Stalingrad scenario type and everything in between, so there you have it.

:2cents

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

Post by HexCode » 2021-03-13 15:43, Saturday

Great post # Radoye #. :clap There can be no "one-size-fits-all" approach here. It all depends on the content designer's interests and preferences and those of players interested and willing to try his creation(s) under PGF.

In my case, within the context of PGF's play system and its "relative suitability", I shy away from anything "operational". Therefore, no campaigning and "generalship" for me. :) To this effect, company-sized units are my "bread and butter". My objectives routinely sound like "take that SoB SnakeTown and... round up the usual serpents !" :lol And yeah, no new unit purchases or unit disbandments whatsoever... :P To top it all off, if HexCode is a... good "boy", he may be allowed to upgrade some unit, in-game. ;)
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[EPH] Driving Down Memory Lane...

Post by HexCode » 2021-03-14 05:11, Sunday

Here's what PGF's programmer told the hobby... eons ago:
In PGForever.exe there is also a... table somewhere, but I don't want you guys to waste the time hex editing the EXE . . . This is not the PGF way of doing things. Any game which requires modification of its main EXE cannot be considered truly customizable. In the future all... tables will go to a separate text file, and each game will be able to have its own... tables . . . I intend to work on moving ever more of hard-coded stuff from the game engine to external files. Thus, I plan to move all terrain types, unit classes, weather zones, movement types and tables, target types etc to data files where it will be easy to edit them or add more entities. In perspective, I'm thinking of using some script language (like Lua or Python) to code all game rules and formulas. Then it will be possible to change them at will without modifying the game executable
Is there some current significance to the above quoted, albeit, never hitherto realized intentions ? Only that I'm trying my best to do "something" about "realizing" them, even if, by technical necessity, the likely results of my efforts won't be very user-friendly ! :) :ihope That's what happens with / to de facto "abandonware", under the most auspicious, long-term developments and most optimistic statements of intent... :2cents
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Re: PGF: "Ephemeral" Posts (ask questions or comment here)

Post by Radoye » 2021-03-14 16:56, Sunday

That's how PzC works - everything is externalized into simple tab delimited txt files. Very easy to mod movement types, terrain types, unit classes, everything.

Where it breaks down for me is with the eye candy - the unit icon format is a bit tricky to mod, especially compared to PG/AG/PGF; in addition to that, each unit has a series of custom sounds and animations ("effects") to go along with it, which make things unnecessarily complicated. And me being borderline OCD can't stand if things are just half way done, but the effort required to have them 100% done is more than i'm willing to put in.

But, for those who are willing to put in the effort, PzC offers great possibilities to modding be it with map design, triggerable scenario events, everything is customizable, it's beyond easy to add new unit classes, movement types, nations, whatever. It's PGF on steroids and unlike the PGF we use here, it's a finished polished product.

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

Post by HexCode » 2021-03-14 17:38, Sunday

While we're on the subject of PzC...
In perspective, I'm thinking of using some script language (like Lua or Python) to code all game rules and formulas. Then it will be possible to change them at will without modifying the game executable
Did PzC's programmer deliver on this... dreamy contemplation ? I really wish to be pleasantly surprised, here; really ! :ihope

In any case:

Capable programmers willing to code editors dedicated to altering PGF's two binary files would be a significant boost to the hobby. :2cents Unfortunately, if the past "teaches us anything", such characters invariably play many, many games and, hence, just can't stay with any one game for as long as it would take to code "things well" ! :( Ah, forget it ! :rip
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Re: PGF: "Ephemeral" Posts (ask questions or comment here)

Post by Lettos » 2021-03-14 20:12, Sunday

Radoye wrote:
2021-03-14 16:56, Sunday
That's how PzC works - everything is externalized into simple tab delimited txt files. Very easy to mod movement types, terrain types, unit classes, everything.

Where it breaks down for me is with the eye candy - the unit icon format is a bit tricky to mod, especially compared to PG/AG/PGF; in addition to that, each unit has a series of custom sounds and animations ("effects") to go along with it, which make things unnecessarily complicated. And me being borderline OCD can't stand if things are just half way done, but the effort required to have them 100% done is more than i'm willing to put in.

But, for those who are willing to put in the effort, PzC offers great possibilities to modding be it with map design, triggerable scenario events, everything is customizable, it's beyond easy to add new unit classes, movement types, nations, whatever. It's PGF on steroids and unlike the PGF we use here, it's a finished polished product.
Modification of types and classes of units, terrain types, scenarios etc - it's only 1/3 of overall of global problem (PGF, PzC or whatever it is from this series of turn-based models).
The remaining 2/3 are AI. Which is useless in all models. So there is nothing to worry about :)

Talking about PzC icons and graphics at all - there is an obvious lack of aesthetics on the part of the creators. It looks like what was done according to the templates of military needs, but it turned out to be unclaimed and in a truncated form went to the market.

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Re: Naval attack and ... minefields in PGF

Post by Lettos » 2021-03-21 20:19, Sunday

1) Parameter Naval Attack (NA) of Ground units

At the moment, this parameter for all "normal" units, except for specialized ones (for example, coastal battery) is 0 or 1.
In my opinion, this requires correction.

a) Units with Ranged attack > 0
Can't a 152mm AT field battery do serious damage to a destroyer or gunboat approaching the coast?
Is there a need to increase the NA parameter? I think yes.
b) Units with Range = 0
The only chance for such units to enter into a combat clash with the Naval Unit is to attack some Destroyer that approached the coast or entered the port on the previous turn.
In general, putting a Capital Ship into a port to defend a hex port is the last and not the best action, which can only be understood in case of a total shortage of Ground units.
Real Ports often do not have such a large water area to keep the ship safe from mortaires fire and even large-caliber small arms fire. The damage will not be significant, but it can be quite sensitive.
That is, Naval Attack of INF (especially HW INF), Tanks can be more significant than 0 or 1.
c) In many "land" scenarios, the nearest ship is in hundreds kilometers from the battlefield, or the ship is present in a very minor role (eg LC, France). And this NA parameter is not used at all. Which means it can be used for some other purpose! For instance...


2) Minefield

a) The minefield cannot attack itself, but inflicts losses on the attacking Ground unit.
Only one unit class meets this requirement. It's Air Defense. Air Attack parameter = 0.
b) The minefield cannot move by itself. MVT = 0.
c) The minefield must never move.
d) The minefield can be destroyed by certain classes of units: INF, Tac Bombers, AT.
Not all INF units are equally effective in removing mines. Engineers and Sturmpionieres do it best, and cavalry and paratroopers do it worst. The minefield can be cleared by special tank units (Bridge or Engineering tanks), but not by regular tanks.
It is required that some units effectively attack the minefield, while others do not. How to do it:

Assigning to AD unit Target Type = 3 (Naval (!)). MVT Type = 6 as for Naval unit.
And assign some serious NA value to all Ground units that effectively cope with the demining task (INF, AT)
Do not forget that you can clear mines with the help of artillery bombardment of a minefield or even air bombardment.

For example, I'm currently testing something like this:
INF Sturmpioniere NA = 20-30
AD Minefield GD = 5-6 (may be 8?)
SA = 8-10, HA = 8-10

These parameters of Attack should be adjusted later, may be increased to 12-15.
It is only example which looks good in testing sandbox for now!

Icon - group of black dots.

This "Passive" minefield has one drawback. When a unit moves into the hexes closed by the "fog of war", the unit stumbles upon such a minefield and does not suffer losses.

Such minefields can be used as "removable blockers" on roads. Or placed close to FORT units to prevent immediate attack to FORT by Player's INF or Tank units.
But you can also create and use:


3) Active Minefield or "Minefild with small fortifications"

Unit Class = 1 (Tank)
+ Organic Transport: Destroyer or Capital ship with Range = 0, SA=0, HA=0. Ship is much better than Submarine for H2H and still great for H-vs-AI mode, because the minefield will never be located in the port.
MVT Type = 6 (Naval)
Target Type = 3 (Naval)
MVT = 0
SA = 10-15 (or more)
HA = 10-15 (or more)
GD = 8?

There are even possible to create 3 types of such "fortified" minefields.
Anti-personnel Fort minefield: SA = 10, HA = 1
Anti-tank Fort minefield: SA = 1, HA = 10
Mixed minefield: SA = 10, HA = 10

Icon - group of black dots of different sizes and some kind of Strongpoint.


4) Usage of Ground INF Units with increased Naval attack in Scenarios

So, in the new Campaign Scenario, where minefields are involved, you just need to copy the new equipment file with new NA for some units.

If the Scenarios action takes place only on land, then you can use one common file for all Scenarios.

If some Scenarios contain enemy ships there is a choice to use minefields or not (i.e. to increase for some INF units and Artillery Naval Attack or not).
- I've checked now what happens if INF with NA=30 will attack all four types of Capital Ships (with standart PGF PG Campaign SA and HA) and Destroyer placed close to coast. INF losses are 2-3, Ships losses 1-2. On enemy turn Ships attacked INF units. Only destroyer has been heavily damaged (STR=1 after attack), but all Capital ships were a winners causing significant losses to INF. So I was expecting a disaster for the ships, but it did not happen :)

First of all, usage of minefields depends on the location of the minefields on the Scenario map. If the enemy's minefields are far from the coast, then the Player's Engineers will hardly have enough time to walk to the coast and attack ships.
In addition, it is not at all necessary that the AI ​​will expose all its ships to attack at once.
And the Player is unlikely to want to take a couple of Engineers to the seashore for a one-time attack, and expose them to the attack of the entire enemy fleet.
That is, there are a number of practical considerations that make raising the NA of INF and AT Ground Units fairly harmless to enemy ships.

I think using minefields on a battalion (and company) scale would be very interesting. On a divisional scale, minefields are of little importance due to their small geographic size.

=====

All of the above referred to the case: the enemy has minefields.
I'm very interested in testing what the AI will do when it encounters the Player's minefields. Does the AI use its own Engineers with increased NA? I don’t know yet :)

Since the topic is non-standard and unusual, some nuances may appear here that I did not take into account and did not see during the development of minefields and their testing.

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[EPH] My Post Prefixes

Post by HexCode » 2021-04-08 16:22, Thursday

This post strictly pertains to my future posting approach. Others may do as they please, of course.

PGF's Library is no longer hosted in this forum. Nevertheless, from time to time, I will continue to post under certain "predefined" topics in an ongoing... aesthetic effort to minimize forum "clutter" over time.

When it comes to my future posts, I will always preface them with one of the following codes:

[DEV] [EPH] [LIB] [OPN] [PG1] or [TEK].

The aim here is to make it easy for "lurkers" to instantly decide whether a post could conceivably be of interest to them or not. Efficiency... :)
Last edited by HexCode on 2021-04-16 01:19, Friday, edited 1 time in total.

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[EPH] Unit Deployment Nuances

Post by HexCode » 2021-04-12 00:54, Monday

Nuance #1

My memory got recently refreshed ! :)

1) Core units which are deployed onto the map prior to the actual start of a scenario ARE NOT considered to have "acted" due to the deployment act itself.

2) Core units which are deployed onto the map at any other time ARE considered to have "acted" due to the deployment act itself.

Nuance #2

I've always been aware that, in Campaign Play Mode, a player doesn't have to deploy all of his Core units onto the map just prior to the actual start of a scenario. He can delay the deployment of some such units as per his judgment. However, I somehow thought that upgrading Core units while in undeployed status can only take place just prior to the actual start of a scenario. Apparently, this isn't so. A player can upgrade some hitherto undeployed unit at any time prior to its actual deployment onto a map.

The preceding realization allows a player to make informed decisions at the intersection of:

A) Possible prestige scarcity;

B) A unit's current ability to survive on the battlefield; and

C) The enticing prospect of future, more powerful upgrade choices.

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[EPH] Picture Perfect

Post by HexCode » 2021-04-15 18:53, Thursday

I confess that I much like the current looks of this forum.

1) There's a clearly demarcated "sticky zone" in which [DEV] issues can readily be discussed.

2) Immediately below, three topics accommodate diverse [EPH], [PG1] & [LIB] posts.

3) The rest of the forum's topics are intended to accommodate rather rare, "special purpose" posts (if any).

Now, an additional opinion and a wish of mine:

a) Opinion || The recently completed "Library Migration" didn't really take away... "anything" :) from this forum. On the contrary, it mightily assisted in rendering this forum, well, "normal". :2cents

b) Wish || But, there's "normal" and then there's... "normal". I sincerely hope that the forum doesn't become "normal" in the way that "other" (now defunct) Web venue was... :eek :ihope I mean, that's precisely why the omnibus / "ephemeral" [EPH], [PG1] & [LIB] topics are around ! :yes

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