Campaign Designing Features

Tips and tricks for the designers, playtests.

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Major Heinz
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Campaign Designing Features

Post by Major Heinz » 2020-01-13 12:49, Monday

Hello, I am interesting what you think aout the following designing features for a campaign. About some of these stuffs there was a discussion on the german Raiders Forum, but I am also interesting what OG players think of that.
1. Only understrenght units are avaible in some scenarios, player gets understrenght units in the first scenario. In other scenarios he can buy full-strenght units.
2. Scenarios can´t be won. This one I wanted to do for Trapping trapped for Typhoon and Uranus. The player can not win, but he has the chance at Typhoon to collect several hexes to gain prestige, until he has to go into defense position or retreat his units.
3. Generally scenarios that are hard to win for failed battles in history.
4. No auto refit for several scenarios, but not for all. I am not a fan of no auto refit, but in some scenario it nevertheless makes sense like at Typhoon, Stalingrad, if the player starts in a pocket etc.
5. Setting some paths with the victory conditions and not with Choice scenarios. I know that Parabellum do not like this, but I find it ridiclious, to let the player decide eg. if he wants to play further Blitzkrieg scenarios or if he gets into a defending path. I am only fan for choice scenarios only for choices like eg. if the player wants to play 1944 on the Westfront or on the Ostfront.
6. How important is it for you to play a campaign that is playable on lower prestige Settings?
7. What is your opinion about campaigns with only given core units + prototypes?
8. Do you prefer to play longer or shorter campaigns?

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Ale
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Re: Campaign Designing Features

Post by Ale » 2020-01-13 16:44, Monday

Major, the most important thing is that if something is fun or interesting to you - your will and time available - then do it, my opinion in short. Besides, most OG players - by words of senior members and people from German or Polish community for example as well - play it "offline" i.e. not around forum to give many answers... only 3 answers from me:

5. sure why not, personally wouldn't bother me if conditions determine path
6. not important or to paraphrase you, not important that campaign must be winnable at 25% and less... i played lots of older camps at 0% but don't see reason designer nowdays would like his camps to be done that way... however, understanding the prestige level as difficulty level in other games is important and those seeking more challenge should be included in planning, generally speaking
8. personally when i was younger i didn't mind even monsters with 40+, now I tend to dislike those over 20

just briefly and to answer if it means anything to you - while I do not consider myself hardcore player anymore, reworking/designing also few for own pleasure (many efiles went "dead") ... in the process having fun with supply rules, green reinforces and similar

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randowe
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Re: Campaign Designing Features

Post by randowe » 2020-01-13 16:45, Monday

here are my :2cents Just my personal opinion and not how i want others to do campaigns or so.
Imo, every campaign designer should do what he/she wants to do and has fun with! :cool

1. I don't like mixing units with normal strength and understrength. We talked about it in the other forum. I prefer the the normal strength system or the system GeneralLascar inevented.

2. It is okay to have scenarios that a player can not win, but that should be mentioned in the briefing to prevent frustration.

3. No Problem if a BV is hard to do or out of reach, but a TV should be possible unless (2.) comes into place.

4. I don't like no-auto-refit and i doubt i will ever play a no-auto-refit campaign again. That is just my personal opinion, but i want to play the game with my units and sent them into combat even if they loose a lot of SP. I don't want to buy a lot of artilleries and avoid loosing precious strength points on my other units... That just does not fit with my playing style. I am also not playing a bookkeeping simulation were i want to do the math... :lol
Though i would not mind using no-auto-refit in certain situations, like a 2-day battle in 2 consecutive scenarios.

5. I don't mind different paths. The campaign designer should do what he/she wants to do!

6. Not important for me. I always play at 100% and nothing else.

7. I like it. Especially when you want to create realistic campaigns, a predefined or curated core seems to be the logical choice too me.

8. I prefer long campaigns with long scenarios on large maps and a medium core with around 35 - 55 units. More than 80 core units is too much imo.
Of course that does not mean that very scenario has to be like this. There should be a good mix between small and big maps, hard and easy scenarios and various victory types. At the beginning of a campaign it makes sense to use smaller maps when the core is still small. Of course, it also depends on the story of the campaign.

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Urica
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Re: Campaign Designing Features

Post by Urica » 2020-01-13 17:45, Monday

My personal opinions:

1. Some campaigns work very well with a core made with units that have less than 6 str. The old LG's "DAK", or "Heia Safari", for example. But I think that feature should be exceptional. There should be a very good reason for designing the campaign (or the scenario) in that way.

2. Same as 1). Those scenarios could be fun as an exception, but not as a general rule.

3. Yes, the level of difficulty can be adjusted depending on the historical outcome. But there should be always a clear chance of winning at least a TV.

4. Personally, I don't like "no auto refit" campaigns. But I've used them myself a couple of times, when I thought that it could benefit the campaign flow.

5. Both systems are equally good.

6. I always play at 100% (well, except in the current CC), so I can't say.

7. Bad move. In almost all campaigns, the player should be able to buy stuff at HQ. There should be very few exceptions. For example, a campaign about a Native American tribe that fights against the US cavalry. The Indian warriors aren't going to get any reinforces, so the HQ should be deactivated. But it's just a campaign concept. None of the present campaigns justify the use of 100% core units + prototypes.

8. Neither. For me, the ideal number should be 14-16 scenarios. And yes, most of my campaigns have a different number of scenarios (usually a lower number). So I'm not following my own rule.
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Wonderdoctor
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Re: Campaign Designing Features

Post by Wonderdoctor » 2020-01-15 12:27, Wednesday

1. Only understrenght units are avaible in some scenarios, player gets understrenght units in the first scenario. In other scenarios he can buy full-strenght units.
I wouldn't mind if there is a logical/historical reason behind it. At this point I cannot think of one.
2. Scenarios can´t be won. This one I wanted to do for Trapping trapped for Typhoon and Uranus. The player can not win, but he has the chance at Typhoon to collect several hexes to gain prestige, until he has to go into defense position or retreat his units.
I am ok with this if the logic behind it is sound.
3. Generally scenarios that are hard to win for failed battles in history.
No problem.
4. No auto refit for several scenarios, but not for all. I am not a fan of no auto refit, but in some scenario it nevertheless makes sense like at Typhoon, Stalingrad, if the player starts in a pocket etc.
No problem.
5. Setting some paths with the victory conditions and not with Choice scenarios. I know that Parabellum do not like this, but I find it ridiclious, to let the player decide eg. if he wants to play further Blitzkrieg scenarios or if he gets into a defending path. I am only fan for choice scenarios only for choices like eg. if the player wants to play 1944 on the Westfront or on the Ostfront.
Sounds good.
6. How important is it for you to play a campaign that is playable on lower prestige Settings?
Moderately important. Certainly if the default settings makes it either too hard or too easy for me.
7. What is your opinion about campaigns with only given core units + prototypes?
Not a big fan. I want not only to upgrade but also buy things. The exception could be a short campaign - where there is often not much core development anyway.
8. Do you prefer to play longer or shorter campaigns?
Depends on how much time I have. There is a time for each of them.
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mythos
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Re: Campaign Designing Features

Post by mythos » 2020-01-16 05:30, Thursday

The following is just my personal opinion. Every designer should create scenarios the way he/she feels comfortable :yep

Major Heinz wrote:
2020-01-13 12:49, Monday
1. Only understrenght units are avaible in some scenarios, player gets understrenght units in the first scenario. In other scenarios he can buy full-strenght units.
Tricky.

If the majority of the scenarios use Default Strength X, while offering Default Strength X-N (or X-N1, X-N2, etc) in other scenarios, it can work.
If it is chaos - i.e. in scen1 it is 5, in scens 2-6 it is 8, then 4, 3, 7, 10, 5, 13... - no thanks.
What confuses me: if starting with X-N, then having X fo the rest (or major parts) of the campaign, why should i keep or use (read: wasting for leaders) the understrength starting core ?

Also important to think about: what happens with prototypes in this case ?
Disable them every time the Default Strength drops below X ? Keep them, thus having them raise with "current" Default Strength = very possibly leading to protos with less than X in several scenarios ?

Tricky.

In KNK, there was originally 1 scenario with understrength (but experienced) units, i added a second scen in the middle of the campaign (with even more XP than the first).
Both scens are at a time when the player is either upgrading or is otherwise lacking the Prestige Cap to buy lots of new units - the scens are intended to buy heavy aty, Construction inf, and other units that aren't intended to be at the frontline, but add utility to the core and would otherwise probably not be used at all.
I also made it so, that the player won't receive an understrength proto.

Back to the beginning, if the idea behind changing Default Strength is logical and/or rare, so that the player can work with (or at least around) it: sure thing, go for it.


Major Heinz wrote:
2020-01-13 12:49, Monday
2. Scenarios can´t be won.

&

3. Generally scenarios that are hard to win for failed battles in history.
Somehwere between "sure thing" and "yes, but...".

Yes but: with todays OG options it should be possible to create a "only TV works" kind of scenario. I.e. if it is a retreating/Kessel style of scenario, then holding at least 1 VH or retreating at least 20% (or so) of units could still qualify for a TV.

Overall, to me this is a "flavour of the day" type of thing: on monday i say "cool" on tuesday "crap" on wednesday "not sure if this is a good idea" on thursday "i could imagine others will hate, but i found it okay" on friday "the coolest scen i ever played" :dunno

However, if the campaign becomes tedious, because it is mostly made of long and/or difficult scenarios, then: the longer the campaign, the higher the chance i will not finish playing it. Nowadays i lack the time and will to "think my way through" one scenario for 2+ hours (not mentioning more than one scen in a campaign). Instead i want to "play".


Major Heinz wrote:
2020-01-13 12:49, Monday
4. No auto refit for several scenarios, but not for all. I am not a fan of no auto refit, but in some scenario it nevertheless makes sense like at Typhoon, Stalingrad, if the player starts in a pocket etc.
A tiny little bit tricky, but overall: yes, why not.

To me the question of [auto-refit vs no auto-refit] for the complete campaign is about the core's size. The bigger the core, the more micromanagement it adds = more annoying. But for a smaller core, the added level of management and playing-strategy can be fun.

And when it comes to [only some scenarios not using auto-refit], yup, it fits nicely around battles that took place within days (i.e. the Battle of Tobruk can be fractured into several scenarios) or are about breaking out of a Kessel, or depicting a difficult/overstressed supply situation.


Major Heinz wrote:
2020-01-13 12:49, Monday
5. Setting some paths with the victory conditions and not with Choice scenarios.
Yes, why not.


Major Heinz wrote:
2020-01-13 12:49, Monday
6. How important is it for you to play a campaign that is playable on lower prestige Settings?
To me it is of low priority.

I.e., if a campaign was balanced for play @100 for average players, chances are good that it is still possible to play for veterans @50, so i personally wouldn't worry about it.
Only if you want your campaign to be picked as a CC you should be :crazy about the difficulty levels ;)


Major Heinz wrote:
2020-01-13 12:49, Monday
7. What is your opinion about campaigns with only given core units + prototypes?
To me, the biggest fun when playing a campaign is core development. Without buying and upgrading, my playing fun suffers a lot.
Even small scale campaigns (i.e. The Green Devils, a FJ-only campaign with few auxes) can be build with HQ-phase.


Major Heinz wrote:
2020-01-13 12:49, Monday
8. Do you prefer to play longer or shorter campaigns?
Generally speaking: i am a 20-scenario-campaign player. That is about the right amount of scenarios to develop the core, offer interesting HQ decisions, tell enough story for the campaign, offer enough space for a good mix of short, medium-difficulty and puzzle scenarios.

However, if most (if not all) scenarios are quick to play, then a 30-50 scenario campaign can also be fun.
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