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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:51 am 
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Anyone notice that the VP Hex values are hidden for the 2nd player when using extreme FOW?

First player to move in a scenario sees that VP Hex is worth 500. The second player sees that the VP Hex is worth 0 even though it is still worth 500 points.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:15 am 
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It is WAD. Under Extreme FOW, you don't know how valuable some objective hexes are to the other side. You can only guess what the enemy's intentions are.

Extreme FOW is, well, extreme.

If you don't like it, then don't play with the Extreme FOW optional rule.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:44 am 
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So the idea is that the second player is the defensive player, so the objectives are hidden from them, is this correct?

Edit- Is there a way to mod this in the scenario editor or via the PDT files, or somewhere else?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:05 am 
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Wayne wrote:
So the idea is that the second player is the defensive player, so the objectives are hidden from them, is this correct?

Almost correct. The defensive player knows where the objectives are, but doesn't know how much each is worth to the other side.

Not knowing what the other side thinks, it adds tension and excitement to the game. For players who prefer it that way (by selecting the Extreme FOW optional rule).

This all works best with the new Victory Points System, mentioned in changes.txt:

Quote:
- Introduced the new Variable, Asymmetric, Turn-Based Victory Points System. [Available, but not really used yet.]

Unfortunately, this is not yet documented in the formal game manuals. Here is a description lifted from the Dev Forum:

Quote:
In the new objective points system, objective hexes can have any of five value types:

-1
#
t-t[#] ...
#/#
t-t[#/#] ...

Let's consider each in more detail, one by one.

-1

Exactly like traditional exit hexes.

Note: Before, in cwedit.exe, you could mistakenly enter negative values less than -1. Now, any negative less than -1 is rejected ("Invalid objective value(s)").

#

Where # is some positive integer. For example: 50.

This functions exactly like traditional objective hexes: The occupying side, first side only, accrues these points immediately (i.e., the Victory Dialog notes this immediately and doesn't wait until the end of the turn). These accruals are one time only (i.e., don't continue to pile up from turn to turn).

t-t[#] t-t[#] t-t[#] ...

Where # is some positive integer, for example 5; and t-t is a range of turns, for example, 1-8.

You can have a single t-t[#], in which case the first t should be 1, the second t the scenario maximum turn.

Or you can have a sequence of t-t[#], where the turn ranges must be ascending, with no gaps or overlaps. The turn ranges need not be uniform, i.e., the number of turns in each range may vary.

For example, assuming there are 30 turns in the scenario, this is valid:

1-4[10] 5-8[15] 9-10[20] 11-20[15] 21-30[30]

Note that the varying objective values need not ascend, or descend. Unlike the t-t turn specs, the objective values can be anything you want (so long as they are non-negative). The objective values need not be according to any formula. They can rise, fall, go to zero, etc. They can be completely arbitrary.

Is the following valid?

1-4[10] 5-20[0] 21-30[30]

Yes. Note that for some turns, the objective value can be 0. Value 0 is valid at the beginning, the middle (even in several turn segments), or at the end. Just so for some turns, at least, you have positive integer objective value(s).

Note that an objective value of

1-20[50]

is equivalent to a simple objective value of

50

assuming the scenario has 20 turns. In the latter, simple case, 50 applies to all 20 turns, so the effect is the same.

If it's not clear, the t-t[#] ... objective hexes thus function much like traditional single-number objectives hexes -- with one-time awarding of points -- except the point values can vary by turn.

#/#

Where the # are positive integers, where the first # applies to the Union side, while the second # applies to the Confederate side. For example: 3/5.

This is a new type of objective value, where accruals add up each turn, and may accrue to either the Union or the Confederates.

In the example 3/5, for a ten-turn scenario, if the Union hold the objective for the first 4 turns, while the Confederate seizes and holds the objective for the remainder of the game, the net effect of this objective hex is

3 + 3 + 3 + 3 - 5 - 5 - 5 - 5 - 5 - 5 = -18

assuming the Union are the first side.

One or the other of the #/# may be zero, but not both. So for an objective hex value

4/0

the Union would accrue 4 additional points for every turn they hold the objective, while if the Confederates hold that objective, they gain nothing.

For

0/3

the Confederates would accrue 3 additional points for every turn they hold the objective, while if the Union hold that objective, they gain nothing.

0/0 is not valid, however, as such an objective value specification is pointless, has no effect, for either side.

Important: Unlike the earlier objective value types, which take effect immediately, the per-turn accruals only happen at turn's end. If you take an objective of this type, don't be surprised if there is no immediate change in the Objective Points box in the Victory Dialog. The change will only be reflected at the end of the second side, as the turn passes on to the next.

t-t[#/#] ...

Like the preceding type -- per turn accrual -- but varies by turn segment.

For the turn specs, the same rules apply (ascending, no gaps, no overlaps, last t in the sequence is the scenario file turn).

Likewise, the same rules apply for the #/#: One or the other, or both, must be positive integer(s). However, this is permissible:

1-3[0/0] 4-6[0/5] 7-10[5/5]

This says, for turns 1-3, neither side accrues points for holding the objective. For turns 4-6, the Confederate player (only) accrues 5 points each turn for holding the objective. For turns 7-10, both sides accrue 5 points for each turn they hold the objective.

So in the above example, if the Confederate were to hold the objective for the first five turns (and if they are the first side), while the Union hold the objective for turns six through ten, the total effect would be:

0 + 0 + 0 + 5 + 5 - 0 - 5 - 5 - 5 - 5 = -10

For the t-t[] types, in one value specification, it's either all #, or all #/#, not both.

For example, this is invalid

1-4[3/4] 5-6[3] 7-10[3/3]

because the [3] doesn't mix with the [3/4] and [3/3].

Like the #/# type, points accrue with the variable t-t[#/#] etc. type only at turn's end.

Important: Within each objective value segment, no spaces!

So these are all invalid, as they contain spaces:

- 1
2 / 4
3/ 6
1- 5[10]
6 - 10[3]
6-10[ 3 /4]

In the cases

#/#
t-t[#]
t-t[#/#]

they must be exactly as shown, without spaces. If you insert spaces in any segment, the editor will complain "Invalid objective value(s)".

Segments *must* be separated by one or more spaces, however.

For example, this is valid:

1-5[5/5] 6-10[4/5] 11-18[3/5] 19-24[2/5] 25-30[0/5]

This is invalid:

1-5[5/5]6-10[4/5]11-18[3/5]19-24[2/5]25-30[0/5]

In the editor Set Objective Dialog, be sure to specify a Side (select something from the provided pick list). If you don't, if you leave the Side "No Side" (XNoSide), that in effect tells the editor to strike this hex from the objectives list. That is how you remove an earlier objective, by the way, by selecting --No Side -- from the pick list...

As changes.txt says, "not really used yet". But you will begin to see it used more and more in new scenario design. And quite possibly older scenarios will be revamped per the new system in future CWB updates.

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Panzer Battles Lead Programmer, http://johntillersoftware.com/PanzerBattles.html
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:13 am 
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Wayne wrote:

Edit- Is there a way to mod this in the scenario editor or via the PDT files, or somewhere else?

No way to mod this. If you don't like, don't use the Extreme FOW optional rule.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:35 am 
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The new Objectives VP system is used in the Panzer Battles Battles of North Africa '41 game. The CWB implementation is quite similar to the PzB system.

From the BoNA41 manual:

Image

Image

Image

An extended discussion of the new system can be found here:

https://www.wargamedesignstudio.com/2018/03/24/panzer-battles-3-march-2018-update/

Quote:
Our rationale for introducing the new victory point options is that with some scenarios (particularly longer ones), we’re seeing that players have little incentive to play historically. In many cases holding objectives on the last turn is the only key requirement. Moving to a per turn or variable basis shifts that emphasis. Having the ability to have a different value for each side will allow better balancing as well as different importance for each side of the various locations. Attacking players will now be motivated to be more daring and drive to take objectives that are higher value for them, despite the risk of isolation or counterattack. Defenders will be motivated to try and hold high value (to them) forward positions where each extra turn will net them a high value rather than just surrendering it to preserve troops and to hold the victory hexes that are higher value to all in the rear.

An additional benefit is that campaign scenarios can have different objective weightings based upon the situation picked by each player – this will really open up the replay ability. The campaign designer can vary victory points in each outcome based on the situation each player chooses. For example, a player who chooses a scenario that defends the left side of a map will have left side VP’s weighted higher for the time he holds those victory locations. The options are endless and it will allow us to reward behaviour that is more in keeping with the scenario’s intent.

The rationales for implementing this in CWB are similar.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:41 am 
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Thanks Berto for posting and linking all that information! It's very helpful. I see myself experimenting with that in the near future.

Here is one thing I am either confused about or concerned about, depending on my understanding of the new mechanics and how they relate to XFoW...

My understanding is that the second player cannot see the VP values under XFoW. This will work well with most scenarios where one player is the attacker and the other is the defender. But what about meeting engagement scenarios?

This will have the effect of penalizing the second player in a meeting engagement scenario. I realize that we can simply not use XFoW, but there are reasons to want to play with it that go beyond the VP hexes.

Would it be possible to have hidden VP values, instead of hard coded based on player order, be a value in the SCN file or PDT file? This would give designers even more flexibility in scenario design, particularly with meeting engagements.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:08 pm 
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AFAIK, and apart from selecting/deselecting Extreme FOW, there is currently no flexibility to toggle this one narrow FOW feature ON or OFF. In other words, Extreme FOW is all or nothing. We can see about relaxing this in future. But for now, it is what it is. I don't foresee our doing another round of updates any time soon. For the near future, we want to focus on getting the next title out. Where we might modify the system in the manner suggested.

Wayne wrote:
Thanks Berto for posting and linking all that information! It's very helpful. I see myself experimenting with that in the near future.

Wonderful. Experimentation is encouraged.

The new system was utilized in the recent PzB release, but as of now, no CWB scenarios make use of this new feature. Great if you can help to get the ball rolling.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:12 pm 
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And the next title is? :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:17 pm 
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:mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:27 pm 
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:P :P :P

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:10 am 
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Berto,

I'm just happy you are looking at some of the features of the other series to make the ACW series better.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:23 pm 
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This all seems like a lot of effort to control the historicity of a scenario for the first time played, if one doesn't simply pre-load the scenario from the opponent's perspective. Or am I missing something in how the game engine might randomly select those VP values each time the scenario is opened? If that is the case, then the object of historicity is mute.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:26 pm 
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Joe Meyer wrote:
This all seems like a lot of effort to control the historicity of a scenario for the first time played, if one doesn't simply pre-load the scenario from the opponent's perspective. Or am I missing something in how the game engine might randomly select those VP values each time the scenario is opened? If that is the case, then the object of historicity is mute.


The game engine doesn't randomly select the VP values...although that would be a cool (and probably impossible to balance a scenario) feature.

We are basically dealing with two issues here, both relating to VP hex values.

1) The new system gives a lot of options to a scenario designer. In the Kerntown scenario I am working on, the longer the CSA holds the stonewall, the more victory points they rack up. Same for the USA.

The goal is to reward the Union player to make piecemeal attacks. They are going to have to take that wall back for a while even if they cant hold it. Otherwise the Union player would sit back until all reinforcements arrive and just overwhelm the CSA line. The CSA player might not hold the line in the end but they can still win by holding it long enough.

2) The other issue is hidden VP hex values that only come into play when using XFoW and only for the player that moves second. Only the second player (defender usually) is kept ignorant of the VP hex values. This is interesting in a straight up attacker/defender scenario in it's own right. This can be even more interesting in a tournament match when 3 similiar scenarios are made but with VP hex values changed. The defender would really be in the dark as to the attackers objectives.

(Btw, does anyone know if both players need the scenario file? If only the first player needs it then there is no way the defender could cheat and reload as the attacking player in order to see VP values)

The problem, as I see it, for issue #2 is that meeting engagements are out of the question for XFoW play. One side will know the objectives and the other will not. The work around will be to load it up as the other side to see the VP values. There is also a way to create scenarios were both sides can't see the VP hex values. This might be interesting in certain cases.

All in all, I like where this is going.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:29 pm 
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Wishing this was its own separate Optional Rule and not part of the Extreme FOG rule as otherwise I like the rule. Not knowing what a value is is really moot as all I have to do is open up the Scenario Editor (which I do) and check the value.

When calculating how to win a scenario its important to know what the objective is worth and in most cases the capture of a key location is a set value anyway.

Sorry, Berto, I just dont see the need to disguise its value. I also do not play the scenarios with the idea of "just open it up and play it blind" but frankly when you are looking to WIN a scenario how else can you do that if you do not know what a VP is worth? Its not the worth to the defender that matters but for what its worth to the attacker.

Good point on the meeting engagement scenarios. In this case BOTH sides should NOT know what the VP locations are worth. ;)

Thanks for explanation of the rule and thanks for all you do for the series you work on!

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