WitP:AE Team Concept

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aphrochine
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WitP:AE Team Concept

Post: # 93139Post aphrochine
Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:03 am

Hey guys,

I'm putting this here just in case anyone who is not normally an WitP:AE player could give this some thought.

Backstory

WitP:AE is one of THE greatest WW2 games ever created, scientifically speaking. However, it's complex and nuance comes at a pretty heavy toll in terms of time commitment and in the minutia of managing to scale the biggest theater of war ever known.

Back when AE was first released we here at WPO attempted a 2v2 game, where the IJ and Allied sides split up theaters and the turns were passed from player 1 -> 2 -> 3 ->4 in order to execute a turn. While in theory, this went a long way to reduce the management load on each individual player, it took an extremely long time to get a single turn done as the save file had to pass between 4 different players.

I want to iterate on this, in an attempt to loosen up the time commitment for various players. What I'm proposing is a team concept, where each turn is executed by a member of each team which may vary from day to day. My thought is to first create 2 teams of 2 or 3 gentlemen who would collectively be responsible for managing their side. How they organize their areas of focus or command/team structure is up to them. Between each team, implementing the orders can be coordinated and planning responsibilities shared. This helps with both time availability on a daily/weekly basis, and helps protect against the burn out that happens thanks to the super click heavy interface.

Basically, the team would collectively plan. However any given day, any available member can input orders and submit the turn.

Collaboration

All the tools necessary for successful collaboration are available:

WPO Forum Obviously setting up team forums is not difficult, we do it here all the time. The forum would house longer term discussing between the team and our AAR.

Discord Discord's main strength comes in the form of 24/7 communications. Discord has a capable phone client which will allow quick and short communications among the team as well as between the teams. Secure channels are easy to set up. As well live voice sessions with team mates, both over phone and PC are easily handled by Discord.

A channel housing the "Turn is Up." message to notify the opposing team that the turn is up. Meanwhile, Team based channels would allow the team to immediately determine who is best able to process that turn as well as add quick messages like "Get TF406 the h3ll out of there!!" etc, etc.

Dropbox The primary method of handing turn files back and forth, but there are other ways to leverage this tool. Such as keeping archived files among the team members, which could include Turn files which can be archived and used to catch up by the players. Batch files can be used in conjunction with Dropbox's sync functionality to make file movement much easier.

Dropbox as well as a phone client, which would allow all members to review Combat Reports. Using folder structures and boxes between members, sub directories to house intel and ops reports would allow members to check in on things and use Discord to communicate items to the team member who processes the file.

Googledocs The purpose here is to store any/all files for the team to house plans and detailed information. "What was the 198th Infantry Rgt meant for when it arrived at Los Angles in 1942?? Oh yeah, check the planning doc." Not only can spreadsheets be used, but theory docs, organization charts as well as planning boards can all be stored and shared via the service.

Between these 4 tools, I believe collaboration would be more than possible among a 2-3, or even 4 member team. Discord could be used to post when a turn is up, as well as team members to organize who will work the turn for the day.

Overall, from a logistics and collaboration perspective, we can all share best practices and get the file handling and turn management to a rather high degree of efficiency.

Potential Pitfalls

Version discrepancies could be an issue. We would need everyone to do some test runs and file swapping to ensure we do not receive out of sync results. This process could last 2-3 weeks.

Battle Tactics would be another area. For example, exactly what hex you send a fleet during a 3-5 day battle can have a tremendous impact. However, in a team environment this would be something that would need to tolerated. Also, the two teams could work out responsibilities where a turn would wait for a specific player to handle a battle within their tactical command, etc.

Lack of team structure. If one of the teams never coalesces well, the game could falter as the team slowly breaks down and members become disinterested. But then again, in a team environment if someone wants to drop out, the game can continue while a new player could be recruited in.




I think this has some potential, but I'd like to get feedback from anyone who might be interested.
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"A good plan, violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week." -Patton
"...a bad plan, is always a bad plan." -aphro

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Jones
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Re: WitP:AE Team Concept

Post: # 93145Post Jones
Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:43 pm

My biggest question about this would be the time commitment. A game played with one day turns would maybe turn over two turns per week? It'd be interesting to try this with 7 day turns... Then the extra planning would be needed and if done well would pay dividends in the game.
"Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war" - William Shakespeare, "Julius Caesar"

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aphrochine
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Re: WitP:AE Team Concept

Post: # 93146Post aphrochine
Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:39 pm

We tried a 3 day turn once. What I remember is that the orders just repeated 3 times. So if you ordered a squadron to sweep an airfield, and that airfield turned into a CAP trap...you just watched as your sweeping aircraft go shredded for the 3 turns.
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"A good plan, violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week." -Patton
"...a bad plan, is always a bad plan." -aphro

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aphrochine
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Re: WitP:AE Team Concept

Post: # 93149Post aphrochine
Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:43 am

So to refine the thought of 7 day turns...

The issue comes not so much from naval combat, but in Land Combat and Air Combat.

In Air Combat, groups/squadrons will execute your orders for 7 days. That makes bad decisions really bad and good decisions...somewhat 'meh' because you would need to wait several days to adjust the orders.

On the ground, I suppose you could time landings to arrive near the end of the 7 day turn, but that might not be that easy. Look at your landing at Port Moresby, had you landed on Day 2 of the turn, you'd have to wait 5 days before you could issue the order to attack. Meanwhile, each day the defenders are bombarding you. This wouldnt affect atolls, where the landing triggers a shock attack.

Just random thoughts, but naval warfare would be much more doable for multi-day turns.
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"A good plan, violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week." -Patton
"...a bad plan, is always a bad plan." -aphro

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setloz
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Re: WitP:AE Team Concept

Post: # 93187Post setloz
Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:26 pm

aphrochine wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:43 am
In Air Combat, groups/squadrons will execute your orders for 7 days. That makes bad decisions really bad and good decisions...somewhat 'meh' because you would need to wait several days to adjust the orders.
If I may add, even the naval is affected by this. Imagine a bombing run on an airfield that remains in range of enemy bombers due to some pathfinding quirks. It could retreat in time...or it could linger there for 3/7 days and get obliterated.
Or, a small CV TF gets ambushed by superior force and is damaged, but due to luck, damage is manageable. With 1 day turns, you skedaddle out of there and live to fight another day.
With 7 day turns, depending on the orders, you stay there and take more punishment. And in this game, Lanchester's laws apply in full, meaning any small advantage has the potential to snowball.
aphrochine wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:03 am
This helps with both time availability on a daily/weekly basis, and helps protect against the burn out that happens thanks to the super click heavy interface.


I would be interested in such a team game. I do not have the time for a solo 1/day/real life day turn game, but if the load would be distributed, things might get manageable.
And yes, maybe even the burnout from the clickfest could be mitigated.
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other guy die for his.”
Gen. George S. Patton

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