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Railway Capacity Too High

Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:52 pm

The general railway capacity is calculated very generous.
This seems sometimes to limit the gameplay.

What could be done here?
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Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:31 pm

Maybe the amount of the railway capacity should be associated with the difficulty setting?
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Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:42 pm

Do you mean at the beginning of the game or after the war is already well under way? Which faction were you playing?

We had a lot of discussions during beta testing about rail capacity and it was limited at the very start so as to prevent entire armies being redirected to a single spot. After the first couple of months, however, the rail pool becomes stabilised and is not, in my opinion, too big or too small, especially when you consider that you are playing several nations under a single faction.

Did you have a specific proposal in mind?

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Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:57 pm

Still too generous. You rarely have enough Generals/Stacks active to even use it all AND the strategic need to do it, to be considered too little. There is no challenge apart from the opening 2-3 turns.
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Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:08 pm

Posted this in the other thread, bringing it in here as I hadn't seen the move when I made the post.


Kensai wrote:Ideally we could have a surge in railway capacity as an one-shot event, just to simulate this aspect. Its condition could be the firing of the Brest-Litovsk peace. I really want to see railway capacity decreased for the challenge. It's useless now, almost gamey.


Unless you have some historical reason for adding this to the game, I am completely and utterly against this. This is supposed to be an historical game so base any changes made in game to historical facts not because you want to make the puzzle harder to solve.

I suspect the reason there is such a glut of rail in game is because you are playing so many countries and are using all that rail as one big pool. The problem should be addressed by giving each country its own historical rail lift capacity based on factual historical lift abilities. So the rail pool needs to be changed or a scenario that divides all countries into their own faction needs to be created.

I personally think the real limiting factor of rail moves should be handled on a per line basis. In other words you would have almost unlimited lift over the two week turn, but only so many trains (measured in the same way naval load costs are measured perhaps) could pass over a given rail region. Once that limit was reached any further moves would need to divert to other regions that still had capacity. You could then give densely urbanized regions much higher capacities than say a small track crossing a desert region due to the fact there was a lot more available local rolling stock in those areas.

Jim

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Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:26 pm

This is a difficult problem to solve with the engine as it is.

In reality, railroad use depends of a stock of train, but also of a flux of transit : the same railway, station, etc... cant be used for more than x trains over a given amount of time. It is not the same to use 100 trains all over the map or 100 trains on the same railway in a two week turn.

In the game, railroad use is only limited by a stock. Furthermore, this stock is unique for a whole alliance, so "ottoman trains" can be used to transport german troops from the east to the west.

A proper simulation of the railroad network would need a system more like the supply system, but that would cause three problems :

1) lot of time and energy for the developer to design, implement and balance the system
2) more work needed from the computer to run the game -> more slowdowns
3) a system less easy to understand for the player

That being said, fine-tuning the current system to avoid blatant ahistorical results seems a more realistic path to follow. I only played WE until now, never had to bother about railroad limit but did not feel that I did some impossible things. CP players may have more imput about this.

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Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:28 pm

" There is no challenge apart from the opening 2-3 turns."

And this is normal since the train are used for the moblization in order to release units in game turn 2 and 3 especially.

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Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:42 pm

Jim, there are many things in the game abstracted as one-shot events in order to have an efficient and right-out solution. It's not to make the puzzle harder, but to give back some challenge to a mechanism that it's otherwise potentially abused. I don't want to insist on this aspect as I would personally mod the aspects I don't like for my own game (as I've done in PON and other games). But if you want to have a generally challenging game, something has to be done with this generous amount.

Otherwise, why not we even have the UI by default have the troops move by rail and unselect those we want them to walk or not use the rails. :D
Yes, it is so unnecessary! I can literally move the entire German armed forces by rail in one turn by 1915. This is uncool and most probably historically inaccurate. Admittedly, there are limitations on what we can do as the railway pool is shared among the allied nations, but it is already too high to be of any use. We could even take it out completely.

Notice that I have made the same remarks for the engagement points. Apart from the start, they soon become too many to be of any challenge. I propose to cut their accruing in half as well.
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Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:53 pm

with shared resources among nations in an alliance, this type of thing is bound to happen. It basically removes the need to husband the rail pool and it becomes 'chrome' at that point.

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Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:07 pm

The problem is that if you limit the rail capacities to make it harder to lift troops, it cripples the supply transport phase of the game. Supply transport needs LOTS of rail capacity, especially since your one rail pool is responsible for every country in the alliances supply lift. Only left over rail cap is used to move supply, so if players are constantly using up all of their rail to move armies around because you wanted to have a harder time moving troops around via rail, their supplies won’t move at all. And if they don’t use rail moves so that their armies can then stay fed you’ve wandered totally off the reservation and no longer simulate the actual war.

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Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:11 pm

Florent wrote:" There is no challenge apart from the opening 2-3 turns."

And this is normal since the train are used for the moblization in order to release units in game turn 2 and 3 especially.


This is very indirectly abstracted since field units are mostly on spot already in turn 1. The mobilization is practically considered the replenishment certain militia and reserve divisions are taking in the beginning.

James D Burns wrote:Supply transport needs LOTS of rail capacity, especially since your one rail pool is responsible for every country in the alliances supply lift.


Excuse me, Jim, did you manage to finish your rail capacity by moving back and forth your supply carts?!? Even when used for all nations and in test mode, I never manage to do this. Can you send a save game my way when you actually wished you had more railway pool points than the current given?
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Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:32 pm

James, your proposal is good, but I am afraid difficult to implement. I remember proposing it at some time, but for the game to code on map rail choke points would perhaps be too much for the turn processing times.

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Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:55 pm

I don't see why we should want anything done to change the rail cap. Until someone can demonstrate its actual use in a game-breaking manner, it remains a non-issue.

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Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:20 pm

Merlin wrote:I don't see why we should want anything done to change the rail cap. Until someone can demonstrate its actual use in a game-breaking manner, it remains a non-issue.

This approach is simply silly. If we are to fix the game-breaking bugs only, then the game should be considered already perfect. No need for any more patches. No, this is not the right stance. Everything can get better, more challenging, more correctly abstracted. Balancing issues need time to get addressed, I am not worrying.

Railway and Engagement points are super abundant in this game to the point they don't play a role, apart from the beginning. This is unfortunately a fact. Now, we may disagree on the extend on how much there is need to fix this... I would go all the way to even halve these points, but I understand and respect the natural aversion of most players in anything that puts them out of their comfort zone.
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Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:58 pm

Maybe this is an issue or concern that will be fixed over time as more players give feedback on there games... only then can the ageod guys decide if it needs changing or tweaking..

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Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:40 pm

Nothing against a reduced cap. But I'd like to have a way to build rail capacity up.

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Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:46 pm

Kensai wrote:Railway and Engagement points are super abundant in this game to the point they don't play a role, apart from the beginning. This is unfortunately a fact. Now, we may disagree on the extend on how much there is need to fix this... I would go all the way to even halve these points, but I understand and respect the natural aversion of most players in anything that puts them out of their comfort zone.


I think it's a bit early to decide how much if at all to reduce the rail capacity.

I don't even know how many rail points are used to transport supplies, do you? Note, I am not talking about moving supply carts, rather supplies.

I'd say we should get a clear idea on how many points of supply are moved per point of rail usage first before deciding whether or even how much to reduce rails.

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Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:03 pm

Yes, the last thing I would want to happen would be to break the supply system...

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Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:31 pm

Kensai wrote:.... I would go all the way to even halve these points, but I understand and respect the natural aversion of most players in anything that puts them out of their comfort zone.


Yep! I'm just one of those pathetic players that would be put out of their comfort zone.

It's Late April 1915 as the WE player. When I mouse over the transport points at the top, it shows a total of 978 rail points with 387 needed for full supply. That leaves 591 for moving around. An average 1000 pwr corps seem to weigh anywhere from 125 to over 250. In part, that's because there are some individual units that are quite heavy such as aircraft at 75 each or even supplies and munitions at 8 each. I haven't played the CP, so I don't know about being able to move the entire CP armies in one turn, but you sure can't move much more than 3-6 armies in my game. Plus as the transport needs vary greatly by turn, with some rare turns actually running out of transport (again, for us merely average players), I still need a lot of convincing that there's a problem here. Seriously, to halve the points to (978/2 - 387) = 102 for moving... Are You Just Kidding Me!!! :wacko:

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Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:23 am

Kensai wrote:This approach is simply silly. If we are to fix the game-breaking bugs only, then the game should be considered already perfect. No need for any more patches. No, this is not the right stance. Everything can get better, more challenging, more correctly abstracted. Balancing issues need time to get addressed, I am not worrying.

Railway and Engagement points are super abundant in this game to the point they don't play a role, apart from the beginning. This is unfortunately a fact. Now, we may disagree on the extend on how much there is need to fix this... I would go all the way to even halve these points, but I understand and respect the natural aversion of most players in anything that puts them out of their comfort zone.


I think you're very wrong in the case of engagement points at least, I run out of them VERY often and have to choose what to do...
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Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:31 am

I don't like it unless we have a way to invest in rail. Since we don't, I'm not sure a sudden halving of it is the way to go.
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Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:41 am

Kensai wrote:This approach is simply silly. If we are to fix the game-breaking bugs only, then the game should be considered already perfect. No need for any more patches. No, this is not the right stance. Everything can get better, more challenging, more correctly abstracted. Balancing issues need time to get addressed, I am not worrying.


Is the rail system really that broken? How many players are complaining that the CP shifted an entire front in a single turn? Right now the justification for any change to the rail pool is simply the size, and there is no evidence that reducing the pool is more representative of the period, better game design, or in any way useful.

Railway and Engagement points are super abundant in this game to the point they don't play a role, apart from the beginning. This is unfortunately a fact. Now, we may disagree on the extend on how much there is need to fix this... I would go all the way to even halve these points, but I understand and respect the natural aversion of most players in anything that puts them out of their comfort zone.


I've seen supply usage of the rail pool reach nearly 500 points. I also tend to routinely cut the EP pool close all the way through 1915. After all the diplo frenzy dies down, most of the decisions have been played, generals unlocked, and factories built, the EP game has mostly served its purpose. Is it really so important to find a way to keep it going? Is either the rail pool or EP pool more of an issue than, say, West front entrenchment levels in Africa?

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Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:00 am

Rail points are absolutely critical for supply distribution, so I don't think cutting them down is a good idea. Also, Russia tends to have some issues with moving corps around if they come under heavy pressure from both Germany and Austria.

I do agree late-game EP gets to be too high, but up until 1916 I tend to be stretched on them, at least with the Western Entente and Central Powers.

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Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:59 am

Overall rail capacity was pretty high. If local pools could be created or actual usage per region implemented would be better, but reducing capacity is not the solution...
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Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:53 am

Kensai wrote:We could even take it out completely.


Supply stocks would never move around the map and all your troops would starve. Supplies and ammo get pushed around by using up left over rail capacity, I think you maybe are forgetting about this rule.

Kensai wrote:I propose to cut their accruing in half as well.



EP generation only matters in the turns when all the big events get played. If there isn’t anything to spend them on late game then having a bunch in the pool doesn’t matter. And if arbitrarily cutting them in half due to a desire to cut down on your late game pool then cripples the ability to play the historical events in an historical timeline, then you’ve thrown out history.

This isn’t a game like PON that only loosely follows history and focuses more on the strategy aspects of the game. This game needs to focus on getting the history right or you lose the flavor of the war it is trying to represent.

I’m all for tightening up the pools if it is done intelligently and with history as its goal. But broad arbitrary changes done with little or no thought to historical consequences will ruin the game in my view.

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Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:40 pm

I would keep the rail system as it is now. As James said, I would only change the railway implementation if there are historical indications to illustrate that the railways aren't done historically correct.
This is primarily a historical sim so it should try to follow that path as closely as possible within the limits of the game engine.

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Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:06 am

Railway does run out eventually, but I was surprised that I could move my heavy units. Perhaps this is an effect of playing the other AGE titles before?
My impression so far is that it may be too easy. Playing as Russia, the nation that has least capacity, I was surprised that I could still make strategic redeployments of whole Corps.

I was surprised about the fact that my heavy guns and even Corps can even be redeployed in 1 turn (using redeployment feature).

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Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:13 am

minipol wrote:I would keep the rail system as it is now. As James said, I would only change the railway implementation if there are historical indications to illustrate that the railways aren't done historically correct.
This is primarily a historical sim so it should try to follow that path as closely as possible within the limits of the game engine.


agree, also the late game EP situation is of no importance, as post 1916 there is relatively little to use them on. You are constrained in the earlier stages which is what matters.

At first sight, playing the EE, I was surprised at the relatively high rail allocation. Then realised that was because I was used to the situation in Revolution under Siege when you are dealing with an already badly degraded rail system that has just been illogically fragmented according to the vagaries of power in the early stages of the Civil War. Tsarist Russia had a substantial and functioning rail net which the game seems to represent very well.

Equally, as above, you can undermine your supply distribution if you consistently push your troop movements to capacity, so I'd say it all works pretty well as it is.
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Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:27 pm

loki100 wrote:agree, also the late game EP situation is of no importance, as post 1916 there is relatively little to use them on. You are constrained in the earlier stages which is what matters.

At first sight, playing the EE, I was surprised at the relatively high rail allocation. Then realised that was because I was used to the situation in Revolution under Siege when you are dealing with an already badly degraded rail system that has just been illogically fragmented according to the vagaries of power in the early stages of the Civil War. Tsarist Russia had a substantial and functioning rail net which the game seems to represent very well.

Equally, as above, you can undermine your supply distribution if you consistently push your troop movements to capacity, so I'd say it all works pretty well as it is.


I agree with you Loki, there isn't that much EP early and until 1916 or so, in my games I'm almost always out of EPs at the end of the turn and many times had to cancel something like a Munition Factory or a Call New Generals RGD because I was lacking EP. I think the Rail points are working pretty well here too, as you play a whole alliance in the game and Rail is also fundamentally important in the distribution of supplies through the map, so I'd say it's working great at the moment. What was really important and that we did in the Beta testing was to set the initial rail points very low to abstract the mass use of trains in the mobilization stage of the war and also to avoid having a country change completelly his war plan in the very first turns etc.
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Thu Sep 11, 2014 4:56 pm

Highlandcharge wrote:Maybe this is an issue or concern that will be fixed over time as more players give feedback on there games... only then can the ageod guys decide if it needs changing or tweaking..

Of course. Thus we need proof that you are running out of railway points. Please if you have such a save game it would be interesting to see to understand how we reached that situation. On the other hand I can send you ANY of my save games, early or late where I cannot reproduce any such problem without a gamey and unrealistic all-fronts-at-once attempt to move troops by rail.


wosung wrote:Nothing against a reduced cap. But I'd like to have a way to build rail capacity up.

Like building new trains? Perhaps it could be done through a recurring event or regional decision with a cost.

Reiryc wrote:I think it's a bit early to decide how much if at all to reduce the rail capacity.

I don't even know how many rail points are used to transport supplies, do you? Note, I am not talking about moving supply carts, rather supplies.

I'd say we should get a clear idea on how many points of supply are moved per point of rail usage first before deciding whether or even how much to reduce rails.

So let's study this. It's definitely more than enough at the moment though. Please note that I've been studying the exact same condition in RUS as well so I have a reference. Given that I've been beta testing the Drang Nach Osten scenario where there are a lot of railway points there as well.

Highlandcharge wrote:Yes, the last thing I would want to happen would be to break the supply system...

It's too early too worry.

willgamer wrote:Yep! I'm just one of those pathetic players that would be put out of their comfort zone.

It's Late April 1915 as the WE player. When I mouse over the transport points at the top, it shows a total of 978 rail points with 387 needed for full supply. That leaves 591 for moving around. An average 1000 pwr corps seem to weigh anywhere from 125 to over 250. In part, that's because there are some individual units that are quite heavy such as aircraft at 75 each or even supplies and munitions at 8 each. I haven't played the CP, so I don't know about being able to move the entire CP armies in one turn, but you sure can't move much more than 3-6 armies in my game. Plus as the transport needs vary greatly by turn, with some rare turns actually running out of transport (again, for us merely average players), I still need a lot of convincing that there's a problem here. Seriously, to halve the points to (978/2 - 387) = 102 for moving... Are You Just Kidding Me!!! :wacko:

Let me take you out of your comfort zone. :)
First, there is no need to move aircraft by rail, they are already fast enough. If you have them attached to the corps/armies for the extra CP bonuses, yes, then prepare to take the hit for such heavy equipment moving. Second, I really need to study your save game to understand the reason of running out of supplies. We cannot talk theoretically. Third, if we do this "scientifically" (the AGEOD way, historically accurate!) we must study the real life possibility of moving 6 armies (plus all their equipment) by rail in just 15 days. To me it seems extreme. Fourth, yes, I would love to see your troops walk and see what can be done with "102" railway points. Although I didn't actually really mean to halve them, it was more of an exaggeration by my part. But definitely lower!

For the CP, in order to have a gauge we probably have to study real life documents of how the armies on the East came by train to the West after the Brest Litovsk. What was the capacity and the likes.
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