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Japan 45
09-26-2019, 11:42 AM,
#31
RE: Japan 45
(09-24-2019, 01:28 PM)Strela Wrote: The one glaring issue is the bunkers rated at 40/40. I will correct that and reissue the 1.01 patch. No need for a 'sandbox' as you say. As far as the bunker build percentage of 2.5% - you know, it's completely academic in my opinion. That is a 1 in 40 chance every turn. Neither side can afford the engineers (yes only engineers can build bunkers) to sit around building bunkers and if I saw a line of Japanese engineers happily building they would be priority targets for me.

There is logic, there was deep discussions and we all have our own take. If you feel the game is underdone and not to your taste, so be it - I expect we can get you a refund. Just be aware that we do keep updating these games and consider feedback and have proven that for the last twenty years. It will also mean you will miss out on Japan '46, the big brother to the currently released game, which I believe is an excellent title as well.

David

The bunker issue is academic? In a game where you decided to minimize bunkers, my question was why would you make them easier than normal to construct. This has not been answered. If there is a logical reason for this, then great, but what is it? If not then why not change it? Surely these values should be set in a meaningful way even if their effect is not perceived as great. And personally I am unconvinced by your reasoning for why bunker building would not be used by the Japanese. I as said before, for me this is a balance issue in anything but a small scenarios. But that is not the point. I am looking for there to be logic behind it. And, it hardly encourages someone to give feedback if you dismiss their views without properly addressing them.     

I also asked about the Range Effect Value. Maybe this is also academic but given the bunker value errors and bunker prob. issue, my concern was that a clear pattern was emerging that indicated the parameter data values had not been looked at carefully prior to release. This seems to be confirmed by Sgt_Rock's comment that " I had no idea that in the beginning the bunker defense value was set to "40" and only found that out after the game was out." This and the fact that testing did not discover the erroneous bunker values, erodes my overall confidence in the game. To my mind therefore, this is not academic.      

I have tried to better understand this game and its design choices but it has consumed a great deal of time for little benefit. The unusual optional rules choices are an example. Manual Defensive Fire was included as a default simply because its effect was not understood by the designer or the testers. So it is reasonable to wonder about some of the other choices. Is the Alternative Assault rule understood? A recent post by Sgt_Rock suggested that flamethrower tanks were one of the most effective weapons against bunkers because of their high assault value. It was pointed out that in this game, if using the default rules, they are actually particularly ineffective at this because of their low hard attack value. There was no response, so what are we to conclude? That the designer still believes that flamethrower tanks are effective against bunkers or that he knows that they are not but thinks this is fine? There is no perfect solution to the bunker problem but what I would have liked to have seen was a response that demonstrated that at least the problem was understood and that choices had been made for good reasons. I also asked for the logic behind the use of the Optional Surrender rule, as using it in this game struck me as strange. Perhaps there is logic behind it but since I got no response, I am forced to draw my own conclusions.

But what I would now be interested in knowing is whether the money back offer extended to Kool Kat applies to others unhappy with their purchase of this game? The fact that I would miss out on Japan '46 is academic.
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09-27-2019, 01:42 AM, (This post was last modified: 09-27-2019, 07:38 AM by Kool Kat.)
#32
RE: Japan 45
(09-25-2019, 11:09 AM)Sgt_Rock Wrote: With the new Defense value we have set for them in Japan '46 - Coronet '46 they are easier to take. They still take some time. In the Japan '45 Olympic playtesting they were next to impossible to take within the time frame of a scenario.

What I am doing for Coronet '46 is reduce the bunkers to a "+20%" (meaning build them to +40% but then remove the units from the location to reduce it to +20%). They are still tough to take but this reflects the ability of the Allies to burn out the inhabitants. It was either that or have each engineer unit (for the most part) have a huge Assault rating. I chose the latter method.


Note: I had no idea that in the beginning the bunker defense value was set to "40" and only found that out after the game was out. Again it was my first game in the series ... I bear all the blame for the issues it had. David was pretty tied up with Gold updates, did his best to review the Japan '45 game.

Also: remember that many of our products do get updates that correct things. If we held off releasing a game until it was perfect you would never see the game. Bear in mind that we are a team and do help each other out. I wish we could have had an extensive diagram showing every bunker, trench and tunnel in Kyushu for this Japan '45 game. For instance: the Gold updates standardized the unit values. We constantly update our work to make it BETTER. Please bear along with us during this time of transition to warfare in the Pacific.

Gent:  Smoke7

Please help me understand the design considerations on use of the Fanatical nations rule and bunkers.

"In certain games, one or more nations may be specified as being Fanatical. Units of Fanatical nations have two exceptions to the Assault rules. First, Fanatical units do not surrender when assaulted and thus do not suffer the additional losses units that could not retreat normally suffer. Second, Fanatical units do not retreat from Bunker and Pillbox hexes and when they lose as a result of being assaulted, remain in the hex with no additional losses."

The Fanatical nations rule is specifically written to advantage Japanese units defending in bunkers... but there was a conscious design decision to make bunkers rare at scenario start... but to make it relatively easy (2.5%) for combat engineers to built bunkers in game?  Idea2    

BTW... during a recent Japan '45 PBeM game, as the American I was able to build 4 bunkers during a 33-turn scenario! 

In a 195-turn campaign scenario, no telling how many bunkers a player could potentially build!  Yikes  

Reminder, units have to have LOS to enemy engineers constructing bunkers in order to attack them... so hidden engineers could be busily constructing bunkers while the front line battle rages!  Wink 

As a Japanese commander, I certainly would be ordering my combat engineers to build bunkers at all opportunities!

_____________________________________

I also located the following U.S Army Intelligence Report titled: "Japanese Plans for the Defense of Kyushu"
31 December 1945

http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cdm/ref/collecti...l8/id/1148

Interesting exerts:

Q. "Would a strong defense have been made on the beaches? If so, in what strength, with what tactics, and supported by what kind of fixed installations?"

A. "Powerful defense was established directly near coastal areas. One third to one fifth of the whole coastal defense strength was established along the beaches. The beach defenses were uniformly strong; where natural terrain was advantageous for defense less troops were stationed, but poor defensive terrain was defended with greater strength. The principal fighting method and objective of coastal stationed units was to persistently destroy the establishment of beach heads (airfields), and to enforce continuous counter attacks in wave formation to attain the same. For this purpose fighting units would take their stand even to utter annihilation. Camps were basically established underground or in caves. Weapons were set up for last ditch defense against Allied fire and bombardment."


Q. "How would the defense of the plains areas of southern Kyushu have been conducted? What type of support from the rugged interiors? How and around what installations was the defense of these plains areas to be organized?"

A. "The defense of plains area in southern Kyushu was primarily to resist airborne troops (parachuters). There was no systematic plans for large scale coordinated defense of the plains. Fortifications on coast lines were stressed while areas behind were given to attack-proof fortification necessary for the concentration, deployment and fighting of strategic reserve units. These fortifications were to protect the units from aerial and naval bombardment, also having tunnels to facilitate counter attacks. At the time of surrender, part of these fortifications had been completed."


Q. "What use would have been made of cave and tunnel warfare? Where? How conducted? What preparations for such warfare had been completed at the time of surrender?"

Cave and tunnel establishments were apportioned to bases for counter attack and offensive against Allied gun fire and bombardment, and to exist indefinitely. Consequently these establishments were at all points where Allied troops were expected to land. At the time of surrender, granting differences in districts, sixty to ninety percent of these establishments had been completed."


_____________________________________



The U.S. Army identified fortifications and extensive use of caves and underground tunnels at both the coastal areas as well as inland in southern Kyushu.


Again, please help me understand the design considerations to make bunkers rare at scenario start... but to make it relatively easy (2.5%) for combat engineers to built bunkers in game?  Idea2
Regards, Mike / "A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week." - George S. Patton /
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09-27-2019, 06:50 AM,
#33
RE: Japan 45
(09-25-2019, 11:09 AM)Sgt_Rock Wrote: What I am doing for Coronet '46 is reduce the bunkers to a "+20%" (meaning build them to +40% but then remove the units from the location to reduce it to +20%). They are still tough to take but this reflects the ability of the Allies to burn out the inhabitants. It was either that or have each engineer unit (for the most part) have a huge Assault rating. I chose the latter method.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, why do you think that having an increased Assault value would have helped against a bunker when using the Alternative Assault rule?
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09-27-2019, 01:29 PM, (This post was last modified: 09-27-2019, 01:39 PM by Sgt_Rock.)
#34
RE: Japan 45
(09-27-2019, 06:50 AM)Green Wrote:
(09-25-2019, 11:09 AM)Sgt_Rock Wrote: What I am doing for Coronet '46 is reduce the bunkers to a "+20%" (meaning build them to +40% but then remove the units from the location to reduce it to +20%). They are still tough to take but this reflects the ability of the Allies to burn out the inhabitants. It was either that or have each engineer unit (for the most part) have a huge Assault rating. I chose the latter method.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, why do you think that having an increased Assault value would have helped against a bunker when using the Alternative Assault rule?
The Alternate Assault rule is no longer a Default rule for the two Japan games. This will be rectified in the next update for Japan '45. Just turn the rule OFF and don't use it. We no longer use it for playtesting at this point.
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10-03-2019, 05:37 AM,
#35
RE: Japan 45
(09-25-2019, 11:09 AM)Sgt_Rock Wrote: What I am doing for Coronet '46 is reduce the bunkers to a "+20%" (meaning build them to +40% but then remove the units from the location to reduce it to +20%). They are still tough to take but this reflects the ability of the Allies to burn out the inhabitants. It was either that or have each engineer unit (for the most part) have a huge Assault rating. I chose the latter method.

I do not know the numbers but it the majority of bunkers are going to be setup using their Vacated values, why not just set lower bunker values in the .pdt file? That way when they are vacated and reoccupied they will be less useful (to either side). Otherwise, if the Allies capture a bunker it is effectively undamaged and immediately as useful to them as it was to the Japanese. Hard to imagine this generally being the case.   

If there are a minority of bunkers that you want to initially set at their full value (what you refer to as +40%, but presumably you mean -40%), then you could use pillboxes with their Vacated value instead. This would give them -20%/+10 (pillbox) as opposed to -40%/+10 (BUNKER) but this may be a reasonable compromise. Obviously both bunker and pillboxes values can be tweaked to any values that make sense but I would have thought that the concept that they are less effective when reoccupied should be something that still applies in the majority of cases.
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10-04-2019, 09:40 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-04-2019, 10:10 PM by Kool Kat.)
#36
RE: Japan 45
Designers:  Smoke7

Help me understand your design thoughts on the following scenario:

#45_1107_3: Eastern Beaches - The Breakout (33-turns)

I've played two PBeM games - one commanding the Allies and one commanding the Japanese.

Balance - Moderately to Totally Pro US.  600 VP = Minor Victory  / 900 VP = Major Victory
  • Scenario models an Allied breakout to link with interior friendly forces. But 900 VP's are within 7 hexes of the American lines and 300 VP's are within 1-3 hexes! As the American, I only had to capture Shimokuronaga (200 VP) and Kamikura (100 VP) + destroy defending Japanese units to secure a nearly guaranteed Minor US Victory! No need to advance beyond the initial VP hexes to the 400 - 600 VP's located farther inland. 
  • Only front line Japanese units are entrenched at scenario start. There are 15 VP objectives in this scenario and ONLY 2 VP's that have entrenched Japanese units at scenario start! Only 6 VP's have deployed Japanese units in these hexes. There are no bunkers at scenario start. 
  • As the Japanese, I had to rush reinforcements to these undefended and open hex VP's and frantically dig in the hope I could at least entrench my troops before the Americans arrived in force. But, even with entrenched Japanese troops facing the Americans, I witnessed little "fanatical" behavior. My American opponent attacked repeatedly with tank + infantry combinations backed with artillery and air power, resulting in huge losses to the defending Japanese troops. Japanese units broke and were routed.
  • U.S. Army intelligence stated that the Japanese knew the Americans planned to invade the Home Islands. The Japanese had time to prepare for the Americans. I did a cursory 6-minute Internet search and discovered documents that explicitly stated the Japanese had built fortifications both on the Kyushu coast and inland. The Japanese did NOT need steel or concrete to build strong bunkers! The Japanese dug deep on the reverse slopes of hills and fortified the bunkers with local sourced materials - rock, coral, steel rails from narrow gauge railroads, steel drums, timber, etc. 
  • I don't believe for a minute that this scenario depicts realistically how an attempted American breakout would unfold. As players, we are to believe that even though the Japanese knew where the Americans would land, that they would NOT look to build fortifications before the decisive battle and would wait until AFTER the Americans had landed and were prepared to drive inland, before starting to entrench their inland deployed units and start to fortify undefended and unoccupied VP's?


Again, please help me understand your design considerations.
Regards, Mike / "A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week." - George S. Patton /
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10-07-2019, 05:58 AM, (This post was last modified: 10-07-2019, 05:58 AM by Sgt_Rock.)
#37
RE: Japan 45
From here on out I only will answer questions sent via the JTS Support Email. Thanks for your concerns but its mentally too difficult to follow forums for these kinds of questions. Just send it to the support email, Rich will route it to me and I will answer your questions in the formal venue.

As I said before on this forum, I come here to play and enjoy gaming. This is NOT the JTS feedback forum. I firmly believe that JTS needs a forum for feedback. Its not going to happen ... and its not right that the wargame club forums become the place for feedback on the games. A centralized place IS REALLY NEEDED.

End of topic for me. David Freer and Rich Hamilton are our official public voices for these games. Once I finished the Napoleonic series I vowed never to get involved in dialog on the forums about the games because it quite often gets ugly. So just email support and I will be happy to respond to your questions.
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10-07-2019, 10:10 AM, (This post was last modified: 10-07-2019, 10:35 AM by Kool Kat.)
#38
RE: Japan 45
(10-07-2019, 05:58 AM)Sgt_Rock Wrote: From here on out I only will answer questions sent via the JTS Support Email. Thanks for your concerns but its mentally too difficult to follow forums for these kinds of questions. Just send it to the support email, Rich will route it to me and I will answer your questions in the formal venue.

As I said before on this forum, I come here to play and enjoy gaming. This is NOT the JTS feedback forum. I firmly believe that JTS needs a forum for feedback. Its not going to happen ... and its not right that the wargame club forums become the place for feedback on the games. A centralized place IS REALLY NEEDED.

End of topic for me. David Freer and Rich Hamilton are our official public voices for these games. Once I finished the Napoleonic series I vowed never to get involved in dialog on the forums about the games because it quite often gets ugly. So just email support and I will be happy to respond to your questions.

Gent: Smoke7

Tiller Operational Campaigns - Home of the Tiller Operational Campaigns Series Ladder Community which covers the following HPS/JTS series: Panzer Campaigns, Modern Campaigns, First World War Campaigns and the Total War in Europe series.

So, the TOC Forums are NOT to cover JTS feedback?

What TOC subjects are we "allowed" to discuss here?

Unbelievable. End of topic for me too.

I want my money back for Japan '45. 

I submitted my refund request via the JTS Support email. (Oct 6, 2019)
Regards, Mike / "A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week." - George S. Patton /
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10-07-2019, 02:42 PM,
#39
RE: Japan 45
KK, you can post as you like here, as long as you don't violate our rules, but JTS/designers don't HAVE to reply. So Bill is well within his rights to state what he did. And you can share your thoughts, and feedback. But don't expect Bill to be involved per his post. Appreciate your sharing things, but Bill has his way of getting feedback so if you want him to get it, you will have to do as he asks, assuming you have anything now.

Rick
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10-07-2019, 05:29 PM,
#40
RE: Japan 45
(10-07-2019, 02:42 PM)Ricky B Wrote: KK, you can post as you like here, as long as you don't violate our rules, but JTS/designers don't HAVE to reply. So Bill is well within his rights to state what he did. And you can share your thoughts, and feedback. But don't expect Bill to be involved per his post. Appreciate your sharing things, but Bill has his way of getting feedback so if you want him to get it, you will have to do as he asks, assuming you have anything now.

Rick

All,

Firstly, thank you Ricky for helping dial down the heat a little bit here.

We welcome all feedback on all titles - good and bad. There has been a truckload of it over time and much of it has been included in updates and future development.

I want to be clear on the state of Panzer Campaigns (PzC). This series was essentially finished back in 2012 with the release of PzC Moscow '42. This was the 21st release in the series and I was the only developer left working on the series with the 'retirement' of Glenn Saunders. I moved across to Panzer Battles (PzB) at the request of John Tiller and we essentially mothballed all work on PzC as there was no one left to finish any titles that were under consideration.

In 2017, Rich Hamilton and I decided on an ambitious project to update the (whole) JTS catalogue to included some of the developments that we had learned with the WDS PzB and American Civil War titles. From this the PzC Gold updates were created. During this process, Mike Prucha (of France '40 Gold) joined the team and Bill Peters volunteered to look at some stillborn PzC projects as he had ended his Napoleonic tenure.

Bill picked up the work Glenn Saunders had started on Japan '45 back in 2009 and did an absolute mountain of work to get that title in shape and out to you. This is his first title in the series and was a big learning experience thing for him. There are some areas that we cautioned on such as which optional rules, but we give the designers the latitude to select what they believe is appropriate. Post release, we can see where there have been issues that haven't reflected what we were trying to simulate. Some of these have been the crux of this thread. Many of the learnings called out here have been taken into consideration for the upcoming Japan '46 and we have gone back and laid out the revisions we're doing for Japan '45. This included another review and adjustment to the PDT files. I expect a follow-up mini patch for Japan '45 to align it with the changes we have made for Japan '46.

Kool Kat's call out on #45_1107_3: Eastern Beaches - The Breakout highlights the challenges we sometimes have testing scenarios and providing 'appropriate' scoring. This scenario was tested against the Japanese AI with higher victory levels set for that scenario in the Solo Victory condition document (values of 200, 500, 800 & 1,100 respectively). These were then scaled back for the HtH values that were in the scenario played. This scenario was not tested HtH (though many were) and feedback on scoring issues as called out by Kool Kat are welcome feedback for future patches. 

The discussion around fortifications should take into consideration the books we have included in the bibliography. In particular people should try and read Steven Zaloga's Osprey - Fortress 099 - Defense of Japan 1945. This is a very good primer on the Japanese strategy, state of the defenses, Japanese doctrine and resources available to augment any defensive effort. Please do try and look through the items mentioned in the Designers Notes as there was some very deep consideration for the applicable fortifications and what would have been available and the interplay with the game system.

We're sorry that some in the community are unhappy with this title. Please keep in mind this is the first time we have done anything in the Pacific theatre and also using the fanatical nations rule. Though a first time developer to the PzC series, Bill is extremely experienced with delivering (Napoleonic) titles for JTS. Rarely, do people universally like a title and with the amount of content included there will always be areas that people have a different perspective on. This is one of the reasons that we include the editors to allow players unhappy with design decisions to make their own variants and we will always try and support those that build mods. If we believe there are areas that we have got wrong, we will call that out and aim to correct them in the next patch cycle.

Finally, through the effort of Bill and Mike, the PzC series has been revived with new titles being worked on. These guys do this in their spare time and it can be challenging when there is some pretty 'demanding' threads on the whys and wherefores. We try and be and be as clear on why decisions are made (included Designer Notes and feedback on Forums such as the Blitz) but we will never satisfy everyone. Without these guys and the people working with them you would not be getting any new titles or much of the additional (free) content that was provided with the Gold updates.

David

PS As far as refunds, I will leave JTS support to work that with those that want them.
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