springer -> RE: Katushya? (5/13/2011 6:43:55 AM)
Thanks for the note, Vic. It points out that it is worthwhile looking at all the stats and to think about each unit a little more flexibly than just in terms of its official designation. That breadth is part of the elegance of the system.
If I understand the post correctly, it's best to see Katushyas as disposable support weapons, not independent artillery. I ran some more tests to see how this would work out.
I created an attacking infantry unit of 40 INF toon the 40 INF, 5 MG defender used in the previous sims. I then added either 15 Katushyas, 5 Katushyas, 5 Artillery (independent, pre-bombardment), 5 Art (part of the support weapons in a ground attack). (All attackers are at 0 XP. All artillery were in their own unit: See below for why this is important)
The impact of 15 Katushyas was decisive, and the casualties almost all due to the Katushyas
The defender losses were 24 INF and 3 MG; attacker losses 5 INF; the hex was taken 100% of the time
When the results are compared with the simulations above, the Katuysha's seem to be doing all the destruction.
The impact of 5 Katushyas was less decisive,
The defender losses were 9 INF and 1 MG; attacker losses were 15 INF; the hex was taken 12% of the time.
Prebombardment with 5 Artillery usually did not take the hex
The defender losses were 12 INF and 1 MG; attacker losses were 16 INF; the hex was taken 1-2% of the time.
Including artillery as a support weapon was the worse (since their firepower is only half the Katushya's).
The defender losses 5 INF and a 0-1 MG; attacker losses were 17 INF; the hex was taken 1-2% of the time.
To be effective, they must be deployed in overwhelming force. (It appears that more than 5 Katushya's were needed to consistently pry a 40 INF unit out of a plain, unentrenched hex.)
Though I'm still not convinced about the long-term cost effectiveness of Katushyas, I can see how they could make the game fun.
If a player has a good surplus of raw material, the use of mass Katushyas at a breakthrough point or to disintegrate a frontage (ala destruction of Army Group Center) could be quite an event during a game, definitely one worth experiencing (on the attacking side, of course).
As an aside, it appears that it is best to keep the Katushya's in their own unit unmixed with the troops (e.g., INF) that do the ground fighting. For example, it is best to use a unit that consists of only Katushyas and truck/halftrack (with bodyguards if desired) and ends as a truck/halftrack unit after use.
Because of the retreat rules, A combined arms unit with a 50% loss setting would quit after one or two rounds, since the Katushyas die off on the first round upping the loss rate. This means that unit losses may stall the attack before the ground is taken. But, if the Katushya's are in their own unit, that unit bails out of the attack once exhausted; the but the supporting INF unit goes on to take the take the ground.
In sims, a two unit attack (unit 1 with 8 Katushyas; unit 2 with 40 INF) took the ground about 80% of the time. However, a single unit of 8 Katushya's and 40 INF took the ground only 8% of the time. (Losses on both sides were about the same in both conditions.)
If loss settings are set to 100%, then how the artillery is distributed shouldn't make a difference, every one moves forward until they are all gone: no retreats allowed (One roguish definition of such a unit may be "penal battalion" [8|])