Isolation and Supply and Combat (Full Version)

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Don77 -> Isolation and Supply and Combat (1/21/2012 4:07:38 AM)

G'day,

In our experience, isolation rules are not enabling the sort of pockets that seemed to be historically prevelant? The game seems to inhibit the defenders efforts in the historical sieges of a campaign. Do other players have similar (or different) experiences?

In a few campaign games, immediately after being surrounded a turn (ie isolated), fortified units in cities are surrendering like 'schoolgirls armed with magic markers' to quote a great line. In a recent turn in the Grand Campaign, Leningrad fell to the Germans after being isolated for only 2 turns even though the City was garrisoned by Guards Units in level 4 fortifications.

Suggestion: To better reflect the stands at Leningrad, Stalingrad and other isolated defences/pockets - we suggest isolated units should not suffer the effects of isolation on supply and morale for x turns with x equalling the level of fortification + the population level of the city (or an indexed number based on the town size)?

Any thoughts?

Don




Joel Billings -> RE: Isolation and Supply and Combat (1/21/2012 6:02:25 AM)

Changes made several versions ago allow you to airlift supplies into an airbase in a pocket and thus prevent units from going isolated. It does take quite a few aircraft to do this, but it can be done. Otherwise, once units are cut off for a complete turn they are going to be very weak and you can't expect them to hold off a determined assault. Both Stalingrad and Leningrad were never totally isolated in game terms, although supplies to Leningrad were much reduced as they had to go over the lake (and this is accounted for in the supply rules).




delatbabel -> RE: Isolation and Supply and Combat (1/21/2012 11:56:50 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Joel Billings
Otherwise, once units are cut off for a complete turn they are going to be very weak and you can't expect them to hold off a determined assault.


However, in the real war, that's exactly what they did, and so I should be able to expect exactly that. For several turns (weeks) in fact, until their integral supplies ran low.

Fuel runs out very quickly, so the attack capability is much diminished, but there were several pockets that managed to hold on defensively for much longer than is possible in the game.

There wasn't a significant airlift into Leningrad. There was an airlift into Stalingrad, but it wasn't any reasonable percentage of what was required for the units there to be operational. There wasn't an airlift into Kiev, or Demyansk or many of the other pockets that held out for several weeks or more.




csarebel -> RE: Isolation and Supply and Combat (1/21/2012 1:36:44 PM)

I find it does take several weeks to eliminate either large pockets or well dug in pockets...could be me being new but after completely cutting off leningrad it takes 3-4 weeks. Lvov pocket takes several turns also. Just my 2 cents thrown in.




Joel Billings -> RE: Isolation and Supply and Combat (1/21/2012 9:39:54 PM)

Leningrad was never fully cut off in game terms (limited supplies over the lake via ports). Stalingrad and Demyansk did get sizable air resupply if I understand things correctly. In the case of Stalingrad, they did not meet the needs, but they were getting something (at times as much as 30% of needs according to something I just read) and thus in a way were not completely isolated (and were not isolated in game terms). It can take a few weeks to completely clean up an isolated pocket. The game isn't perfect for all situations, but I don't think it's way off. In the game it's true that you cannot afford to let your units get cut off for a complete turn without significant resupply by air or they will become vulnerable.




M60A3TTS -> RE: Isolation and Supply and Combat (1/21/2012 10:41:08 PM)

I'm still baffled at the logic of why the Soviets need an airbase outside an isolated Moscow if it has a perfectly good airport which of course is not part of the game mechanics. The Luftwaffe though seems to have no problem throwing fuel drums out of their JU-52s to rolling panzer columns. Seems like they should be the ones needing an airbase for receiving that.




Joel Billings -> RE: Isolation and Supply and Combat (1/22/2012 12:10:36 AM)

War in the West has airfields built into the map. In WitE you have to position an airfield unit. For resupplying a pocket, you have to have the airbase. For resupplying individual units you don't, but you won't prevent isolation this way.




schmolywar -> RE: Isolation and Supply and Combat (1/25/2012 12:41:47 PM)

Does the airbase in the isolated pocket have to be under the HQ of the pocketed units? Or could it be a STAVKA or FRONT HQ?

Also, do you actually drop supplies on the airbase or land it in.

Why rather drop supplies on the airbase then on the units needing supplies?




76mm -> RE: Isolation and Supply and Combat (1/25/2012 1:27:32 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: schmolywar
Also, do you actually drop supplies on the airbase or land it in.


I also don't understand how this works mechanically, is it explained in the revised manual?

Also, having suffered more than my fair share of pockets, I consider myself somewhat of an expert on them, and dont' think I have never seen an unbroken pocket survive into a second turn other than perhaps a very large Lvov pocket on Turn 1. I think this is kind of ridiculous; even if most surrounded units surrender easily, some of them should be tougher nuts to crack.




Joel Billings -> RE: Isolation and Supply and Combat (1/25/2012 7:56:17 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: schmolywar

Does the airbase in the isolated pocket have to be under the HQ of the pocketed units? Or could it be a STAVKA or FRONT HQ?

Airbase can be under any HQ.

Also, do you actually drop supplies on the airbase or land it in.

You follow the steps for dropping supplies but select the airbase as the specific unit target of the airdrop when selecting the air units to assign to the mission (use shift-right click to select the target hex, then click on just the HQ at the bottom of the selection window).

Why rather drop supplies on the airbase then on the units needing supplies?

By doing it via the airbase, the system knows that you are trying to keep a pocket in communication (not isolated). You need to reach a minimum threshold for the units in the pocket to be considered in airhead supply. There is even a way to see what the needs are of the entire pocket (see the notes below).





From the 1.05.18 readme item 13:

13) New Rule – Airhead supply. Isolated air units may be changed to beach/air supply status (same as old beachhead status) under certain conditions. If a player flies in supplies to an air base in a pocket, the supplies will immediately be distributed amongst all of the isolated units that can trace to the air base. If the amount received during the turn at some point equals 5% or more of the total needs of the unit, then the unit will be immediately set to beach/air supply status (it will display in orange instead of red when toggle unsupplied units is toggled on). The total needs are the supply+fuel+ammo needs listed for the unit. So a division with total needs of 1100 tons of s/f/a have at least 55 tons flown in and delivered to the unit, it will have its supply status changed from isolated to beach/air supply status. This will last until the next friendly logistics phase. Units with beach/air supply will always pay penalties for being short of ammo, so there is a disadvantage in combat to be in beach/air supply (but it's better than being isolated where there are additional penalties). The air base must be in a clear or light woods hex. When in Beach/Air supply, the unit detail screen will show the information: Air Head Supply 400 / 20 (5%) which indicates the total amount of supplies+fuel+ammo the unit needs, the amount it has received via air resupply, and the total percentage of needs that has been met.

When in Air Transport mode, the player can left click on an air base and then bring up that unit’s detail screen to see a full list of all isolated unit that can trace to the air base, the total need of each unit, and the amount of supplies that have been sent to the unit. On the right side of that screen is a line that reads Air Supply Range: 10. By clicking on this line, the player may enter a different number from 1 to 10. Only units within the stated range in hexes of the air base will be sent supplies that are airlifted to this air base. Air base units may be moved before supplies are delivered to it, but once it receives supplies for isolated units, it will not be able to move and then receive additional supplies for isolated units. Units that are merged or divided track the amount of air head supplies received, so they can lose their supplied status if no longer over the 5% threshold. The Soviet player may not fly airhead supply on the first turn of any scenario starting in June 1941.




Emir Agic -> RE: Isolation and Supply and Combat (1/25/2012 8:40:27 PM)

Very useful post Joel. Just, one question: What will happen with units in Beach/Air supply when they fail to defend or retreat? My guess is that they will surrender instead of route outside pocket, right?




Joel Billings -> RE: Isolation and Supply and Combat (1/25/2012 10:17:12 PM)

Yes, they surrender. They may be able to retreat within the pocket, but eventually they will surrender during a retreat. When retreating into a ZOC, they are more likely to surrender, IIRC. They should not rout out of the pocket.




delatbabel -> RE: Isolation and Supply and Combat (1/27/2012 9:54:05 AM)

I'm backing up what 76mm says here. Even the once I managed to get airhead supply, every unit in the pocket (15) surrendered on turn 2. It seems that airhead supplied units in a pocket should have some chance of surviving a second week. I won't be trying that again, it's not worth the cost in transport aircraft for zero result.

Shouldn't it be possible for units in a pocket to work on rationing their integral supplies or at least be able to work off air transported supplies in a limited way at least to allow some kind of relief attack to be made? It seems that the chance the units have of survival is to have the pocket opened, even if only briefly, to let the units rout out instead of surrender.

Also, given a large enough pocket or enough ground units, shouldn't it be possible for the trapped units to construct an improvised landing strip to allow some kind of supply to get in?




marty_01 -> RE: Isolation and Supply and Combat (1/27/2012 2:42:26 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: delatbabel


quote:

ORIGINAL: Joel Billings
Otherwise, once units are cut off for a complete turn they are going to be very weak and you can't expect them to hold off a determined assault.


However, in the real war, that's exactly what they did, and so I should be able to expect exactly that. For several turns (weeks) in fact, until their integral supplies ran low.

Fuel runs out very quickly, so the attack capability is much diminished, but there were several pockets that managed to hold on defensively for much longer than is possible in the game.

There wasn't a significant airlift into Leningrad. There was an airlift into Stalingrad, but it wasn't any reasonable percentage of what was required for the units there to be operational. There wasn't an airlift into Kiev, or Demyansk or many of the other pockets that held out for several weeks or more.



+1. I also think isolation effects are too over the top on a units defensive CV. While the airhead rules are a very interesting whistle-&-bell rule addition to the game, the practical implementation of the airhead resupply rules within the game environment doesn't seem to accomplish much. It's sort of like the ability of air units to bomb rail road marshaling yards or industrial targets. A very cool whistle\bell, but when it comes down to nitty-gritty game play, neither is very practical or effective.

Part of the ease of pocket reduction is associated with the auto-retreat aspect of the combat results tables. While I’ve gotten used to the auto-retreat aspect of the WiTE combat results table, I’ve never really agreed with this particular design approach. In a game with so many layers of randomization, I don’t follow why there isn’t some randomization\probability associated with retreating or not retreating following combat.

Be that as it may, as soon as an isolated unit retreats it triggers the probability of unit surrender. Retreating might be somewhat reduced by not schwaking the defensive CV of isolated units as much as the current rules. However, it's still not immensely difficult to drag together enough offensive combat power to obtain the prerequisite 1:1 attack odds for Soviets or 2:1 attack odds for Axis --> thus forcing an automatic retreat of the isolated unit --> resulting in a randomized\probability based surrender check by the isolated unit.

Within large Pockets such as Lvov or Bialystock, Soviet units have a bit of room to retreat, so we sometimes see these sorts of pockets requiring two, and sometimes three turns to reduce. However, in narrow or small pockets – like the historical equivalent of Dymansk or the like -- there is zero room for retreat and in these cases:

[automatic retreat rule] = [automatic surrender rule]





bwheatley -> RE: Isolation and Supply and Combat (1/28/2012 7:19:53 AM)

I'm glad i'm not the only person who finds the cut off rules to be unrealistic and annoying. :) In my aar with my buddy we decided he shoudl cut off moscow.

Stavka and all the hq's were in the pocket a big pocket. The city of moscow had tens of thousands of tons of supplies yet people were surrendering enmasse. It's silly. They had plenty of supplies to be able to fight. In one of the updates HQ's were supposed to disperse supplies  better to the units in a pocket with it but i don't think it worked. Maybe "morale" plays too big a part of it. The morale is actually not very good on the soviet side for showing how tenacious the soldier's who didn't surrender at the outbreak of the war were. Alas I doubt anything will come of it. It's a minor pain in my butt that only bugs me whenever i get something stuck in a big pocket and they instantly turn into wet noodles.




MechFO -> RE: Isolation and Supply and Combat (1/28/2012 4:43:41 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: bwheatley

I'm glad i'm not the only person who finds the cut off rules to be unrealistic and annoying. :) In my aar with my buddy we decided he shoudl cut off moscow.

Stavka and all the hq's were in the pocket a big pocket. The city of moscow had tens of thousands of tons of supplies yet people were surrendering enmasse. It's silly. They had plenty of supplies to be able to fight. In one of the updates HQ's were supposed to disperse supplies  better to the units in a pocket with it but i don't think it worked. Maybe "morale" plays too big a part of it. The morale is actually not very good on the soviet side for showing how tenacious the soldier's who didn't surrender at the outbreak of the war were. Alas I doubt anything will come of it. It's a minor pain in my butt that only bugs me whenever i get something stuck in a big pocket and they instantly turn into wet noodles.



I agree, the Moscow case in your AAR showed that the mechanics are definitely out of whack. Coming back to Stalingrad as baseline, 20 divisions in a roughly 4x4 hex area lasted for 10 turns...with minimal air resupply and their on hand supply stocks couldn't have been too large either. In your Moscow case I think there's a real case of suffering no or only small adverse cut off effects if on hand stocks are large enough.




JAMiAM -> RE: Isolation and Supply and Combat (1/28/2012 5:12:25 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: MechFO


quote:

ORIGINAL: bwheatley

I'm glad i'm not the only person who finds the cut off rules to be unrealistic and annoying. :) In my aar with my buddy we decided he shoudl cut off moscow.

Stavka and all the hq's were in the pocket a big pocket. The city of moscow had tens of thousands of tons of supplies yet people were surrendering enmasse. It's silly. They had plenty of supplies to be able to fight. In one of the updates HQ's were supposed to disperse supplies  better to the units in a pocket with it but i don't think it worked. Maybe "morale" plays too big a part of it. The morale is actually not very good on the soviet side for showing how tenacious the soldier's who didn't surrender at the outbreak of the war were. Alas I doubt anything will come of it. It's a minor pain in my butt that only bugs me whenever i get something stuck in a big pocket and they instantly turn into wet noodles.



I agree, the Moscow case in your AAR showed that the mechanics are definitely out of whack. Coming back to Stalingrad as baseline, 20 divisions in a roughly 4x4 hex area lasted for 10 turns...with minimal air resupply and their on hand supply stocks couldn't have been too large either. In your Moscow case I think there's a real case of suffering no or only small adverse cut off effects if on hand stocks are large enough.


MechFO, your example is off, as the Stalingrad pocket was not being as actively reduced by the Soviets, as is generally the case in game for surrounded pockets. In the game, players are generally attacking the surrounded units, and the surrenders, if and when they occur, come when the units are forced to retreat.

Also, to everyone, with respect to the airhead supply rules, I've used it to good effect to keep Soviet pockets resupplied. Units therein, if they have decent retreat routes (interior hexes out of ezoc) are much more likely to retreat instead of surrendering when attacked. This can double the life of a pocket, easily, given the commitment of airframes to carry sufficient supplies to the pocketed forces. Whether that commitment is worth the time gained, and the number of enemy troops that are thus tied down is, of course, situationally dependent.




randallw -> RE: Isolation and Supply and Combat (1/28/2012 9:10:12 PM)

The game doesn't quite have a mechanism for a "fight and die to the last man" process.




WilliePete -> RE: Isolation and Supply and Combat (1/28/2012 10:12:10 PM)

I agree with what you are saying, but you are wrong about Demyansk. I recently did some reading about the Demyask Pocket and there was a fairly significant and successful airlift operation carried out there. As a matter of fact, it was so successful that that is one of the reasons why Hitler refused to let the 6th Army break out at Stalingrad. He thought they could repeat the success at Demyansk. The Demyanks pocket tied up significant Soviet forces, and so would Stalingrad. The Demyansk airlift operation not only flew in massive amounts of supplies, but also over 30,000 fresh troops and brought out many wounded.




MechFO -> RE: Isolation and Supply and Combat (1/28/2012 11:01:50 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: JAMiAM


quote:

ORIGINAL: MechFO


quote:

ORIGINAL: bwheatley

I'm glad i'm not the only person who finds the cut off rules to be unrealistic and annoying. :) In my aar with my buddy we decided he shoudl cut off moscow.

Stavka and all the hq's were in the pocket a big pocket. The city of moscow had tens of thousands of tons of supplies yet people were surrendering enmasse. It's silly. They had plenty of supplies to be able to fight. In one of the updates HQ's were supposed to disperse supplies  better to the units in a pocket with it but i don't think it worked. Maybe "morale" plays too big a part of it. The morale is actually not very good on the soviet side for showing how tenacious the soldier's who didn't surrender at the outbreak of the war were. Alas I doubt anything will come of it. It's a minor pain in my butt that only bugs me whenever i get something stuck in a big pocket and they instantly turn into wet noodles.



I agree, the Moscow case in your AAR showed that the mechanics are definitely out of whack. Coming back to Stalingrad as baseline, 20 divisions in a roughly 4x4 hex area lasted for 10 turns...with minimal air resupply and their on hand supply stocks couldn't have been too large either. In your Moscow case I think there's a real case of suffering no or only small adverse cut off effects if on hand stocks are large enough.


MechFO, your example is off, as the Stalingrad pocket was not being as actively reduced by the Soviets, as is generally the case in game for surrounded pockets. In the game, players are generally attacking the surrounded units, and the surrenders, if and when they occur, come when the units are forced to retreat.




Fair enough. Breaking it down, it took 3-4 turns of active pocket reduction to eliminate a 2x2 pocket after 6-7 turns of being isolated. Arguably during some of those 6 turns it had beachhead supply.

Still much much longer than anything remotely possible in game.




bwheatley -> RE: Isolation and Supply and Combat (2/1/2012 4:51:03 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: JAMiAM


quote:

ORIGINAL: MechFO


quote:

ORIGINAL: bwheatley

I'm glad i'm not the only person who finds the cut off rules to be unrealistic and annoying. :) In my aar with my buddy we decided he shoudl cut off moscow.

Stavka and all the hq's were in the pocket a big pocket. The city of moscow had tens of thousands of tons of supplies yet people were surrendering enmasse. It's silly. They had plenty of supplies to be able to fight. In one of the updates HQ's were supposed to disperse supplies  better to the units in a pocket with it but i don't think it worked. Maybe "morale" plays too big a part of it. The morale is actually not very good on the soviet side for showing how tenacious the soldier's who didn't surrender at the outbreak of the war were. Alas I doubt anything will come of it. It's a minor pain in my butt that only bugs me whenever i get something stuck in a big pocket and they instantly turn into wet noodles.



I agree, the Moscow case in your AAR showed that the mechanics are definitely out of whack. Coming back to Stalingrad as baseline, 20 divisions in a roughly 4x4 hex area lasted for 10 turns...with minimal air resupply and their on hand supply stocks couldn't have been too large either. In your Moscow case I think there's a real case of suffering no or only small adverse cut off effects if on hand stocks are large enough.


MechFO, your example is off, as the Stalingrad pocket was not being as actively reduced by the Soviets, as is generally the case in game for surrounded pockets. In the game, players are generally attacking the surrounded units, and the surrenders, if and when they occur, come when the units are forced to retreat.

Also, to everyone, with respect to the airhead supply rules, I've used it to good effect to keep Soviet pockets resupplied. Units therein, if they have decent retreat routes (interior hexes out of ezoc) are much more likely to retreat instead of surrendering when attacked. This can double the life of a pocket, easily, given the commitment of airframes to carry sufficient supplies to the pocketed forces. Whether that commitment is worth the time gained, and the number of enemy troops that are thus tied down is, of course, situationally dependent.


I like the airhead supply stuff but in cases where you have a large pocket with cities that have a lot of supply you shouldn't need to fly in more supply.




AFV -> RE: Isolation and Supply and Combat (2/2/2012 3:50:41 AM)

Forget airhead supply, that is just blurring the real issue. IMO, isolation effects should not be as severe as they are in game. I think my main issue is the massive reduction in CV.

I'm going to throw out some numbers that are not intended to be 100% accurate, just an approximation of what appears to happens (in game) for a isolated unit, and what I think should happen.

A 5 CV unit will go to 1 CV immediately (again, just an estimate, I am sure many of you can give a more accurate estimate).

I think a 5 CV unit should go to 2.5 CV the first turn, and then half of that the next turn.

I think the retreat/surrender rules are ok as is. It just seems odd that a rag tag Rumanian division can force a Soviet Cav Corp to surrender after just 1 week of being isolated. If their CV was not so massively reduced, then this would be accomplished and it would take an at least somewhat determined effort to force a surrender.




bwheatley -> RE: Isolation and Supply and Combat (2/4/2012 4:50:51 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: AFV

Forget airhead supply, that is just blurring the real issue. IMO, isolation effects should not be as severe as they are in game. I think my main issue is the massive reduction in CV.

I'm going to throw out some numbers that are not intended to be 100% accurate, just an approximation of what appears to happens (in game) for a isolated unit, and what I think should happen.

A 5 CV unit will go to 1 CV immediately (again, just an estimate, I am sure many of you can give a more accurate estimate).

I think a 5 CV unit should go to 2.5 CV the first turn, and then half of that the next turn.

I think the retreat/surrender rules are ok as is. It just seems odd that a rag tag Rumanian division can force a Soviet Cav Corp to surrender after just 1 week of being isolated. If their CV was not so massively reduced, then this would be accomplished and it would take an at least somewhat determined effort to force a surrender.


+1




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