Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (Full Version)

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fbs -> Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/17/2012 9:59:07 PM)

Since game launch (and I bought it 1st day) I can't get my head around this:

Enemy sends some zippy tanks and and cut my rear. Now I have 30 divisions (300,000 men) in a huge pocket of some 100 hexes (I guess that's some 8,000 km2, more or less the size of Puerto Rico). Inside my pocket there's a big city with 3,000,000 people, plus some 10 other smaller cities.

Now, my troops didn't fight, they are just waiting in the trenches. It's been a nice sunny week, and they ate eggs and bacon from the friendly farmers around. Most of the troops haven't even seen a single German yet.

Yet their combat value dropped like a rock, just as if they spent the winter surrounded at Stalingrad. Then when the men in a 10,000-strong rifle division see two germans, they cry "Yayk!! The Germans!!" and they all run away and shatter in panic - not knowing that they had seen some lost Bolivian tourists instead.

It doesn't make sense! I know there must be some penalties for being surrounded, but the way it is, it's just too much...




Denniss -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/17/2012 10:25:21 PM)

They are penalized because they are in an isolated zone. You may reduce this penalty by flying supply to an airbase inside the isolated tone - some units may then counted as having air (beach) head supply with reduced penalties.

Isolated zones need some more tweaks though - if there's a major city in the zone it should be counted as a local supply source (just like an airbase) and all units within range set to beach head supply. Hexes should then also not autoconvert to enemy hexes.




AFV -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/17/2012 10:35:06 PM)

The CV reduction is far too severe IMO- the Axis player should not be able to reduce large pockets in one turn, with no difficulty.




fbs -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/17/2012 10:59:49 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Denniss
They are penalized because they are in an isolated zone. You may reduce this penalty by flying supply to an airbase inside the isolated tone - some units may then counted as having air (beach) head supply with reduced penalties.



Correct, but why is that applied twice? The CV of all units is calculated from "a complex formula" that includes its supply level, so low supply penalizes all units, whether they are isolated or not; then for isolated units there's a second supply penalty applied, just because they are isolated...

About the air beach head status - wow, I didn't know. Thanks for that info!




delatbabel -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/18/2012 8:24:35 AM)

The air head supply will move your units out of isolated status but generally speaking, unless you devote the entire luftwaffe or VVS to it and don't meet any enemy fighter opposition, will not increase your CVs above 1 for a large pocket. So it doesn't increase the chance that the pocket will be cleared out with all units surrendering the next turn. You're just wasting a lot of valuable transports attempting it.




fbs -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/18/2012 1:25:03 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: delatbabel

The air head supply will move your units out of isolated status but generally speaking, unless you devote the entire luftwaffe or VVS to it and don't meet any enemy fighter opposition, will not increase your CVs above 1 for a large pocket. So it doesn't increase the chance that the pocket will be cleared out with all units surrendering the next turn. You're just wasting a lot of valuable transports attempting it.


Ah, thank you




ETF -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/18/2012 1:29:13 PM)

Is this on the hit list re.the next beta patch?




elmo3 -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/18/2012 2:08:05 PM)

Not all pockets are created equal. Obviously the OP created a situation very favorable to making his point. Now picture a couple of divisions in the middle of nowhere, not dug in, that had minimal supplies to begin with being pocketed by an Army during a blizzard where they can hear but not even see tanks closing in on them only a few hundred meters away, and they have no idea where their comrades are now located. What do you think would happen to their enthusiasm under those conditions? Point being it's just not practical to try to create unique rules to cover these two vastly different pockets or a multitude of other pocket variations.

To ETF - If you are asking if changes to pocket rules are being considered, AFAIK the answer is no.




darbymcd -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/18/2012 3:34:55 PM)

Well, I think your example actually points to a better fix. There should be a morale hit to isolated units, just like there is in RL. But the problem is the current system used their supply level as a modifier, but that doesn't make so much sense because that is already a modifier. Being isolated doesn't make your weapons less effective, it makes you more scared. It also means you can't resupply, which hits you later with larger supply modifiers, but that is already subsumed into the normal game mechanism; ie the next turn your supply level will be even lower so will generate worse modifier. I also don't like the current system as far too punishing. Just wack the units with something like -20 morale and let the supply system just do its normal thing. Bad units will surrender, starving units will disintegrate, but highly motivated and supplied units can last for a considerable time....




AFV -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/18/2012 4:48:45 PM)

In the game, in my experience, every single pocket the Axis creates surrenders the very next turn. Without exception in good weather. Even if its a half-assed Romanian division attacking.

Is that historical? Is there any documented evidence that any Soviet pockets lasted longer than a week? Did every single encirclement the Axis created surrender within a week, without exception?




fbs -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/18/2012 5:16:36 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: elmo3

Not all pockets are created equal. Obviously the OP created a situation very favorable to making his point. Now picture a couple of divisions in the middle of nowhere, not dug in, that had minimal supplies to begin with being pocketed by an Army during a blizzard where they can hear but not even see tanks closing in on them only a few hundred meters away, and they have no idea where their comrades are now located. What do you think would happen to their enthusiasm under those conditions? Point being it's just not practical to try to create unique rules to cover these two vastly different pockets or a multitude of other pocket variations.




Precisely. The way I see I it, the current rules are good for small pockets, but the penalties are way extreme for large pockets. One option could be no fight in previous turn for a unit and unit is not in contact with enemy = no additional penalties for being isolated.

As the unit is already being penalized for lack of supplies, lack of mobility, can't retreat and morale hits... getting one big hit on it whether it has seen the enemy or not seems to bias towards the attacker.

But if the unit was attacked previous turn, or the unit is in contact with enemy, then I'd say yeah, hit it with all.




csarebel -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/18/2012 5:26:17 PM)

To say every single pocket surrenders within a week without exception simply isnt a true statement. I often see pockets last more then one turn. It also depends on how much is thrown against them. Even without pockets the german cango nearly any place he wants the first summer. He just cant go everywhere he wants to go. A determined attack on the units in a pocket would route those same units even without the isolated rules. Since they are isolated they surrender.

Another thing to consider is how weapons are employed when a unit is isolated. An anti tank gun that might normally fire several rounds to destroy a tank will not take low probability shots...which do occasionally kill. Supression fire from machine guns will be reduced. There were germans at stalingrad who were read the riot act for "wasting" anti tank rounds even though they killed a tank with each round fired. There is a difference in being in low supply and knowing there is little likelyhood of resupply. Think of your car...you still go to work when your car is low on gas because you can stop and get more. You might drive a little slower until you get there but you still go. Now imagine that you would not be able to gas up...would you go to work knowing you will be stuck there? No, if there was no gas to come by you would save that last 1/4 tank for an emergency.

When discipline is maintained isolated units can still fight very well. When it breaks down then game over. The soviet units often lost all discipline when surrounded. At Kiev there wasnt even an officer in charge of the pocket, if I recall correctly.




wulfgar -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/18/2012 5:53:34 PM)

quote:

Now, my troops didn't fight, they are just waiting in the trenches


The problem is the Germans fight dirty, penetrate the front in narrow sectors and attack your trenches from the rear. Other lines that don't see any Germans are ordered to pull back and form new lines. During that process supplies are dislocated.

In the game the pockets look very neat, but they are frozen in a moment of time during the week. In actual fact German mobile units have assaulted rear supply centers and damaged lines of communication.

Later in the war the blitzkrieg tactic began to fail when the front line defenders merely closed the breach behind the penetrating forces.




redmarkus4 -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/18/2012 7:03:33 PM)

A big part of the problem is the fact that in WitE cities don't seem to generate supply. If a surrounded city generated slowly reducing amounts of supply each turn, then:

1. You'd be more likely to defend them.
2. The enemy would be more likely to attack them.
3. Pockets around a major city would hold for longer.
4. The overall realism of the game would be enhanced.




redmarkus4 -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/18/2012 7:04:28 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: wulfgar

quote:

Now, my troops didn't fight, they are just waiting in the trenches


The problem is the Germans fight dirty, penetrate the front in narrow sectors and attack your trenches from the rear. Other lines that don't see any Germans are ordered to pull back and form new lines. During that process supplies are dislocated.

In the game the pockets look very neat, but they are frozen in a moment of time during the week. In actual fact German mobile units have assaulted rear supply centers and damaged lines of communication.

Later in the war the blitzkrieg tactic began to fail when the front line defenders merely closed the breach behind the penetrating forces.


Many Soviet pockets lasted much longer in real life than they do in the game.




fbs -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/18/2012 7:18:58 PM)

Bataan lasted 92 days, or 13 game turns, with no external supplies.




MechFO -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/18/2012 7:51:26 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: fbs

Bataan lasted 92 days, or 13 game turns, with no external supplies.



They did get some submarines in, but still a drop in the bucket.


Classic case is still Stalingrad. In game terms: 6 turns of isolation followed by 4 turns of active pocket reduction against 20 divisions in a 2x2 pocket. With the pocket having a bit of beach head supply during the first few isolation turns.





MechFO -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/18/2012 7:59:38 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: darbymcd

Well, I think your example actually points to a better fix. There should be a morale hit to isolated units, just like there is in RL. But the problem is the current system used their supply level as a modifier, but that doesn't make so much sense because that is already a modifier. Being isolated doesn't make your weapons less effective, it makes you more scared. It also means you can't resupply, which hits you later with larger supply modifiers, but that is already subsumed into the normal game mechanism; ie the next turn your supply level will be even lower so will generate worse modifier. I also don't like the current system as far too punishing. Just wack the units with something like -20 morale and let the supply system just do its normal thing. Bad units will surrender, starving units will disintegrate, but highly motivated and supplied units can last for a considerable time....


Compared to the impact of leader and other modifiers, the "normal" supply modifier might very well not play much of a role for combat results, relatively. Hence the need for an additional penalty.

I think the problem is that the auto retreat=surrender mechanism is too severe in combination with the current isolation modifier. Change either and things might improve.




wulfgar -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/18/2012 8:53:29 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: fbs

Bataan lasted 92 days, or 13 game turns, with no external supplies.



The trick is not losing your supplies in the first place. In the case of Bataan good order was maintained and they retreated into a natural fort that couldn't be out flanked. Their front line got to defend against those attacking from the front.

As for Soviets it was half baked officers an men, who were new to the shock of Blitzkrieg.




wulfgar -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/18/2012 8:57:11 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: redmarkus4

Many Soviet pockets lasted much longer in real life than they do in the game.


You're playing on 'normal'?




fbs -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/18/2012 10:14:37 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: wulfgar

The trick is not losing your supplies in the first place. In the case of Bataan good order was maintained and they retreated into a natural fort that couldn't be out flanked. Their front line got to defend against those attacking from the front.




That's correct, but they hadn't access to supplies. The rule in the game is that if you can't path to a supply source in under 100 MP, you're isolated (doesn't require an actual encirclement). Bataan peninsula was not a supply source (they were low on supplies from day 1), so from the game's rules they should be a wash-up in 1 or 2 weeks. Instead, as you perfectly explained, in real life it's not lack of access to a supply source that makes troops a wash-up.

This is from James Dunningan, "How to Make War", p. 460. "A nonmechanized army requires only 15 to 30 pounds of supply per man per day. Every 1,000 tons of supply keeps 100,000 men in combat for a day. If one rail or road enters an area occupied by 100,000 troops, it must be cut for more than 95 percent of the time to have any effect. And it must be cut for a sustained period, because military forces stockpile supplies when they have a chance... Units without supplies can still fight, but at greater cost in casualties. As the Chinese in Korea and the North Vietnamese in Vietnam demonstrated, it is possible to take more casualties in lieu of using ammunition and still stand off a better-supplied force. In Korea it was found that with twice the manpower taking twice the casualties, the Chinese were able to match better-armed and better-supplied UN units... The key point is that adverse effects of reduced or no supply are gradual. Troops can continue to operate in those conditions for weeks or months. How is this so? Call it the Use What You Got rule of supply: when troops are well supplied they profligate. When times are lean so are expenditures. When supply dries out for any reason, expedient methods are found to get by with less. History is full of examples."

I think the most immediate factor in an encirclement is really morale.




wulfgar -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/19/2012 4:20:30 AM)

quote:



That's correct, but they hadn't access to supplies. The rule in the game is that if you can't path to a supply source in under 100 MP, you're isolated (doesn't require an actual encirclement). Bataan peninsula was not a supply source (they were low on supplies from day 1), so from the game's rules they should be a wash-up in 1 or 2 weeks. Instead, as you perfectly explained, in real life it's not lack of access to a supply source that makes troops a wash-up.


The question is, was the B's of Bataan's combat capability reduced by their disposition?

I'd say yes, they didn't have the combat capability they would have had if they had full supply lines.

As for the two largest encirclements of Soviets in 1941, once pocketed they lasted about 10 days. But if they had a position that could be defended from outflanking, then they might have been able to last much longer.




AFV -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/19/2012 6:29:22 AM)

The only pockets I see last longer is when its mud, or perhaps the first turn. Otherwise, in my experience, they do not last longer than 1 turn. Is this not the experience others have?

This certainly hits the nail on the head:

quote:

ORIGINAL:  redmarkus4
A big part of the problem is the fact that in WitE cities don't seem to generate supply.  If a surrounded city generated slowly reducing amounts of supply each turn, then:
1. You'd be more likely to defend them.
2. The enemy would be more likely to attack them.
3. Pockets around a major city would hold for longer.
4. The overall realism of the game would be enhanced.







Paul McNeely -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/19/2012 1:15:18 PM)

The city doesn't even need to generate supply it just needs to send out that supply to the units in the pocket.

The Germans were routinely pocketed in the winter. This is how they stopped the 41-42 offensive, by turtling up in any place that offered shelter from the weather. Atomic Games Veliki Luki game mentions that they had fortified the city in prepartion for the winter and included supply stockpiling.

I'm not convinced the CV reduction means diddly but there is no need for it. A unit in a pocket should simply be cut off from supply and the normal rules for lack fo supply should take effect. There was no indication of mass panic by either side due to being cut off. The whole Minsk pocket was a nightmare for the germans in 41 as the screen of panzer forces were routinely getting assaulted by scratch forces of the exfiltrating russians. How long any particular pocket lasted in week long game turns is hard to say but most probably lasted 1-2 weeks...but they also would have been attacked in that time, not just some weak probe by a bde or something. Otherwise its not like the shoot their guns into the air in celebration every night or something.

A city with supply in the city should become the supply source for all units in the pocket. When that runs out then things should go rather quickly but otherwise it should take combat to reduce the pocket. Though in 41, a typical low morale, crap experience rifle division isn't going to put up a fight anyway. But it would stop people doing crazy stuff like exposing all of southern germany and whatever because they know the russians can't do anything.




MechFO -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/19/2012 1:22:27 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Paul McNeely

The city doesn't even need to generate supply it just needs to send out that supply to the units in the pocket.

The Germans were routinely pocketed in the winter. This is how they stopped the 41-42 offensive, by turtling up in any place that offered shelter from the weather. Atomic Games Veliki Luki game mentions that they had fortified the city in prepartion for the winter and included supply stockpiling.

I'm not convinced the CV reduction means diddly but there is no need for it. A unit in a pocket should simply be cut off from supply and the normal rules for lack fo supply should take effect. There was no indication of mass panic by either side due to being cut off. The whole Minsk pocket was a nightmare for the germans in 41 as the screen of panzer forces were routinely getting assaulted by scratch forces of the exfiltrating russians. How long any particular pocket lasted in week long game turns is hard to say but most probably lasted 1-2 weeks...but they also would have been attacked in that time, not just some weak probe by a bde or something. Otherwise its not like the shoot their guns into the air in celebration every night or something.

A city with supply in the city should become the supply source for all units in the pocket. When that runs out then things should go rather quickly but otherwise it should take combat to reduce the pocket. Though in 41, a typical low morale, crap experience rifle division isn't going to put up a fight anyway. But it would stop people doing crazy stuff like exposing all of southern germany and whatever because they know the russians can't do anything.


+1

The current rule where being in pocket means one is immediately rendered helpless doesn't make sense. Effects should increase with time and depend on available supplies.




redmarkus4 -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/19/2012 1:56:52 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: AFV

The only pockets I see last longer is when its mud, or perhaps the first turn. Otherwise, in my experience, they do not last longer than 1 turn. Is this not the experience others have?

This certainly hits the nail on the head:

quote:

ORIGINAL:  redmarkus4
A big part of the problem is the fact that in WitE cities don't seem to generate supply.  If a surrounded city generated slowly reducing amounts of supply each turn, then:
1. You'd be more likely to defend them.
2. The enemy would be more likely to attack them.
3. Pockets around a major city would hold for longer.
4. The overall realism of the game would be enhanced.


1-2 turns max is my experience, except vs. the AI (on AI 110%, Human 100%) when it sometimes ignores a few pocketed units and moves on.







redmarkus4 -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/19/2012 2:07:46 PM)

I agree with most of the above. A couple of additional thoughts/observations:

1. With Sov AI on 110% I note that units in the Minsk pocket move WEST on Turn 1. This seems rather ahistorical and I would suggest that the game logic for out of supply units should be something along these lines:
- Check supply status
- If 'out of supply' then check for closest 'in supply hex' (which may be an isolated city, if that game design change were also to be made)
- If unit CV/Morale/Other combined factors are >n, then more/attack towards the closest in supply hex.
- If unit CV/Morale/Other are <n, then dig in/surrender based on a random chance factor.
This represents break out attempts by the higher quality Soviet and Axis units and results in pockets 'walking' east or west as they did historically, rather than taking themselves deeper into trouble as they do currently in the game.

2. Cities in real life have a couple of functions:
- They produce supply in factories and processing plants
- They store supply in warehouses
- They are the transport hub for the network that moves supply about the local area
So, a city in a pocket continues to produce supply from raw material stocks for a period, then it continues to distribute previously manufactured/processed supplies from storage for a longer period, finally slowing to a trickle. It also facilitates the movement of said supply, again for a given period. Encircled cities and units should therefore 'wither on the vine' rather than suffering sudden death as they do now.




redmarkus4 -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/19/2012 2:23:49 PM)

A further thought on the significance of Bataan and Stalingrad in relation to how long isolated units survive.

Bataan was always intended to be the last bastion in the event of invasion. Although preparations were not complete and more troops withdrew there than could be properly supplied, it wasn't a pocket in the sense of say Minsk or Kiev. Stalingrad, meanwhile, was a center of intense military operations for many months before it was encircled by the Soviets. Major Axis formations had their HQs and supply depots there or nearby. There were also two large airfields that could receive supplies and almost all of the Luftwaffe's lift capacity was employed for this.

The game doesn't model this well because higher HQs in-situ do not appear to build supply dumps of their own accord, as they would in reality. One part of the solution would be to extend the existing digging in logic so that when higher HQs 'dig in' they also build up a supply stock. This applies to all HQs and is distinct from a deliberate HQ buildup. They can then expend this stock EITHER, to attack, to defend OR over time, once pocketed.

Such an approach would mean that Soviet armies pocketed early on in the game would not have built up such a supply stock - they would be eliminated quickly, while armies pocketed later in the game, particularly following a period of inactivity, would be much better able to last a few turns, breakout, or hold until relieved.

The impacts on player technique would be immense - reserve armies, operational pauses, relief operations and breakouts, the need to fix a pocket in place by using part of the pocketing force on inner cordon duty, the list probably goes on.




Mehring -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/19/2012 5:37:23 PM)

Redmarkus4, good suggestions. I thought HQs did perform this function of hoarding above their immediate needs but maybe it's another function that's in the game but not tweeked to a useful level.

Another suggestion I'd make is to allow manpower to leak from pockets and return to its nation forcepool according to the porousness of the encirclement distance from front lines, and all those other dialectical variables like relative morale and experience of each side. And HQs should go the same way as other units.




DorianGray -> RE: Someone explain to me again why CV is reduced for isolated unit? (2/20/2012 12:50:22 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: fbs


quote:

ORIGINAL: wulfgar

The trick is not losing your supplies in the first place. In the case of Bataan good order was maintained and they retreated into a natural fort that couldn't be out flanked. Their front line got to defend against those attacking from the front.




That's correct, but they hadn't access to supplies. The rule in the game is that if you can't path to a supply source in under 100 MP, you're isolated (doesn't require an actual encirclement). Bataan peninsula was not a supply source (they were low on supplies from day 1), so from the game's rules they should be a wash-up in 1 or 2 weeks. Instead, as you perfectly explained, in real life it's not lack of access to a supply source that makes troops a wash-up.

This is from James Dunningan, "How to Make War", p. 460. "A nonmechanized army requires only 15 to 30 pounds of supply per man per day. Every 1,000 tons of supply keeps 100,000 men in combat for a day. If one rail or road enters an area occupied by 100,000 troops, it must be cut for more than 95 percent of the time to have any effect. And it must be cut for a sustained period, because military forces stockpile supplies when they have a chance... Units without supplies can still fight, but at greater cost in casualties. As the Chinese in Korea and the North Vietnamese in Vietnam demonstrated, it is possible to take more casualties in lieu of using ammunition and still stand off a better-supplied force. In Korea it was found that with twice the manpower taking twice the casualties, the Chinese were able to match better-armed and better-supplied UN units... The key point is that adverse effects of reduced or no supply are gradual. Troops can continue to operate in those conditions for weeks or months. How is this so? Call it the Use What You Got rule of supply: when troops are well supplied they profligate. When times are lean so are expenditures. When supply dries out for any reason, expedient methods are found to get by with less. History is full of examples."

I think the most immediate factor in an encirclement is really morale.



I also think the keyword here is "nonmechanized" army.

The "Use What You Got" rule will only go so far for tanks, APCs, SP Arty, ...

One thing that I miss from other games systems is the attack bonuses attributed to attaching a unit from multiple hex-sides.

Perhaps this is somewhat abstracted to the out-of-supply mechanics ?




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