help with SEPs (Full Version)

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Phoenix100 -> help with SEPs (2/11/2013 1:46:24 PM)

Can anyone give me quick advice on how to place and get SEPs operational? I've searched posts and manuals with not much joy. I've decided to tamper with the SEPs in From the Maas to the Rhine because after playing this scenario through so many times I've decided - no surprise here - that the supply drop zones (the air supplied SEPs) are just too far from the objectives to keep going with the forces available against the forces the enemy can muster. So, as an experiment (my first tampering with the scenmaker) I want to add 2 SEPs (or even better, change the location of 2 SEPs) - the 2 SEPs in question being that for the entire Arnhem force ( SEP 2, which I would like to move to the flat open space just south of Heelsum (south of its present location) and that for the Eastern portion of the 82nd airborne (SEP 4, which I would like to move just south of Sint Anna, near to the sanitorium there). Once the two days drops are completed this might make it easier to keep in supply the battallions going for the bridges.

I have worked out easily enough how to make and position 2 extra SEPs and how to allocate supply to them, but I can't work out how to move the existent SEP 2 and SEP 4, which would probably be better.
So (1) Anyone know how to move existent SEPs in the scenmaker?

(2) If I simply create 2 more SEPs where I want them can anyone tell me what I would need to change to get the bases that supply the troops in question to actually take supply from the new SEPs? Or will they do this automatically?

(3) A supplementary question - one no doubt covered before, sorry - can anyone tell me what happens to the supply chain if a base gets destroyed? Do its units still get supply from the SEP?

navwarcol -> RE: help with SEPs (2/11/2013 6:20:00 PM)

Hi Phoenix..I have messed around some with the scenario editor. I can help with a couple of these.
For you move it, you grab it, holding down the mouse, and drag to its new location... you probably want this location to be back along the edge toward your LOC, because otherwise supply to and from it will be harassed.
#2, and #3, I have not yet messed with enough to know..but I will add a point based on your initial paragraph. Air dropped supply is inherently 'iffy', irl, as well as in the game. You CAN , by double clicking on the SEP, bring up its data, and change the 'air dropped' to a more secure method... maybe less realistic, but the game IS a 'what-if'..and there COULD have been other options..maybe a better prepared offense by the Germans, or a less surprised American defense, and the supply situation would have been better. In the end I think it is one of the best things about wargames, the ability to examine what would have happened, if X had gone differently.

Phoenix100 -> RE: help with SEPs (2/11/2013 7:01:24 PM)

Many thanks Navwarcol. Will try that. I don't mind it being iffy. Don't want to make it a roll over (though I confess I have just upped my air support to 50 flights a day, just for a laugh...), just try to give the allies a chance. They don't have a chance at all, as it is, I don't think (as they didn't in reality). Not with me as general, anyway. And I've tried this scenario many, many times. In reality, of course, the allies did try to make supply drops into the oosterbeek pocket (with limited success, as it happens) - so some flexibility and change was possible. So, I think, why have those SEPS 10 kilometres away for 9 days when in reality drops were made much closer to the action? So i thought I'd tinker with it a little.

I worry about question 2 though. If I simply invent a new drop point will the bases automatically draw supply from it?

navwarcol -> RE: help with SEPs (2/11/2013 9:35:23 PM)

You will need to make sure it will provide supply... in the editor under "side" then "supply schedule".. make sure it is an active SEP by putting a '1' in the 3rd column. The second column I believe is a ratio of how much of the side's total supplies are routed to that one... so if you have 3 SEP, and one says "3" there, while another says "1" and another says "1" for example, the '3' would get 3/5, or 60% of the scheduled supplies...etc.
The first column there then shows what the 'scheduled supplies' are.. I think from how I can tell, it is a % of the expected total requirement for the entire side, for 1 if it says "100%" then the side will get its entire (expected) requirements...while if it says 50%, the side will already be fighting an uphill battle as far as logistics, and a well prepared offensive could, at least in its first day or two, also be above 100%.
Hope this helps some...for myself, I usually love playing around with the creation, almost as much as playing the offense to Dave who has made a very good one here.

Arjuna -> RE: help with SEPs (2/11/2013 11:10:19 PM)

As to which SEP a force will use will depend on the a umber of factors. These include range, type of SEP, capacity of SEP and reachability. There's a complex algorythm and I don't want to spend the time required to go into this in detail right now. Suffice to say that it will endeavour to go the closest reachable SEP with sufficient capacity. If there isn't enough capacity it may be diverted to a more distant reachable SEP.

Phoenix100 -> RE: help with SEPs (2/11/2013 11:39:27 PM)

Thanks Dave. Thanks Navwarcol. All very helpful. Having fun with it. My God, though, Market Garden was doomed. I've moved the main SEP for the 82nd to just south of Nijmegan and limited myself to just trying for the rail bridge. I've moved the Arnhem SEP to Oosterbeek and again, I'm just going for the rail bridge. it's Day 3 now and Arnhem is sitting pretty on the rail bridge, but the Axis has flooded Nijmegan and we've lost even the rail bridge. Plus, I still haven't been able to stop the Axis cutting the vanguard supply, even with the SEP right there, as it were. Not enough troops to do this job! Might try to tamper with that next. Add 3 more battallions to the 82nd!

Arjuna -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 12:05:35 AM)


And you call yourself a real man! [;)]

Don't give the 82nd more troops. But you could try shifting their priorities so they focus on securing Nijmegen at the expense of holding onto all the Groesbeeck Hgts. Just leave a very light screen in the hights and pull them back if pressed towards the city. The city is the key. They have to secure it asap.

Phoenix100 -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 12:19:00 AM)

Nah. I would never claim to be a real man.

That's what I'm doing, Dave - leaving the heights and going for the city. I've got 2 Bns on the rail bridge, 1 blocking the road bridge (except that didn't last long and had to be pulled back before it surrendered), 1 in the centre of the city, and 1 at my moved SEP a little to the south, plus 1 at Somerchem. A Bn holds the Honinghutje bridge, and another the Grave bridge. 1 at the Mook bridge. That's my 9 Bns. The 6 that are in Nijmegan can barely hold on, I'm finding. XXX corps is threading its way up there now, painfully slow. But there's going to be a long fight to get them through to the rail bridge and an even longer, nastoer one if they trickle across. Then the long road up to Arnhem. The only good thing about my plan is that the entire Arnhem force looks hardly pushed at all. They're just sitting there in the Oosterbeek perimeter, their new SEP well within that perimeter, holding the rail bridge with some ease. I reckon they can wait, but I'm not confident I can get XXX Corps through Nijmegan. First 2 days I had a possible 50 flights a day for airstrikes, though didn't get that many. Got a lot though. Didn't do much good as far as I can see. And it's misty now, so no air support. We'll see. This is a tough scenario, I think. There has to be a reason it was a historical disaster.....

Arjuna -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 12:34:29 AM)

I would recommend you send a force of at least two Bn south from Arnhem and attack Nighmegen from the north. Even if they don't get through to the bridge they can tiw down German forces that would otherwise advance southward into Nijmegen. Alternatively, use the Brits to apply pressure on the Arnhem road bridge. It's pointless not using all of your forces.

Phoenix100 -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 12:51:24 AM)

Good idea - to send 2 Bns sth. I was thinking about it.

At the moment the processor is having real difficulty with so many forces on such a huge map. It's not a bad rig - a Dell studio XPS with an i5 in and plenty of memory. But there must be a mass of crunching going on. It's staggering, in both senses.

Bed now. It's almost 2 in the morning. They'll have to wait until tomorrow for day 4 orders.

Phoenix100 -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 4:03:38 PM)

Re the new SEP, Dave - see pic below. The troops in the big white ring have been out of supply for nearly twenty four hours. Their SEP is in the small white ring. I haven't noticed any obstructions. Is there something I might have done wrong when I made it. It's their orginal SEP, just moved to this position. Just in case there was something obvious...


Phoenix100 -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 4:08:28 PM)

And I've noticed some odd behaviour. Feels like the processor can't cope with something so huge, so odd things happen....

HQs seem to be generating new positions and paths, all of their own accord. And this is not when their given rtask expires and they're left without orders. They still have the orders, yet they suddenly up sticks and run. In the pic below 1 para brigade HQ, I think, has upped sticks and is headed south of Nijmegan. The new task is one I've just put in, to stop it. You can see it's intention in grey.

Plus a couple of times I ordered parts of XXX Corps to just sth of Nijmegan and the task marker appeared as normal, then, instantly, a further grey snaking line, leading over the Nijmegan bridge and up to Arnhem!!!!! Like they can read my mind! But what on earth is going on. It was like my task was in bold white, then they tagged on an additional path in grey leading up to Arnhem?

Haven't got saves just yet. But just wondered is any of this rings any bells?


Phoenix100 -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 4:14:02 PM)

re the post 2 above - does this pic help diagnose anything? I'm thinking, maybe they haven't enough trucks or some such.....


Looks grim. But as you can see, XXX Corps is near. If XXX Corps reach those out of supply boys of the 505th, wil they start taking supply form the XXX Corps base?

wodin -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 4:39:39 PM)

Looks to me like your supply is cut by German forces..all the roads have german trrops on them between the SEP and the not sure what the problem is. The trucks wont use the railway line. Again though I could be wrong. To me the German troops in the city are cutting your supply North and their a a few units south cutting the supply down there. Also again check for motorized Movement issues..

Phoenix100 -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 4:53:03 PM)

I don't think it's that, Wodin, but thanks. I think it might be an issue with (a) not enough trucks, and (b) me not understanding where this base gets its supply from. If it's from the higher base (the 82nd Base) then that's elsewhere and in a bad way. I note the base doesn't seem to have any bulk fuel! (and what does that mean?)I can see clear road paths to the troops that are not interdicted. But also i think the trucks would use the railway.

What's up with the suggested paths below? (Rail use in blue)


Plus all that city graphic includes roads, so they could easily get through without going near the enemy. They don't need a big red road. They can thread through the city blocks, motorized movement rate 10%.

Lieste -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 5:38:06 PM)

It seems to be very overloaded ~ mostly by losses?.

Remaining 'unused' supply is 1 ton of 'moveability'. While you only have 8 vehicles still running (in two columns). This is attempting to supply 16 units, plus itself (for the 17 total at the foot).

Basically, everyone is using up ammunition faster than they can get it, and the attempt to bring supply along blocked routes has eroded almost all your ability to move supplies.

505/82 is a spent force, and needs immediate (or sooner) relief from XXX Corps.

Given enough time and no 'internal' enemy presence, you have ample 'on hand' supplies to bring the Regt back to combat effectiveness, though with a mangled 82nd still in existence you may struggle to see much feeding to 505th reserves any time soon... if you have any 'exit' objectives I'd consider 'retreating' 82nd Base or allow it to disband to recover a usable supply route... unless the AI decides to shift 505 to draw from XXX Corps directly.

For future runs it might be useful to reduce the 'calls' for supply priority for the most exposed elements ~ although this makes their immediate task harder and may increase casualties a small amount, it provides a better sustainment, and may reduce casualties overall.

When supply stocks are high it can be beneficial to shift the Supply Hub to be near the centre of gravity of the formation, rather than trying to sit on the SEP ~ you might need to fiddle with settings that reduce the attempts to 'collect' supplies from a "lost" SEP ~ and do try to keep 'eyes' on the SEP even once lost to confirm to the supply code that is isn't "valid".

I'd have to look at 'at start values' to confirm casualties to 505/82 Base, but it at first glance no longer seems adequate to task.

Lieste -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 5:51:06 PM)

Roads are favoured strongly for movement ~ you can 'roughly' check the supply route by drawing a 'fastest' or 'avoidance' route from SEP to Base, and from Base to each unit. Anything passing within LOS and effective range of enemy units (even those you only suspect, rather than are displayed) isn't likely to get through and you need to displace the Base, unit or minimise supply priority for the link.

Bringing the Base closer to the supplied units increases the probability that each supply run attempted will succeed. It will increase the risk of being isolated from an airbourne SEP (where you must 'collect' supply), but while the individual risk (larger convoy) is greater, the far fewer needed runs (2x) for a single run, rather than (32x) to get to everyone (and back) make this more survivable overall.

Bigger risk to the Base if you are being overrun ~ though this tends to happen most often when hard-pressed and out of AT or Artillery/Mortar ammunition ~ a day-day risk minimised by being closer to the Base unit.

Note that while access to the SEP is good is an excellent time to choose a good 'sustainable' location for the base... it can then build up, and retain access to dumped supply ~ being retreated/routed is very bad for supply levels. Attempting to run a Regt with the supply dump immediately in the open field where supplies are dropped is not going to end well ~ particularly when the objectives the bulk of the combat forces are going for are miles away.

A very careful balance is needed between retaining access to the SEP/Drop locations long enough to not run out, and not overstretching outnumbered and depleted troops (and their supply echelon) holding too large a perimeter... much depends then on breaking in as quickly as possible with XXX Corps.

Phoenix100 -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 5:53:56 PM)

Brilliant. Thanks so much, Lieste. Why couldn't I see all that? I note now that the 82nd Base has shifted to draw from the bottom edge road SEP supplying XXX Corps, but the 505 is still drawing from it's own base. It would be nice if I could somehow eradicate the 505 base, so that the 505 would draw from 82 base, but can't see how to do that. No exits on hand.

When I examine the info I note that the 505 base started with 25 jeeps as its 'trucks'. Now, in the E&S, it has 1 left!!!! But the dep tab says 8 vehicles on the road. Which is correct, Lieste - do you know?

Are the trucks that a base uses basically those that appear in the E&S tab?

If so that's my prob. 1 jeep to go round....

And do they never recover? So if my force loses all its supply jeeps/trucks does it basically wither and die, eventually, even if its sitting very near the SEPs? Is this true for regular army units too - the bases don't, as it were, recover from loss of jeeps - they don't over time get more jeeps from off map?

Lieste -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 6:01:27 PM)

It has 9. 1 on hand and 8 in convoys. It also has 16 men additional to the E&S.

Casualties in convoys (mostly) to date have been therefore ~ 16, and 32 men - Probably few if any additional casualties from combat though?

Lieste -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 6:09:49 PM)

Easy way to 'withdraw' a Base which is truly spent (though this one isn't quite (and you don't yet have secure alternatives to take over)... send it to annoy the Germans ~ Gamey/Naff but it will mostly disband with elements joining nearby infantry/supply elements. Would be good to be able to 'scrounge' M/T from artillery/infantry/HQ units, or to re-arrange supply to bypass/disband/recombine branches of the supply tree, but this isn't available yet... (It can also be made so that there is a no-points exit location on the XXX Corps road, so that depleted Bases can be withdrawn). Bear in mind that you need to open the road first, then move the Base to it, and wait for the 'unsupported' elements to begin drawing from their most convenient base... but that might be better in a really long scenario than having a large branch of combat troops unusable.

There is a limited ability to by-pass supply chain ~ I've seen Div-Arty drawing directly from Army & Corps once the Divisional Base was completely depleted and saturated with requests, but mostly you stick with what you get.

Of course too many elements drawing directly to a higher level Base will saturate the ability to feed supply forward, and also risk the 'trunk' of the supply network too near the front line.

Phoenix100 -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 6:10:46 PM)

No combat situations I saw. The base was probably bombarded a few times.

I note well everything you say about where to place the Base though (basically, near to the drawing units), but I assume it is then crucial to keep an absolutely clear corridor between the SEP and the base as - again, I assume - every time I get these messages where 100% of the column didn't get through to the base or the drawing units, that represents a column that's lost some of its trucks, no? Otherwise, when else does it lose the trucks? Am I right that the supplies get from the SEP to the base using the base's trucks (not some unseen trucks attached to the SEP itself)? If so, in scenarios like this, with long supply lines (especially if you don't move the original SEPs, as I have) and long duration then it really is a nightmare to assume a regiment can keep going with, basically, 25 jeeps to supply it, which have to constantly run long gauntlets of attrition, either from the SEP to the base, or base to regiment.

Lieste -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 6:19:55 PM)

Yep. Each 100% loss probably represents a single vehicle or two... and if you are supporting 17 units on the wrong side of "the gap" you will quickly see 17 lost supply (often on the way home, rather than out ~ supply seems to turn back more often on the way out, but die *if* successful on the way back though YMMV)... As often supply requests are 'emergency supply' they will happen during daylight, when chances of getting caught are relatively high...
The single larger column tends to show smaller casualty 'rates' 25% implies at least 4 vehicles (or 2 vehicles and 4 men possibly). But a 25 % casualty rate from a 20 truck column is 5 vehicles... However, so long as the base has 'some' supply reserve it won't as often be doing 'emergency' runs to the SEP, and can take advantage of the safer 'night' runs. It is beneficial to *know* where the enemy forces are prior to dusk (to seed the avoidance routes correctly) or to definitely *HOLD* the shortest road route open, but with no visibility it isn't required to also keep it out of direct LOS.

Phoenix100 -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 6:28:44 PM)

I shall tamper with the SEPs a little more, I think, with all this in mind.

Thanks Lieste. Very much appreciated.

Lieste -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 6:34:28 PM)

So: As far as is practical ~ The Division Base, Artillery stay close together, protected, near the SEP but within the Division perimeter (and may need to displace away from the SEP if the planned perimeter won't encompass the SEP to the end... this displacement better done once, near the middle or earlier, rather than continually and late.

The supply route(s) to the Regt Bases should be kept as simple, straight and clear as feasible, though routes protected from observation are less important (few (big) runs made in hours of darkness).

The Regt bases need to have covered lines of approach to the line HQ and Coys, as these will be drawing supply frequently and 'as needed' once heavy fighting is engaged. Artillery can be used to disrupt enemies who can see the supply route (or a temporary withdrawal of depleted Companies to a covered location, with replacement by fresh reserves ~ best done at night). The OOS unit can then resume reserve posture, resupply without risk of losses and rest. Each Bn and Regt should as far as possible be retained in one place (not so much to concentrate firepower/effectiveness, though this can help), but also to minimise 'cross' movements of supply, which as far as possible should enter units from their direct rear and from cover.

Consider dropping supply priority for exposed elements who are heavily engaged ~ they will then need replacement once their mission is complete, but replenishment will be faster if they can rapidly be brought out of the line and back to the reserve location, and protect the supply capacity. Shortest possible supply routes (consistent with the Base being out of direct sight) is good for turn-around times on emergency supply too. When we had the infantry A/T not being re-stocked (which I think is now dead and gone), I was seeing completed supply turn-arounds of basics and SAA at one hour intervals. This matters a *bit* less for artillery, as it takes a lot longer to unload the larger convoys and travel time isn't the biggest problem, but equally you have more trucks tied up, for more time overall.

Lieste -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 6:39:45 PM)

And while it *sounds* like a lot of micro-management, it really isn't... more a simple policy of supply management that is a consideration in shaping the manoeuvre plan of the combat arms. But mostly *left to itself* once the scheme is decided. It is only in handling the Fwd detachment/OMG/Rearguard that I adjust the priority at all. The rest is just maintaining a 'FLOT' and unit integrity, and selecting a sustainable plan.

Phoenix100 -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 6:42:02 PM)

I understand. It's really a desperately tall order for a scenario like From the Meuse to the Rhine, with the original SEPs. If you place the bases near the bridges then the road from SEP to base is indeed long. Too long to guard effectively, because you don't really have enough units to spare.

For your scheme, I would think it's usually best to reverse the game default and untick 'basing'.

Lieste -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 6:43:13 PM)

It can be very beneficial to throw a spanner in the enemy's workings. Observation and control of his supply lines can render even powerful combat arms impotent very quickly - they only have ammunition for 1-2 days fighting at best... having him run out of bullets & beans first is a good way to turn the tide.

Lieste -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 6:56:19 PM)

I *always* explicitly place Bases, Artillery and higher HQ. Then reattach those that need no further 'current' input with an in-situ order. The default locations for Bases and other supporting arms are usually too far back for tactical levels. Division and up is sometimes ok, but the AI doesn't prioritise connectivity, and the predictability of routeing (which is more important than distance/cover). The last thing you want is a 'detour' via the whole of the 1SSPzKp, when there is an alternative... or driving cross mountains, when shorter, more direct routes are possible/preferable.

I'd note that I don't like SEP types of other than 'Airdrop' or 'Airlanding', even for road deliveries, where the highest Base cannot be isolated from supply. I usually change all scenarios so that all SEP are Airlanding. If this results in too little supply being "pushed" forward, then I use an additional higher level base (although (maybe) at reduced strength) to feed forward supplies from stocks (although I do tend to make these rather low at first, at least requiring Corps/Army to collect stocks from the SEP 'deliveries'.

SEP (Road) all receive off-map supply via trucks direct to on-map Supply-boss.
SEP (Air) all require recovery of supply from the dumped location(s) (SEP or depot stocks).

Phoenix100 -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 9:40:36 PM)

Can you explain that last point, please, Lieste? In the scenmaker the options go;
Arrival Type
Move Type

What are you saying I should select to get off-map supply via trucks direct to on-map supply boss?
And what does that mean? In Maas-Rein, for example, is the on-map supply boss the 82nd airborne base?
Does that mean there can be no loss of supply or column between the SEP and the on-map supply boss? (as if the trucks etc were all provided by the SEP and indestructible).?

Sorry. Just don't understand what you mean.


Read the manual, and now I do partially understand. But, can I place a Ground SEP in the middle of Oosterbeek, say? With delivery by road, and will this - rather artificially - mean that supplies will go direct from that SEP to the supply boss, without any danger to the 'columns' between the SEP and the supply boss (or danger to the base's transport compliment)? For that matter, is it the same result if I move the 82nd SEP to a map edge, on a road, change it's type to 'ground' (with Road delivery), then place the 82nd airborne supply base up near the troops near the bridge - with thus no loss of supply or trucks between the SEP and the 82nd base? (Because it's off-map 'virtual' (indestructible) trucks that are used to get from the SEP to the base?)

wodin -> RE: help with SEPs (2/12/2013 10:26:09 PM)

I'm not sure how supply trucks reroute if they took lots f casualties first try...your trucks may keep taking the same route all the time getting killed's something I've meant to ask Dave. I have a feeling the supply trucks don't reroute or think on the fly. So your trucks may have taken the direct route into the City and all been wiped that a few times you have no trucks left..they may reroute the second time but again hit enemy forces..I've always found to garuntee supply the major direct route needs to be kept open. I doubt in real life trucks would try to go down a railway it maybe be raised or hedged off on on an embankment or even worry a train comes along so i wouldn't expect them to follow it. Again as i don't think supply trucks constantly reassess their routes then you have to be careful. I also think you'd send the supply convoy with some sort of protection anyway which isn't factored in game I don't think..I also think maybe some supply AI needs tweaking so it will reassess if it comes across enemy forces or spots them even if it means they quickly turn round back to base then try a different route. Again I'm not sure supply convoys are coded in hi Fidelity and a fair amount of abstraction and only basic steps are taken. Though I could be wrong.

Also aren't the airborne SEP's set in scenarios where landing drops happened in real life? So all the equip they had in gliders or parachuted in would be there? Moving them would in effect be moving the historical landing zones. Just a thought but don't get to hung to about winning every scenario..or make a new scenario or change the reenforcement\supply settings in your favour at the start. Remember some scenarios really in the MG game should be extremely difficult to draw let alone win.

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