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Supply Sinks in RHS

 
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Supply Sinks in RHS - 5/14/2008 1:27:54 PM   
herwin

 

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What is the experience of other players with supply sinks? We've been finding that they ensure the defence is supported but undersupplied. They also seem to provide a local garrison of 200-400 AV, so that Japanese fantasy strategies no longer work.

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RE: Supply Sinks in RHS - 5/14/2008 1:49:14 PM   
Elladan

 

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They are quite capable in defense, some of the bigger ones can stop a Japanese division alone, which is a boon to the defender. On the other hand they tend to suck all supply in their vicinity - I had recently to abandon Singapore as I got only about 1000 supply there while Kuala Lumpur hoarded over 50k. Made the defense of Malaya rather pointless.
There are ways to exploit them too, you can bomb all the resources in the sink's hex thus removing supply production they are meant to reduce then sit and look as your enemy forces wither because of their own sink eating what is supposed to supply them. Potentially deadly in China.
Overall, while I know the purpose they were put into RHS I'm not overly happy with them.

(in reply to herwin)
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RE: Supply Sinks in RHS - 5/14/2008 2:03:25 PM   
herwin

 

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I think I'll get a listing of the Allied forces and bases before I start my next game. I'll annotate it with the force required to defeat each supply sink, their supply usage, and local supply production before I start my planning. They seem effective at deterring Japanese fantasy strategies--imagine needing a brigade or more to take most major bases. The IJN SNLFs are only good for taking minor ports and beaches.

_____________________________

Harry Erwin
"For a number to make sense in the game, someone has to calibrate it and program code. There are too many significant numbers that behave non-linearly to expect that. It's just a game. Enjoy it." herwin@btinternet.com

(in reply to Elladan)
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RE: Supply Sinks in RHS - 5/14/2008 8:28:36 PM   
el cid again

 

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In the case of Malaya - there is a significant change about four versions back - so Kuala Lumpur no longer has a major supply sink - although it is bigger than the others. Malaya now has about eight smaller supply sinks. These mostly fall in a single assault regardless of the force attacking - and if they do not - it is related to the force defending - not the sink. Experience with earlier versions of RHS does not reflect the current situation in re Malaya.

In a game with Scot McConnachie of Seattle - he has made a "line" at the level of KL - KL and the hex due east of it. I have not been able to break the line with what works facing other players. Note that the hex east of KL has NO supply sink - but 8 brigades have me stopped cold. He IS supporting his attacks with bombers - but his units are always in the green - sucking supplies from wherever they are to the forces at the front.

In the same game - Scot has a firm hold on central Luzon. I have invaded Linguyan - twice - and been thrown out or left to avoid more combat - twice. I invaded Clark and got thrown out. I invaded Lucena and Maubon bay - and got thrown out. Now none of these locations have supply sinks - and I have also not committed more than the two divisions and one large brigade of history - just so see how these work?
It appears that the ability to stand up to the IJA does exist - and it exists independently of supply sinks per se - I have not yet got to Manila or Singapore in this game. I have been one hex from Manila from three different directions - but I could not stay in any of those positions and he now draws supplies from all of them. Manila also makes supplies from oil and resources via heavy industry.

What Scot is not doing is a Sir Robin. He sends forces forward as required - particularly airplanes. He also rescues units just before they would be crushed - by ship if not by ground routing. He then rests the units before letting them engage again - building morale and weapons counts back up. Fighting with high morale - good leaders - good planning - good supply - air support - reinforcing as required - he sends troops by rail where he sees me about to attack - so I will face 11 units instead of 8 I planned on - all this works. The sinks are not preventing supply reaching the combat forces.

Another comment - the AV value of sinks is far more variable than stated above. It is from as small as 0 or 1 point to much greater values. These values are divided by artificial features of the larger sinks - those of 3000 squads or more have horrible leaders and are planned for the wrong location - both dividiing the AV used. Also - only about 4 times cube root of squad count is composed of squads which count normally: most of the sink - the vast majority of larger sinks - are all divided by 10 squad count wise - due to a technical way code works re support. I wanted sinks to be support neutral - but we mainly use support so the squad count is 10 per cent of what it otherwise would be. For some reason code uses squad count as a major factor in combat calculation. Yet another factor re sinks is they have squads with very low firepower values - labor has a zero rating and field hand squads a 1 rating. Sinks don't attack. But they do prevent takeover by a tiny force landed by airplane or submarine - and they do try to destroy resources/industry on the turn a hex falls - because some engineers are present.

< Message edited by el cid again -- 5/14/2008 8:38:23 PM >

(in reply to herwin)
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RE: Supply Sinks in RHS - 5/18/2008 12:27:50 AM   
Dili

 

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I stopped playing RHS because of supply sinks. This was concurrent with lack of time to play so i never edited them.  I think supply sinks should only be applied to major population centers and not at dimension they existed when i played. Japan invaded many places like Celebes on a shoestring, when a supply sink in Kendari or Balikpapan forces you to bring 2 divisions to conquer the place something is wrong.

(in reply to el cid again)
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RE: Supply Sinks in RHS - 5/18/2008 10:09:43 AM   
herwin

 

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My Allied opponent just threw me out of Chengchow using a shock attack. I had an Area Army (9 divisions or so) beseiging the place. From the looks of things, it appears having a large supply sink is a real tactical advantage. I strongly suspect he could have done the same thing in Singapore, Mandalay, and Manila earlier.


_____________________________

Harry Erwin
"For a number to make sense in the game, someone has to calibrate it and program code. There are too many significant numbers that behave non-linearly to expect that. It's just a game. Enjoy it." herwin@btinternet.com

(in reply to Dili)
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RE: Supply Sinks in RHS - 5/18/2008 2:00:02 PM   
el cid again

 

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I have been thrown out - or forced to withdraw - from San Fernando - Angelus/Clark - Lucena - Maubon Bay - none of which have any supply sinks - by good play (shifting using rail movement as required) - when the exterior and fairly small Japanese forces (historical in size) dared to enter them.

I have been stopped cold at both Kuala Lumput - with a supply sink - and the hex due East of it - without one - by 8 to 11 (it varies with the day) units - most or all of which are real units (only 1 of which is a sink). The sink does not seem to be the factor stopping the advance. This forward resistence is sucking supplies forward to BOTH hexes - both are very green - and both rebuild units. I suspect he rotates bad units out - back to rebuild - and it looks like three gigantic APs may have landed troops. He may be doing the historical thing - reinforcing - something you don't usually see in WITP.

I listened to complaints about sinks before extensive human testing myself- and modified them in some additional ways - which may make my results different from what was observed in earlier games - at least in Malaya - where they got modified - not in Luzon - where they have not been modified. I am about to find out about the big ones in several test games - when I take on KL, Singapore and Manila.

The smaller locations - and in Malaya these now have significant sinks - are not posing any problem whatever - typically falling on the first day. I can be allowed a clear one shot victory by not defending with military units - or I can be stopped - by sending in many units - at least momentarily. The presence of a sink is not the decisive factor.

The sink SHOULD matter. It is SUPPOSED to be harder to take an area with a lot of local civilian infrastructure and organization. IRL a Manila Trucking company put its large fleet into military service - that sort of thing. A sink is supposed to insure you must fight for a hex even if NO military units are present. It should make any mlitary units more effective - providing them with support - and also higher squad counts - and a small amount of engineers.

< Message edited by el cid again -- 5/18/2008 2:06:15 PM >

(in reply to herwin)
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RE: Supply Sinks in RHS - 5/18/2008 2:12:14 PM   
el cid again

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dili

I stopped playing RHS because of supply sinks. This was concurrent with lack of time to play so i never edited them.  I think supply sinks should only be applied to major population centers and not at dimension they existed when i played. Japan invaded many places like Celebes on a shoestring, when a supply sink in Kendari or Balikpapan forces you to bring 2 divisions to conquer the place something is wrong.


This is a misunderstanding of the complaints - most of all Dili's complaints. RHS started doing EXACTLY what he is recommending - and is moving the other way (in spite of a lack of slots to do so comprehensively). It is CLEAR that small sinks are not a problem at all - and very large ones can sometimes be a problem. We have mitigated this problem by cutting the maximum size of sinks in half - by breaking up even those in cases like KL where there was an unusual impact. KL was a competator with Singapore for supplies - it was not the usual case - because Singapore is NOT a major resource hex - and KL is one. We ended up spreading resource centers around Malaya - and linking them all to smaller sinks - and that is not posing the slightest obsticle to engaging troops - whom are being used in small historical packages for test purposes. KL is still larger than the others - but no longer a single gigantic source with a single gigantic sink serving the whole area - which once was the case - and it no longer appears there is a problem. I am testing this directly and would listen to any reports of issues.

I am being careful to insure my troops are in good supply - and his supply sources are cut or captured - in order - taking KL and Singapore and Manila when they no longer get any help from other hexes.

(in reply to Dili)
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RE: Supply Sinks in RHS - 5/18/2008 2:15:38 PM   
el cid again

 

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The supply sink concept was probably the most awful compromise that RHS had to make. It is not really avoidable because of the problem of too many local supplies at resource centers - made worse by the fact we try to make resource generation proportional to truth (actually abotu half of real production - for technical reasons) - which means we added a lot of locations as resource centers - and we increased some of the old ones. ALL those centers - old and new - also generate supplies - and not eating them means operations get a free ride.

I am finding (managing Japan) that there are severe requirements to ship supplies and fuel forward - and I am sure the Allies find the same thing. This was the intended outcome of using sinks - to force supplies to be sent to many areas. The sinks to their primary job.

Additionally, sinks force Japan to attack many (not all) of the major and medium resource hexes - even if not defended by an Allied player with his military units. Those attacks then result in some damage to the resources. Not enough for my preference - but this is a lot better than a single squad can take over a vast area of 2500 sq miles with no damage or disruption whatever. This is a partial success for the sinks and should not be discounted.

Additionally, a small number of sinks perform additional specialist missions. When civil air support is required - it is not permitted to move - so it is put in a sink at the right place. Those guys will refuel any plane - even supply it with bombs - but they won't leave their homes or facilities or companies. And this has not generated any sort of problem.

The smallest of sinks are not separate units - but just part of a static military unit. As such they do not suffer as large sinks do from bad leaders, bad planning or bad morale. The largest such case is Hong Kong. Yet Hong Kong never holds until Christmas Day - even when a vast Chinese army tries to complicate things in that area - the sink does not make the position sufficiently stronger to hold out as long as it should do. I think that makes it clear that the smaller sinks are not a big problem at all - and if they make the position stronger- well that only helps move us away from the far too fast conquest of the SRA in this system. It is a boon, not a problem. And - note - it is a boon because it is NOT restricted to just the very biggest places.

< Message edited by el cid again -- 5/18/2008 2:23:30 PM >

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RE: Supply Sinks in RHS - 5/18/2008 7:53:48 PM   
Dili

 

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quote:

This is a misunderstanding of the complaints - most of all Dili's complaints.


You didnt understood me. I played usually historical way= more or less same units to invade a place. I dont remember that supply sinks showed any game break problem in Singapure or other big place , since i came with heavy forces the supply sink size proportion to the overall combat force is not so big as in some places and i think its combat influence is offset by supply they sink from combat forces. In other places where the supply is the main force the supply "sinking" doesnt matter so much since there isnt significant force to take supply from. I dont understand  what is the problem of an engineering unit to do the destruction, isnt that what manual says?

I also disagree with this concept: "A sink is supposed to insure you must fight for a hex ."  Many places the resistence just faded if it ever existed.

(in reply to el cid again)
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RE: Supply Sinks in RHS - 5/18/2008 8:24:16 PM   
herwin

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: el cid again


quote:

ORIGINAL: Dili

I stopped playing RHS because of supply sinks. This was concurrent with lack of time to play so i never edited them.  I think supply sinks should only be applied to major population centers and not at dimension they existed when i played. Japan invaded many places like Celebes on a shoestring, when a supply sink in Kendari or Balikpapan forces you to bring 2 divisions to conquer the place something is wrong.


This is a misunderstanding of the complaints - most of all Dili's complaints. RHS started doing EXACTLY what he is recommending - and is moving the other way (in spite of a lack of slots to do so comprehensively). It is CLEAR that small sinks are not a problem at all - and very large ones can sometimes be a problem. We have mitigated this problem by cutting the maximum size of sinks in half - by breaking up even those in cases like KL where there was an unusual impact. KL was a competator with Singapore for supplies - it was not the usual case - because Singapore is NOT a major resource hex - and KL is one. We ended up spreading resource centers around Malaya - and linking them all to smaller sinks - and that is not posing the slightest obsticle to engaging troops - whom are being used in small historical packages for test purposes. KL is still larger than the others - but no longer a single gigantic source with a single gigantic sink serving the whole area - which once was the case - and it no longer appears there is a problem. I am testing this directly and would listen to any reports of issues.

I am being careful to insure my troops are in good supply - and his supply sources are cut or captured - in order - taking KL and Singapore and Manila when they no longer get any help from other hexes.


In the scenario we're running, Kuala Lumpur has 11000 motorised support squads.

The Chengchow shock attack was an act of despiration apparently. Most of the troops there had been ejected from another hex a couple of turns earlier, and he had to push me back to survive.

_____________________________

Harry Erwin
"For a number to make sense in the game, someone has to calibrate it and program code. There are too many significant numbers that behave non-linearly to expect that. It's just a game. Enjoy it." herwin@btinternet.com

(in reply to el cid again)
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RE: Supply Sinks in RHS - 5/18/2008 8:30:48 PM   
herwin

 

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Experience with supply sinks (Apr 17, 1942)

Alor Star fell quickly
Georgetown fell quickly
Kuala Lumpur fell
Singapore is holding quite well against four divisions, thank you.

Palembang is holding
Kendari is holding (against two SNLFs)
Makassar is holding (against three SNLFs)
Ambiona is holding (against three SNLFs)
Manila is holding (against six divisions)

_____________________________

Harry Erwin
"For a number to make sense in the game, someone has to calibrate it and program code. There are too many significant numbers that behave non-linearly to expect that. It's just a game. Enjoy it." herwin@btinternet.com

(in reply to herwin)
Post #: 12
RE: Supply Sinks in RHS - 5/19/2008 12:46:49 PM   
el cid again

 

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I got to do a hasty attack at KL today - OSO almost did a Sir Robin - so instead of wholly isolating it - I had the first units to arrive engage. There is one small forward air station that could have run but didn't. Otherwise the KL Fort itself - a military unit that is static with heavy CD guns - and the KL sink. I got 1:1 odds but it did not fall - which is reasonable - although the 1:1 is a surprise since I am badly outnumbered. Analysis is that it will fall in a few days - and I SHOULD have isolated it - so it does not suck supplies from the next town South. I don't expect to need more than steady pressure and every other day air strikes to reduce it (I shift air power between two fronts in Malaya - each attacking on opposite days - as a rule).


The casualty report was one sided: no Japanese losses, 307 Allies lost, plus 1 gun and 22 vehicles. So the sink is not hurting me - and I am hurting it in two ways - by combat attrition - and by forcing it to use supplies - which will cause supply attrition in due course. We also reduced fortifications to zero - which does not hurt any. He could and should have built a lot of fortifications here - static engineers are here - supplies are here - but he did not built a major defensive position. OTH this is not a pure test - there are non sink units present - one of them of about brigade value.

EDIT: One more thing: none of the units in the 1:1 attack were disrupted - so we can attack every day until they win. This is a change - people used to report the large sinks caused massive disruption. This might still be the case at Asanol India - particularly if a shock attack is made - but it is not at KL. I am more sanguine about Asanol - particularly if it has military defense combined with the sink it should be hard to take. It is at the "bottleneck" between the mountains and the sea, it lies behind a river system of vast width, and this is the place the Allies should make their stand if India is invaded by land.

< Message edited by el cid again -- 5/19/2008 11:40:20 PM >

(in reply to herwin)
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RE: Supply Sinks in RHS - 5/19/2008 12:53:14 PM   
el cid again

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: herwin

Experience with supply sinks (Apr 17, 1942)

Alor Star fell quickly
Georgetown fell quickly
Kuala Lumpur fell
Singapore is holding quite well against four divisions, thank you.

Palembang is holding
Kendari is holding (against two SNLFs)
Makassar is holding (against three SNLFs)
Ambiona is holding (against three SNLFs)
Manila is holding (against six divisions)



This all seems fairly right. Later in the war we had a dickens of a time at Manila - it became the most destroyed city in PTO - and it could have been worse - if Yamashita had sent the Army there. Instead he ordered it to surrender - and only naval units defended it - not regarding themselves as under Army orders - and not willing to disobey Japanese law (which forbids surrender).

(in reply to herwin)
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RE: Supply Sinks in RHS - 5/23/2008 2:51:02 PM   
el cid again

 

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In my game with OSO KL fell on the second attack to a two division force using deliberate attack and moderate air support - no naval support. It had the Kuala Lumpur Fortress in the hex - a military unit - and a minor air support unit. It was attacked prematurely because it appeared to be weak - but it was not in the black at all ever. The KL supply sink is not a big problem alone.

In the game with Scot I broke the "Kuala Lumpur Line" by concentrating on the hex to the East of KL - and it fell in one blow when finally I got fully concentrated with HQ. What stopped me was 7 combat units in a non location hex - and no supply sink was present. These units were fresh - I took time to concentrate - but while they could stop a heavily reinforced 5 Division (the most powerful in IJA - the only Class A motorized division and a square division, they could not stop a fully integrated force with HQ, artillery, engineers, infantry, and lots of air support. In that game KL WAS able to stop me - using a combination of military units and the sink - 11 total (2 static must be there). But it was the military units that were responsible for holding the line - not the sink -

both cases using the revised smaller KL sink - and there are supply sinks smaller than that in almost every hex in Malaya - none of which pose any problems.

The disappointment is the secondary function of the sink at KL barely worked: no port, air facility or runway damage - 10% recource damage - 25% oil damage. Not as much as I intend - and so maybe sinks need more engineer content????

Note that OSO - doing a Sir Robin at KL - did not damage it. Scot - who now probably will be isolated and pocketed with many military units at KL - likely will hold out far longer - and damage the location much more.

< Message edited by el cid again -- 5/23/2008 2:55:08 PM >

(in reply to herwin)
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