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Land Combat for WiTP II

 
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Land Combat for WiTP II - 5/27/2008 5:14:06 PM   
herwin

 

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If Matrix wants to fix the land combat model, they'll need to do something like the following:

Rate units for morale/combat skill (quality) in addition to firepower. I usually use a scale of 0-6 for quality. A difference in 1 in quality is about the same as a shift of 1.5x in firepower ratio. The effects are different, though. Firepower ratio predicts ground gained and long-term casualties, while quality also predicts the chance for a local defensive collapse and disruption (short-term casualties) in addition to the nominal shift in firepower ratio.

To double the defensive casualties per attacker casualty, you need a firepower shift of about 6x. A hasty defence produces a firepower shift of about 2x, a prepared defence 3x, a fortified defence 4x or more, city, 4x, light forest, 1.5x, medium forest, 2.5x, heavy forest, 4x, hills, 2x, mountains, 4x, out of support, 0.5x, armoured in open terrain, 2x, combined arms armoured in rolling terrain, 2x, armoured in support of infantry in close terrain, 1.5x. Antitank negates the armoured shifts. Fortifications slow the advance.

A modified firepower ratio of 5-1 allows the attacking force to retreat the defence out of the way and penetrate.

A defence with significantly higher tactical mobility than the attackers can conduct a delay or mobile defence essentially forever as long as attrition is reasonable. Enough defensive troops to screen the front and provide a counterattack force are needed to do this.

Flanking assault halves the firepower shift for being on the defence. Note this only applies if the defending troops are in a hasty position or better. If the defending troops are conducting mobile warfare, their flanks are covered.

The attack can double its effective firepower by organising for a deliberate assault.

An attack off the march halves the effective firepower of the attacking side. Note that a river crossing or assault landing is basically an attack off the march, and a deliberate assault can make up for the firepower reduction due to the water obstacle.

The variation in one-day results at the division level corresponds to a range of firepower modifiers between about 0.5x and 2x.

< Message edited by herwin -- 5/27/2008 5:18:18 PM >


_____________________________

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
Post #: 1
RE: Land Combat for WiTP II - 5/28/2008 1:29:41 AM   
engineer

 

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Implicit in your recommendations, I see several other factors:

1)  "Quality" as a variable:  Historically, there is the fact that the same nominal units had wildly varying combat "quality" at different points in time during the war.  To some extent this is done well with the current system where units rest and build up morale so there is the "fresh/fatigued" unit phenomena that helps slow down the pace of action to something fairly historical.  There is also the experience aspect.  Units get better with some level of fighting, but if the casualties are too high and the training too abbreviated then overall quality declines.  late Soviets, US forces and early German forces show how experienced improved combat effectiveness but the late war Axis showed how hasty drafts and poorly trained replacements could drag down unit effectiveness. 

2)  With the notions of hasty defense, mobile defense, prepared defense, and fortified defense there are also additional modes of deployment such as route march, pursuit, probe, attack, assault, advance-in-the-face-of-opposition (whatever the technical term is), etc.  This "posture" variable would effect the deployable firepower and vulnerability of the units to firepower.  It seems to be logical as a player selectable choice with the code that it might not be possible to switch from one mode to another instantly (for example route march to fortified defense would progress over several days through the intermediate states of defense),

3)  Terrain interacts with all of this.  For example, mobile defense might be a prohibited posture on atolls, mountains, jungles, or swamps.  Some special units like commandos or mountain troops might have unit/terrain specific exceptions.   

4)  OOB interacts with all of this.  A "leg" infantry unit with horse-drawn logistics might be prohibited from mobile defense.  However, a motorized unit might face enormous movement restrictions or firepower vulnerability in jungle or swamp.  Note that infantry units could conceivably dismount and leave their trucks in the depot, but that might be a special rule restricted to some situations where units historically went back to mule trains for logistics.

5)  Your suggestions included "out of support" as a condition by which I assume enough support squads, but supply is another variable, too.  Lack of supply might prohibit an assault posture (except for "Banzai" attacks) or degrade firepower (artillery and MG's consume prodigious amounts of ammunition to generate their maximum effect). 

(in reply to herwin)
Post #: 2
RE: Land Combat for WiTP II - 5/28/2008 8:15:02 AM   
herwin

 

Posts: 6059
Joined: 5/28/2004
From: Sunderland, UK
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quote:

ORIGINAL: engineer

Implicit in your recommendations, I see several other factors:

1)  "Quality" as a variable:  Historically, there is the fact that the same nominal units had wildly varying combat "quality" at different points in time during the war.  To some extent this is done well with the current system where units rest and build up morale so there is the "fresh/fatigued" unit phenomena that helps slow down the pace of action to something fairly historical.  There is also the experience aspect.  Units get better with some level of fighting, but if the casualties are too high and the training too abbreviated then overall quality declines.  late Soviets, US forces and early German forces show how experienced improved combat effectiveness but the late war Axis showed how hasty drafts and poorly trained replacements could drag down unit effectiveness. 

2)  With the notions of hasty defense, mobile defense, prepared defense, and fortified defense there are also additional modes of deployment such as route march, pursuit, probe, attack, assault, advance-in-the-face-of-opposition (whatever the technical term is), etc.  This "posture" variable would effect the deployable firepower and vulnerability of the units to firepower.  It seems to be logical as a player selectable choice with the code that it might not be possible to switch from one mode to another instantly (for example route march to fortified defense would progress over several days through the intermediate states of defense),

3)  Terrain interacts with all of this.  For example, mobile defense might be a prohibited posture on atolls, mountains, jungles, or swamps.  Some special units like commandos or mountain troops might have unit/terrain specific exceptions.   

4)  OOB interacts with all of this.  A "leg" infantry unit with horse-drawn logistics might be prohibited from mobile defense.  However, a motorized unit might face enormous movement restrictions or firepower vulnerability in jungle or swamp.  Note that infantry units could conceivably dismount and leave their trucks in the depot, but that might be a special rule restricted to some situations where units historically went back to mule trains for logistics.

5)  Your suggestions included "out of support" as a condition by which I assume enough support squads, but supply is another variable, too.  Lack of supply might prohibit an assault posture (except for "Banzai" attacks) or degrade firepower (artillery and MG's consume prodigious amounts of ammunition to generate their maximum effect). 


I'm generally in agreement. "Out of support" means out of range of logistic support, which reflects both distance and lack of support assets.

_____________________________

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 engineer)
Post #: 3
RE: Land Combat for WiTP II - 5/28/2008 4:21:06 PM   
Bogo Mil

 

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I think there is much room for improvements regarding the supply usage. Artillery guns should use much more supplies in combat than infantery. Verhicles should have a high demand in movements, etc.


Another weak point of WITP is the forced retreat. I think if a unit is forced to retreat, almost all damaged equipment (especially guns and tanks) should be lost immediately. All heavy guns should be lost unless there are prime movers to pull them out. On the other hand the morale loss should not be that severe, or morale should recover more quickly. I think it is not reasonable, that a unit's morale is so much degraded even many weeks after a forced retreat.

A quite radical change would be to drop the morale completely and keep "only" 3 modifiers: experience, fatique and disruption. Most propositions for improvements want to make the game more complicated, this one would simplify it a bit. And I think tese would be sufficient: Disruption is a fast recovering detriment, fatique goes down much more slowly. These should be enough to represent the status of a combat unit.


(in reply to herwin)
Post #: 4
RE: Land Combat for WiTP II - 5/28/2008 4:44:01 PM   
Charbroiled


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I think a better "supply chain" system using HQ and HQ assignments would be important also. This would stop or at least make it undesirable to use multiple units from different HQ in an attack. It might also stop the practice of using troops from the manchurian garrison in China without using PP to change command.

(in reply to Bogo Mil)
Post #: 5
RE: Land Combat for WiTP II - 5/28/2008 8:33:17 PM   
engineer

 

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Joined: 9/8/2006
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quote:

Charbroiled:
I think a better "supply chain" system using HQ and HQ assignments would be important also. This would stop or at least make it undesirable to use multiple units from different HQ in an attack. It might also stop the practice of using troops from the manchurian garrison in China without using PP to change command.


This is an intriguing idea but how to implement it is the trick.  Perhaps the least dangerous approach would be some sort of two-tier PP approach where overall PP would increase a bit, units would retain their broad front alignment (SE Asia, CENPAC, etc.) and then within a front you would spend 10% of the nominal PP to assign, for example, the 25th Indian Division to Burma Corps.  Operating outside of the HQ bounds would impose a substantial (~20%) firepower penalty since the command staff in the unit would be spending more time communicating with a non-standard chain of command and arranging supplies instead of fighting the division. You would have to take a close look at how to code this with respect to island garrisons so unwarranted penalties weren't imposed on such geographically distant garrisons.   This would be another place for special unit exceptions since perhaps Raiders, paratroops, and SNLF units might be immune to these HQ effects. 

(in reply to Charbroiled)
Post #: 6
RE: Land Combat for WiTP II - 5/28/2008 10:58:49 PM   
Charbroiled


Posts: 1178
Joined: 10/15/2004
From: Oregon
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quote:

ORIGINAL: engineer

quote:

Charbroiled:
I think a better "supply chain" system using HQ and HQ assignments would be important also. This would stop or at least make it undesirable to use multiple units from different HQ in an attack. It might also stop the practice of using troops from the manchurian garrison in China without using PP to change command.


This is an intriguing idea but how to implement it is the trick.  Perhaps the least dangerous approach would be some sort of two-tier PP approach where overall PP would increase a bit, units would retain their broad front alignment (SE Asia, CENPAC, etc.) and then within a front you would spend 10% of the nominal PP to assign, for example, the 25th Indian Division to Burma Corps.  Operating outside of the HQ bounds would impose a substantial (~20%) firepower penalty since the command staff in the unit would be spending more time communicating with a non-standard chain of command and arranging supplies instead of fighting the division. You would have to take a close look at how to code this with respect to island garrisons so unwarranted penalties weren't imposed on such geographically distant garrisons.   This would be another place for special unit exceptions since perhaps Raiders, paratroops, and SNLF units might be immune to these HQ effects. 


A friend and I have been discussing this and thought of something along these lines:

The Area HQ had a set range (say 9 hexes) and had to be within those 9 hexes from a major port or AF.

The Corp type HQs had to be within 9 hexes of a Area HQ. The Corp HQs may have a range of possible 5 hexes. There might be something like 3 Corp HQ per Area HQ.

The Army HQ (maybe 5 of them) have to be within the 5 hexes of the Corp HQ and would govern all units out to maybe 3 hexes. The "Auto-supply" system could be set up between HQs....Area to Corp....Corp to Army. The individual units would have to be assign to the Army HQ that they are governed by. Special units could be immuned.

This might also slow down the Japanese "Blitzkreg in the Pacific", but AE may have already solved that.

IIRC, the Pacific War board game had something similar.

My 2-cents.


< Message edited by Charbroiled -- 5/28/2008 11:01:51 PM >

(in reply to engineer)
Post #: 7
RE: Land Combat for WiTP II - 5/28/2008 11:49:51 PM   
herwin

 

Posts: 6059
Joined: 5/28/2004
From: Sunderland, UK
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: engineer

quote:

Charbroiled:
I think a better "supply chain" system using HQ and HQ assignments would be important also. This would stop or at least make it undesirable to use multiple units from different HQ in an attack. It might also stop the practice of using troops from the manchurian garrison in China without using PP to change command.


This is an intriguing idea but how to implement it is the trick.  Perhaps the least dangerous approach would be some sort of two-tier PP approach where overall PP would increase a bit, units would retain their broad front alignment (SE Asia, CENPAC, etc.) and then within a front you would spend 10% of the nominal PP to assign, for example, the 25th Indian Division to Burma Corps.  Operating outside of the HQ bounds would impose a substantial (~20%) firepower penalty since the command staff in the unit would be spending more time communicating with a non-standard chain of command and arranging supplies instead of fighting the division. You would have to take a close look at how to code this with respect to island garrisons so unwarranted penalties weren't imposed on such geographically distant garrisons.   This would be another place for special unit exceptions since perhaps Raiders, paratroops, and SNLF units might be immune to these HQ effects. 


There was that division in the Arakan that General Irwin liked to play with. It ended up with an incredible number of brigades and was rather ineffective. Basically, your supply system forms a tree, rooted in your home factories. In reality, you determine the flows you need from dump to dump/unit and assign the transportation assets needed to move them. Everything else derives from that. You have to keep it well structured or you'll lose your sanity, particularly when the enemy dances on your head. I've always found it easier to give the logistics network its own map, with the spatial mesh a lot larger than for the operational map. The major dumps, bases, headquarters, and supply routes are on the logistics map, and the various units draw on those.

I might add that some command echelons were involved with logistics and some were not. For example, in the German Army, the army dumps fed the divisions, and Korps was an operational but not logistical HQ.

< Message edited by herwin -- 5/28/2008 11:55:00 PM >


_____________________________

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 engineer)
Post #: 8
RE: Land Combat for WiTP II - 5/29/2008 4:53:42 AM   
engineer

 

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At the risk of applauding a current "feature" of WitP, the logistics "mesh" is embedded on the map since supplies travel various distances depending on whether railroads, roads, mountains, jungles, etc. occupy the space between units and bases.  The Japanese have herwin's full tree with production turned on.  The Allies have a partial tree beginning at the ports where supply is delivered every turn and some small "shrubs" where local factories/resource centers under Allied control produce supply and fuel. 

Re-reading the last few items, there are two issues being confounded here: supply and operational control and herwin rightly points out they are separate issues.  Currently the corps and army HQ's provide some extra support squads and command enhancements for combat, but the game designers didn't chose to recognize or code around that multi-headquarter attacks will suffer in effectiveness.  The current system actually combines both the supply (via support squads) and operational control features.  My suggestion adds chrome for the operational control and leaves the logistical side (as represented by extra support squads) alone.  Charbroiled's suggestion aligns logistics and operational control.   

(in reply to herwin)
Post #: 9
RE: Land Combat for WiTP II - 5/29/2008 9:16:08 AM   
Bogo Mil

 

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I think it is a good idea to propagate the combat bonus for being in HQ range the way Charboiled suggested, but not the supply flow. There is simply too much water and unpassable terrain to do this.

There might be some effect of the HQ assignment of the bases, e.g. engineers build faster if they are in a base assigned to their own HQ. Planes might require more AV support if the support units are attached to foreign HQs etc. In short: Make every HQ assignment really matter.

(in reply to engineer)
Post #: 10
RE: Land Combat for WiTP II - 5/29/2008 7:19:32 PM   
hvymtl13


Posts: 214
Joined: 8/29/2007
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: engineer

quote:

Charbroiled:
I think a better "supply chain" system using HQ and HQ assignments would be important also. This would stop or at least make it undesirable to use multiple units from different HQ in an attack. It might also stop the practice of using troops from the manchurian garrison in China without using PP to change command.


This is an intriguing idea but how to implement it is the trick.  Perhaps the least dangerous approach would be some sort of two-tier PP approach where overall PP would increase a bit, units would retain their broad front alignment (SE Asia, CENPAC, etc.) and then within a front you would spend 10% of the nominal PP to assign, for example, the 25th Indian Division to Burma Corps.  Operating outside of the HQ bounds would impose a substantial (~20%) firepower penalty since the command staff in the unit would be spending more time communicating with a non-standard chain of command and arranging supplies instead of fighting the division. You would have to take a close look at how to code this with respect to island garrisons so unwarranted penalties weren't imposed on such geographically distant garrisons.   This would be another place for special unit exceptions since perhaps Raiders, paratroops, and SNLF units might be immune to these HQ effects. 


Yes, Sub HQ Assignment should be included. That is a very cool idea. Very Realistic.

_____________________________


(in reply to engineer)
Post #: 11
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