ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay
Actually, I think that there are several campaigns that are inherently impossible to simulate because the outcome was so heavily determined by the gap between expectations and reality.
The two that come to mind are the French campaign of 1940 and Barbarossa. No French or Russian player will ever have the same set of misconceptions as those that hobbled his historical counterparts, and so he will play so completely differently that the resulting campaign won't resemble what historically happened at all.
Even if one can't force the players to make the same historical blunders that doesn't excuse the scenario from producing completely unrealistic results when those blunders are skipped. The scenario can still be optimized so that whatever decisions the players make, they produce realistic results. And I think any Barbarossa scenario that ends with the Axis balked at Smolensk has some serious design problems. It is not demonstrating what the historical results would have been if the Soviets had just chosen to fall back further and faster.
I'm not familiar enough with the scenario to know just what the problem is, except that I can clearly see that it is using the default AD setting. That parameter is specifically designed to deal with issues concerning speed of advance - the very problem FITE seems to have. Decrease it and the rate of advance should speed up. Increase it and the rate of advance should slow down. For scenarios with half-week turn intervals, I've found, by trial-and-error, that a setting of 4 tends to work best. That's what I've used in CFNA, France 1944, and The Next War 1979. If left at the default setting of 10, those scenarios don't work very well. At 4, they do. For those reasons, I suspect that the AD setting is too high in FITE.
Obviously, there could be other problems as well. It could be a problem with the design of the Soviet forces (too high proficiencies, too much artillery in ranged units, etc.). It could be a problem with the initial setup of the frontier forces (readiness too high, entrenchment levels too high, too much rail cap, etc.). One trick I've used is to omit Supply Points for the Soviets on turn one, adding them by event on turn two. This prevents escape from pockets/disengagements by disbandment. Again, I'm not familiar enough with the scenario to guess if any of these apply.
One problem in general with simulating the War in the East is that Red Army proficiencies -- all of them, not just the unit proficiencies -- should yo-yo violently.
The first-line Red Army of 22 June 1941 wasn't exactly the world's leanest, meanest fighting machine, but it was a trained army. That was largely wiped out in the fighting of the Summer. What replaced it was of -- to say the least -- variable quality. Like those Soviet militia divisions.
However some of these units survived -- and in doing so, acquired the equipment and OJT to emerge as pretty competent units. In fact, some became the basis of some of the Red Guard divisions.
So in TOAW terms we go from units with -- say -- 50% proficiency down to 10% proficiency and then climb back up to maybe 60% proficiency. I also suspect that STAVKA's ability to control these units and move them around oscillated similarly.
Your comments about the attrition divider may well be accurate. However, at the same time I'm inclined to be suspicious of relying on a single tool like that. For one, it just seems unreasonable that combat in one place would be bloodier than combat elsewhere. Naturally, if units are vaporizing all the time advances will go faster. But is that really what was happening? I'd prefer to see the actual causes analyzed and then simulated.
Else one winds up with a subtler version of the fallacies inherent in such scenarios as the disc 1940 or the work of those who rely on shock to produce all desired rates of advance. Sure, one can make the front move back and forth more or less as it did historically. But that is not the same as simulating what took place. I'm reminded of SPI's War in the East -- which as I recall, largely obtained the historical rate of advance in 1941 through the wonderfully simple device of simply not having most of the Red Army there at all. It may work, but it's not a simulation of much of anything.
This isn't to say that the attrition divider shouldn't be changed. Merely that it shouldn't be seen as a panacea.
< Message edited by ColinWright -- 7/13/2008 3:55:06 PM >
I am not Charlie Hebdo