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Blizzard house rules review/feedback.

 
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Blizzard house rules review/feedback. - 4/6/2011 2:58:44 PM   
BigAnorak


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Having seen one AAR that has played through the blizzard using 1.03 and the possible house rules suggested here:

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2739605

I would appreciate some feedback from players who have used them but not published AARs, if they felt they are too axis/soviet friendly.

From the published AAR by PDH, we have seen a pretty much text book axis campaign that captured Leningrad and Moscow, and one in which the axis pushed hard in the november snow to disrupt soviet attack plans and create a "blizzard buffer" to retreat through pretty much along the whole front. This approach made the house rules pretty redundant, and probably were too axis friendly.

It is clear that the over-riding principle of "The better you do before the blizzard; the better you will do during the blizzard" still applies to both sides.

Ultimately I think players may well have to assess their relative performance prior to the blizzard, and assess the offensive capability the soviets will have during the blizzard. If it is in the 80+ attacks per turn range, then the house rules will limit the the potential damage the axis could suffer during the blizzard, if it is in the 40 - 45 attacks per turn range, then there is probably no need for house rules.

PDH's AAR has also shown the effectiveness of the March snow turns for taking back territory lost during the blizzard, but unfortunately not too many AARs have got to that stage.

It looks to me like 1.03 has brought the game back to the balanced state it was in when I last fully tested the blizzard in October 2010.

I don't think a 1.04 Blizzard survival guide will be necessary, as we do have strong evidence that the spike of attrition damage has been smoothed out. But that's not to say that both sides should not be monitoring their manpower, armaments and rifle squad pools.

_____________________________

(old version)It's only a game
(new version)Gary Grigsby's War in the East is not a game - it is a way of life!

War in the East Alpha/Beta Tester
Post #: 1
RE: Blizzard house rules review/feedback. - 4/6/2011 3:56:19 PM   
Ketza


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Without any house rules the Axis in my AAr seem to have come out the other end of the Blizzard in pretty good shape.

I would say that knowing just how hard the Blizzard was going to bang up my Axis army my Sep/Oct offensive moves were greatly influenced. The overriding concern became what can I do to protect my army during the blizzard instead of how far can I push the front in the remaining turns left.

I think in PDH case with house rules in place he could be more agressive. Likewise with 1.04 Axis played will be more agressive knowing they will have a better chance to survive the blizzard. House rules will not be needed.

(in reply to BigAnorak)
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RE: Blizzard house rules review/feedback. - 4/6/2011 4:18:37 PM   
Reconvet

 

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What makes you so sure axis can be played more agressive with 1.04? To me the impact of 1.04 is not that clear, axis might as well end up going weaker into first blizzard, evening out their slightly better defensive capability and slightly reduced attrition.

BigA's first winter house rules might still have their positive potential with 1.04, it's a bit early to dismiss them.



_____________________________

The biggest threat for mankind is ignorance.


(in reply to Ketza)
Post #: 3
RE: Blizzard house rules review/feedback. - 4/6/2011 5:04:03 PM   
IdahoNYer


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Big A -

Agree fully that the German needs to attack, attack, attack - focusing on encirclements and population centers in the summer 41 campaign. This may "should" force the Russians to FIGHT in the summer rather than do a Sir Robin and preserve his force - and thats the issue....a preserved Russian force will still be deadly in the blizzard. If the Soviets don't suffer 4 million or so casualties in summer, watch out...

Another aspect I would recommend players to use for a better blizzard experience is variable weather. That one or two snow turns in Jan/Feb offer a great counterattack potential for the German - which also forces the Russian to consider it as a possibilty, thereby potentially inducing him to be less aggressive.


(in reply to Reconvet)
Post #: 4
RE: Blizzard house rules review/feedback. - 4/6/2011 5:18:01 PM   
PeeDeeAitch


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I do not wish to imply anything here other than my own experience, no insults or insinuations are intended.

The blizzard for me is not broken as it stands. I had to learn how to face the winter, and to learn how to run the 1941 offensive, but once I got those I was able to achieve a measure of control over my fate in December-Feb 1941-42. The key was not the house rules, which as BigA states may have been too lenient for me given my end point, but that is neither here nor there. As Cpt Flam stated in emails, he could not attack effectively in December, limited fronts or not. The reason was that I had focused on punishing formations in the snow turns, and a good portion of his army was unready in December.

The 4 million casualties is something, and it will not always be replicated, but bear in mind it was the territory that saved me more than anything else. Had I faced a sir robin (and I have in PBEM, it is not something that frustrates me too much), I would have ended up gathering in as much room to pull back. As it was, the weakness of the soviets led me to not pull back nearly as much as I might have. Given that the German player is ready to cede hexes along much of the line, especially in the first 6 weeks of the "extremely vulnerable" period of blizzard, a competant defense can be mustered as it stands in v1.03. That is my opinion, based on 3 vs Human games.

The house rules did limit Cpt Flam in the latter stages of the blizzard, perhaps too much. But I stress that had I faced attacks that were not self-restricted, I still had space to give up. My bounce back of CV would have still been strong. As we can see in the snow turns, it was the damage done early that has limited the growth of the Soviets.

I look forward to 1.04, but I do not think it will unduly change how I play the winter.

_____________________________

"The torment of precautions often exceeds the dangers to be avoided. It is sometimes better to abandon one's self to destiny."

- Call me PDH

- WitE noob tester

(in reply to IdahoNYer)
Post #: 5
RE: Blizzard house rules review/feedback. - 4/6/2011 6:22:24 PM   
Encircled


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Looking at the PDA AAR, the blizzard might not have needed fixing as much as people thought.

I'm about to hit snow in my PBEM game, with Leningrad pretty certain to fall (I'm Soviet btw) and I don't think me and Jeff have decided to keep playing with 1.03, use the house rules or wait for 1.04.

If we use the house rules, then I'll stick any info you want on here

(in reply to PeeDeeAitch)
Post #: 6
RE: Blizzard house rules review/feedback. - 4/6/2011 10:32:51 PM   
kirkgregerson

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: PeeDeeAitch

I do not wish to imply anything here other than my own experience, no insults or insinuations are intended.

The blizzard for me is not broken as it stands. I had to learn how to face the winter, and to learn how to run the 1941 offensive, but once I got those I was able to achieve a measure of control over my fate in December-Feb 1941-42. The key was not the house rules, which as BigA states may have been too lenient for me given my end point, but that is neither here nor there. As Cpt Flam stated in emails, he could not attack effectively in December, limited fronts or not. The reason was that I had focused on punishing formations in the snow turns, and a good portion of his army was unready in December.

The 4 million casualties is something, and it will not always be replicated, but bear in mind it was the territory that saved me more than anything else. Had I faced a sir robin (and I have in PBEM, it is not something that frustrates me too much), I would have ended up gathering in as much room to pull back. As it was, the weakness of the soviets led me to not pull back nearly as much as I might have. Given that the German player is ready to cede hexes along much of the line, especially in the first 6 weeks of the "extremely vulnerable" period of blizzard, a competant defense can be mustered as it stands in v1.03. That is my opinion, based on 3 vs Human games.

The house rules did limit Cpt Flam in the latter stages of the blizzard, perhaps too much. But I stress that had I faced attacks that were not self-restricted, I still had space to give up. My bounce back of CV would have still been strong. As we can see in the snow turns, it was the damage done early that has limited the growth of the Soviets.

I look forward to 1.04, but I do not think it will unduly change how I play the winter.



No offense PeeDeeAitch, but I have played through two blizzards. One was against the AI and one against a human opponent. Blizzard mechanics are broken and the reason they are is because they don't present the players with the realistic parameters that were present during those first few winter months and how the German(axis) forces had to cope with it. There's been endless threads/posts about this, so I'm not going to rehash what has already been out there as to why blizzard is broken. I feel very strongly about this as do many others. The development team now finally agrees after seeing the data for over 3 months of games since the release.

As far as anything that you might want to draw from your current PBEM game with Cpt Flame, ummm... well really? Don't even try and use that game for any valuable data in attempting to draw conclusions about blizzard. That game does not depict the normal situation for an axis player. I suggest you look over some of the other AARs that can given you more realistic gaming situations where the soviet player wasn't beaten so badly. Not trying to offend your opponent, but it is what it is... and he's not doing very well. Happens... I got my ass kicked in first PBEM against soviet player. Part that beaten was due to the previously outrageous play balance issues the Dec release game had and some terrain def multiplier bugs as well.

I think the blizzard changes in v1.04 are step in the right direction for a more realistic approach to depicting the issues the axis armies faced in that first winter.

Excited for the release!

< Message edited by kirkgregerson -- 4/6/2011 10:34:17 PM >

(in reply to PeeDeeAitch)
Post #: 7
RE: Blizzard house rules review/feedback. - 4/7/2011 12:21:52 AM   
PeeDeeAitch


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For the record, I am basing my statements on 3 games played against humans through the winter, 2 games I have played (one to the outskirts of Moscow in early sept), and at least 5 games against the AI.

Simply saying my AAR is not representative because it is not what either other AARs give or what one themselves have done is a rather facile argument. I make no claim of my abilities or of anyone elses, but I have replicated my front lines agains 2 other players. I know my results may not be the norm till now, but perhaps I was able to synthesize the learning here and achieve what the Axis potential is.

-edit- to give some numbers. For my most recent PBEM I am playing someone with more than a few games being played or under their belt, and I have caused 1.6 million casualties through turn 6. Perhaps it is just my play style.

< Message edited by PeeDeeAitch -- 4/7/2011 12:25:09 AM >


_____________________________

"The torment of precautions often exceeds the dangers to be avoided. It is sometimes better to abandon one's self to destiny."

- Call me PDH

- WitE noob tester

(in reply to kirkgregerson)
Post #: 8
RE: Blizzard house rules review/feedback. - 4/7/2011 1:41:39 AM   
Mazzah

 

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I cant for the life of me understand why adminpoints and offensives are not interlinked. If you spent too many adminpoints before winter then no offensive. I think it would be a good idea to link AP with the number of armies or armygroups you can activate to combatready.
Somehow AP should reflect the overall capability to organize your army and its capability to take offensive actions. Say you have 55 APs, then it would perhaps take 25 AP´s to activate 1 army for offensive for 2-4 turns.So if you conserve AP´s before blizzard turns then you can attack more but perhaps not with all the good leaders that you like.
Bah edit #2
You could introduce the concept of resourcepoints to simplify supply, AP, etc etc.

< Message edited by Mazzah -- 4/7/2011 1:48:12 AM >

(in reply to PeeDeeAitch)
Post #: 9
RE: Blizzard house rules review/feedback. - 4/7/2011 3:33:06 AM   
majeloz

 

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Report from the front line. I am currently in two PBEM games where the blizzard has come and gone.

Game 1, 3 March, random weather vs a first-time Soviet player, sees me in very good shape as I prep for 1942 offensive - Leningrad and Cheropovets taken in the north; Kalinin held, just (whole panzer corps defended it grimly); line solid from Rhzev to Belgorod (also just held), Kursk and Kharkov still in Axis hands; lost Kaluga which i'd hoped to hold. Donbas and Rostov held; Voroshilovgrad lost. Crimea bottled up, not taken (not by choice... poor play by me, didn't commit armour to stopping his southern forces retreating into Crimea and choking it up). Mountain divisions and Rumanians held the access points, just. Hungarian mountain brigade did an amazing job in Rostov, as did Rumanian Mountain units (carefully preserved during the summer and boosted by easy wins over surrounded Russians). I have lost 1.5 million men to 4.32 million, more than 1.1 million of mine are disabled and most will come back. He took brutal losses attacking me, ca. 100K / turn.

Game 2, late March -- non-random weather vs a first-time Soviet player. I've lost. I am holding a line along the Dnepr with rag tag of units in the snow. I lost around 80 divisions cut off and destroyed in a retreat that would make Napoleon feel he got off lightly. It was actually quite therapeutic seeing the Germans utterly screwed up.

Difference -- I played really badly in game 2; I played well in game 1. Playing well = be ready to STOP and DEFEND the last turn before the mud. That gives you the mud turns and the snow turns to dig in. Fort 3 and 4s do make a difference, as does a line where each Axis unit was 80%+ TOE and everything was in the right place. Had reserve lines built too. I then defended like a lunatic, never EVER giving up ground until I really had to

In a third game, I've made massive headway as the Axis (moscow is gone; troops over the Kerch strait; Leningrad gone) and we are in the mud. The Soviet player was new to it and didn't twig to a couple of key mechanics in the game but has bravely agreed to keep playing. I am balancing the ledger by being more aggressive in the snow turns. If I used strategy from game 1, I'd be sure of decisive victory in 1943 but it wouldn't be fun. I want to see what happens against a weak soviet army with an overextended German army.

I don't think the blizzard is broken at the moment and hope 1.04 doesn't screw things up too much because the shock and awe blitzkrieg feel of the game (which is what we all love?) might go south. Random weather probably makes the blizzard less of an issue because the Russian has to be cautious of a snow turn... on the other hand, in game 1 I had 2 mud turns before turn 13 so probably would have been even more prepared under non-random weather.

The blizzard does throw up some madness -  eg 5,000 strong tank brigade holding off 50,000 strong 2 division attack - but you could interpret that as a combat that never really got started (eg only a few of those troops got committed).

Ultimately I think the rule is this: the German has to husband resources. In game 2 I lost too many troops; in game 1 I had plenty.




_____________________________

I still remember cardboard!

(in reply to Mazzah)
Post #: 10
RE: Blizzard house rules review/feedback. - 4/7/2011 3:53:37 AM   
PeeDeeAitch


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Odd how playing well, and note that this does not mean playing the same way for all, is the key to surviving winter. Playing well in the Summer/Fall of 1941 is how it seems one will get through the blizzard.

How, then, to play well? Play many games, against humans and the computer. Play and try different things. We have an AAR with holding the line working, mine with a modified "rubber-band" and hold around Moscow, and majeloz reporting another hold fast strategy. I would think that the key is success and good play in the opening 17 turns.

_____________________________

"The torment of precautions often exceeds the dangers to be avoided. It is sometimes better to abandon one's self to destiny."

- Call me PDH

- WitE noob tester

(in reply to majeloz)
Post #: 11
RE: Blizzard house rules review/feedback. - 4/7/2011 2:43:12 PM   
Q-Ball


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I am in the camp that blizzard is broken. Maybe the problem is I stink, but I think the Wehrmacht is pushed around too easy in 1.03. The Reds take way too much territory, partly because of that, and partly because there isn't a break on supply like there was IRL.

The 1.04 changes in CV I like; that should slow down the Reds after December.

The Attrition changes, I wonder if the 1-7% isn't an over-correction. The Germans need to suffer losses in the Blizzard, and not sure about this one. I guess we'll see.

The other hard part is that no player has seen the combat loss changes in 1941, where both sides are going to suffer greater losses in combat and attrition.


(in reply to PeeDeeAitch)
Post #: 12
RE: Blizzard house rules review/feedback. - 4/7/2011 5:54:07 PM   
Altaris

 

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I tend to think 1-7% attrition is too low as well. I think something like 10-16% in December and 5-8% in January/February seems more correct. This would also make those fort attrition bonuses more important.

(in reply to Q-Ball)
Post #: 13
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