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HQ Buildup Overpowered?

 
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HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/24/2011 1:54:21 PM   
76mm


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You knew this was coming...

Looking at some of the recent AARs, many of the German players have achieved spectacular success, with, as far as I can tell, a leading cause being the liberal use of HQ buildup.

Previously, I thought that HQ buildup was intended to be a powerful, but rarely used mechanism, but it seems like it is being used several times in a single campaign season.

While I can't see the effects on the German side, I don't really see what incentive they have to not use HQ Buildup as often as possible--if they use it often, they stand a decent chance of taking the key objectives and winning in 1941 or 1942; even if it hurts them in the long run, they will lose in the long run anyway if they don't win in the short run, so what not give it a shot?

While I wouldn't get rid of HQ buildup, it serves an important function, I think that its use should have more serious consequences for the Germans than seems to be the case now.

I would be interested in the perspective of some of the German players.

< Message edited by 76mm -- 4/24/2011 1:55:36 PM >
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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/24/2011 1:59:02 PM   
PeeDeeAitch


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I think HQ buildup is overused. It has its place in the first year, I myself use it a couple of times in the "middle summer" to finish pockets or make dashes. In my AAR I used buildup (my turn three gambit) on 2nd and 3rd, a few turns later on 2nd to complete the Kiev pocket, then finally on 1st to grab Stalino.

More often than not now, I rest my tanks then do a dash - this works far better for me as it allows more flexibility.

I think some of the recent "long range" penetrations we have seen would be cut off by more experienced soviet players. Even I am not so foolhardy.

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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/24/2011 2:00:23 PM   
PeeDeeAitch


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And in 1942 in my AAR I used it not at all. When the rails are right there, tanks (who will naturally need rest after a 2-3 week bound) get back plenty of movement.

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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/24/2011 2:23:21 PM   
76mm


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PDH, thanks for the feedback. Part of the thing I don't understand (cuz I don't play as German), is what real incentive there is not to overuse HQ buildup?

As far as cutting off the deep penetrations...I'm not certain, but I am not sure that that approach is feasible--when you have that kind of penetration, the Sovs have a couple of choices, and none of them are good. I guess we'll have to see a few more AARs to get a better feel, but I wanted to see what other players thought about it.

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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/24/2011 2:28:08 PM   
PeeDeeAitch


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It does eat up trucks, but that is minor. What it really does is have the problem of fatigue on top of fatigue on top of fatigue. There is one turn to rest during the buildup, but armor and motorized will be at 99 fatigue when they zoom the entire distance. Breakdowns and units becoming far less worthwhile by turn 10 or so is the result.

I think the massive pentrations would not happen against more experienced players, more used to proper checkerboards and the like. And I have seen my supposedly foolproof flank guards pushed around by the 1:1 attacks that get bumped up, simply because they are so fatigued. Then a cavalry runs in and voila! I am cut off.

I do not think it is a tactic to use except against a defender who is not really prepared except in key times.

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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/24/2011 3:25:56 PM   
Klydon


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I am not nearly experienced as PDH is, but I basically think he has hit it on the head with the fatigue. Your guys have plenty of movement, but combat wise, they are a shadow. The only way to fix that is to rest them. With some of the new changes in 1.04 (more damage when not moving on rail lines) I think this will just make the situation worse.

I also think tactics are evolving for both sides. It used to be that the Germans rarely used HQ buildup and now they may be using it a bit too much. It has its place, but the timing on WHEN to use it is crucial. The good Russian players will also adapt to what they are seeing with improved tactics, etc. As an example, my guess is that Leningrad is becoming harder to take in most games simply because most Russians know that taking Leningrad is in vogue for the Germans right now and so adjust accordingly.

This is a difficult situation for the design team because they need to give the community a chance to adjust tactics, etc before stepping in too quickly and decide they have a case of not WAD.

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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/24/2011 3:42:17 PM   
pompack


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

PDH, thanks for the feedback. Part of the thing I don't understand (cuz I don't play as German), is what real incentive there is not to overuse HQ buildup?



While I have no firm data to back this up, I think there is a case that the Germans overused it IRL. As PDH says, there is no immediate problem with using up trucks but there are really serious problems later since truck attrition generally exceeds production, especially in bad weather. So you can expend your trucks in 41 hoping that one last lunge will finish off the Russian or you can play a more conservative campaign; IRL the Germans expended their truck stockpile, over-extended their supply lines, send ammo instead of winter clothing forward and lost big time.

With all that said, I do think that the German truck attrition should be higher in 41 only. When the Germans kicked off the summer campaign, they had stripped all of occupied Europe of commercial trucks (see "Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton" by Martin L. Van Creveld); it was a maintenance nightmare since there were few spare parts and hundreds of different types most of which were too fragile to last long on what passed for Russian roads. I think you can make a good case that normal truck "attrition" for the Germans should be significantly higher until these trucks were expended and discarded.

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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/24/2011 3:56:42 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Klydon
This is a difficult situation for the design team because they need to give the community a chance to adjust tactics, etc before stepping in too quickly and decide they have a case of not WAD.

This is clearly true, I just want this issue to be on their radar screeen.

quote:

ORIGINAL: pompack
While I have no firm data to back this up, I think there is a case that the Germans overused it IRL. As PDH says, there is no immediate problem with using up trucks but there are really serious problems later since truck attrition generally exceeds production, especially in bad weather. So you can expend your trucks in 41 hoping that one last lunge will finish off the Russian or you can play a more conservative campaign; IRL the Germans expended their truck stockpile, over-extended their supply lines, send ammo instead of winter clothing forward and lost big time.

The problem in the game as I see it is that many German players are willing to adopt an "all or nothing" strategy that involves being very aggressive in 1941, even if it dooms them in the long run. Since they are doomed in the long run if they don't win in 1941/1942, there is a certain logic to this approach. I guess what I'm saying is that we should not rely on the fact that use of HQ buildup in 1941 could hamper the Germans in 1943 to deter them from using it.

I think PDH is making the point that we shouldn't worry about overuse very much because it actually can't be used effectively very often, because of fatigue and Sov defensive reactions. If correct, this is probably an effective deterrent from overuse.

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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/24/2011 4:08:05 PM   
squatter

 

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Yeah, I'm wondering whether HQ buildup is a tad overpowered. I think you'll find the better Axis players use it quite regularly in 41 - by which I mean on five or six occassions. Axis armour and motorised units' strength is their mobility. HQ buildup gives it to them in spades. For one thing, it is the way to defeat the carpet defence - playing against a very good axis player has shown me that.

What I dont know, however, is what the long term (ie '43) effects are. Very difficult to measure.

One positive about the way it works now is that it does give the Axis a strategic option - hammer the HQ buildup function in 41 to try for an early victory, or go easy on it and play the long game.

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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/24/2011 4:19:45 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: squatter

What I dont know, however, is what the long term (ie '43) effects are. Very difficult to measure.

One positive about the way it works now is that it does give the Axis a strategic option - hammer the HQ buildup function in 41 to try for an early victory, or go easy on it and play the long game.

But that's what I'm saying--I don't think this disincentive is effective. Most German players seem to think that if you don't take Lgrad, Moscow, or both in 1941 you've already "lost" and there is little point in playing for a long game. They want to win outright, not delay the fall of Berlin by 2 weeks.
quote:

What I dont know, however, is what the long term (ie '43) effects are. Very difficult to measure.

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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/24/2011 4:36:35 PM   
squatter

 

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"They want to win outright, not delay the fall of Berlin by 2 weeks."

But isnt that exactly what the Axis player should be trying to do in 1941, just like IRL? I mean, if we want to encourage historical play, that's exactly what they should be setting out to do, isnt it? I for one dont want to be starting a game as Axis thinking, "right, only 379 turns to go to see if my minor victory strategy works or not..." Plan A is outright victory in 41/42. Plan B is minor victory on the Vistula in 45.

If, however, you're saying that lack of success in 41 is leading Axis players to bail out of games early, that's another matter.




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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/24/2011 4:40:33 PM   
Scook_99

 

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It is my belief you need build-up more than ever in 1943+. When some Russian armies are threatening to steamroll, and you need to smash them head on in the nose, bolstering your panzers with supply and fuel is sometimes the only way to make it happen. By that time though, it is a case of diminishing returns, trading fuel for blood, as your panzer armies get weaker and weaker.....thus making it even more necessary to use build up.......(btw, if you play to that point, try to always merge the less experienced units into the better experienced ones, that is all)

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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/24/2011 4:59:03 PM   
fiva55


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Not sure whether HQ Build up is overpowered. I know I have been using it frequently though in the
last few turns of my 42 GC. I hardly used it for the movement points, but it was handy to prevent
my units from going into the red in supply. Besides, I could easily afford it due to the enormous
numbers of trucks I have.

The only downside I can see in using HQ buildup is that you force your to units to stay in action
long after they should be withdrawn for some rest. The impact on the motor pool is minimal at
best. This is speaking from a 42 GC point of view of course.


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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/24/2011 5:01:54 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: squatter
But isnt that exactly what the Axis player should be trying to do in 1941, just like IRL? I mean, if we want to encourage historical play, that's exactly what they should be setting out to do, isnt it? I for one dont want to be starting a game as Axis thinking, "right, only 379 turns to go to see if my minor victory strategy works or not..." Plan A is outright victory in 41/42. Plan B is minor victory on the Vistula in 45.

If, however, you're saying that lack of success in 41 is leading Axis players to bail out of games early, that's another matter.


Yes, it is what they should be trying to do, but the problem is that if the consequences are not severe enough, it is sort of a no-brainer to do HQ Buildup as many times as physically possible. In other words, it provides a huge boost to the Germans, so they'll choose it every time unless the cost is heavy enough. I just am not sure that concerns about not having enough trucks in two years is big enough a concern to stop anyone from using HQB.

As far as German players quitting; not sure, I don't think there's been enough samples yet, and in many of the recent games the Germans are running amok. In any event, even if they keep playing, my impression is that the Germans' enthusiasm level drops considerably if they fail to take Lgrad and/or Moscow.

BTW, interesting discussion, it is good to hear from the German players because from the Sov perspective the results seem almost magical (think "re-energizer potion" or such).


< Message edited by 76mm -- 4/24/2011 5:04:03 PM >

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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/24/2011 5:16:32 PM   
squatter

 

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"Yes, it is what they should be trying to do, but the problem is that if the consequences are not severe enough, it is sort of a no-brainer to do HQ Buildup as many times as physically possible."

Agreed. I think we're pretty much on the same hymn sheet here. If the consequences of HQ buildup were felt in, say, 5 turns time rather than 50, then players would be more likely to think twice.

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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/24/2011 5:20:59 PM   
PeeDeeAitch


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I think the consequences are felt rather fast. I have overused it, and had no panzers left to speak of by turn 12. For those who understand the Germans, the most killing of Soviet units, the highest losses, and the most ground to be gained can take place in the final 5 turns of the Summer of 1941. Not having armor also means that the killing/routing of units in the snow drops tremendously.

Part of the problem is that the overuse of HQ buildup vs an inexperienced Soviet player leads to massively positive results. Against an experienced Soviet, the returns are far less and the outcome is burned out tank units.

As I said, I use it far less now as I understand the game more, the time lines involved, and what I hope to achieve by the blizzard. I do not think I am being merely overconfident here in saying that were I to play a new player, I would have perhaps quite good success - perhaps with far fewer HQ buildups.

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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/24/2011 5:31:25 PM   
76mm


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What PDH says makes sense. I guess part of the recent German successes is that more players are "cracking the code" on how to play them well.

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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/24/2011 5:38:09 PM   
fiva55


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

BTW, interesting discussion, it is good to hear from the German players because from the Sov perspective the results seem almost magical (think "re-energizer potion" or such).


Neh, it's no magic trick. HQ build up does require some planning and it does cost around 10 AP each
time you use it. It is most certainly possible to spam HQ build up each turn, but what would you gain
with that? And as mentioned before, overusing it means wearing out your unit. With increased movement
attrition, it would only make your mobile units more vulnerable to counter attacks.

Consider this. In order to use it, your HQ must not have moved during the turn, and your units most
be within command range of the HQ. That means you you can only do a limited advance during the turn
you wish to use HQ build up. Also, in order to use HQ build up effectively, you must either have
enough troops to keep the flanks of your advance secure, or your opponent must not have enough units
to threaten the flanks of your deep thrust into his lines. All this requires planning, massing of
enough troops and choosing the right location of attack.

The best use I find for HQ build up, besides closing pockets, is breaking through carpets. In 1943,
I'm facing 3-4 lines of units with a defensive value above 50. It takes multiple deliberate attacks
to break through such a defence, and it cause my units to go red in supply after such an attack. That
in turn leaves me vulnerable to counter attacks.

That is where HQ build up comes in. Since I rarely advance more than 5 hexes in 43, a strategically
placed HQ can use HQ build up at the end of my turn, allowing my units to have full supply to face
the inevitable counter attack. Afterwards, it allows me some freedom of movement to either continue
my attack or change my axis of attack.

In the end, I agree that HQ build up makes life easier for the Germans. But then again, so does the
carpet defence for the Soviets. My conclusion is that HQ build up is most certainly a handy tool, but
by no means overpowered.

Phew, that was a wall of text. Feel free to disagree with me, but I encourage any Soviet player to
play as Germans first before thinking that HQ build up is an overpowered tool.


< Message edited by fiva55 -- 4/24/2011 5:51:56 PM >


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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/24/2011 6:02:35 PM   
Jajusha


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Being on the receive end of HQ buildup, and having such a useful tool such as fuel being displayed in the opponents counter, theres no reason to be taken by surprise because of it. You know when its coming and where, so, brace yourself for it.

As for the consequences of using it, i think the question is not the cost in trucks or AP, but the German production of trucks and the very limited actions a german player can take to spend those AP (really, could not all that truck production be diverted to something else? why keep producing trucks when your at [200k (70k)] ?)

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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/24/2011 7:44:57 PM   
heliodorus04


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76mm I hear what you're saying about the impact in 1943 isn't a strong enough disincentive, BUT:
I think the solution to that is to find Axis players who are committed to playing the long game, regardless of how their 41/42 strategy goes.  That's completely imperative to really robust play-testing anyhow.

I don't think it's overpowered if you are assuming a priori 1943 will see the game continuing to be played.




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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/24/2011 8:39:20 PM   
Ketza


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Well I for one do not like to use the function anymore then I have to or see a reason to do it. My profession in real life is logistics and that is one of the reasons I enjoy games like WITE and WITPAE. An HQ buildup of 3 divisions eats about a half weeks worth of trucks. I keep a close eye on my trucks and I am playing the game not for a knock out blow but to last until 1945. Trucks are important (i think) so I use them as judiciously as possible. The chances are very small even against a novice Soviet player that you will knock him out in 1941 so in my opinion you have to play the long game.

There is nothing to stop an Axis player from overuse of the mechanic except a long term hit in logistics. If they choose to use it and break their logistics then that is just another choice to make in the game that could very well see it end earlier rather then later. Like everything in war its a gamble. What will stop a Soviet player in overusing the tactic in 1944? Surely at that juncture the scenario will be the esentially the same a rush for time for a win with no accountability for his actions except to perhaps win or lose.


Well after all that blabbering I will have to say that to me the mechanic is not broken. It can be used to great effectiveness for those who are not aware of its lethality but like anything else in a game there is a way to counter it and prepare for it.

P.S Through truck management of my armor and mech divisions in a Soviet game I am playing I have well over 200k trucks by turn 13 with a need of maybe 100k. I think I will be able to use my own HQ buildups during my blizzard offensive. I am looking forward to trying it!

< Message edited by Ketza -- 4/25/2011 1:05:22 AM >

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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/25/2011 12:57:41 AM   
kswanson1

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ketza

Well I for one do not like to use the function anymore then I have to or see a reason to do it. My profession in real life is logistics and that is one of the reasons I enjoy games like WITE and WITPAE. An HQ buildup of 3 divisions eats about a half weeks worth of trucks. I keep a close eye on my trucks and I am playing the game not for a knock out blow but to last until 1945. Trucks are important (i think) so I use them as judiciously as possible. The chances are very small even against a novice Soviet player that you will knock him out in 1941 so in my opinion you have to play the long game.

There is nothing to stop an Axis player from overuse of the mechanic except a long term hit in logistics. If they choose to use it and break their logistics then that is just another choice to make in the game that could very well see it end earlier rather then later. Like everything in war its a gamble. What will stop a Soviet player in overusing the tactic in 1944? Surely at that juncture the scenario will be the esentially the same a rush for time for a win with no accountability for his actions except to perhaps win or lose.


Well after all that blabbering I will have to say that to me the mechanic is not broken. It can be used to great effectiveness for those who are not aware of its lethality but like anything else in a game there is a way to counter it and prepare for it.

P.S Through truck management of my armor and mech divisions in a Soviet game I am playing I have well over 200k trucks by turn 13 with a neded of maybe 100k. I think I will be able to use my own HQ buildups during my blizzard offensive. I am looking forward to trying it!


+1

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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/25/2011 1:48:43 AM   
Keke


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The problem is that there are too many vehicles available in all official scenarios, and the HQ buildup is just horse manure. If it was available only to the Soviets, modelling carefully planned offensives for a side with lower force quality, it would be more than that.

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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/25/2011 4:03:47 AM   
Scook_99

 

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Just wait for patching, I am thinking there is an incorrect bit of code in the way trucks are put into the pool. The math just doesn't feel right. Once they catch that error, then usage of build-up will drop off.

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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/25/2011 8:39:41 AM   
Tarhunnas


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I think HQ buildup is too cheap for the Germans. I usually have the trucks to spare, and the AP cost is not very high. In my experience, it is somewhat overused. I would suggest that the AP price be raised by 50% or so.

Compare this to motorizing an infantry division. It costs about twice as many APs, and is of much more limited effectiveness. I never motorize any inf divs. The price of that shiould be like 1/4 of its present AP cost if players should be expected to use it.

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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/25/2011 9:32:18 AM   
saintsup

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas

I think HQ buildup is too cheap for the Germans. I usually have the trucks to spare, and the AP cost is not very high. In my experience, it is somewhat overused. I would suggest that the AP price be raised by 50% or so.

Compare this to motorizing an infantry division. It costs about twice as many APs, and is of much more limited effectiveness. I never motorize any inf divs. The price of that shiould be like 1/4 of its present AP cost if players should be expected to use it.


+1 on both counts

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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/25/2011 12:52:14 PM   
Wild


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quote:

ORIGINAL: saintsup


quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas

I think HQ buildup is too cheap for the Germans. I usually have the trucks to spare, and the AP cost is not very high. In my experience, it is somewhat overused. I would suggest that the AP price be raised by 50% or so.

Compare this to motorizing an infantry division. It costs about twice as many APs, and is of much more limited effectiveness. I never motorize any inf divs. The price of that shiould be like 1/4 of its present AP cost if players should be expected to use it.


+1 on both counts


Yep, i agree. +1

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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/25/2011 1:27:21 PM   
heliodorus04


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas

I think HQ buildup is too cheap for the Germans. I usually have the trucks to spare, and the AP cost is not very high. In my experience, it is somewhat overused. I would suggest that the AP price be raised by 50% or so.

Compare this to motorizing an infantry division. It costs about twice as many APs, and is of much more limited effectiveness. I never motorize any inf divs. The price of that shiould be like 1/4 of its present AP cost if players should be expected to use it.

+1

I've always thought the Motorization was too expensive, and probably HQ buildup might be a bit too cheap.

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RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/25/2011 1:59:17 PM   
Q-Ball


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas

I think HQ buildup is too cheap for the Germans. I usually have the trucks to spare, and the AP cost is not very high. In my experience, it is somewhat overused. I would suggest that the AP price be raised by 50% or so.

Compare this to motorizing an infantry division. It costs about twice as many APs, and is of much more limited effectiveness. I never motorize any inf divs. The price of that shiould be like 1/4 of its present AP cost if players should be expected to use it.


+1 on that as well.....HQ buildup doesn't cost much at all, though it should be noted that when I simply have my Panzers sit there for a turn, without a buildup, they will accrue most of the benefits anyway. MOST of them, not quite there on fuel.

(in reply to Tarhunnas)
Post #: 29
RE: HQ Buildup Overpowered? - 4/25/2011 7:54:22 PM   
Pelton

 

Posts: 5720
Joined: 4/9/2006
Status: offline
I beleive I used HQ build up 6 times during my game with Larry which is posted on the AAR forums. 4 times in the center and 2 times in the south. One on turn 3 and one on turn 4 both in the center, the rest after turn 7. The only HQ build ups that really matterred at all was the ones on turn 3 and 4 in the center. The other ones I could have done with out and have in other games.

As far as fatigue goes after turn 5 there was nothing left for my panzers to fight basicly in the center and south. The mech units are just driving along injoying the summer drive, from turn 4 on I beleive my tank numbers are increasing. I had to stop 2 times because I was getting more then 25 hexs from rail heads.

I have lost allot of trucks for sure, but I have no idea how this will effect winter supply because I have yet to get to the blizzard turns vs anyone.




(in reply to Q-Ball)
Post #: 30
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