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Katushya?

 
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Katushya? - 5/11/2011 8:44:26 AM   
jnpoint


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I have used them in the latest random game - but they can only travel on roads and does not seem to make much damage. Is my observation all wrong?
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RE: Katushya? - 5/11/2011 2:27:23 PM   
phatkarp


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I would like to hear some testimony about the use and effectiveness of Katyushas.  I've never bothered with them myself. 

(in reply to jnpoint)
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RE: Katushya? - 5/11/2011 9:50:42 PM   
Josh

 

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Haven't used them yet... still tight up in my islandgame, but in general Artillery has a low killratio, especially when unexperienced. Their main target is to lower the enemy's readiness (the green bars next to the units in the battle window). If you have an experienced Art group of say 10 Art pieces you can see those green bars go to almost zero (= very low readiness) and only a few kills.

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RE: Katushya? - 5/12/2011 7:22:29 AM   
springer

 

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Here's my take on the Katushyas, based on slight experience and some simulations.

My first run of ATG was Soviet and since I had a huge army with only one oil well, it was time for WWI. I tested out the Katushyas just because they are the special unit. They seem like a great deal because you can buy 3 for the price of 1 normal artillery (However, in terms of ore, only 2 Katushya's for 1). However, within a couple of turns, I stopped creating them as they seemed to perform poorly at breaking up enemy positions.


To see what was going on (and to answer this thread),
I ran some 200x simulations to test the situation and here is what I found.

On the receiving end of the simulation was a defending infantry unit with 40 INF [infantry] and 5 MG [machine guns] (40 XP [experience] and RDN [readiness] 100)

I then subjected the unit to the following comparisons:

Sim 1- 5 Art (40 XP) vs. 5 Katushyas (40 XP):
The art destroyed 8 INF and 1 MG and reduced RDN to 24; The Katushyas destroyed 8 INF and 1 MG and reduced RDN to 81

Sim 2- 5 Art (0 XP) vs. 5 Katushyas (0 XP):
The art destroyed 8 INF and 1 MG and reduced RDN to 27; The Katushyas destroyed 8 INF and 1 MG and reduced RDN to 83

Since the comparison is not quite fair given relatively low price of Katushyas (3 for 1 artillery). I ran the following simulation:

Sim 3- 5 Art (40 XP) vs. 15 Katushyas (40 XP):
The art destroyed 8 INF and 1 MG and reduced RDN to 24; The Katushyas destroyed 25 INF and 3 MG and reduced RDN to 59

Here's my summary of the results:
Katushya's seem to me to be a poor investment.

Here's why:
Its single-shot kill rate is about the same as that for artillery.
Thus, If you use your artillery more than 3, you've saved the price of production
And, if you use artillery only two times, you have actually saved on your use of ore (which is important if ore is scarce).

Also, since they are exhausted with an attack Katushyas throw away experience earned. Experience seems to play only a slight role with artillery, mainly in terms of minute differences in readiness reduction.

More importantly, as Josh pointed out, the one important job of artillery is pounds down unit readiness. In this regard, there is no comparison. The Katushya, just can't measure up In terms of readiness reduction, 15 Katushya's with 40 XP (that's how many turns sitting in reserve, since it can't build combat experience) cannot match the readiness reduction of 5 (even inexperienced )artillery can.

My own feeling is that the Katushya would be a worthwhile weapon that would be tempting to produce if it was modified to take down readiness more (even at the cost of reducing its ability to create casualties). Then, it would work as it was meant to as a kind of "shock and awe" weapon that could be used to soften the enemy before the tanks and infantry do the real work.



< Message edited by springer -- 5/12/2011 7:31:21 AM >

(in reply to Josh)
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RE: Katushya? - 5/12/2011 8:27:19 AM   
lion_of_judah


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These seem rather ok, but what I don't like is that once used they are gone. I had rather see their readiness take longer to signify time it takes to reload and resupply than seeing them destroyed after their use.

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RE: Katushya? - 5/12/2011 8:37:02 AM   
jnpoint


Posts: 293
Joined: 8/9/2007
From: Holstebro, Denmark
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Thanks for taking the time to look into this topic. It looks like a solid piece of work, thanks again.


quote:

ORIGINAL: springer

Here's my take on the Katushyas, based on slight experience and some simulations.

My first run of ATG was Soviet and since I had a huge army with only one oil well, it was time for WWI. I tested out the Katushyas just because they are the special unit. They seem like a great deal because you can buy 3 for the price of 1 normal artillery (However, in terms of ore, only 2 Katushya's for 1). However, within a couple of turns, I stopped creating them as they seemed to perform poorly at breaking up enemy positions.


To see what was going on (and to answer this thread),
I ran some 200x simulations to test the situation and here is what I found.

On the receiving end of the simulation was a defending infantry unit with 40 INF [infantry] and 5 MG [machine guns] (40 XP [experience] and RDN [readiness] 100)

I then subjected the unit to the following comparisons:

Sim 1- 5 Art (40 XP) vs. 5 Katushyas (40 XP):
The art destroyed 8 INF and 1 MG and reduced RDN to 24; The Katushyas destroyed 8 INF and 1 MG and reduced RDN to 81

Sim 2- 5 Art (0 XP) vs. 5 Katushyas (0 XP):
The art destroyed 8 INF and 1 MG and reduced RDN to 27; The Katushyas destroyed 8 INF and 1 MG and reduced RDN to 83

Since the comparison is not quite fair given relatively low price of Katushyas (3 for 1 artillery). I ran the following simulation:

Sim 3- 5 Art (40 XP) vs. 15 Katushyas (40 XP):
The art destroyed 8 INF and 1 MG and reduced RDN to 24; The Katushyas destroyed 25 INF and 3 MG and reduced RDN to 59

Here's my summary of the results:
Katushya's seem to me to be a poor investment.

Here's why:
Its single-shot kill rate is about the same as that for artillery.
Thus, If you use your artillery more than 3, you've saved the price of production
And, if you use artillery only two times, you have actually saved on your use of ore (which is important if ore is scarce).

Also, since they are exhausted with an attack Katushyas throw away experience earned. Experience seems to play only a slight role with artillery, mainly in terms of minute differences in readiness reduction.

More importantly, as Josh pointed out, the one important job of artillery is pounds down unit readiness. In this regard, there is no comparison. The Katushya, just can't measure up In terms of readiness reduction, 15 Katushya's with 40 XP (that's how many turns sitting in reserve, since it can't build combat experience) cannot match the readiness reduction of 5 (even inexperienced )artillery can.

My own feeling is that the Katushya would be a worthwhile weapon that would be tempting to produce if it was modified to take down readiness more (even at the cost of reducing its ability to create casualties). Then, it would work as it was meant to as a kind of "shock and awe" weapon that could be used to soften the enemy before the tanks and infantry do the real work.




(in reply to springer)
Post #: 6
RE: Katushya? - 5/12/2011 9:25:29 AM   
Vic


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Another advantage of Katushya's is that they have a stack value of 1 instead of 10.
This means that if you really want to go overkill with artillery on a specific hex you can use 10x more katushyas then regular artillery before running into artillery stack penalty.

Furthermore i recommend you use the katushyas in a regular land attack together with ground troops.
Since all firepower is expended in the first combat round this will cause a lot of kills and retreats and make an actual retreat out of the hex much more likely-er.

best regards,
Vic



_____________________________

Victor Reijkersz Designs
www.vrdesigns.nl

(in reply to jnpoint)
Post #: 7
RE: Katushya? - 5/12/2011 10:38:57 AM   
lion_of_judah


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Joined: 1/8/2007
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I have been looking for the artillery stacking penalty for awhile now and have yet to find it. Please someone point me in the correct direction. I usually have 14-20 artillery units in a brigade and have 8 brigades behind the lines in two hexes or more and then launch my artillery bombardment. Is this too many or too few, or need more....

(in reply to Vic)
Post #: 8
RE: Katushya? - 5/12/2011 8:24:24 PM   
phatkarp


Posts: 130
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Use them in a regular land attack?  Now that's interesting . . . 

(in reply to lion_of_judah)
Post #: 9
RE: Katushya? - 5/13/2011 6:43:55 AM   
springer

 

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Thanks for the note, Vic.  It points out that it is worthwhile looking at all the stats and to think about each unit a little more flexibly than just in terms of its official designation. That breadth is part of the elegance of the system.

If I understand the post correctly, it's best to see Katushyas as disposable support weapons, not independent artillery. I ran some more tests to see how this would work out.

I created an attacking infantry unit of 40 INF toon the 40 INF, 5 MG defender used in the previous sims.  I then added either 15 Katushyas, 5 Katushyas, 5 Artillery (independent, pre-bombardment), 5 Art (part of the support weapons in a ground attack).  (All attackers are at 0 XP.  All artillery were in their own unit: See below for why this is important)

The impact of 15 Katushyas was decisive, and the casualties almost all due to the Katushyas
The defender losses were 24 INF and 3 MG; attacker losses 5 INF; the hex was taken 100% of the time
When the results are compared with the simulations above, the Katuysha's seem to be doing all the destruction.

The impact of 5 Katushyas was less decisive,
The defender losses were 9 INF and 1 MG; attacker losses were 15 INF; the hex was taken 12% of the time.

Prebombardment with 5 Artillery usually did not take the hex
The defender losses were 12 INF and 1 MG; attacker losses were 16 INF; the hex was taken 1-2% of the time.

Including artillery as a support weapon was the worse (since their firepower is only half the Katushya's).
The defender losses 5 INF and a 0-1 MG; attacker losses were 17 INF; the hex was taken 1-2% of the time.

To be effective, they must be deployed in overwhelming force.  (It appears that more than 5 Katushya's were needed to consistently pry a 40 INF unit out of a plain, unentrenched hex.)


Though I'm still not convinced about the long-term cost effectiveness of Katushyas, I can see how they could make the game fun. 
If  a player has a good surplus of raw material, the use of mass Katushyas at a breakthrough point or to disintegrate a frontage (ala destruction of Army Group Center) could be quite an event during a game, definitely one worth experiencing (on the attacking side, of course).

______________________________________________________________________________________
As an aside, it appears that it is best to keep the Katushya's in their own unit unmixed with the troops (e.g., INF) that do the ground fighting. For example, it is best to use a unit that consists of only Katushyas and truck/halftrack (with bodyguards if desired)  and ends as a truck/halftrack unit after use. 

Because of the retreat rules, A combined arms unit with a 50% loss setting would quit after one or two rounds, since the Katushyas die off on the first round upping the loss rate.  This means that unit losses may stall the attack before the ground is taken. But, if the Katushya's are in their own unit, that unit bails out of the attack once exhausted; the but the supporting INF unit goes on to take the take the ground.

In sims, a two unit attack (unit 1 with 8 Katushyas; unit 2 with 40 INF) took the ground about 80% of the time.  However, a single unit of 8 Katushya's and 40 INF took the ground only 8% of the time.  (Losses on both sides were about the same in both conditions.)

If loss settings are set to 100%, then how the artillery is distributed shouldn't make a difference, every one moves forward until they are all gone: no retreats allowed (One roguish definition of such a unit may be "penal battalion" )




< Message edited by springer -- 5/13/2011 6:59:56 AM >

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RE: Katushya? - 5/14/2011 1:36:52 AM   
kendollem

 

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Dunno i've tried using them and found them to be pretty useless .. I used 30 to kill like a small amount of infantry ..  Once i factored in the Ore cost.. Arty would been alot better buy ....

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Post #: 11
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