From: Seattle, WA
Fronts strategic situations:
Italian Front: The Allies are on the Offensive, following the launch of “Operation Diadem” in late May. As a minor front, supplies and replacements are relatively low, especially for the Allies. The launch of “Anvil” the second summer sea operation, will cut these supplies even further. The Axis player has to play a careful defensive game to stop the Allies along the heavily fortified Gothic line. Another option is to give up the Italian theater and retreat behind the Alps. Loss of Milan factories will decrease supply by 2%.
Normandy: Particular attention has been given to units deployment and realistic starting equipment and supply levels. As it should be, breaking out of the beach head is though, but not impossible. The Allies must enlarge their beach head conquering the towns of Cherbourg ( by turn1?) and St.Lo (by turn3?) to allow for the scheduled (and numerous) reinforcements to arrive in Normandy. Caen is a very though nut to crack. Allies units start with low supply and readiness levels but will rapidly improve. Attempt to breakout too early or without careful planning and support and they will be repulsed with a bloody nose. Wait to long and the German 15th Army will be upon them. Ultimately it's the Allies player's call, reflecting the historical dilemma faced by Montgomery.
A few hints: move in the SHAEF supply unit, make sure you got room for incoming reinforcements and HQs. Wear down German units with combined armor/bombers/artillery attacks at low losses settings, shift his reserves around. Make sure you attack with good unit cooperations levels (i.e do not attack with US and UK units together) and take one hexagon at the time. Break out with a powerful stroke, possibly aided by a paradrop (which had been planned, but not executed). The Strategic Bombers will be available until mid July, they are very powerful vs infantry and unprotected artillery stacks. German forces are strong, but hampered by low supply and replacement rates and by high interdiction levels that slow movement (modeled with several “refugees” events). The strong 2nd SS corps and other Panzer Divisions need to get to the front pronto, but move them too fast and they will already be tired before joining the frontline. Axis infantry in France is often of indifferent quality. Holding the line to the last man might not be the best option, as units will eventually evaporate. Counterattacks with the Panzer divisions are tempting, but will be *very* costly due to the Allies overwhelming air support. When the Allies finally break out, it will be very hard for the Axis to fight an ordered withdrawal to Germany. In testing several units alway end up pocketed as happened historically.
Balkans: Allies partisan units are relatively strong, and reconstitute, but need to get and maintain control of the supply point in Sarajevo at all costs to have a decent supply rate until the Red Army comes. Partisans units should not leave (ex) Jugoslavia.
Eastern Front: The Red Army is set to struck a fatal blow to Army Group Center, aided by high supply levels and truly overwhelming air superiority. “Fixed equipments” represent the historical large supplies of ammunitions. available to Baltic and Bielorussian Fronts for this and later for the Oder-Vistula offensive. They will have to be abandoned when the parent units need to move on. Some German forces start understrength and undersupplied, however armored divisions are still a match to Red Army's Tank Corps. Finnish, Rumanian and Hungarian forces will ultimately withdraw from the battlefield if the Red Army makes significant progress towards their capitals.
Finland & Norway: Finnish forces have low replacement rates and will withdraw when Helsinky or Riga are closely approached by Red Army Forces. When the Finns finally ask for an armistice most Red Army's Karelian Armies will be disbanded adding a substantial amount of units to the replacement pool. Pressure is on the Allied player for this to happen as quickly as possible. German units in Norway are in garrison mode until late Fall. It will take some time for the Axis player to bring those units back to Germany, if he so chooses.
The Programmed Opponent: Elmer, the ACOW equivalent of chess' “Deep Blue” puts on a decent fight when playing as the Allies, but it is no match for an experienced player. If playing against the PO, humans are strongly advised to play a few crucial turns and carry the most delicate operations (Normandy breakout, TOs Market Garden and Anvil) themselves. A few turns here and there to reorganize armies, move air units closer to the front and to regroup units will greatly help “Elmer” to provide an interesting challenge.
The End Game and very hypothetical (and fun) what ifs. The more realistic “What ifs” have been included in the Theater Options. However, a common “what if” involves German secret weapons that, if introduced in massive quantities, might have changed the outcome of the war. Many studies have repeatedly shown this possibility as wishful thinking, but it is interesting (and fun) to speculate what might have happened if Berlin had not fallen by the beginning of May and if Nazis secret weapons had become available by that time in large quantities. I added this option also to encourage the Axis player to play to the end. The scenario will end automatically with an Allied Player Victory when Berlin is captured. Alternatively, the scenario will end on May 1st with a normal victory count.
However, if the Allied player has been un able to capture Berlin and the Ruhr (hex 40,40) the scenario will continue an additional 20 turns. The Axis player, who obviously played a great defensive game, gets a few fun turns to play on the offensive. Hitler finally receives massive quantities of his long waited super weapons: electric U-boats, new tanks and jet fighters. In game terms this is described by a drastic cut in Allies supplies and replacements, shock penalties for the Allies and shock bonuses for the Axis, with additional supplies and replacements, mostly of Maus super heavy tanks and jet fighters He262. The scenario ends with a normal Victory tally in August.
House Rules and play suggestions: some house rules that could not be properly modeled within the ACOW framework are encouraged to give the right historical flavor to the game. They reflect the constraints faced by the real commanders and will add realism to the game.
Disbanding Units: It is often beneficial for the Axis player to disband units rather than moving them back all the way to Germany (for example if the front in Rumania collapses! Which it will...). However, the Axis player should not disband any unit in Finland and Norway unless on an anchor hex (sorry you have to ferry them to Germany!). Also, players should not disband any unit that cannot trace an interrupted line of free hexes to a supply source. At times, TOAWIII consider isolated units way behind enemy lines as supplied. At a scale of 32Km/hex chances that these troops would be able to reach their friendly lines without actively fighting would be pretty slim, at least in game terms. Historically Germany produced a large number of small units and formations late in the war, often of indifferent qualities (low proficiency and supply rates in game terms) at the expense of veteran units. The player can change this by choosing to disband a number of units and small formations that will not reconstruct. The equipment (and especially those precious supply units attached to HQs that regulates the formation supply rates) will go to other formations. This will also keep the game more manageable. The German player will have to balance the need to plug holes in the front lines with new units with that of sending reinforcements and supplies to veteran units with higher proficiency.
List of German units & formations that do not reconstitute:
All Infantry divisions (not Korps!)
All Luftwaffe units (light blue background)
All Panzer Brigades
3 SS Panzer Korps
11 SS Korps
GD Panzer Korps
5 Panzer Army
Army Area Denmark
AG Vistula, B and G
Cossaks & Croatian Units
All units belonging to the above formations will not reconstitute.
Most Allies brigades, divisions and supply units do not reconstitute. They can be disbanded and their equipment will be dumped into the replacements pool. This is a good option if the Allies player wants to keep the number of units in play relatively low.
Loss Tolerance: British and Canadian Forces had small amount of replacements available (as a large number of units was tied up in other theaters to defend the English Empire). This is reflected by a low replacement priority of infantry units and a slightly lower proficiency. British soldiers where not inferior to their American or German ones, their officers were severely concerned about losses that could not be replaced.. Lower proficiencies will make the units pull out of combat earlier. The Allied player should never use the “Ignore Losses” option for British and Canadian ground forces. Red Army Forces, while greatly improved since the beginning of the war, still used massed infantry attacks with a fair disregard for human and equipment losses. The Allied player should never use the “Minimize Losses” option for Red Army and Rumanian/Bulgarian Forces.
The Allied player should try to keep his units rested. Otherwise his infantry losses
will be just too high, which will eventually cost him the game. Suggestion: as a rule of thumb attacks with Allied “red” units would be fairly unhistorical (and probably a bad idea in the long term). Red Army Offensives were historically done after substantial building up of supplies that took several turns in game terms. Don’t be afraid to wait and get your arty units in shape before say, breaking the Vistula line. In game terms
the number of Rifle AT squads and Rifle Squads for the Red Army remained fairly constant in 44/45 (say within 25%).
Sea Invasions: The Axis Player should NOT use his sealift capabilities for sea invasions.Red Army forces should not be used with the “Anvil” TO and Western Allies should probably refrain from invading German territory with major units from the sea. However the “Anvil” Sea invasion could be directed to its original objective in southern France or to Norway and the Balkans.
Air Forces The Allied Player enjoys a truly overwhelming air supremacy and large air replacement rates. Both Tactical Air Support to ground combat with Ignore Losses and attack to Axis Airfields are encouraged and reflect tactics of the time. Widespread strategic bridge blowing is encouraged, but it should be limited to France, Italy and Germany. Make sure your bombers have fighter escorts or their losses will be large.
Airborne Operations The Red Army has a few divisions with airborne capabilities. However, they were never used in their primary role after 1943. The players should agree if they want to stick to the historical situation. The default is that the Red Army can do airborne operations. The allied player should refrain from dropping onto Axis supply points and the other few vital hexes (Berlin, Ruhr, Munich, Breslau) unless the Market Garden TO is in effect. The Axis player has strong Anti Aircraft units to garrison vital locations. He is encouraged to protect them wisely from airborne assaults.
German Heavy Tanks Battalions The Axis player has several heavy tanks battalions. They carry some punch, but are most useful when attached to larger panzer units and for counterattacks in the open, as it was historically done. Do not use them alone or in reserve or support of low proficiency infantry, as they would sustain heavy losses. This does not apply to anti-tank units.
(ex) Yugoslavia Partisans: should not move into other countries.
While I tried to give the players many alternative choices on the way they can conduct their campaign, I felt that the strategic constraints present at the time should be in place as well. The operational commanders where affected by them, and so should be the players. The Axis player will be able to move some of the Armies in the Western theater only in late August (as they were in static mode waiting for ‘the real’ Allies’ landing) or if the Allies make rapid progress through France. The Allied player should occupy the Normandy ports as soon as possible to avoid a Victory points penalty and to increase the flow of supplies. On the other hand, summer offensives on the Eastern Front, which historically started over a period of time of over two months, were delayed primarily by the limited amount of logistic resources of the Red Army. The Allied player is free to attack into Hungary and Rumania earlier than historically, but will have supplies available for only a couple of turns of sustained action, as larger supply flow for the Ukrainian Fronts will start only in early August. The Allied August sea landing (Operation Anvil) is not restricted the South of France. As originally envisioned, the invasion may occur both at the border of Italy and Yugoslavia, or in southern Greece.
The multi front nature of the European Theater posed some unique challenges. In this scenario Shock Bonuses are not the usual “fix it all” solution, so I used them in a very limited fashion, to ensure that crucial offensives get a good number of combat rounds and for Air Forces in Winter to simulate the effects of weather. Local supply over/under stocking were described with fixed artilleries (Red Army Heavy Artillery Units), starting supply levels and varying numbers of support squads. Using support squads, Axis HQs, some Red Army, US and UK HQs have varying levels of supply efficiency to model different moments in the campaign and shifting supply priorities. When detailed reports exist in the literature, specific units have specific proficiencies and equipment. Army and Units proficiencies reflect different armies capabilities in terms of logistics, replacement rates and command structures.
I had no intent to judge the capabilities of individual soldiers of different nationalities. German armored divisions and especially SS Heavy Tanks units have very high proficiencies to convey the fear factor that Tiger and Royal Tigers Tanks had on the enemy troops. German Wermacht infantry units have lower replacement rates compared to SS or Volksgrenadier units, as it was historically. Luftwaffe and Axis allies units have very low replacement rates. Many of them also are not replaced if destroyed in combat. Allies airborne and special units have low replacement rates
Replacement rates for air and tank units have been taken from the literature, where available. Note that the Axis player has a very large replacement rate for air units. Many of those fighters never reached their parent units.
Changes for Version 5 and TOAW III
- Force proficiency has been upped for the Allies and decreased slightly for the Axis. This makes it easier for the Allies to achieve more combat rounds.
- entrenchment rates have been cut by 40%. This was to avoid Corps and Army units to achieve “Fortified+100% entrenchment rates’ in a few weeks, which was unrealistic.
- Infantry replacements have been increased for all forces, but especially for the Germans. This to reflect historical losses and especially AFV vs Infantry loss rates.
- German Infantry squads (but not for Volksgrenadier units) have been upgraded to Heavy Infantry AT squads, and HMG squads have been transformed into infantry squads. This to reflect German tactical doctrine of using heavy MGs on the offensive, supported by infantry squads (and not vice versa). This change makes for stronger infantry and more realistic infantry/AFVs losses.
- VG units get AT+ squads starting in Fall 44. They are ideal units to hold ground and defend in cities.
Several German Garrison units have been added. They are not particularly strong but help avoiding gamey effects, especially for the AI.
- Traffic control units added to US and STAVKA supply and HQ units. This capability will improve over time.
- The effect of Winter weather has been greatly emphasized: There are more/earlier cold fronts, increasing snow cover in Northern Europe. Supply has been reduced for the Allies starting in late Fall. The Allies player will not be able to conduct substantial offensive operations in November-December.
- As historical, the Red Army gets significant extra troops when:
- Budapest is captured
- Finland surrenders
- Warsaw is captured
- Bucurest is captured
- Winter offensive TO is activated (this option should always be activated by the Allies player)
- Replacements Penalties for the Axis losing major cities have been upped.
Breslau (63,52 SE of Berlin) and Munich (46,53 South Germany) are now vital and should be defended at all costs.
- Berlin is a minor supply source. Juteborg (57,45 a few hexes south west of Berlin) is the nearest supply point.
These last two changes make for a much more realistic end game as the German player cannot just simply retreat to the Reichstag, but has to defend the supply and replacement sources to keep fighting.
“When Titans Clashed” by D.M.Glantz
“The Road To Berlin “ by J.Erickson
The Russo-German War 1941-45 M.Seaton
Decision in Normandy C. D'Este
The Last Year for the Luftwaffe A.Price (Luftwaffe OOB for 1944)
Clash of Wings W.J.Boyne
Panzer Battles F.W. Von Mellentin
Crumbling Empire The German defeat in the East, 1944 S.W. Mitcham, JR (Bagration OOBs)
The Struggle for Europe C.Wilmot (lots of details on the Normandy Campaign)
German Tanks at War B.Carruthers (useful notes on German tanks production)
West Point Maps
Several existing Scenarios, including, Trey Marshall's Storm on the Reich Scenario, Brian Topp's, Operation Bagration, . and Bob Cross' France 44.
The TOAW Design Group (www.tdg.nu) people were most useful testing this scenario and provided sound advice on numerous opportunities.
Comments are welcome. Send them to Fabio Governato: firstname.lastname@example.org
< Message edited by governato -- 9/15/2011 4:05:45 AM >