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Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild

 
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Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/4/2011 4:36:11 PM   
Marquo


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Here are some things permitted by the game engine which make me cringe:

1. Railroading STAVKA or OKH all over the map to unload support units for free. Realistically displacing a supreme HQ anywhere by railroading should have a huge AP penalty/cost; how many times did STAVKA pack up, leave Moscow, and travel the front just to assign a few miserable support units to lower level HQs? Did OKH ever travel from Vinnista to anywhere to make sure engineers and siege guns were attached to the correct corps commander? The cost in terms of efficiency and oversight of the entire front would be prohibitive.

2. The opening, "Riga Gambit." The port of Riga was almost dysfunctional becasue of the WW1 blockades; that the Axis can magically turn it into a major functioning port in the first week of the invasion to the point of naval transporting several divisions and using it as a major sea supply source on the first move degrades the historical credibility of the game.

3. Soviet Amphibious Assault capabilty: I have found no accounts of the Germans building a Black Sea Wall to prevent a massive Soviet amphibious assault on the Ukranian or Roumanian shores. Why is that?

4. The mysterious manner in which the Soviet Airforce functions...which no one seems to be able to explain...

I make these comments because I really like the game and maybe someone with the "power" may listen, and if judged worthy, a change may be made.

Thanks

Marquo
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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/4/2011 4:57:56 PM   
Pawlock

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marquo

Here are some things permitted by the game engine which make me cringe:

1. Railroading STAVKA or OKH all over the map to unload support units for free. Realistically displacing a supreme HQ anywhere by railroading should have a huge AP penalty/cost; how many times did STAVKA pack up, leave Moscow, and travel the front just to assign a few miserable support units to lower level HQs? Did OKH ever travel from Vinnista to anywhere to make sure engineers and siege guns were attached to the correct corps commander? The cost in terms of efficiency and oversight of the entire front would be prohibitive.


Thanks

Marquo


Actually this option is not free as it uses immense railway capacity at a time you need it most. So for that reason alone I wont do it.

(in reply to Marquo)
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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/4/2011 5:11:53 PM   
gradenko_2000

 

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#1 is an issue of UI / playability / quality-of-life. It's completely possible to do all your support unit reshuffling without moving OKH / STAVKA around, it's just a giant pain in the ass to do so. The solution isn't necessarily to disable OKH / STAVKA's movement, it's to get the support unit assignment interface is a fast and clean enough state that it's faster to do that instead of railing Zhukov around.

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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/4/2011 5:16:14 PM   
WarHunter


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quote:

ORIGINAL:4. The mysterious manner in which the Soviet Airforce functions...which no one seems to be able to explain...

I make these comments because I really like the game and maybe someone with the "power" may listen, and if judged worthy, a change may be made.
Thanks
Marquo


Mysteries are fun. Soviet Air Force is fun. Funx2



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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/4/2011 5:31:44 PM   
entwood

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marquo

Here are some things permitted by the game engine which make me cringe:


2. The opening, "Riga Gambit." The port of Riga was almost dysfunctional becasue of the WW1 blockades; that the Axis can magically turn it into a major functioning port in the first week of the invasion to the point of naval transporting several divisions and using it as a major sea supply source on the first move degrades the historical credibility of the game.


I make these comments because I really like the game and maybe someone with the "power" may listen, and if judged worthy, a change may be made.

Thanks

Marquo


Right, and other gambits also. Too many hard-codes in the game, 5, 10, 20, 25 hexes and or MP's, etc. If there was more variation and randomness, such as 4-6, 8-12, 17-23, 21-29, then pre-planned exact hex calculation moves would be more difficult to do and could work out better or worse and totally open up the game.

such as:
25 hexes and 100 MPs of a railhead
The HQ must be within 10 MPs of the railhead.
HQ supply buildups are not allowed for HQ's that are more than 20 MPs from their railhead


and others

< Message edited by entwood -- 7/4/2011 5:41:53 PM >

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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/4/2011 7:32:31 PM   
mglshark

 

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Ploesti oil fields bombing round clock as Axis Ally planes don't fly.

Russian Black sea invasion Romanian coast.

Build fort, level 1 wait, dismantle. Repeat! Lines of forts as far as the eye can see, best on rail lines. Building Russian ants cheap also gets same benefits plus you can go Static and regain AP's.

Russians can attack every turn along Entire Front, anytime so stretch that German \ Finn line and infiltrate & grind weak Axis Allies units. And you can do "Sherman march to the sea" soviet style, tearing up rail lines with weak out of supply ant units as the axis player must chase you down.

Soviet All Weather future air tech allowing open cockpit planes to bomb Axis airfields with Stalin laser guided bombs grinding them down, the worse the weather the better for the Russians! Heck they outperform US 8 air force for grinding down the Luftwaffe. Warhunter (see his older posts) in our PBEM game had to pull his AF back to reserve during bad weathers due to my  crushing Russian air power waves (10 - 20 waves per airbase attacks per turn in Mud, Snow, Blizzard....), by far "the gamey move of the year". For older gamers same thing happen in Second front, War in the East older software games.

To his credit he did bag Moscow and Leningrad before the snow fall in '41 so the only fun I had was bombing airfields. Plus he pulled his line back 1 - 2 hexes in trenches forcing me to do low odds hasty attacks, never getting the ground hurt on him.

Axis Riga gambit 1st turn.

Partisan handling building forts every 3 hexes "to guard that rail line"

German mountain units breakdown to stack with during blizzard to avoid defense penalty .

Checkerboard Russian defense forcing Germans to attack low end units over and over burning up movement points...

Random weather Mud, normal, then Snow, normal, etc. Does work both ways however making everybody crazy (love even weather zones lines....)

ML






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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/4/2011 10:28:44 PM   
Panama


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Well, actually STAVKA was all over the place early on in the war. Only because communications were a mess. I don't think they were towing an artillery piece behind them.

Really hard on the eyes to see the standard Axis left hook to the south, isolating all those units around Lvov. Not a big fan of standardizing opening moves in any game. Sucks the fun right out of it.

< Message edited by Panama -- 7/4/2011 10:34:00 PM >

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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/4/2011 10:40:11 PM   
Ketza


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My recent game as a Soviet found My Axis opponent not pocketing anything but attacking everything in sight. This lead to an interesting "no pocket" infantry rush. The jury is still out but it has got his infantry closer quicker.

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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/4/2011 11:20:14 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Panama
Really hard on the eyes to see the standard Axis left hook to the south, isolating all those units around Lvov. Not a big fan of standardizing opening moves in any game. Sucks the fun right out of it.


Here here!! Death to the South mega-pocket and death to those who use it! I want my Southwestern Front units back!


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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/4/2011 11:29:31 PM   
entwood

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Panama


Really hard on the eyes to see the standard Axis left hook to the south, isolating all those units around Lvov. Not a big fan of standardizing opening moves in any game. Sucks the fun right out of it.


I agree. That is the other 'famous' one. The players who invented them deserve credit for those gambits but they should not be always or close-to-always repeatable game-to-game like Pawn to Queen 4 chess opening.

In fact, only Guderian might have tried it.

so rather than any conservatism moving down the chain of command and then guys like Guderian might override 'orders' and do their own thing, to their career peril, the chain of command works from the bottom up. I don't think a conservative commander such as von Rundstedt would have allowed it.

< Message edited by entwood -- 7/4/2011 11:54:26 PM >

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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/5/2011 12:21:22 AM   
davetheroad

 

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The Lvov pocket slice irritates the hell out of me. Apart from being a logistical nightmare for the panzers. Hey, guys you are now next to rumania but your supply line is 100's of miles back to Poland and no, you can't just switch to Rumanian rail as it will take the logistics guys a couple of weeks to re-route all the stuff via that long rail line through hungary.

What is interesting is that some soviet mech units are mis positioned at the start, presumably to simulate where they actually first contacted the germans and to try and ease the IGO/UGO turn sequence. The problem with that solution is that it does not work if the germans do not follow a historical line of advance.

Back to the Lvov left hook. First thing is to put the 16mech corps in its correct atarting position and take account of its orders to concentrate just about where those panzers are slicing south. Plus the likely soviet reaction to the mad panzer stampede. Put stuff in the way. Maybe the start positions for all the soviet southern stuff should be part way through their historical moves or even where they had moved to by week 2

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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/5/2011 12:53:07 AM   
entwood

 

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Maybe leader Admin and Initiative for German movement points need to be applied on Turn 1.  That should do something vs. gambits. 

As an aside, the game that handles leaders in my all time favorite manner is the old board game
War Between the States
Designed by Irad Hardy
Published by Simulations Publications, Inc. (1978)

if anybody recalls it.   Grant, Lee, Jackson, Sherman, and some others conduct wonderfully reliable actions, moving and fighting, then it get's dicey.






< Message edited by entwood -- 7/5/2011 12:56:53 AM >

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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/5/2011 2:06:07 AM   
jomni


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You guys want to nerf the Germans during Turn 1?  But that's their only chance to make for an interesting game. 

Also I've never seen a successful Soviet Amphibious assault in the game.  All of them eventually gets surrounded and surrender.

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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/5/2011 2:52:05 AM   
Panama


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jomni

You guys want to nerf the Germans during Turn 1?  But that's their only chance to make for an interesting game. 

Also I've never seen a successful Soviet Amphibious assault in the game.  All of them eventually gets surrounded and surrender.


Nah. Not a big fan of nerf bats. Seeing the same stuff all the time gets old is all. Almost like the game should be set up at turn 2 with the opening moves already done.

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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/5/2011 2:55:43 AM   
Ketza


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I suppose if the Axis had better potential moves then the Lvow pocket they would use them. As it is against most Soviet players its your only shot at a good size pocket early in the south.

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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/5/2011 3:19:35 AM   
entwood

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: jomni

You guys want to nerf the Germans during Turn 1?  But that's their only chance to make for an interesting game. 



Just the opposite. I would like to see the game become more interesting and realistic and reduce gambits which is gaming the system. Turn 1 could become more interesting (replace a few key commanders on Turn 1 using points so you could have a better chance at the gambit you want to use, and still have to deal with a die roll and actually adjust your plans depending on....could be big interesting decision...

There are other changes that would help, some increased or improved FOW, air war fixes certainly, continue to fix other bugs, plus maybe add some variations in strength or position of starting soviet units as was mentioned. Some players have even advocated getting rid of Turn 1 (see a post above). I'm hoping the maybe more silent majority of players feel this way about gambits. It was part of the original post and the argument has more or less been sustained so far.


Your statement "But that's their only chance to make for an interesting game." should not be the case I think!

Read many AAR's and you learn how to game the system and take advantage of it and not how to be a top player who can be flexible and resourceful imho. I play the Axis.


< Message edited by entwood -- 7/5/2011 3:31:02 AM >

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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/5/2011 6:37:50 AM   
kvolk


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group think is contagious...

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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/5/2011 6:45:27 AM   
76mm


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I don't like the Lvov gambit at all, because there is absolutely nothing the Sov player can do about it, and it makes a signficant difference in how things unfold all across the front (ie, with big Lvov pocket becomes very difficult to shift any troops from south to north to defend Lgrad.

Then again of course the Germans are already having a hard enough time in 1942 and if you don't let them take Lgrad, things could be really ugly...

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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/5/2011 8:09:10 AM   
Hagleboz


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I hate the first turn gambits (especially the infamous Lvov as it is completely outrageous in my eyes) although I don't fault players for using them since the Germans need to be as aggressive as possible to succeed long term.  Still these gambits were developed through numerous rounds of trial and error and discussion in the forums until the best methods were achieved.  Since when do real generals get to choose the best method with a known outcome?  Using them is unrealistic and unimaginative, but what is a player to do?  Those who avoid using the gambits know they are achieving less which is a hard route to choose if you know you will be investing 100's of hours time into a game.  Skipping turn 1 as a solution will only lead to turn 2 gambits in their place once players discover the best moves available to them.  What this game really needs some sort of first turn randomization but I have yet to read or think about an idea that I think would be a really good fix.

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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/5/2011 11:11:33 AM   
ComradeP

 

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There is no real fundamental difference between reaching the Romanian border on turn 1 or reaching it on turn 2, provided the rail lines out of the pocket are cut and even if they're not, the Soviets need most of their rail cap to move fresh troops to the front. Anything they spend on evacuating the area is good from the Axis perspective.

In my game with Andy, he captured Proskurov on turn 1 and didn't get to the border, but I still lost almost the same amount of divisions as before, because the Soviets can't get out in any case.

I'd also say the Axis need a bit of a break for the first turn, as the Soviets have a lot more capabilities to quickly create a somewhat solid defence than their historical counterparts had, so until that changes (for example, until routing becomes more costly on the defenders), the Axis need a good opening to get anywhere.

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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/5/2011 11:20:03 AM   
Flaviusx


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The STAVKA business with SUs drives me crazy as well, for whatever it is worth. I think SU transfers from HQ to HQ should be free, period.



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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/5/2011 1:12:19 PM   
Marquo


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1. SU transfers should be free, agreed but not to be used in the same move. Imagine moving seige guns from Leningrad to Crimea, setting up the monsters, registering targets and helping in a coordinated assault, all in one week's time?

2. Moving STAVKA on a RR hardly puts a dent into the Soviet RR capacity.

3. The opening Lvov and Riga gambits reduce the opening moves of WITE to a boring predictable game of chess; what is needed is to take measures to disable Riga's port function to historical levels, and as for Lvov - setup the Soviets in a historical manner or inject an element of unpredictability somehow; let the Axis recreate the Uman pocket if they can. We all know that the South was a bitch for the Axis, and if Guderian did not turn south from taking Moscow, who knows what would have happened - and this is a great choice for players to have to make.


Marquo

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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/5/2011 1:31:02 PM   
Marquo


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Another thing which drives me wild: the interface for navigating between the Commanders Report and the individual units and back again. Why so many clicks to perform simple, housekeeping tasks? Ugh...drives me wild.

Another thing: micromanaging the Partisan war in game of this scope. It is very well conceived and designed, but takes too much effort for what it's worth and the scope of the game. The Axis has to garrison cities adequately, the Soviet has to assign the proper amount/type of aircraft to VVS airfields tagged for night flights, and then game engine creates tens/hundreds of partisan ants from inadequately garrisoned cities and the remnants of shattered/surrendered units; the ants show up in unpredictable places. attack rail lines, and then the Axis player has to track them down and displace them.

Why not simplify: calculate the "Partisan Mass" as above, calculate the "Soviet Air Supply Effort" - let the player choose a percentage of effort on the Air Doctrine Screen, calculate the "Axis Garrison Mass", and then determine an overall effect on supply per turn. Let overall general supply radius from the RR vary accoring to these variables and be done with it.

Marquo

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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/5/2011 2:12:30 PM   
heliodorus04


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Isn't the 'problem' with the Turn 1 gambits based on the fact that the only imperative for the Germans is killing units?
A secondary objective (i.e., a bonus objective) is to knock out means of production, but none of that is available on Turn 1.

Playing the German side is about managing the slow degradation of combat effectiveness of your force. Once you move a unit on Turn 1, it's all downhill from there for the next 225 turns. Soviet players appear to overlook this.

The same factors that make it possible for the German to obtain optimal encirclements in the Lvov pocket are factors that are also available to the Soviet player in the form of unrestricted movement, and perfect understanding of algorithms and history (such as to give the human player psychic abilities when compared to a commander of the era).  While I sympathize with Riga being an a-historic port of call for the Wehrmacht 3 days after the opening of Barbarossa (Turn 2 starts on June 25, IIRC), supply is a heavily abstracted mechanism in this game. 

I see nothing you can do to the opening turn gambits without handing even more of the 'margin of error' bonus to the Soviet player.

At its root, WitE is a game that is critically short of 'payoff' for the German side and 'penalty' for the Soviet.  The only imperative for the German is Soviet casualties until initiative switches sides. Relative to the secondary objectives of destroying production, speed to the east is important, but speed is best achieved by encircling as much as possible early. 

The only imperative for the Soviet is to avoid casualties as early and often as possible.

Like chess, you end up with a series of opening moves that everybody knows, each with its own counter-theory.  Unlike chess, WitE essentially has only 1 set of opening moves that are best, and it's only 'counter-theory' is what the Soviets already do anyway: retreat at the slowest practical pace and form a defense that can't be encircled (part 2: wait until 1943).

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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/5/2011 2:25:07 PM   
ComradeP

 

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It's rather unlikely that your forces and the enemy forces always end up in the same location, so the opening pockets are strategies, not the same move as there are some variable parts (which forces you commit, how far those forces get, how many Soviet units shatter or rout, how you position your units creating the pocket or breaking through.

Like with chess, even if both players move the same pawn forwards on move 1, what happens afterwards is not set in stone at all.

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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/5/2011 2:32:48 PM   
gradenko_2000

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marquo
Another thing which drives me wild: the interface for navigating between the Commanders Report and the individual units and back again. Why so many clicks to perform simple, housekeeping tasks? Ugh...drives me wild.

This is the actual disease behind the unrealistic movement of STAVKA / OKH. The problem lies with how time-consuming it is to shuffle SUs around the way the game intends - that players resort to railing their high command around is just a symptom.

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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/5/2011 3:13:47 PM   
barkorn45

 

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But from what I've read the main objective WAS the destruction of the soviet army ie killing units.I don't recall production centers being a major part of the planning of barborosa.
quote:

ORIGINAL: heliodorus04

Isn't the 'problem' with the Turn 1 gambits based on the fact that the only imperative for the Germans is killing units?
A secondary objective (i.e., a bonus objective) is to knock out means of production, but none of that is available on Turn 1.

Playing the German side is about managing the slow degradation of combat effectiveness of your force. Once you move a unit on Turn 1, it's all downhill from there for the next 225 turns. Soviet players appear to overlook this.

The same factors that make it possible for the German to obtain optimal encirclements in the Lvov pocket are factors that are also available to the Soviet player in the form of unrestricted movement, and perfect understanding of algorithms and history (such as to give the human player psychic abilities when compared to a commander of the era).  While I sympathize with Riga being an a-historic port of call for the Wehrmacht 3 days after the opening of Barbarossa (Turn 2 starts on June 25, IIRC), supply is a heavily abstracted mechanism in this game. 

I see nothing you can do to the opening turn gambits without handing even more of the 'margin of error' bonus to the Soviet player.

At its root, WitE is a game that is critically short of 'payoff' for the German side and 'penalty' for the Soviet.  The only imperative for the German is Soviet casualties until initiative switches sides. Relative to the secondary objectives of destroying production, speed to the east is important, but speed is best achieved by encircling as much as possible early. 

The only imperative for the Soviet is to avoid casualties as early and often as possible.

Like chess, you end up with a series of opening moves that everybody knows, each with its own counter-theory.  Unlike chess, WitE essentially has only 1 set of opening moves that are best, and it's only 'counter-theory' is what the Soviets already do anyway: retreat at the slowest practical pace and form a defense that can't be encircled (part 2: wait until 1943).



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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/5/2011 3:41:22 PM   
Panama


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hagleboz

What this game really needs some sort of first turn randomization but I have yet to read or think about an idea that I think would be a really good fix.



Ditto.

The week game turns and large movement allowances allow vast movements with no reaction by the opposing force. Hence, the opening moves. You can't really blame someone for doing what works best, right? Still, it's a dry repetitious exercise.

You could have a political objective. A military objective. Or the long war objective. The Soviet side would not know which was coming.

Political and military would start fairly the same. But the loss of a certain number of key cities and territory would bring down the regime. The objective for that would be the fall of Stalin, not the Soviet Union.

Military objective would be the destruction of the RKKA. Kill x number of units in x number of turns, the RKKA collapses. It would have to be more than historically, yes?

These first two would result in a short war of course.

The long war would see a limited Axis offensive to a certain line in 1941. Then stop for winter. If a predefined line has not been reached by the end of 1943 game over.

Not sure that any of this would work without the game being designed for it from the start. Probably not.

I think the way it is will be the way it is.

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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/5/2011 3:50:56 PM   
Flaviusx


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quote:

ORIGINAL: barkorn45

But from what I've read the main objective WAS the destruction of the soviet army ie killing units.I don't recall production centers being a major part of the planning of barborosa.



Yes and no. The assumption was the Red Army could be destroyed in full west of the Dnepr, and then the Wehrmacht could exploit that and grab territorial objectives (loosely defined as everything up to the AA line.) The Germans failed to take into consideration the existence of very major reserves east of the Dnepr and the Soviet mobilization capacity. Their intelligence wasn't very good and the plan was based on very shaky assumptions.


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RE: Gamey Tactics which Drive Me Wild - 7/5/2011 5:54:39 PM   
Klydon


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marquo

3. The opening Lvov and Riga gambits reduce the opening moves of WITE to a boring predictable game of chess; what is needed is to take measures to disable Riga's port function to historical levels, and as for Lvov - setup the Soviets in a historical manner or inject an element of unpredictability somehow; let the Axis recreate the Uman pocket if they can. We all know that the South was a bitch for the Axis, and if Guderian did not turn south from taking Moscow, who knows what would have happened - and this is a great choice for players to have to make.



Sorry to disagree, but..

Every game has a start where one side starts moving and the other side can do nothing in the IGUGO method. Been that way since the dawn of gaming history. With that, strategy, tactics and discussions always take place on what to do with the "opening". That is true for this game at the start of any scenario/campaign.

You can make all the changes you want to make things more "realistic", but just imposing a new set of conditions means the same exercise will take place.

Particularly in the south, all most German players are doing is send Guderian south faster than what historically took place. Most Germans may agree this is a good strategy, but there are disagreements over the fine details and that is where some variation is.

You probably hate all the Germans going for Leningrad constantly in almost every 1941 campaign. Where is the screaming about that? The fact is the game does not give enough tangible options to Axis attackers to change up their game plan that much. Freeing up the Finns is absolutely huge for the Germans. They have no other task that accomplish so much. In short there are few choices for the Axis to choose from and this is why you are seeing openings that are very close to the same. Offer more tangible reasons to go south or knock out Moscow and you will see some differences. Perhaps not on turn 1, but shortly after that.


(in reply to Flaviusx)
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