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Forts in 42 - 7/15/2011 6:13:40 PM   
Klydon


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I know the fort thing has been beated like a dead horse, but I also don't want to clutter a couple of AAR's with the conversation and wanted to move it someplace else.

The basic issue is forts in 41 are close to about right. (one exception, which I will go into here in a second). The current fort scheme is probably ok in 43 as well. The huge issue is 1942.

Part of getting forts "right" is both sides need them; the Russians early and mid game and the Germans mid game and late. Anything done to nerf forts in general will mean it is that much easier for the Russians to just destroy the Germans that much faster in the later stages of the game and also throw off the casualty ratio. Nerfing will also hurt the Russians in 1941 when it is hard enough to stop the Germans in most cases as it is.

I think as time goes along, we are seeing more and more 1942 AARs where the Germans simply have no chance to launch a semi-historical "major operation" type of campaign against a Russian who all too often is dug in at least 4 deep of level 3 and 4 forts. The Germans simply can't penetrate this type of defense in most cases. On the other hand, if forts are taken out of the equation, the Germans can basically have their way far to easily which is not really desirable either. The result is typically that the Germans will "turtle" and go on the defensive themselves, building fortifications in depth as much as possible and we have nothing really going on during 1942 when in most games between two even opponents, 1942 should see a lot of back and forth and movement.

One thing that needs to be nerfed is the city bonus to construction. As one of my off again/on again side games, I am playing the Russians vs the AI. As any Russian knows, you get a lot of units that are shells; very little to them, including tank brigades. I typically put about half the tank brigades I get on refit and the other half are just allowed to sit and get replacements normally. The ones I do that with typically are in the back someplace around a city busy digging. As you can imagine, the construction value is very, very low on those units, but because of the city bonus, I get to level 2 fortifications at a pretty fast clip, just because the tank brigade is there. Now, should the front come in, all of a sudden, I have at least a level 2 fortification that can hold and take care of 3 rifle divisions if necessary. That is silly to have a unit with less than 1000 guys be able to facilitate that type of construction. How to fix this? I start with the city bonus for construction to a hex can't exceed the construction value of the unit(s) in the hex.

I assume most Russian players like building lots of RR construction brigades and Sapper regiments. With construction values ranging from 20 to 40 per unit, this is a very easy way to just totally jack up the construction value of units that can't otherwise dig worth a lick. So my question is does it sound right to have say a tank brigade of 1k guys with a construction value of 2 that is attached to a HQ that has a pile of RR construction brigades and sapper regiments and presto, you got a level 2/3 fort in nothing flat? That is what seems to happen. If I can ever get some time, maybe I will do some testing on this in the middle of Russian someplace, but I suspect its an issue. Should a nerf on this type of activity take place? Probably so. As I think about this more, I think this is what is going on to enable the Russians to build 4 deep level 3 and 4 fort lines. They have the units to do that late in 41 and into 42. I think something to look at is some type of cap based on the unit(s) construction value in the hex, but it should be more than the city cap; perhaps double or triple at most.

Something like this still allows the Russians to build a defense in depth (ala Kursk) and also fortify heavily, but it would reduce the overall ease of the Russians putting down massive amounts of fort spam from even the smallest units.

Comments/suggestions/etc are welcome; fire away. Perhaps we will come up with something to help out on this issue that works across the time line of the game.
Post #: 1
RE: Forts in 42 - 7/15/2011 6:20:08 PM   
JAMiAM

 

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I've posted this elsewhere, but am copying it here, since it is germaine to the discussion...

quote:

With regard to the fort issue, I still believe that the most elegant solution to this problem is to restrict the ability to transition from level 2 > level 3 fort to those hexes that have a FZ, FR, City, or Urban terrain feature present in the hex. This would be the simplest to code.

For the Soviets in 1941/1942, it would create some tough decisions as to how they should allocate their precious AP pool. Early on, it would force a decision between setting up some prime rear area locations (Leningrad's "backdoor", Perekop Isthmus, etc.) for Level 3+ building, and the creation of the "Soviet All-Stars command reshuffle, and the typical restoring of the C&C disaster in the first few turns. Later on, it will create AP spending tension for setting up good belts around important locations, and the need to conserve APs for the transition to the more "modern" Soviet Army structure. At present, there is little in the way of resource spending tension in these crucial points in time, as the Soviets (as demonstrated) can simply carpet their rear areas and have 50-70 mile thick bands of level 3-4 forts across virtually the entire front by the time Summer 42 rolls around.

The argument that the mid-to-late war Axis *needs* to be able to build high level forts is not negated by this proposed change and indeed, the Axis really have little to spend their APs on in that period. Requiring them to build the FZs to break the Level 3 threshold will be most felt in the need for replacements to go into the FZs (at least temporarily) as they are built, reducing the manpower and armaments to flesh out their army. However, this is still, in my opinion, a more realistic condition, reflecting the redirection of resources on their side.



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Post #: 2
RE: Forts in 42 - 7/15/2011 6:21:31 PM   
ComradeP

 

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We're debating this on the tester forum too, it has also been beaten to death there, but it's always good to have a new discussion about a problem.

I'd say the city population construction bonus isn't a problem, we are talking about thousands of civilians with shovels after all and they were not always digging in the presence of what in WitE terms are on-map military units. I'd be in favour of reducing the range of city population assists to fort construction, as 8 hexes is quite generous, but I wouldn't be in favour of adding an artificial construction value bonus cap when they're helping shells.

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RE: Forts in 42 - 7/15/2011 6:27:09 PM   
Ketza


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Its not the extra forts near the cities that are an issue. The fact that civilians helped build them is both historical and makes sense. Its the blankets of level 3 and 4 forts in the middle of nowhere that are impacting the game is a very strategic way.

There currently is no real price to pay on either side for these types of defenses. Let the players decide if they want guns or cement and let them live with their choice.

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RE: Forts in 42 - 7/15/2011 6:28:57 PM   
Flaviusx


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We will continue the dead horse beatings until morale goes up.

Joking aside, the issue merits discussion. I for one am looking at ideas from the playerbase here, a fresh perspective on the problem might help nail it down.



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RE: Forts in 42 - 7/15/2011 6:31:21 PM   
Ketza


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Its always an interesting discussion even if the horse is dead.

Long live the dead horse!

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RE: Forts in 42 - 7/15/2011 6:36:56 PM   
Klydon


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ketza

Its not the extra forts near the cities that are an issue. The fact that civilians helped build them is both historical and makes sense. Its the blankets of level 3 and 4 forts in the middle of nowhere that are impacting the game is a very strategic way.

There currently is no real price to pay on either side for these types of defenses. Let the players decide if they want guns or cement and let them live with their choice.


I don't necessarily disagree with you in principle about fortifications around cities, but even if you put a very short leash on the range (3 hexes for example), the cities are just spread out enough that although there would be some areas that would not be fortified as heavily, but these areas are relatively small and would be more of a choke point situation. The range would have to be perhaps 1 hex or 2 hexes tops.

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Post #: 7
RE: Forts in 42 - 7/15/2011 6:41:45 PM   
Q-Ball


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I personally like the AP expenditure for certain forts, as it simulates how resources are allocated, and basically keeps the level of "Field" forts to level 2, unless you spend the APs.

As JAM right points out, for the Soviets this will create choices; for the Germans, they have excess APs anyway, at least I do after 1941, unless I am doing something wrong.

Off topic on forts, but the other 1942 problem is the condition of the Wehrmacht. Forts is just one element. To me, any winter morale penalties should be gone at the end of Blizzard, or maybe they shouldn't be there in the first place. The CV penalty serves to knock the Germans down for the Blizzard. Either way, the Wehrmacht needs to be 70-ish morale at least, with Panzers able to push that up a bit more.

The other thing would be to give the Germans a one-time drop into their Manpower pool during the spring, to help flesh-out formations, and represent the mobilization for Fall Blau

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RE: Forts in 42 - 7/15/2011 6:46:45 PM   
Klydon


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Q-Ball

Off topic on forts, but the other 1942 problem is the condition of the Wehrmacht. Forts is just one element. To me, any winter morale penalties should be gone at the end of Blizzard, or maybe they shouldn't be there in the first place. The CV penalty serves to knock the Germans down for the Blizzard. Either way, the Wehrmacht needs to be 70-ish morale at least, with Panzers able to push that up a bit more.

The other thing would be to give the Germans a one-time drop into their Manpower pool during the spring, to help flesh-out formations, and represent the mobilization for Fall Blau


+1 on this. The Germans recovered quite a bit of moral compared to the blizzard period as the weather improved. Perhaps a boost at some point with a cap not going over national moral.

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RE: Forts in 42 - 7/15/2011 6:57:33 PM   
kvolk


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ketza

Its not the extra forts near the cities that are an issue. The fact that civilians helped build them is both historical and makes sense. Its the blankets of level 3 and 4 forts in the middle of nowhere that are impacting the game is a very strategic way.

There currently is no real price to pay on either side for these types of defenses. Let the players decide if they want guns or cement and let them live with their choice.


In my short time playing this to me is the issue in 42. I get how civilan pop can assist with fortifications etc but not in the middle of the russian steppes. Much of the German campaigning in 42 cam about in the mid to south part of the the country because of this issue. Mid to north was just a choatic mess because of terrain and fortifications that could be buildt using the terrian to help. To me some kind of mode would help like when you go to static mode there is a loss of combat power so if you going into fortify mode your toe is reduced and your combat power is lost. You could also only make this come into effect only if you are at level 2 fort already.

I would add that forts seem to be as strong in the clear as they are in tougher terrain which I think is also an issue. Build good forts in clear terrain should be more costly and less efficient and they should be less effective. Maybe the terrain can modify how high the fort level can get to.

< Message edited by kvolk -- 7/15/2011 7:20:20 PM >


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Post #: 10
RE: Forts in 42 - 7/15/2011 7:01:58 PM   
Tarhunnas


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Myself I think the Soviets are too strong, and get too strong too early. I have a couple of suggestions.

* Let it take longer for evacuated factories to come on line.

* Let it take longer for new Soviet formations to become fleshed out, and make it even slower unless they are say 12 hexes from the front. Historically the Soviets had reserve armies sitting around far behind the front for a large part of the 1942 campaign, while players will put everything in the carpet.

* More penalties to manpower and production for losing cities. All industry couldn't be packed up and moved just like that. This would also give the Soviets more incentive to not give up ground.




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RE: Forts in 42 - 7/15/2011 7:05:58 PM   
Mynok


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quote:

The argument that the mid-to-late war Axis *needs* to be able to build high level forts is not negated by this proposed change and indeed, the Axis really have little to spend their APs on in that period. Requiring them to build the FZs to break the Level 3 threshold will be most felt in the need for replacements to go into the FZs (at least temporarily) as they are built, reducing the manpower and armaments to flesh out their army. However, this is still, in my opinion, a more realistic condition, reflecting the redirection of resources on their side.


FZs require something the Germans are extremely short of in the later war: manpower. They cannot keep their infantry at decent TOEs as it is. Making FZs the only way to build 3+ forts will make the German demise even faster. One German div even at 100% TOE in level 2 forts is dead meat in 43. Dead meat.


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RE: Forts in 42 - 7/15/2011 7:25:55 PM   
Tarhunnas


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mynok


quote:

The argument that the mid-to-late war Axis *needs* to be able to build high level forts is not negated by this proposed change and indeed, the Axis really have little to spend their APs on in that period. Requiring them to build the FZs to break the Level 3 threshold will be most felt in the need for replacements to go into the FZs (at least temporarily) as they are built, reducing the manpower and armaments to flesh out their army. However, this is still, in my opinion, a more realistic condition, reflecting the redirection of resources on their side.


FZs require something the Germans are extremely short of in the later war: manpower. They cannot keep their infantry at decent TOEs as it is. Making FZs the only way to build 3+ forts will make the German demise even faster. One German div even at 100% TOE in level 2 forts is dead meat in 43. Dead meat.



The Germans used impressed or more or less volontary civilian labor to build fortification lines. Maybe German FZs could require less manpower than at present, as civilians would make a contribution too.

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RE: Forts in 42 - 7/15/2011 7:28:11 PM   
Q-Ball


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas

Myself I think the Soviets are too strong, and get too strong too early. I have a couple of suggestions.

* Let it take longer for evacuated factories to come on line.

* Let it take longer for new Soviet formations to become fleshed out, and make it even slower unless they are say 12 hexes from the front. Historically the Soviets had reserve armies sitting around far behind the front for a large part of the 1942 campaign, while players will put everything in the carpet.

* More penalties to manpower and production for losing cities. All industry couldn't be packed up and moved just like that. This would also give the Soviets more incentive to not give up ground.






These are not bad ideas, the only problem is that it could create a very bad loop for the Soviet player who is a bit behind. If they lose too many factories, they can't get any replacements in line, and will probably lose more factories...etc. That would make 1941 all about factory capture, more than it is already. Maybe increasing the damage isn't a bad thing.

I posted about helping the Wehrmacht; IMO, the Blizzard morale penalty for sitting outside should go

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RE: Forts in 42 - 7/15/2011 7:58:33 PM   
neuromancer


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The horse isn't dead, its big and fat and blocking everyone else from getting in or out of the damn barn! And we need to figure out what to do with it. Unfortunately we need the horse, so shooting it and chopping it up with a chainsaw isn't an option.

As a note, Matrix admits there is a problem with forts, but don't know what to do about them (Sabre or Joel said so in a thread, sorry, don't remember which).

Fortifications above a certain level take a lot of work.

The way I see it - and I admit I could be wrong - Level 1 may be digging basic foxholes, some sandbags, some barbed wire fencing, digging in guns and so on; this is something troops do as a matter of course if they are going to be in an area for any length of time.

Level 2 is expanding on those entrenchments, making some simple bunkers out of wood and sandbags, maybe some minefields, more carefully positioned machine gun nests and AT gun positioning, barbed wire rolled out in quantity, camouflage and so forth (the Germans were big on hidden AT guns that wouldn't open up until the tanks were in prime position, a trick they pulled on both the Soviets and Western Allies on multiple occasions). Still, this is something that could be done without too much issue, mostly just requiring time.

But level 3 and 4 is where you start to get complicated. There you start building serious walls, tank traps, dragon's teeth, digging in to the point you are digging trench works and bunkers not foxholes. Level 4 probably involves serious concrete work.

I think any professional military unit with enough manpower should be able to - with time - set up Level 2 entrenchments. But they should be below a certain fatigue level (its hard work), shouldn't be in Refit, and unit morale and experience should affect how quickly they work (it may already be affected by those, but if it isn't, it should).

Level 3 and 4 should require several things - an AP expenditure for each level (even one is something, there is some planning to be done there), supply for each level (they are using up 'stuff' to make these more involved entrenchments), and a construction unit to provide specialized heavier equipment that military units don't usually carry with them (I suppose a regular unit could still do it without a construction unit in their immediate HQ SU pool, or in the same hex, but it would be much slower as they make do without the proper tools). And they still can't be on refit, below a certain fatigue, and the speed is affected by morale and experience. Obviously an 'entrench' toggle (probably on the same button as Reserve and Refit) would be necessary for these higher ranking forts. Could even turn it on for the lower ranking forts to indicate they are digging more quickly - but a unit entrenching isn't going to recover fatigue, and in fact will probably build it up.

Did I mention that it's hard work?

Determining the exact speed, AP and supply costs, fatigue limits and build up, and how moral and experience affects the speed would take some tweaking to get the right balance.

Also, a level 1 and 2 fort should degrade pretty quickly if no one is in the hex.

Level 3 and 4s should degrade slowly as they are more akin to permanent structures.

In the end I think you'd still end up with a lot of level 1 and 2 forts all over - although hopefully fading away after a few months if not maintained - but the number of level 3 and 4 forts should be drastically reduced. In between actually having to decide to do it as opposed to a unit that just happened to be in a hex having created a massive fortification out of boredom is one thing, but the requirements of AP and supply will also be an issue.


quote:


* Let it take longer for new Soviet formations to become fleshed out, and make it even slower unless they are say 12 hexes from the front. Historically the Soviets had reserve armies sitting around far behind the front for a large part of the 1942 campaign, while players will put everything in the carpet.


It actually takes quite a long time for a new unit to be ready for combat.  The Germans would sometimes make a new unit with a core drawn from another unit, and it would still take months for a unit to be ready for combat.  A unit made up of raw recruits would take more time, and perform rather poorly for their first few battles until they got a sense of what war actually is.

The early SS units performed very poorly in Poland because they were poorly led and trained (being more political than military - and believing that 'fighting spirit' was more important than anything else, resulting in very high casualty rates).  Even after the SS decided to try to act like a real army, many SS units performed poorly in battle, and most of the ones that were noted for their ability needed an influx of regular Wehrmacht soldiers and officers before they were able to perform particularly well in the field (too many officers promoted for their loyalty to the Nazi party rather than actual ability, which was the opposite of the professional Wehrmacht - although there were exceptions).


quote:


+1 on this. The Germans recovered quite a bit of morale compared to the blizzard period as the weather improved. Perhaps a boost at some point with a cap not going over national moral.


+1 to the +1

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Post #: 15
RE: Forts in 42 - 7/15/2011 8:26:59 PM   
herwin

 

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Look at the fortification rules in the OCS Burma game.

< Message edited by herwin -- 7/15/2011 8:33:39 PM >


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RE: Forts in 42 - 7/15/2011 8:51:41 PM   
Uxbridge


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Not a solution in itself, but perhaps a source for further thougth: why not make fort construction dependent on enemy proximity? If within 4 hexes, automatic construction up to level 4 (as now); within 8 hexes automatic construction up to level 3; within 15 hexes automatic construction up to level 2. If proximity condition not met, ADM point must be expended. In the latter case, however, once comenced, the construction will continue as now up to level 4 unless unit leaves hex. This would do away with the rather silly construction activities far behind the front unless specifically desired.

A rule as such would also have the benefit of making the Russian sir Robin strategy of 1941 less beneficial.

This does not solve the problem with a 4 line front, bristling with level 4 forts, though. That's a really tricky one.

Added: Regarding the 4 line forts, maybe one could use enemy proximity there as well. The system doesn't build a 4-level fort, if there's another 4-level fort within 1 hex and closer to the nearest enemy unit unless an ADM point is expended. The same is true for the next level and the next. Thus, in theory, a thick line that has been prepared for some time, will have strong fortifications at the immediate front, but very weak ones further back.

< Message edited by Uxbridge -- 7/15/2011 8:59:35 PM >

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Post #: 17
RE: Forts in 42 - 7/15/2011 8:59:43 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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Let me repost part of the discussion we were having on Q-Ball vs Tarhunnas AAR:

quote:

ORIGINAL: BletchleyGeek
quote:

ORIGINAL: Ketza
quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx
I dislike anything that mixes forts and APs. I think this game relies too much as it is on APs to solve everything, and this just leads to a lot of accounting trickery with APs.

There's got to be a better way than that.

I think the AP system has a lot of potential to make the game better.

I look at APs as a sort of national "logistics pool". You could potentially give the players a lot of flexibility by using them for various things to make the game more interesting. You can also utilize them in a system that restricts players from overdoing things that work too well. This is done with HQ buildups and it works fine in its latest variation in my opinion. To me fort construction after level 2 should fall into this category. I think its much more realistic and will make the game more interesting if both sides have to decide where the forts go and how much effort will be put into them. Your not taking them away your just making players invest something into them other then a few brigades out of the line for awhile.


Rather than AP's, I would set limits to the reachable Fortification level depending on the construction value of the units in the hex. SU's would only speed up the process, but not count towards this limit. Same thing for keeping the forts: you need some minimum level of construction points in the hex to avoid it to decay.

My guess is that someone has already thought of something like this.


Actually both Flavius and JaMIaM have.

quote:

ORIGINAL: BletchleyGeek
quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx
I've suggested decay mechanisms, yes. With decay penalties increasing dramatically as you get farther away from the front.

I've even suggested placing hard caps on fort levels, again depending on distance from the front. So you cannot just drop a 4 strength fort line 10 hexes in the rear.

These would be far easier from an adminsitrative standpoint than APs. APs get gamed, and the more duties get offloaded on APs, the more they get gamed.


Tying fort cap and decay to the number of construction points in hex would account for distance from the front in an indirect way. Say you need to stack the equivalent of 3 rifle divisions to reach level 2. No level 4 lines 10 hexes in the rear, and it wouldn't be very intelligent to pile up 45 divisionsto get a 15-hex line 10 hexes in the rear just for the sake of it - such an amount of force would be possibly be needed at the front, or elsewhere.

However, this would totally gimp Germany in 1943. No forts, no chance of stopping - or at least damaging - the incoming blows. A possible counter for this could be to dramatically increase attacker casualties unless a certain ratio between fort level (defender) and engineer support level (attacker) is met. Something like the "extra free shots on attacking russians" the axis get. Perhaps this is already accounted for in the tactical combat simulation model, I can't say.

A global element is also missing. Hard caps/level decay linked to the amount of construction points in the hex doesn't introduce any kind of global limiting factor. One option would be to impose a "hard" limiting factor, a "build" pool very much like the motor pool is regarding logistics and general combat efficiency, which would influence how fast can forts be improved or improved at all. But this mechanism would probably add a lot of complexity to logistics phase computation and, more grievously, the player wouldn't have control over what hexes get build first (which is of the utmost importance).

An option would be to make FZ's the key for achieving really high fort levels (3, 4, 5). This would require AP expenditure, but one which I don't think it would be easy to game away. These units would tie TOE elements, vehicles and supplies for extended periods of time. If want to build you have to concentrate your forces and/or tie substantial amounts of resources to the land.

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Post #: 18
RE: Forts in 42 - 7/15/2011 9:08:55 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas
quote:

ORIGINAL: Mynok
quote:

The argument that the mid-to-late war Axis *needs* to be able to build high level forts is not negated by this proposed change and indeed, the Axis really have little to spend their APs on in that period. Requiring them to build the FZs to break the Level 3 threshold will be most felt in the need for replacements to go into the FZs (at least temporarily) as they are built, reducing the manpower and armaments to flesh out their army. However, this is still, in my opinion, a more realistic condition, reflecting the redirection of resources on their side.


FZs require something the Germans are extremely short of in the later war: manpower. They cannot keep their infantry at decent TOEs as it is. Making FZs the only way to build 3+ forts will make the German demise even faster. One German div even at 100% TOE in level 2 forts is dead meat in 43. Dead meat.


The Germans used impressed or more or less volontary civilian labor to build fortification lines. Maybe German FZs could require less manpower than at present, as civilians would make a contribution too.


I agree with Tarhunnas. But tweaking the FZ TOE is something the player can do by setting Max TOE parameter. Construction can be boosted by attaching German Labor battalions (though that costs AP's). As an alternative, FZ's could be attached to the RHG HQ's, which could be used as "festung commands", with construction SU's attached. Besides that, perhaps German FZs should be benefitting from similar construction bonus rates than the Soviets do in occupied territory.

A different thing, which should account also for Klydon concerns is what I suggest about boosting defenders firepower when attackers don't bring enough engineering support to overcome fieldworks.

EDIT: Improved redaction a bit.

< Message edited by Bletchley_Geek -- 7/15/2011 9:10:21 PM >

(in reply to Tarhunnas)
Post #: 19
RE: Forts in 42 - 7/15/2011 9:11:11 PM   
Joel Billings


Posts: 21927
Joined: 9/20/2000
From: Santa Rosa, CA
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We've been watching and discussing the 42 fort and morale issue for the past few weeks. Due to summer vacations and the need to complete the recent official patch and the German version, we decided to hold off making any changes for a few weeks and continue to review the information coming in. There were several ideas kicked around for the past month, and I expect there will be some adjustments made in these areas in upcoming patches. Sorting through possible changes and their overlapping effects on gameplay creates some caution in jumping to a quick fix. Mostly I wanted to let players know that we are continuing to discuss and work on changes to improve the game.

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Post #: 20
RE: Forts in 42 - 7/15/2011 10:36:13 PM   
Pelton

 

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There are a few things that can be done.

1. Make moving factorys something close to historical. turn 1 rail system is at 20%, turn 2 rail system is at 40%, turn 3 rail system is at 60%, turn 4 rail system is at 80% and 100% turn 5.
2. New VP system so poeple have a reason to fight during 42. I know this be a pain in the ass for devs, but in long run be worth it an allot more fun because the players would be fighting over meaningless citys every turn.
3. Fort lvl 2 should be max or for lvl 3 its 25 ap pts, lvl 4 50ap and lvl 5 100ap. The time is good alrdy for lvl 0-2 because its just dirt warks not cement. Any unit can build trenchs and duggouts in lees then 2 weeks.


Pelton

(in reply to Joel Billings)
Post #: 21
RE: Forts in 42 - 7/15/2011 11:11:32 PM   
kvolk


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One question I have is why does the fort levels need to be the same for each side which I think solves the whole "yea but the germans get massacred" later. Just wondering.

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(in reply to Pelton)
Post #: 22
RE: Forts in 42 - 7/15/2011 11:12:17 PM   
timmyab

 

Posts: 1023
Joined: 12/14/2010
From: Bristol, UK
Status: online
quote:

ORIGINAL: JAMiAM
With regard to the fort issue, I still believe that the most elegant solution to this problem is to restrict the ability to transition from level 2 > level 3 fort to those hexes that have a FZ, FR, City, or Urban terrain feature present in the hex. This would be the simplest to code.

Yes, this would be my prefered solution to the fort problem as well.It would also give FZs a real purpose in the game.Building level 4 and 5 forts should incur extra AP expenditure as well.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Mynok
FZs require something the Germans are extremely short of in the later war: manpower. They cannot keep their infantry at decent TOEs as it is. Making FZs the only way to build 3+ forts will make the German demise even faster. One German div even at 100% TOE in level 2 forts is dead meat in 43. Dead meat.

Surely the lack of German manpower in the later game could be easily solved by tweeking their manpower numbers up slightly to account for the extra FZs or possibly just lower the number of men needed per FZ.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pelton
2. New VP system so poeple have a reason to fight during 42. I know this be a pain in the ass for devs, but in long run be worth it an allot more fun because the players would be fighting over meaningless citys every turn.

I think this would enhance the game greatly and not just in 42.For me this is probably the single most important thing that could be done to improve game play.In the game the importance of cities as transport hubs doesn't figure at all, awarding VP's for capturing cities would help to compensate for this.VP's will also tempt Soviet players to defend further forward in 41 and 42 leading to more realism and excitement for both players.(This may go part way to solving the 1942 problem as well because a lot more Soviets will probably get surrounded).VP's would also allow for sudden death victory conditions throughout the game, avoiding the need to waste hundreds of hours playing a game that is already won, (or lost).


< Message edited by timmyab -- 7/15/2011 11:19:03 PM >

(in reply to JAMiAM)
Post #: 23
RE: Forts in 42 - 7/16/2011 12:03:07 AM   
neuromancer


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From: Canada
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quote:

ORIGINAL: timmyab
VP's would also allow for sudden death victory conditions throughout the game, avoiding the need to waste hundreds of hours playing a game that is already won.


Russia Besieged does this. the Germans have to have captured X VP Hexes by the end of 41, Y by the end of 42, Z by the end of 43. The 41 target is pretty low, the 42 number is pretty high (close to historical levels), and 43 is low. You don't do this, you lose.

In this game you change it to VP totals (technically the game has VPs in the GC already, but they are so abstracted that you don't even know they are there). Different cities should have different VP values more related to political value than anything else. Could even give some VPs for killed and captured troops (captured troops would be worth more as a source of intel and propaganda).

And while we're at it, find out what cities actually evacuated most of their industry in each year - those cities can evacuate their industry, and if they still have the majority of their industry and are in Soviet hands at the end of the year, the Soviets get a VP bonus. You can evacuate industry from other cities as well, but if you do it in a city that never did, or you are doing it before they historically did it, you lose VPs for it.

There is a similar mechanic in Normandy '44, if the Allies capture certain locations before the end of the game period, its done, they win. If the Allies lose more than a certain number of units, its done, they lose. Note that in neither case is the war over, its about the game. The idea is that you are the senior commander and if you screw it up, you are relieved of duty and the next guy will re-evaluate strategy.

Sometimes the VP requirements are put in solely for the case of the game. Normandy '44 originally didn't have auto-loss conditions for the Allies, but during playtesting they saw Allied players throwing British units at the defences around Caen over and over, with absolutely no regard for casualty levels. So they added a limit to how many units the British or Americans 9seperate value for each) could afford to lose before losing confidence in the commander, it was actually a high value that we never came close to in playing the game, but it was still something to keep in mind, and prevented ridiculous tactics.

At the same time while this was done for game reasons, it still had a basis in reality as well. None of the Western Allies could afford to take high level of casualties indefinitely, and Monty would have been relieved if he had been seen throwing British troops away over and over at Caen (that is what the colonials like the Canadians were for). In WitE a mass retreat with no attempt to fight would have been politically unwise (neither Stalin nor Hitler was in any hurry to surrender land to the enemy), and extremely bad for the morale of the army "the Germans invade mother Russia and we are just supposed to run away?" and the people "The army is evacuating the industry!? Oh no! the Germans must be almost here! PANIC!" (which if the Germans is 30 klicks away is okay, but if they are still a month away, is problematic).

So the Germans would be required to have a certain number of VPs at certain periods (a broad level, but enough to have an idea if they are doing really badly or not), just as the Soviets are for the same reasons. If balanced correctly the Germans should have a real desire to push and not turtle in '41 and '42, and the Soviets should have a reason to try to hold onto land for the same periods*. In fact the VP requirements could be more frequent than once a year. Maybe set it so the Russians need to try to hang onto some land through the end of July, then give them the option to fall back a reasonable amount, but not too far, and no random industry evacuations.

Heck, for real fun, make it somewhat variable. You check your Event Report and at the top it says "you currently have 50 VPs, you must have 45 VPs at the beginning of the next turn or suffer auto-defeat" What!? I was going to evacuate several cities this turn! Grrrrrr!!!!

You could also do lesser effects than complete loss of the game, allowing for varying levels of VP effects. If you are at level A you simply win, if you are at B you get this bonus, if you are below C you suffer this penalty, if you are below D you lose (you suck!) Bonuses and penalties could be a small adjustment to national morale/ AP refresh value/ manpower recruitment levels, or short term bonuses like the supplies generated next turn is changed by 10%, or every unit gets a few points of morale added/ subtracted, or what not. Things that wouldn't be game breaking, but a nice little reward for doing a good job, or kick in the butt reminder that you are not doing well.


* There would still be some gamey "just hold on for one more turn!" and "Okay, everybody run away now!" but I think it would be a big improvement over the current model.

(in reply to timmyab)
Post #: 24
RE: Forts in 42 - 7/16/2011 7:18:12 AM   
Godisard

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: neuromancer

But level 3 and 4 is where you start to get complicated. There you start building serious walls, tank traps, dragon's teeth, digging in to the point you are digging trench works and bunkers not foxholes. Level 4 probably involves serious concrete work.

I think any professional military unit with enough manpower should be able to - with time - set up Level 2 entrenchments. But they should be below a certain fatigue level (its hard work), shouldn't be in Refit, and unit morale and experience should affect how quickly they work (it may already be affected by those, but if it isn't, it should).

Level 3 and 4 should require several things - an AP expenditure for each level (even one is something, there is some planning to be done there), supply for each level (they are using up 'stuff' to make these more involved entrenchments), and a construction unit to provide specialized heavier equipment that military units don't usually carry with them (I suppose a regular unit could still do it without a construction unit in their immediate HQ SU pool, or in the same hex, but it would be much slower as they make do without the proper tools). And they still can't be on refit, below a certain fatigue, and the speed is affected by morale and experience. Obviously an 'entrench' toggle (probably on the same button as Reserve and Refit) would be necessary for these higher ranking forts. Could even turn it on for the lower ranking forts to indicate they are digging more quickly - but a unit entrenching isn't going to recover fatigue, and in fact will probably build it up.

Did I mention that it's hard work?



You're absolutely right. Not every military unit should be able to build level 3 and above fortifications. It's specialized work that should be above the abilities of the attached engineer support units. Perhaps a seperate engineer/construction unit should be introduced into the game and only these units would be able to build level 3 and above fortifications. Both sides should have a limited number of these units so that you would not be able to build heavy fortifications all over the place. It would be historical as well. The Germans used Organization Todt units for heavy construction and the Russians had seperate sapper armies (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapper_army ).

(in reply to neuromancer)
Post #: 25
RE: Forts in 42 - 7/16/2011 10:04:52 AM   
Encircled


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From: Northern England
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1)Specialised construction units called something like "Heavy Construction Battalions". If you haven't got one in your army or Corp, you don't build above level 2.

2)RR Construction brigades for the Russian can only do railways and not help in fort construction after November '41

3)A massive pain in the backside for the programmers, but make lvl 3 and lvl 4 take a chunk out of the Arm production of both the Axis and the Allies

4)Only allow fortifications of lvl 3/4 in cities, everywhere else has to be lvl 2

Not easy, as nerfing the fortifications in '41 kills the Russians, and nerfing them after '42 kills the Germans

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Post #: 26
RE: Forts in 42 - 7/16/2011 10:40:08 AM   
Tarhunnas


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Joined: 1/27/2011
From: Hex X37, Y15
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Encircled

1)Specialised construction units called something like "Heavy Construction Battalions". If you haven't got one in your army or Corp, you don't build above level 2.

2)RR Construction brigades for the Russian can only do railways and not help in fort construction after November '41

3)A massive pain in the backside for the programmers, but make lvl 3 and lvl 4 take a chunk out of the Arm production of both the Axis and the Allies

4)Only allow fortifications of lvl 3/4 in cities, everywhere else has to be lvl 2

Not easy, as nerfing the fortifications in '41 kills the Russians, and nerfing them after '42 kills the Germans



It needn't kill the Soviets if the German offensive is limited some other way. I don't think supply penalties are heavy enough for the Germans at the end of the 41 offensive.

(in reply to Encircled)
Post #: 27
RE: Forts in 42 - 7/16/2011 11:15:55 AM   
olivier34

 

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Interesting discussion about fort levels and morale issue. I have open up the 42 GC. Is the order of battle of this scenario enough accurate ? If yes, we should have seen some situation like that in some AARs by now. Or I never seen both players using the static mode as it is in this scenario. I have never seen such saliants in the front line and if we look at the forts levels of the soviets : Except around moscou and in the area of Leningrad, it's only the main line wich is fortified at level 3(stack of more than one unit)and in the south, only at level 1 or 2 ! And I repeat myself, both players have a large amount of units in static modes.
I suspect that to create a very strong fortification line, it should cost a lot of APs. To launch a major offensive, it should cost a lot of them too (we would not seen anymore the entire soviet front counter attacking during the blizzard) and isolated units in level three forts should be abble to resist from an encirclement more than a week.

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Post #: 28
RE: Forts in 42 - 7/16/2011 11:28:51 AM   
davetheroad

 

Posts: 73
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Whatever is done should be as simple as possible.

Perhaps start with simple code that reduces level 3/4 forts to 2 at the end of the logistics phase.
Release it as a public beta and see what happens.
Do the germans now run riot in 1942?
Is the 42 game balance about right with level 2 and below?
Do the russians really need some 3/4 level forts?
After extensive testing code can be added to bring back the restricted ability to build high level forts.

Thinks, a unit in the middle of nowhere hundreds of miles from the front would not dig in anyway.
Whats the point? which direction are the enemy etc etc plus it is defeatist and might get someone shot.

thinks 2 - german manpower. Does the game feature all those Hiwis that helped the germans out?

(in reply to olivier34)
Post #: 29
RE: Forts in 42 - 7/16/2011 11:49:24 AM   
davetheroad

 

Posts: 73
Joined: 8/10/2006
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quote:

ORIGINAL: olivier34

Interesting discussion about fort levels and morale issue. I have open up the 42 GC. Is the order of battle of this scenario enough accurate ? If yes, we should have seen some situation like that in some AARs by now. Or I never seen both players using the static mode as it is in this scenario. I have never seen such saliants in the front line and if we look at the forts levels of the soviets : Except around moscou and in the area of Leningrad, it's only the main line wich is fortified at level 3(stack of more than one unit)and in the south, only at level 1 or 2 ! And I repeat myself, both players have a large amount of units in static modes.
I suspect that to create a very strong fortification line, it should cost a lot of APs. To launch a major offensive, it should cost a lot of them too (we would not seen anymore the entire soviet front counter attacking during the blizzard) and isolated units in level three forts should be abble to resist from an encirclement more than a week.

I suspect the static units are there to stop players doing unhistorical things like attacking all along the front.

Stack of 3 units resisting for more than a week reminds me of Brest Litovsk in '41. The russian tank division should not be in the stack because it was not there on the morning of 22 june but was some miles east of Brest towards Kobryn. It was engaged and smashed by 2 panzer divisions, not by a infantry assault in the Brest 'fortress'.

(in reply to olivier34)
Post #: 30
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