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Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard

 
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Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 8/28/2011 2:40:08 PM   
Pelton

 

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I have played or am playing 12 campiagns most through 1st blizzard. Most games I basicly stuck to a general game plan. Several I completely turned off all refits starting the first turn of Dec.

I have two more on going one with refit off and one with refit on.

As we all know if your able to dig into 2 lines of lvl 2 to 3 forts before the first blizzard turn you can generally hold the line for a few turns. By turn 3 to 5 of the blizzard the German army is in an orderly retreat, on Jan 1st the CV increase an its much harder for the Reds to pocket much of anything or do anything major or then do general damage along the front.

Most of the losses come from General winter an not the red army.

In both cases where I turn refit off most troops go to the pool and sit there. It builds up to 1,000,000 men or more and saves on armerments. Basicly the GHC is not wasting allot of resoures to general winter. On the last blizzard turn turn back on refit to all mech an panzer units and the following turn to infantry units.

Whatever damage you were able to do to production is done before the first blizzard turn and you not going to stop the Red machine during the blizzard anyways because of the 1v1=2v1 rule and blizzard rules. So whats the point of wasting men and equipment during the blizzard that is just going to get wasted on nothing?

So far in both games I have tried my army was much stronger come spring and I really didn't lose anything that would be a game changer.

Our goal during 42 is to kill units, if we kill enough we easly gain back all the land and then some.

Any input would be great.

Not sure if anyone tried thiss in the past.

Pelton
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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 8/28/2011 5:49:44 PM   
Klydon


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One thing I also tried out was to suck my support units back to OKH to pull them out of Russia. No need for them to also suffer attrition especially since HQ units typically are outside the cities because of space issues.

I think Pelton has some good ideas here. The one down side I see is when the weather goes from blizzard goes to snow, the Germans perhaps won't be as ready to launch some productive counter attacks against some extended Russian units/positions.

I also like the idea of pulling out as many elite moral (86+ moral) units out and send them to Germany/Poland to winter to avoid losses, etc. These units should be able to form the core of your 1942 offensive and still be extremely effective due to their ability to deeply penetrate enemy territory.

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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 8/28/2011 10:05:35 PM   
heliodorus04


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Full agreement.
There are a host of reasons to give up as much land as you need to in order to avoid being attacked at all.
First, not being attacked means not losing, which means not losing morale (bonus to your 1942 summer positioning).
Second, arguably the most poignant point in the mess of game design that is WitE:

The only incentive to hold terrain for the German is to deny manpower to the Soviet.  All that we really know about the game to date leads me (did I see 'me' loudly enough?) to believe that the idea of holding manpower centers is futile for the Axis.  There's no strategic advantage to be had there that isn't over-powered by the blizzard morale problem.  In general, the best manpower points that a 1941 German will take will be highly vulnerable to counterattack (Moscow, the Donbas, not so much Leningrad), so you're better off just walking away from them and trying to outrun the Soviets in a general move westward.  If you do not have a strong army in 1942, you can't penetrate the Soviet fortifications, and thus you can't bag units.  For purposes of this discussion, as Pelton notes, once turn 17 hits the German, you've seen all the factory damage you're going to see (even in a future 1.05 patch, more than likely)

The secondary motivation to hold terrain is to hold better against the blizzard, is a deception: it's better to run away and take blizzard attrition than it is to fail to hold an important hex and take combat losses, retreat attrition, morale loss for losing, and then the next turn more morale losses for being out in the blizzard again.  By running away, you're just taking blizzard attrition.

My thought is to create phase lines of forts as you advance that give you decent fall-back positions in blizzard turns.  I would want to create them only as far back as an infantry unit can move in blizzard turns over the terrain in question.  Fortify towns in good phase line positions as well so that the fort and town share some benefit.  Basically, Axis should do to the Soviet what Soviet do to the Axis over the first 17 turns: fall back in good order and preserve morale as best as is possible.

I will be following Pelton's advice hereforward to move 10 or 12 of my best motorized formations (in terms of morale), and maybe more, to just have something ready to go in 1942.

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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 8/28/2011 10:35:11 PM   
Pelton

 

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Klydon I took your advice in one of my on going games and did just that. Saved on losses allot.

Good idea on the forts. I just dont have any faith in forts because of the 1v1=2v1 rule, but they really do help in some cases.

The idea of a 2nd line of forts to fall back into, mybee for the Jan line would really help.

Its really hard to wipe allot of industry and dig in before blizzard, but can be done allong some areas of the front.

Good ideas thanks for input. I also try to counter attack as little as possible, its realy a waste I have found out the hard way. Unless your saving units just fall back.

Pelton

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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 8/28/2011 10:40:49 PM   
heliodorus04


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When I speak of forts, I'm talking specifically of Fortified Regions under the 1.05 rule.
Imagine a 3-hex line with a Level 3, adjacent to a level 4, adjacent to another level 3.

You can make some pretty bad-a$$ phase lines in the south using that.  Will require a great deal of foresight and experimentation to figure out an optimal German retreat path (based on some arbitrary start lines we might agree a typical German can advance to).  You want to build fortified zones and camp Romanians in them.  The German should probably always disband Fortified Zones/Regions as soon as blizzard hits just to reduce the extra exposure to blizzard attrition.  Or I would think so - 1.05 might prove otherwise in some cases.



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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 8/28/2011 10:53:47 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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I took notes on this issue about the General Winter being more deadly than the Red Army. I basically tracked Axis casualties and tried to separate the damage done by metereological conditions and russian grenades. This was done under 1.03, so it should be toned down somewhat. My opponent built in-depth entrenchments that in 1.04 would have saved him a lot of pain (you can check the AAR - in Spanish - here:

http://www.puntadelanza.net/Foro/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=11574

Here you can see the losses screen from turn 25 (on the left) and turn 29 (on the right):



Broken down by category, Axis losses were:

Men KIA aprox. 55,000
Men POW aprox. 36,000
Men WIA aprox. 592,000
AFV 916
Guns aprox. 7,700

I took screenshots taking note of my opponent losses at the start and the end of my turns,



so I could separate what was happening during his turn and logistics phase, and what was happening as an effect of my actions:



and separate the disabled by Soviet bullets and those disabled by extreme cold



you can see that blizzard disabled as many German troops as my actions.

Some things to have in mind to get the most out of this data:


  • My opponent stopped all offensive action by turn 16 and adopted a "Hold Fast Bastards!" stance with his troops when the blizzard came.
  • I don't like using the 1:1 -> 2:1 rule unless I absolutely need it (too many losses and chances guys), so about 90% of my assaults were 2:1 or better.
  • I focused my assaults on very definite axes for extended periods of time. This eventually forced him to move forces out the cities they were refitting to block my spearheads and exposing them to blizzard attrition.
  • I estimate that, given his preparation level - forts - and 1.04 rules, blizzard casualties would have been something like a 15-20% lower.
  • Not to mention that the increased fatigue and damaged elements also have a deleterious effect on Axis combat efficiency, which leads to more lost combats, and this to troops getting exposed to attrition, entering a feedback loop.


The point Pelton makes on how to handle properly General Winter was as true in 1.03 as it is in 1.04 and probably will be in 1.05. Upcoming changes, though, will allow Axis player to develop a coherent strategy that "covers all the bases".



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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 8/28/2011 11:11:15 PM   
Pelton

 

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I tracked loses also during several blizzards and got these results..

Turn 33
Losses have averaged about
GHC 90K per turn about 25k from attacks and 65k from General Winter.

This was vs Arstavidios who has a huge army and attacked allot. You can follow the results on the thread.

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2831410

Most of the losses come from general winter and not from attacks.

Nice spread sheets man, I just did it the hard way.

But I thk we all get the general picture for sure.

Pelton

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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 8/28/2011 11:16:07 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Pelton
Most of the losses come from general winter and not from attacks.

Nice spread sheets man, I just did it the hard way.

But I thk we all get the general picture for sure.


That's the general picture, indeed :)

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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 8/29/2011 6:03:12 PM   
Q-Ball


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Turning REFIT off completely is an interesting idea, and one I will try.

I think sending some airbases back is a good idea; like the Army Airbases. It's also easy to consolidate the Romanian Air Force to send some of those back, and not be exposed to the elements.

I have observed attached support units NOT taking attrition losses. Not sure if this is WAD, but it doesn't seem like they suffer in winter.

I would send elite units back. The absolute first one is the GD Regt; this expands to a DIVISION in march, don't waste it on the front.

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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 8/29/2011 7:19:58 PM   
Klydon


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Might be the trick is attached units. Of course, you can't do that with artillery, so those need to be sent back along with any extra stuff you don't want to attach. Tougher call on the engineer guys as you want the rail lines fixed and expanded, but they do appear to take some damage from the winter. I think you leave them however. 

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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 9/3/2011 5:14:24 AM   
majeloz

 

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Am about to get the blizzard vs a strong player - useful tips and I will try them. I would question the assumption you should retreat and trade ground for lives. Remember that you have to take that ground back in 1942... (unless you have already decided you are not going to try anything too dramatic). Also, stand and fight causes Soviet losses too. But, most compelling - if you have a solid line of defences, with forts, with a good alignment to prevent 3 hex : 1 hex attacks, retreating can basically make the whole front unravel. But, I tend to be a mad defender who stands and fights...maybe I should try something different this time (Bob, are you reading? :) )


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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 9/3/2011 12:18:53 PM   
Pelton

 

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I generally try and stand and fight as long as possible, but I have zero problem with running.

The land lost of gained during the bliizard means nothing at all. You done all the damage your going to do during the first 17 turns as far as production goes.
So fighting 15 hexes east or west means nothing. 42 is all about pocketing Russians, it doesn't matter where they are pocketed.


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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 9/3/2011 2:03:32 PM   
Klydon


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Actually, the case can be made for giving some ground to lure the Russians out.

One thing the Russians can do to help blunt any 1942 German drive is to rail in reserves after a German attack. If the line remained relatively static, the rail lines will be right there. If you gave a fair amount of ground, it will be the Russians operating on shaky logistical grounds and they will have a harder time moving troops in to help.

Trick with this is I think the Germans have to strike fairly quickly (perhaps a spring snow offensive) or the Russians will get that much more rail repaired. The other thing is the Russians will be fairly weak after the blizzard offensives.

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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 9/3/2011 3:12:10 PM   
Q-Ball


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I agree with the principal here, and I think it's a good strategy: Stop REFIT, and allow the German Manpower pool to really accumulate. In 1.05, couple that with the 100,000 to 200,000 HIWIS that should be availabe, and you can quickly re-load for a productive 1942.

The only downside is the Manpower Centers; in 1942, your first objectives is killing Red Army, but #2 should be to take Manpower centers. Even if you take them temporarily, you can cause enough damage to set back Red Manpower production for a year. Some Manpower migrates, but some also is destroyed as well. Giving up ground means you will probably be fighting over ground that is already "burnt out" for Manpower.

But it's still a useful tradeoff.

One note on RR to Klydon's point: I found that the Russians generally won't outrun rail repair in Blizzard, at least not for me. It's hard to advance more than a hex a turn regardless due to conditions, and I built so many RR Repair Bdes in the Summer for Fort Construction, that they were immediately on top of any RR needing repair.

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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 9/3/2011 3:40:31 PM   
Marquo


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How long does it take for population to "migrate" back to a retaken Soviet city/town and then start adding to the manpower pool?

Marquo

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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 9/3/2011 6:36:27 PM   
Pelton

 

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I thk manpower is important, but the long term effects of armements is more important.

As have found out there are some poeple way better at blizzard turns then others as far as russian players go.

Some do nothing with allot and some do allot with nothing.

After going though 2 more blizzards I say vs some poeple turning it off the full 3 months is a good idea and vs some poeple turning it back on at some pt in January is a good idea.

Pelton

< Message edited by Pelton -- 9/3/2011 6:38:39 PM >

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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 9/3/2011 9:58:11 PM   
Q-Ball


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I am not 100% about this, but population NEVER migrates back. It stays in the place it migrated to.

In fact, here is one thing I am not clear about: But I think if you lose a city, and the Germans take it back, that will trigger another population migration. This despite the fact that the population might be already 100% damaged.

Even if it's 100% damaged, it will migrate and be repaired

So, if a city changes hands, it might actually boost Soviet Manpower production in the short-run

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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 9/4/2011 1:22:22 PM   
Marquo


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This would seem to be a key question to get answered. OTOH; if the population migrated from Minsk to Tashkent, presumably this migrated pool is adding to the manpower pool? If so what is the point of retaking cities? Perhaps no point at all; does it increase the RR pool?

Marquo

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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 9/4/2011 1:39:29 PM   
Q-Ball


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marquo

This would seem to be a key question to get answered. OTOH; if the population migrated from Minsk to Tashkent, presumably this migrated pool is adding to the manpower pool? If so what is the point of retaking cities? Perhaps no point at all; does it increase the RR pool?

Marquo


The migrated pool is added to the Manpower pool; HOWEVER, only some of the population will migrate; up to 6 I think (someone verify this). The more population there is in a place, the more has a chance to migrate. Some will also be destroyed completely when a city is taken.

The point of re-taking a city for the Soviets is to a) re-gain the RR capacity if it has some, and b) repair and use the Manpower there that is remaining.

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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 9/6/2011 3:36:34 AM   
Farfarer

 

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I think it may be important to "refit", off the line, any axis unit that becomes Unready in the blizzard.

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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 9/6/2011 4:38:46 AM   
CarnageINC


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My question is on how long does it take to refit your front.  Will you run out of reserves by the time Summer of 42 arrives?  

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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 9/6/2011 1:38:47 PM   
ComradeP

 

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Bletchley_Geek: how do you measure blizzard losses? You're aware that the post logistics phase losses also include "regular" attrition I assume, so you can't determine with 100% certainty what's caused by the weather and what isn't, especially when the damaged squads end up in the transit pool or might become disabled, at which point it's impossible to see whether the damaged squad that becomes disabled was at one point damaged by the blizzard, or through attrition/combat.

-

I'm not sure what the idea is with turning refit off. You're mistaken if you think that has an effect on replacements going to the front, it just gives certain units priority. The reason replacements build up during the blizzard is because there's a hard coded decrease in the chance that units receive replacements during the blizzard (especially for units not on a functional railhead), it doesn't have anything to do with them being on refit or not.

Pulling back a bit could be a viable strategy provided you're pulling back to a location where >you< planned to go as opposed to a location where your opponent pushed you. Pulling back towards functional rail lines should also result in less damaged squads/more repaired squads due to the overall supply state improving.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 9/6/2011 1:39:11 PM >


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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 9/6/2011 2:35:11 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP
Bletchley_Geek: how do you measure blizzard losses? You're aware that the post logistics phase losses also include "regular" attrition I assume, so you can't determine with 100% certainty what's caused by the weather and what isn't, especially when the damaged squads end up in the transit pool or might become disabled, at which point it's impossible to see whether the damaged squad that becomes disabled was at one point damaged by the blizzard, or through attrition/combat.


Very good point ComradeP - I didn't factor out attrition losses, which also occur during the logistic phase. Regarding the transit pool thing, well, my understanding was that the disabled you see after your opponents' logistic phase are "permanent" disabled, that could be a great factor. Note that these numbers were obtained from 1.03, and there was that bug about stuff supposed to be sent to the transit pool not going there at all.

The method was to substract losses figures snapshots taken at the end of one of my turns and the start of the next one. This is rough, since it includes combat initiated by my opponent (along with attrition). However, my opponent didn't attack much.

I think I will repeat the exercise with another game I have right now, under 1.04 and get more accurate numbers.

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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 9/6/2011 5:36:06 PM   
ComradeP

 

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What I meant with the part in my post about the transit pool: you can't track whether a squad that was damaged by the blizzard becomes disabled at some point. As soon as it's in the pool, it's a damaged squad just like any other, which makes it difficult to track to what extent the disabled of a certain turn are composed of blizzard losses.

There's also something else to keep in mind when preparing for the blizzard, and even though it's really important, not everybody seems to use it to their advantage. Blizzard attrition happens in the form of damaged elements. That's unlike regular attrition, where some elements are killed or disabled. The crucial difference is that you get a (number of)leader roll(s) before the elements might actually become disabled. Admin rolls are the rolls used for fixing damaged elements, and the admin rolls are influenced by the number of support squads compared to the requirement (100% TOE), and of course overloading a HQ will also decrease the chance of the leader successfully making the roll.

If you at least keep your HQ's near functional railheads or in cities, and thus keep them in shape, the leaders will in turn be more likely to make their admin rolls and keep their units in shape. Removing the mediocre leaders prior to the blizzard and replacing them with more capable ones (leaders with an admin rating of at least 6) will help you.

You should also think about which units you absolutely need to keep in an exposed position during the blizzard. I prefer to place air HQ's, army HQ's, Panzer corps HQ's and air bases in cities/population level 4 dot hexes. The Luftwaffe won't fly much in general so keeping some longer ranged fighters near the front is generally enough. The VVS will come out to play, but there isn't a lot you can do about that due to the decreased chance that non-Finnish Axis air missions will fly in the blizzard. I also move the Romanians back to Romania, by rail, regular movement and sea. Should you succeed in capturing Moscow, you'll have a large number of population 4 dot hexes and cities in the area for your non-combat units to hide in, aside from the garrison if it's a city.

Whether you keep the FBD units out in the open is a matter of preference. They have a lot of support squads, but they'll generally be on or adjacent to a functional railhead (the one they converted/fixed in the previous turn) so keeping them in shape should be fairly easy. The amount of supply that actually arrives at the frontline will be small, and I haven't really noticed much of a difference between fixing rail lines during the blizzard or not using FBD units (construction battalions will still fix rail lines) and just waiting until March. You'll still have a fair amount of turns between March and the summer campaign season to convert/fix rail lines. The further you've pressed forwards, the more inclined you'll probably be to use FBD units in the blizzard as losing some support squads is a minimal price to pay for keeping your rail network in good shape. If you've made more limited advances and your FBD units are already at or near the front pre-blizzard, you could move them to winter quarters.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 9/6/2011 5:37:41 PM >


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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 9/6/2011 5:44:34 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP
What I meant with the part in my post about the transit pool: you can't track whether a squad that was damaged by the blizzard becomes disabled at some point. As soon as it's in the pool, it's a damaged squad just like any other, which makes it difficult to track to what extent the disabled of a certain turn are composed of blizzard losses.


Ok, now I got it. In my current 1.04 game, my opponent hasn't conducted any attack for five turns (since Blizzard started). Seeing how disabled numbers grow during the Axis turn and factoring out attrition losses should give us some figures. Mediated, of course, by the effect of successful leader checks and nature of the German deployment. In those figures there'll be some baseline noise from damaged elements lingering from my opponent November offensives, though.


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RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 9/6/2011 8:10:49 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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Well, it seems that I lost the screenshots of the relevant screens after my moves for all but the last two turns T28 & 29 :/

Let's see the data, for the turn 28, before Soviet Moves

KIA POW WIA
349,035 22,667 790,063

and after soviet moves:

KIA POW WIA
353,300 25,043 806,297

Accumulated attrition was 100,844 for the Axis, as reported at the end of the Logistics Report.

Turn 29, before Soviet moves:

KIA POW WIA
357,536 25,413 871,750

Accumulated attrition is 105,445.

Losses suffered by the Axis due to Soviet action and its consequences would then be:

KIA POW WIA
4,265 2,376 16,234

Losses suffered by the Axis during his turn (no attacks, movement, attrition, blizzard):

KIA POW WIA
4,236 370 65,453

The attrition losses increase is 4,601, almost the sum of Axis turn KIAs and POWs, so now I start to thing that Attrition tally in the Logistics Report is either incomplete, or KIAs are being generated by some mean I don't know about.

Even considering those 4,601 to be all disabled, that leaves us with about 60,000 casualties being generated. Probably, most of them due to blizzard effects. Let's be conservative and put the number at 45,000. That's almost 3 times the number of disabled men during Soviet combat.

In my next GC I will take more careful bookkeeping (and perhaps we'll get some more detailed statistics in our reports in the meantime).

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(in reply to Bletchley_Geek)
Post #: 26
RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 9/6/2011 9:51:27 PM   
Pelton

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP

quote:

The reason replacements build up during the blizzard is because there's a hard coded decrease in the chance that units receive replacements during the blizzard (especially for units not on a functional railhead), it doesn't have anything to do with them being on refit or not.


Not true at all, with replasement left on you get a build-up of 350,000 mybee. With replasements off you can easly reach 650,000. I have hit 800,000 once.

(in reply to ComradeP)
Post #: 27
RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 9/6/2011 9:54:43 PM   
ComradeP

 

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Contrary to what I initially thought, generally only about 1/2 to 2/3 of logistics phase losses are actual disabled/KIA from attrition, the rest of the figure seems to be composed of damaged squads (including fatiged elements becoming damaged), so attrition isn't always as high as it seems. 100.000 attrition losses is pretty serious though, I normally had around 50.000-60.000, a ~20.000 increase due to the blizzard.

quote:

Not true at all, with replasement left on you get a build-up of 350,000 mybee. With replasements off you can easly reach 650,000. I have hit 800,000 once.


I don't place units on refit, and unless I use the TOE% settings to make sure all units are higher than their TOE% so absolutely no replacements arrive, there's still a large surplus of replacements at the end of the blizzard/winter both due to damaged elements in the pool and replacements not arriving.

Again, you can insist that what you say is right or you can believe me. Whether something is true or not doesn't depend on how many people believe it.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 9/6/2011 9:57:30 PM >


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(in reply to Bletchley_Geek)
Post #: 28
RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 9/6/2011 9:57:11 PM   
larryfulkerson

 

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I can't imagine why in the world a person might want to turn replacements "off".  What good does a pool build-up do?  Are there long-term benefits to holding off on the deployment of replacements?  Short-term it seems turning off replacements would just make your armies weaker.......a detrement.

(in reply to Pelton)
Post #: 29
RE: Rethinking 41-42 Blizzard - 9/6/2011 9:58:56 PM   
ComradeP

 

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Well, you are avoiding some blizzard losses that way as fewer elements can be damaged, but I see no reason to mess with the TOE% settings so no replacements arrive either. A few hundred thousand men tend to accumulate in any case, due to the hard coded limitations.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 9/6/2011 9:59:16 PM >


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Post #: 30
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