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Rail Conversion in WITE

 
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Rail Conversion in WITE - 2/9/2012 10:32:17 PM   
Michael T


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I am wondering why rail head advancement in WITE is so slow.

For the sake of simplicity lets just focus on non Baltic area's of Russia.

Compared to the two most detailed current/live board wargaming titles WITE is much slower.

In GMT's Barbarossa Series ( a very much alive and an ongoing series) rail conversion is 4 hexes per turn along any single line. The scale of the game is 5 miles per hex/2 day turns.
That equates to 7 hexes per turn in WITE.


In OCS Case Blue and Guderians Blitzkrieg ( again a very much alive and an ongoing series) each rail repair unit can convert 4 hexes per turn. The scale is 5 miles per hex/ half week turns. That equates to 4 hexes per turn in WITE. But players can double up rail repair units to effectively double the rate to 8 hexes per turn.


So the two most popular and well researched and well designed East Front board games have rail conversion of twice the rate of WITE.

Now both OCS and the Barbarossa series are long lived (both over 10 years) and ongoing series with many followers and current very active forums (CSW) http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?50@608.WPMGboP3xOw.4@.ee6bcc6 http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?50@596.SB1TcUIbzWf.6@.ee6b471

The rates in both are comparable and accepted by an East Front audience I would argue is more knowledgeable than that of the collective body that follow WITE. Both designers are well respected, talented and backed up by very knowledgeable developer teams.

So why is WITE rail conversion so much slower?

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RE: Rail Conversion in WITE - 2/9/2012 10:45:35 PM   
Schmart

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Michael T
So why is WITE rail conversion so much slower?


I'd suggest (although others have made similar mention on the forums) that the general supply system in WitE is significantly overpowered, so perhaps an artificial brake is applied to rail conversion.

Currently, the rough supply limit for the Axis in 1941 is Moscow-Voronezh-Rostov (even this goes a bit beyond). Adding even one hex per turn limit would put Stalingrad within reasonable supply reach by the end of 1941. Not a realistic supply situation considering German abilities at the time.

Ultimately, the supply model may well have to be dialed back, while dialing up the RR model.

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RE: Rail Conversion in WITE - 2/9/2012 10:49:14 PM   
Marquo


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Micheal,

The range for off RR supply is only EFS is 7 hexes; WITE the off RR range is much further....

Mark

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RE: Rail Conversion in WITE - 2/9/2012 10:50:07 PM   
Joel Billings


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The actual rate of repair of the rail is just one element in the equation. I've seen dates for when the first trains reached various locations, but getting one train to a location is not the same as having the rail/logistics system fully functioning. The repair rate has to be taken in context with all of the logistics system rules. In WitW we are working on a system that tracks and restricts usage on individual rail lines, but in WitE as you know, one rail line can feed the entire army. In WitE we came up with what we felt worked given the capabilities and limitations of the system. I can't speak for the systems in other games.

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RE: Rail Conversion in WITE - 2/9/2012 10:51:12 PM   
Flaviusx


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Schmart has it basically right. Rail capacity is infinite for supply purposes, so the only tool available here is the rail conversion rate. It's compromise and not a good one, but there it is.

I'm liking the stuff Joel has outlined for WitW though!



< Message edited by Flaviusx -- 2/9/2012 10:56:07 PM >


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RE: Rail Conversion in WITE - 2/9/2012 11:24:57 PM   
Michael T


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FWIW I still think its too slow. I think there should be a tangible benefit for a player if he is prepared to risk doubling up rail repair crews. I think 6 hexes per turn for doubled up crews would be a reasonable risk/reward scenario.

Bring on WITE II

@Marquo you forget trucks can move the dumps forward and can be used for general supply. PS would love to give you a game of Barbarossa if we lived closer , no plans to move to Australia?


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RE: Rail Conversion in WITE - 2/10/2012 2:39:09 AM   
csarebel


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Michael T


FWIW I still think its too slow. I think there should be a tangible benefit for a player if he is prepared to risk doubling up rail repair crews. I think 6 hexes per turn for doubled up crews would be a reasonable risk/reward scenario.

Bring on WITE II

@Marquo you forget trucks can move the dumps forward and can be used for general supply. PS would love to give you a game of Barbarossa if we lived closer , no plans to move to Australia?


I had an idea in one of my first games to pull the RR repair unit out of AGS and double up in AGC's sector...found out it was a waste. I think it would make a more interesting game to give such an option. It doesn't seem unrealistic to me. If fuel and ammo can be supplied 400 some miles from a rail head why can't the iron for railroads be moved forward an additionial 80 miles or so from a rail head?

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RE: Rail Conversion in WITE - 2/10/2012 3:45:01 AM   
Farfarer

 

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Even though I am one who makes the "why am I slave to history" posts, I see the elegance in managing logistics using a simple rail conversion rule. In the fullness of time, for another game , maybe a remarkable logistics engine can be coded, but for now, the RR repair rules get an 80% solution for minimal effort - a good trade off in dev and coding resources.

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RE: Rail Conversion in WITE - 2/10/2012 5:56:51 AM   
aspqrz

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: csarebel
If fuel and ammo can be supplied 400 some miles from a rail head why can't the iron for railroads be moved forward an additionial 80 miles or so from a rail head?


You realise, of course, for the most part, the Germans had to move NO rails from the railhead?

Russian Gauge = 5'3"
European Gauge = 4'8.5"

All the Germans had to do was move one rail 6.5" closer ... which could be done with hand tools!

Converting the gauge wasn't the problem!

There were a number of limiters ...

* Russian rails were rated at lower loading weights than standard European weights, so they couldn't handle full load trains (partly rail thickness/weight, partly the fact that the underlaying sleepers were further apart). To fix this, all the rails would have had to have been replaced, and at least as many sleepers as were already there would have been needed.

* Because the Russians used a wider gauge, their locomotives were bigger and had, therefore, bigger water tanks ... so they could go about twice the distance, or more, between rewatering and refuelling than European/German locomotives. Even assuming all the water towers and fuel facilities survived, the Germans then had to build another one in between each existing one.

* Also, another function of the bigger Russian locomotives was that they needed maintenance about half as often as standard gauge models ... so maintenance facilities were about twice the distance apart as in Europe. Again, even if captured intact, it meant that the Germans had to build one in between each existing one (and, unlike the water towers etc. this is all special order equipment, and you have to wring its priority away from Fat Herman, who controlled allocation of all iron and steel!).

The original plan was to capture lots of Russian locomotives and rolling stock intact and use *it* ... but the Germans found that soldiers really, really, really, really loved nothing better than shooting up locomotives and watching their boilers spew steam, or even cause steam explosions ... hence, though they *did* use captured rolling stock on some sections of track, there was never anywhere near enough (and there wasn't enough standard gauge stuff, either, and they didn't have enough capacity to divert from tanks and guns and planes, which Fat Herman prioritised anyway, to less glamourous stuff such as locomotives and rolling stock!)

Phil

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RE: Rail Conversion in WITE - 2/10/2012 6:52:09 AM   
Karri

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: aspqrz

You realise, of course, for the most part, the Germans had to move NO rails from the railhead?

Russian Gauge = 5'3"
European Gauge = 4'8.5"

All the Germans had to do was move one rail 6.5" closer ... which could be done with hand tools!


Assuming the rails were not wrecked. Something like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRBN6oFt2hw

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RE: Rail Conversion in WITE - 2/10/2012 6:47:33 PM   
DivePac88


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One of the time consuming jobs in German rail-conversion was the modification of the Russian-gage switch/turnout/point systems. Also the Russians also damaged a large number of Rail bridges in their retreat.

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RE: Rail Conversion in WITE - 2/11/2012 1:43:54 AM   
Marquo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Michael T


FWIW I still think its too slow. I think there should be a tangible benefit for a player if he is prepared to risk doubling up rail repair crews. I think 6 hexes per turn for doubled up crews would be a reasonable risk/reward scenario.

Bring on WITE II

@Marquo you forget trucks can move the dumps forward and can be used for general supply. PS would love to give you a game of Barbarossa if we lived closer , no plans to move to Australia?



Yes, but you were alluding to RR conversion ; not trucks.

Did you ever think of going to the Monstercon in Tempe, Arizona? It is Consim's yearly gaming convention; an awesome array of gaming opportunities for a week. We have linked many a map together. Are there any conventions in Australia? If I come I would like to see a kiwi, a koala and a kangaroo - they all start with the letter "K"

Mark

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RE: Rail Conversion in WITE - 2/11/2012 3:32:11 AM   
Baelfiin

 

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I played in one of those and watched several others.

If I could only get my hands on a copy of army group center and Typhoon for less than 500 bucks I would be ecstatic!

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RE: Rail Conversion in WITE - 2/11/2012 3:58:02 AM   
delatbabel


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marquo
Are there any conventions in Australia? If I come I would like to see a kiwi, a koala and a kangaroo - they all start with the letter "K"

Mark


I will be at WiFCon the week after next in Mollymook, near Ulladulla, NSW. I'll be bringing a couple of laptops with WitE loaded to have a go at in between WiF turns.


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RE: Rail Conversion in WITE - 2/12/2012 8:16:47 AM   
Michael T


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Not too many conventions or even board wargamers where I live. But there are quite a few players in Sydney and Melbourne. Just about nil on the Gold Coast. Only my mate Shane and I. Thats it.

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RE: Rail Conversion in WITE - 2/12/2012 8:37:34 AM   
aspqrz

 

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Well, there may be a number ... even a large number ... of wargamers/board wargamers in Sydney (I know a few and used to be a moderately serious one myself) ... but, to the best of my knowledge, there really doesn't seem to be anywhere where they meet over my way (Northern Beaches) or even where I game (roleplaying) at Burwood.

There used to be several places, but I haven't heard of any for years ... and they were almost entirely devoted to miniatures wargaming anyway (Belmore Barbarians? North Shore Wargamers [at Pymble]?) ... and, since the death by a thousand cuts of Napoleon's, there's really nowhere you can buy them any more, and no message boards to even seek opponents.

Of course, these days I mainly do computer wargaming and ftf roleplaying, so maybe it's just all passed me by

But I suspect board wargamers are a dying breed everywhere

Phil

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RE: Rail Conversion in WITE - 2/12/2012 9:23:19 AM   
Hermann

 

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i like the wite model much better, its common knowledge that in addition to the narrow gauge problems and the normal ostfront issues the russians completely destroyed the core infrastructure, most notably marshaling yards, warehouses and repair shops as well as the shortage of black coal and the reversion to brown Effectively that meant longer unload times and more downtime for the Loks, add to that the stress on the track due to age, weight and overuse. Then factor in enemy action via partisans and air attacks, labor and supply shortages and engineering setbacks. 30-40 miles a week is a huge number, even Wite's 20 miles is an accomplishment. And yeah Phil were still here, just dont have the time to visit friends and set up the games anymore

< Message edited by Hermann -- 2/12/2012 9:24:43 AM >

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RE: Rail Conversion in WITE - 2/12/2012 9:27:15 AM   
Hermann

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Baelfiin

I played in one of those and watched several others.

If I could only get my hands on a copy of army group center and Typhoon for less than 500 bucks I would be ecstatic!



that can be arranged =)))

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RE: Rail Conversion in WITE - 2/12/2012 12:13:53 PM   
aspqrz

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hermann

i like the wite model much better, its common knowledge that in addition to the narrow gauge problems and the normal ostfront issues the russians completely destroyed the core infrastructure, most notably marshaling yards, warehouses and repair shops as well as the shortage of black coal and the reversion to brown Effectively that meant longer unload times and more downtime for the Loks, add to that the stress on the track due to age, weight and overuse. Then factor in enemy action via partisans and air attacks, labor and supply shortages and engineering setbacks. 30-40 miles a week is a huge number, even Wite's 20 miles is an accomplishment. And yeah Phil were still here, just dont have the time to visit friends and set up the games anymore


I figured it was the general thing of us old fogeys ... getting older and fewer

Phil

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RE: Rail Conversion in WITE - 2/12/2012 2:55:54 PM   
Marquo


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Michael,

It is possible to play EFS using Cyberboard or ADC; or we can dream about a FTF match somewhere, someday.

Marquo

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RE: Rail Conversion in WITE - 2/12/2012 11:12:52 PM   
Michael T


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Marquo, I just find playing Barbarossa via Cyberboard so damn tedious. Perhaps GMT's dabble with PC versions of their games may one day see a Barbarossa PC game emerge. That would be nice.

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