From: Seattle, WA
I am asking the community for suggestions on how we should we use the TOAW design options to model the continous attrition of forces at the front that do not result from specific attacks. I find that it is an important part of warfare that does not receivemuch detailed attention in TOAW scenarios.
An example: In my Eastern Front Game with USXPat the frontline North of Moscow has been pretty quiet for more than a year. As a result units of both sides in that area are at full TOE and 150% supply and 100% readiness. Losses around that part of the front during the same period of time? Zero. Not a man, a truck...a chicken. This is
obviously wrong and unhistorical as units in that section were chronically undersupplied and understrength from the low intensity but continous fighting.
The daily, low intensity warfare should pay a heavy toll on equipment and soldiers alike. Trucks break deliverying
supplies, guns and tanks rust in the open and become obsolete, a patrol never comes back from a seemingly routine mission. Men get sick and get transferred.
As a reference, I have looked at 'War in The East' (another excellent Matrix game) and the weekly losses due attrition over the whole Eastern front is included as an abstract term and they are ...huge. About
10.000 soldiers/week for the Axis, 30.000 for the Red Army. Yes some return to the front line but in TOAW language this still translates into hundreds of squads/turn.
It is not only unrealistic to assume that frontlines can become so quiet that losses of any kind go to zero, but it is also a major distorsion of the game. At those rates, attrition would severely affect any long term scenario that is not focused on a specific battle and where period of and accumulation give place to intense
campaigns. Good WWII examples: the Russian and Italian Fronts, the West front in Winter.
Attrition would make recovering from prolonged action periods longer, and the stashing of reserves difficult, especially for the side with less replacements (like the Werhmacht in WWII). On the contrary, the
lack of attrition keeps obsolete material around artificially longer (again a problem in long scenarios). In my 'Eastern Front' scenario this is one of the reasons that the Axis stays (too?) strong in late 1942, even after two major Spring/Summer offensives. (the other reason is USXPat playing an excellent
game, but that is another story...).
My proposed solution: a 1% pestilence effect for both sides for a good fraction of the time (about 20 weeks/year on Eastern Front,= around Fall/Winter), to account for an additional 10-20% losses in men
and equipment when the front would be unrealistically quiet.
But wait, one could just reduce the replacement rates no? To work properly this effect must be coupled with a lower
reinforcement priority assigned to the units that were historically depleted below their normal TOE ( Axis infantry or non Guard Soviet units on the Russian Front for example). This way one makes sure that low priority units do not 'fill up' during quiet periods and actually shed assigned equipment and forces, if at a small rate.
Also, this attrition is different from setting the 'attrition divider' option in the editor to a smaller value to originate more losses, as that variable only applies to active combat.
A better and simpler solution would be to add a small separate attrition term (losses, supply readyness) to all units in an enemy ZOC, say proportional to the cost to leave that ZOC. Does anybody know if this is on the TOAW 3.5 wishlist?
Does anybody have any other (better) ideas? I would love to hear about them.
If you made it through here and for a reference, here is how 'Force Pestilence' works in TOAW.
Force Pestilence (0-50%) - This value sets a percentage of equipment
lost to dis- ease by every unit in the Force on every Turn. Infantry,
Horse Transport, and Cavalry equipment is lost at this rate, while all
other types of equipment are lost at half this rate. Within each
individual location, the losses are multiplied by: - Frozen, Not
Snowy: 1.1 - Frozen, Snowy: 1.25 - Hot, not Mud or Marsh: 1.1 - Hot,
Mud, or Marsh: 1.25 - Unsupplied: 1.25 - Seaborne Land Unit: 1.25
These multipliers are cumulative. The worst cases are Unsupplied
Frozen, Snowy, or Unsupplied Hot Muddy locations, which would make the
multiplier 1.5625. If the overall Force Pestilence value were set at
3%, losses in the worst-case situations would actually be 4.69% for
Infantry, Cavalry, and Horse Transport equipment, and 2.34% for all
other types of equipment. Half of Infantry, Cavalry, and Horse
Transport equipment lost by units in Supplied locations are sent to
the Replacement Pool. All non- Infantry, non-Cavalry, non-Horse
Transport equipment lost by units in Supplied locations is sent to the
Replacement Pool. All other Pestilence losses are permanent. This
characteristic is visible only in the Editor. Pestilence should
rarely be set above 5%, and in most cases should be lower. The default
is 0%. This value may be set from the OOB Editor (Edit > Modify
Current Force menu), or by use of the Force Pestilence (Pestilence 1
or Pestilence 2) Event effects.