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No pre-combat summary screen? Or, how do people play?

 
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All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [World War II] >> Decisive Campaigns: The Blitzkrieg from Warsaw to Paris >> No pre-combat summary screen? Or, how do people play? Page: [1]
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No pre-combat summary screen? Or, how do people play? - 2/22/2012 5:57:03 PM   
jlub

 

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Joined: 1/12/2012
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I just got Decisive Campaigns, and I am finding it pretty much impossible to start playing, due to the lack of any pre-combat summary information.

Each unit has several (I think 7?) statistics (morale, supply, etc.) which vary from 1-100 (or higher in some cases). The manual has a list of 18 modifiers that can affect combat. A couple of these (concentric and divisional integrity) have some numbers listed before you execute the combat, but even those numbers have no context (i.e. what do they mean, and how will they affect the outcome). The manual says that if you have equal attack value to the defender's defense value, you have 50% chance to hit, and that double attack value means you have 75% chance to hit, but the attack and defense values are never given in the game. Well, there is one number on each unit which might be the attack or defense value -- the manual never says -- but these numbers actually change depending on the map zoom level. In any case, even if those numbers are the attack or defense values, in combats with multiple units it isn't clear how they would be combined.

My question is, why isn't there a pre-combat screen that tells you: what your final attack value (and "hit points", which according to the manual is also important in combat, but again, is never listed in-game), the final defense value, the expected losses on each side, and chance of forcing a retreat? Even if those values were just ballpark figures, it would help enormously to determining if a battle is a good idea. As it stands, I guess I'm supposed to read the 7 stats for each unit in the battle, try to figure out the 18 modifiers in my head (even though, again, the manual never states exactly how strong the modifiers are), and then click the button and hope I haven't made any terrible mistakes? And if I do get slaughtered, how do I know if I fought a hopeless battle or just got unlucky?

Let me apologize in advance if this information is available and I'm just missing it. If so, please tell me where it is!

So my other question is, given all that, how do people play this game? Do you really just look at the pile of stats for each unit, memorize them, and then make your moves and attacks based on that information? Or do you just push counters around and hope for the best?

(On a separate rant: why are morale and the other stats on a 1-100 scale? Is there really ever going to be a situation where I make a different decision on what to do with a unit if it has 56 morale vs. 57 morale? It seems like I am being given a lot of information I can't possibly use, and not being given the important information that would actually help me make decisions).

Obviously a lot of people are fans of this game. I bought it because I got recommendations for it from two different sources. But I honestly can't see how it is supposed to be played. Please help me out! Thanks!
Post #: 1
RE: No pre-combat summary screen? Or, how do people play? - 2/22/2012 7:39:17 PM   
Keunert


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Joined: 9/9/2010
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there really isn't a pre combat summary. i often found games with such things a little too abstract for my liking: but the amount of information given, or the lack of information together with some experience with the game mechanics will you give enough information as where to attack and where not.

there is a pretty good summary of how to attack by Darthheart:
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2561038

i check the different stats only if i have to attack well dug in positions or with likely even odds. (like when time is running out in the Poland campaign) but i always scan the front line for weak spots: units in hexes without or with bad cover, units that can be attacked from different directions, units that have been without supply for a turn and units far away from their hq.

(in reply to jlub)
Post #: 2
RE: No pre-combat summary screen? Or, how do people play? - 2/23/2012 3:36:16 PM   
genehaynes

 

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Joined: 12/29/2002
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I also recently purchased the game. I had almost the same questions you had (see "Combat" thread). I've always believed that if something is mentioned in the manual (i.e. Hit Points), it should be easily seen in the game. I've had a unit with ZERO attack points get a "kill" on a unit with over 200 "defense points" (Go figure). It would have been helpful to include an example of combat calculations in the manual.

Now, IMO, the good news. You really don't need to understand an "in depth" understanding of all the combat modifications / values to make good decisions about attacking other units. As mentioned in this thread, there is a very good post regarding how to conduct combat. Basically, I try to soften up the defenders with artillery and air attacks, followed by ground units (Remember, you get bonuses by attacking with units from the SAME Division and by attacking from multiple sides). I know there's many other factors involved in combat, such as attacking with the proper units, defending terrain, etc. But I've had some success with just overwehlming the defenders. Oh, and don't forget to use your "Officer cards", they can really give you an edge in combat and movement.

One thing that I feel is done very well is Supply. If you don't keep your troops in supply they will lose their combat effectivness, which is a bad thing:)

I'm really enjoying the game despite the rather average manual and lack of detailed information regarding combat.

(in reply to jlub)
Post #: 3
RE: No pre-combat summary screen? Or, how do people play? - 2/23/2012 5:40:56 PM   
jlub

 

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Joined: 1/12/2012
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Thanks for the helpful responses.  I did read that combat example thread by Barthheart, and while it is very useful, it talks more about the process of carrying out an attack than the process of deciding how and where to do an attack.

Still, it does seem that the general consensus (from this and other threads) is "do it a bunch of times and you will figure it out", so I guess I will try that.

Please keep the suggestions coming!

(in reply to genehaynes)
Post #: 4
RE: No pre-combat summary screen? Or, how do people play? - 2/23/2012 6:22:18 PM   
Barthheart


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Joined: 7/20/2004
From: Nepean, Ontario
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Desiding how and where to attack is a very complex question.... and the answer is almost always "that depends"!
Not very helpful but there you go.

You need to have an overall plan for the directio your army is going to go and do everythingin your power to make that work.

Pick a spot in the enemy line that is thin and looks weak. Look at the enemy units in the spot that you want to breakthrough and ask some questions:

1. Are they mostly infantry or armour?
2. Are they entrenched?
3. Are they in a fortification?
4. Are they in a city?

Your armour units are really good at running down infantry in open fields and very poor at attacking into cities or woods or across rivers with no bridge.

Your infantry should be used to pry his out of difficult terrain so your tanks can run them down in the open.

Always try to keep your infantry units in contact with the enemy's front line. That way you can blast a hole through the line and let your tanks do what they were really designed to do - breakout and cutoff the enemy.

I usually try to avoid tank on tank battles as it;s realy a waste of their speed. Setup spots where your units with a strong abit-tank ability force his tank to attack you... ewhile your tanks are off running around in his backfield.

One of the best ways to figure out how to play this game is read up on the actual battles/campaigns. The blitzkrieg technique that the Germans developed really does work in this game... just ask Keunrt!

That's really just a bunch of rambling thoughts but hope it helps. If not do you have specific questions?

Oh, one more thing, you can see how the Hit points are used. At the end of a combat a window displays teh results . There is a button on tha window that will switch it to a very detailed report of just what happened. It describes in minute detail how each round of combat took place for each unit involved. Look at a few of those while playing and you'll soon figure out how things are working. A little while later your probably won't use the detail any more.

Most of all, have fun !



_____________________________

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming "WOW, what a ride!"

(in reply to jlub)
Post #: 5
RE: No pre-combat summary screen? Or, how do people play? - 2/24/2012 4:45:51 AM   
hjalmar99


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Joined: 8/2/2005
From: Alberta
Status: offline
You are supposed to be a general or a field marshall . . . not an accountant.

War and combat are notorious for their uncertainty and hazard. It is rare for a party to combat having total clarity and certainty. You have to accept the uncertainty of war, employ the tactics and operational practises that - in your estimation and experience - will give you best probability of success. You should also accept that there will be times when you're wrong, even disasterously so.

A game that models this is a good game.

C'est la guerre.

(in reply to Barthheart)
Post #: 6
RE: No pre-combat summary screen? Or, how do people play? - 2/24/2012 9:11:07 AM   
Keunert


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Joined: 9/9/2010
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yes just look at my aar against the germans in Poland.. hehe

(in reply to hjalmar99)
Post #: 7
RE: No pre-combat summary screen? Or, how do people play? - 2/24/2012 5:25:14 PM   
jlub

 

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Joined: 1/12/2012
Status: offline
quote:

It is rare for a party to combat having total clarity and certainty.

I think it's pretty clear I never asked for certainty. Clarity, yes: this is a game, games have rules. I like to know the rules to a game when I play it. If I wanted to play a war "simulation" with unknown rules, I hear the "Call of Duty Modern Warfare" games have nice graphics.

quote:

A game that models this is a good game.


So every game that has a CRT is a bad game? The Decisive Battles series (Korsun Pocket, etc.) are bad games (they have a pre-combat summary screen, with odds)?

(in reply to hjalmar99)
Post #: 8
RE: No pre-combat summary screen? Or, how do people play? - 2/24/2012 10:16:00 PM   
Keunert


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Joined: 9/9/2010
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You will have enough clarity once you get some hours of gameplay into this.

The Decisive Battles series is great but i am glad that this game is different...
wouldn't make much sense to own both else.

(in reply to jlub)
Post #: 9
RE: No pre-combat summary screen? Or, how do people play? - 3/16/2012 1:31:57 AM   
wodin


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Joined: 4/20/2003
From: England
Status: offline
I say read soke operational war books. Especially those covering the battles in game. I find step loss and combat result precitions to be alittle gamey.

Trail and error and learning as much a spossoble on operational warfare is the best bet.

Don't be afraid to make mistakes, thats how you learn.

_____________________________

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https://www.facebook.com/Tacticalwargame


(in reply to Keunert)
Post #: 10
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