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Supply issue - 2/26/2012 3:35:00 AM   
RCH


Posts: 226
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What this game needs are supply counters. There would be a beginning turn supply phase where the entire front would be supplied. This supply phase would have only limited amounts of fuel. There would be no end of turn supply phase. The counters would work as follows. They would represent supply build up. They would be tied to the RR and would have very limited movement allowance. You would lock them and they would build fuel supply reserves. When the supply was needed you would unlock the counter and all HQs within a certain radius could pull supply from it. There would be an option to assign HQs to it for supply reasons. The supply would only go to those HQs such as panzer corps.

At the beginning of the game the Axis would have several of these counters representing the pre invasion build up. By blizzard 1941 they would be removed representing the collapse of the logistics system. The units would have to suffice with what supply and gas they could get from the regular turn supply phase which doesn't have much oil.

post blizzard these counters would start coming back. The Axis player would need these and would need to have them filled for any planned offensive in 1942 and the rest of the war. This would represent a build up, it would make the Axis player micro manage his fuel. As the number of counters is not the issue , but the available fuel that would be going to these counters.

Lets say that 1 counter was needed to operate a panzer corp for 6 weeks. So the Axis player would have to "plan" how many panzer corps he could supply for any time period. There wouldn't be any more Axis offenses where you see every Axis tank in a 100 mile radius. That number of tanks would empty the supply counters very quickly.

This system would also work for the Soviets and represent the terrible supply situation they had to overcome by the end of the war.

This is just an opening thought that could be expanded upon very easily. I'm sure for this game no changes to this degree will be made, but maybe a future release could incorporate this.
Post #: 1
RE: Supply issue - 2/26/2012 8:30:29 AM   
AFV


Posts: 371
Joined: 12/24/2011
From: Dallas, Texas
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Admittedly, more realistic. The way you outlined it, does not seem like it would be overly cumbersome. Interesting idea. Not saying I like it, but it is food for thought.

(in reply to RCH)
Post #: 2
RE: Supply issue - 2/26/2012 10:13:13 AM   
Zebedee


Posts: 525
Joined: 8/30/2005
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Changing the supply system has been floated for over a year now. I think everyone is aware of the limitations of the current abstraction (not least when the latest way to game the mechanics pops up on the forums from those who are still active here) as well as the oddities which crop up as a result.

From what has been said recently, I don't think that it's on the table any more to consider changing this. Understandable given that resources are now going into the next game. Shame really because the game as a result lacks any sense of operational tempo beyond the railhead to HQ limitations, nor any real sense of operations culminating beyond the breaks imposed by the weather. Quirky little features which lack shades of grey. But it is what it is now especially given the hardcoded limitations which permit only the most superficial of mods to be made. Maybe one day a WitE:FM edition? ;)

(in reply to AFV)
Post #: 3
RE: Supply issue - 2/26/2012 11:49:35 AM   
elmo3

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zebedee

Maybe one day a WitE:FM edition? ;)


There has been talk of a WitE 2 game but that would be a long way off.


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(in reply to Zebedee)
Post #: 4
RE: Supply issue - 2/26/2012 11:53:53 AM   
janh

 

Posts: 1226
Joined: 6/12/2007
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Zebedee
Changing the supply system has been floated for over a year now. I think everyone is aware of the limitations of the current abstraction...

From what has been said recently, I don't think that it's on the table any more to consider changing this. Understandable given that resources are now going into the next game. Shame really because the game as a result lacks any sense of operational tempo beyond the railhead to HQ limitations, nor any real sense of operations culminating beyond the breaks imposed by the weather. Quirky little features which lack shades of grey. But it is what it is now especially given the hardcoded limitations which permit only the most superficial of mods to be made. Maybe one day a WitE:FM edition? ;)


In the recent patches they tuned supply down a little again:

"V1.05.59 – January 31, 2012 11. Rule Change (section 20.4.3.2) - The formula used to determine the Axis Rail Supply Modifier has been changed. The 168 in the formula has been changed to 165, slightly further reducing German supply deliveries due to this modifier."

I have yet to restart a new Axis campaign to see the effect, but it might go in the right direction. The supply model is a bit crude, like supplying whole Army Groups well past Smolensk on single double-track rail lines just put back in action. My feel is that supplying is still a bit too easy in good weather, and in turn a bit too tough in mud or winter. One of the rather abruptly changing things. But it still kind of works.

Regarding high Op-tempo, I believe the supply situation is not the only thing, and perhas not even the major thing allowing much faster progress for the Axis (and perhaps Soviets later). A lot also may simply come from us "playing game-style", rathepr and following military principles:

For e.g. most Axis players in Barbarossa do not form and keep a sizable reserve of divisions (say 1/4 to 1/3rd!) idle behind the lines and switch them out against front line units for refit or rest (partly because Soviet are quite easy to overrun without heavy own losses early war). In fact, some of the harder pushing players that regularly get very far East by December 41, push everything in line they can lay hands on, especially not leaving any Armor or Mech "idle". And some complain about the frozen units at the GC start, representing intial OKH reserves.

In part this may be due to the hindsight, i.e. lack of FOW or variation on the initial Soviet setup at GC start. They are always in the same spot, there is no "setup turn" in which a Axis/Soviet player could move an extra Army up North or South of Pripjet, and thus would require both players to exert more caution. There is also no variation in the overall strength, no alternative GC where both sides might start with a few extra divisions, or a few less, or maybe have a few more of this type while less of another -- something that adds uncertainty, in contrast to visible, managable risks.

Also the fact that the Soviets are rather weak in 41, and unlike the real war, their exact strengths and weaknesses well-known, doesn't add to the need to be more cautious and stick to keeping reserves. There is rarely a big crisis for the Axis side (while the Soviet tumbles from one to the next, which will naturally be something of the opposite after 44) since presently an Axis players biggest fear in 41 appears to be a tactical ZOC lock or some spearheads cut of from supply, costing MPs and therefore a turn of progress, but no imminent thread of units being counterattacked, or even counteroffensives like Smolensk on a strategic scale.

Thus, a player can push a lot harder in this game, with less backup, since his head is not at stake, and the dangers are quite small. To mimic the other factors in a game would require perhaps something like "plausibly modified historical setups", loss of a game or demotion in case of mess-ups, or some special rules that force keeping reserves and determine when to commit them. I think with a board game, one could come up with a set of houserules to cover some of that, but it still doesn't completly negate hindsight.

< Message edited by janh -- 2/26/2012 11:55:45 AM >

(in reply to Zebedee)
Post #: 5
RE: Supply issue - 2/26/2012 12:41:50 PM   
MechFO

 

Posts: 274
Joined: 6/1/2007
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: janh

quote:

ORIGINAL: Zebedee
Changing the supply system has been floated for over a year now. I think everyone is aware of the limitations of the current abstraction...

From what has been said recently, I don't think that it's on the table any more to consider changing this. Understandable given that resources are now going into the next game. Shame really because the game as a result lacks any sense of operational tempo beyond the railhead to HQ limitations, nor any real sense of operations culminating beyond the breaks imposed by the weather. Quirky little features which lack shades of grey. But it is what it is now especially given the hardcoded limitations which permit only the most superficial of mods to be made. Maybe one day a WitE:FM edition? ;)


In the recent patches they tuned supply down a little again:

"V1.05.59 – January 31, 2012 11. Rule Change (section 20.4.3.2) - The formula used to determine the Axis Rail Supply Modifier has been changed. The 168 in the formula has been changed to 165, slightly further reducing German supply deliveries due to this modifier."

I have yet to restart a new Axis campaign to see the effect, but it might go in the right direction. The supply model is a bit crude, like supplying whole Army Groups well past Smolensk on single double-track rail lines just put back in action. My feel is that supplying is still a bit too easy in good weather, and in turn a bit too tough in mud or winter. One of the rather abruptly changing things. But it still kind of works.

Regarding high Op-tempo, I believe the supply situation is not the only thing, and perhas not even the major thing allowing much faster progress for the Axis (and perhaps Soviets later). A lot also may simply come from us "playing game-style", rathepr and following military principles:

For e.g. most Axis players in Barbarossa do not form and keep a sizable reserve of divisions (say 1/4 to 1/3rd!) idle behind the lines and switch them out against front line units for refit or rest (partly because Soviet are quite easy to overrun without heavy own losses early war). In fact, some of the harder pushing players that regularly get very far East by December 41, push everything in line they can lay hands on, especially not leaving any Armor or Mech "idle". And some complain about the frozen units at the GC start, representing intial OKH reserves.

In part this may be due to the hindsight, i.e. lack of FOW or variation on the initial Soviet setup at GC start. They are always in the same spot, there is no "setup turn" in which a Axis/Soviet player could move an extra Army up North or South of Pripjet, and thus would require both players to exert more caution. There is also no variation in the overall strength, no alternative GC where both sides might start with a few extra divisions, or a few less, or maybe have a few more of this type while less of another -- something that adds uncertainty, in contrast to visible, managable risks.

Also the fact that the Soviets are rather weak in 41, and unlike the real war, their exact strengths and weaknesses well-known, doesn't add to the need to be more cautious and stick to keeping reserves. There is rarely a big crisis for the Axis side (while the Soviet tumbles from one to the next, which will naturally be something of the opposite after 44) since presently an Axis players biggest fear in 41 appears to be a tactical ZOC lock or some spearheads cut of from supply, costing MPs and therefore a turn of progress, but no imminent thread of units being counterattacked, or even counteroffensives like Smolensk on a strategic scale.

Thus, a player can push a lot harder in this game, with less backup, since his head is not at stake, and the dangers are quite small. To mimic the other factors in a game would require perhaps something like "plausibly modified historical setups", loss of a game or demotion in case of mess-ups, or some special rules that force keeping reserves and determine when to commit them. I think with a board game, one could come up with a set of houserules to cover some of that, but it still doesn't completly negate hindsight.


The Germans in 41 didn't keep anything like 1/3 to 1/4 in reserve, the odd division here there at most. They were pushing everything forward they could....that's also why they were so burnt out in December.

The supply issue is twofold...not only are the Spearheads getting too many supplies...they are also getting too many replacements. Total replacement pool wise might be appropriate, but units that are far away from the railheads should also be only getting a fraction of the replacements they currently get. The effects of MP distance should scale more strongly for replacements, after all, if you only have very limited capacity to transport stuff forward, you first transport supplies to the forces you have in place.

The Germans in December were in many places at like 40% Infantry strength, at most,...and it wasn't (at that stage) because they didn't theoretically have the manpower.

This would also help to weaken the overpowered offensive dynamic that's currently present. The other would be to make supply level more important when calculating CV, though I don't know what the current modifier is, between various leader rolls, it doesn't seem to influence much.



< Message edited by MechFO -- 2/26/2012 12:48:43 PM >

(in reply to janh)
Post #: 6
RE: Supply issue - 2/26/2012 1:57:19 PM   
Zebedee


Posts: 525
Joined: 8/30/2005
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: janh
snipped


You make good points in that post, janh, and I'm just about to start a new campaign as Axis to see what the impact of latest set of beta patches has been upon the game.

However, there is a significant element of the supply system playing a role here which goes on top of the hindsight. A good historical example is the armoured push by AGN in 1941 - it was made at the expense of supply to the nominally following on infantry divisions. Within the current mechanic, that choice is one which never has to be made - in fact, you can fling as many armoured divisions up north as you care to. Likewise, one doesn't see an equivalent pause in operations for AGC as we saw at a point in history where the pockets were cleared and supply stocks built up prior to the next push on. One can point to a similar tale for the Soviets - in fact, the Soviet player benefits even more than the German player because of the 'grinding' kind of warfare which benefits the Red Army, so one doesn't even tend to run into too many situations where distance from railhead is a problem. Two edged sword, but so few AARs make it into late war that I'd imagine it'll be a while yet (if ever) before it's really picked up on.

It's definitely a complex mix of things going on, but to my mind logistics are the foundation for a game of this kind of scale and it's not quite there in this version. Then again, there's a lot of reflection of the post-war memoirs within the game and perspectives can vary greatly on a 'historical foundation' so maybe the game in some aspects has to meet the criteria of many of its players in order for them to enjoy the game and that criteria may not be the same as perhaps some perspectives. eg treating reaching the historical 'end line' for 1941 as a fantastic demonstration of skill rather than the minimum expected would give a very different slant to a game which may not be something many players would enjoy.

In any case, would be a huge undertaking to now rebalance the game based on a less abstracted/more complex system so I'm not throwing rocks - the effort and work put in by devs and testers on this game, whether or not I agree with GG's design philosophy in every aspect, is clear to see and I do enjoy the game as it stands by playing within certain self-restrictions.

---

elmo - hope to one day see it. There's a lot of room for a follow up/additions to what is there and I'd certainly pay money for an expansion upon the work done so far. Will watch the WitW development with interest to see which direction you guys are going in :)

(in reply to janh)
Post #: 7
RE: Supply issue - 2/26/2012 2:03:52 PM   
Flaviusx


Posts: 6396
Joined: 9/9/2009
From: Southern California
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The existing supply system is too abstract and too easily gamed. Nobody is very happy with it.

Don't expect massive changes to it for WitE. What you can expect, or at least hope for is big changes down the line for WitW, and maybe getting those ported back over to WitE.



_____________________________

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Post #: 8
RE: Supply issue - 2/26/2012 3:07:46 PM   
MechFO

 

Posts: 274
Joined: 6/1/2007
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

The existing supply system is too abstract and too easily gamed. Nobody is very happy with it.

Don't expect massive changes to it for WitE. What you can expect, or at least hope for is big changes down the line for WitW, and maybe getting those ported back over to WitE.




How about playing with replacement numbers, do they scale linearly with supply? Could one change that? That would help too.

(in reply to Flaviusx)
Post #: 9
RE: Supply issue - 2/26/2012 5:11:53 PM   
Flaviusx


Posts: 6396
Joined: 9/9/2009
From: Southern California
Status: offline
What was done a while back was to reduce the chance of units on the front line to get refits. Not quite the same thing and rather annoying in certain respects -- it leads to what I call the attrition shuffle. It's not directly related to the supply situation, either.

AFVs in particular got hit pretty hard and mech units suffer increased attrition just from moving around and need to fall back to friendly rail lines to build vehicle numbers back up. They won't get replacements easily on the front.

The latest patch made the supply trace a bit harder in 1941.

But even all this tinkering around hasn't really done much to reduce optempo. It's very high.



_____________________________

WitE Alpha Tester

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Post #: 10
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