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RE: The Rock

 
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RE: The Rock - 3/27/2012 1:27:07 PM   
Rasputitsa


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quote:

ORIGINAL: aspqrz
The Italians also didn't have the fuel to do anything much with their navy. They had stupidly started the war with no (or virtually no) fuel reserves and relied entirely on begging to Hitler for fuel to keep the Regia Marina's fleet units in bunkerage ... Hitler, who didn't have any fuel to spare, really, "gave" them fuel from the Kriegsmarine reserves ... which, of course, made the Kriegsmarine so happy that they delivered in full and on time ... not.

That's the real reason most of the RM's major fleet units did nothing but stay in port ... only enough fuel to keep maintenance levels of operation.

So, even if the Italians had had a reason for attempting operation(s) that required movement through the straits, they probably couldn't have fuelled it without willing assistance from the Germans.

As for the Germans and the Kriegsmarine ... well, they did pre-war reserves, but were basically at the end of the list for fuel supplies, of which Germany was always short.

After the initial wave of conquests, where the Germans captured enough from the strategic reserves of their opponents to replace the fuel they expended in capturing them, the Germans were always severely short of fuel.

It is my understanding that even operational level decisions regarding deployment of forces were being made based on fuel shortages as early as 1941 ... so, even if the Kriegsmarine had seen value in forcing the straits, what would be the Heer and/or Luftwaffe operations that would have to be short-changed to fuel it?

No easy answers.

Phil


Both the KM and the RM carried out some significant operations, so you have to assume that they had some fuel. The 'Channel Dash' could have gone south and tried to break into the Med, various forays by the Italian battle fleet could have been directed instead past Gibraltar. There are a million reasons (I hate exaggeration) why they didn't do this and Gibraltar was never seriously challenged.

But for the game, do we say that the Axis never had passage of the Straits, therefore it is not a game option, or, the player should have an opportunity to challenge the blockade, it's up to them whether it leads to a viable strategy.

It's not a game breaker, but I favour the latter, at least Axis submarines should have the opportunity to run the Straits. You can set this up as easy, if there are no air, or naval units at Gibraltar, or in adjacent sea areas, to very hard if the Allies have forces and have achieved high tech levels (it's already been noted that it may be impossible to make the run westbound, because of the currents). There is a problem of how we squeeze air and ground units into a single hex site like Gibraltar, maybe we can have a 'virtual' CV anchored in the port able to carry out air operations (it could be destroyed by bombing, like an airfield, or lose all it aircraft in combat and be reinforced, as it is already in port.

As for surface ships, I still maintain that Gibraltar itself would have little effect, but there could be combat odds for the passage, depending on the forces each side has. There would be little chance of sneaking through and an attempted passage would always result in a combat to be resolved.

The next problem in mixing national forces in the Med, can German naval forces draw supply from Italian bases and the same for RM units that get into the Atlantic, from German controlled bases.



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RE: The Rock - 3/27/2012 1:58:51 PM   
Rasputitsa


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To expand the discussion, what happens if the Axis captures Gibraltar, I have never got to that position, but do the Allies get to pass the straits, what effect does an axis Gibraltar have.

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RE: The Rock - 3/28/2012 3:31:26 AM   
Razz


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No, both sides of the strait must be controlled.

In your case no one may pass.

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RE: The Rock - 3/28/2012 5:42:31 AM   
aspqrz

 

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I never said the RM or KM did nothing

I merely indicated that the RM operated under severe constraints and indicated, further, what those constraints meant in real world operational terms.

Likewise, I indicated that, from as early as 1941, KM (and, indeed, all Heer and Luftwaffe operations as well) were constrained because of fuel shortages.

Note: Again, this does not mean that either or both did nothing - you only have to look at what they managed in the "real world" (tm) (c)

However, consider all those wishful thoughts all wargamers, computer, miniature figure, and board, have had from time to time of "if only ..." and consider that there may well have been non-obvious, and certainly non-"sexy" constraints that prevented the "what if" you want to try ...

Wishing for a 100% motorised German army in 1940-41 is fine, and you could probably do it with the excess of PPs you seem to get, but, in real life, you'd still have been limited to what it could do by fuel availability ... so, at any given time, only around 15% would be operational, as in real life

Phil

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RE: The Rock - 3/28/2012 6:00:18 AM   
aspqrz

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rasputitsa

To expand the discussion, what happens if the Axis captures Gibraltar, I have never got to that position, but do the Allies get to pass the straits, what effect does an axis Gibraltar have.


In real life, to do this requires Spain to either be invaded or come over as a willing ally. The former is actually more likely than the latter (I believe it's been discussed here in other threads why this is the case).

The consequences? Starvation (railways run the wrong ways and to the wrong places, and Spain imported her food from overseas, in, guess what, non-Spanish Hulls ... all stopped with an RN Blockade, and neither the Germans nor the Italians had the food to spare for Spain, they were scraping the bottom of the barrel themselves) and a rerun of the Spanish Civil War cross with the Peninsular Guerilla campaign of the Napoleonic period ... note, and most people don't, that the word "guerilla" is, in fact, Spanish, and, in fact, dates from the period of the Napoleonic wars ... and, well, read something like CS Forester's "The Gun" or some histories of the period and place to get an idea of why Napoleon referred to it as the "Spanish Ulcer" ... then read up on the fun and games that was the Spanish Civil War and, indeed, Franco's Spain ... to understand just what "setting Europe ablaze" would mean in Spain, for the Nazis

So, Spain offers almost nothing of value in comparison to what it would cost to take and hold.

The usual argument for taking Gibraltar is that the Italian fleet can sortie into the Atlantic and combine with the Kriegsmarine, making lots of trouble for the RN and allies in general.

Well.

Maybe.

Or maybe ...

not so much

There are several problems.

Spain goes Axis and, well, the Canaries and Azores (yes, I know it's Portugese, but UK-Portugese alliance is one of the oldest in the world, dating back to the 14th century and, Fascist government or not, the Portugese did tell HMG that, if pushed, they would come in on the UK side, but really, pretty please, don't ... I'd say, even with an occupied Spain, they'd probably "nudge, nudge, wink, wink: a UK occupation, YMMV) are seized by the UK, and become LRB bases for ASW patrols, closing the mid-Atlantic gap and making the U-Boat campaign a non-starter much earlier than historically.

So, no real benefit from, say, Italian or German sub bases along the Portugese or Spanish Atlantic coasts.

As for the RM breaking out ... well, yes, maybe ... fuel problems magically solved by sending more KM reserves to them ... but all that does is give the Axis more ships that it really can't use to full effect as they couldn't use the ones they already had in the Atlantic to full effect because of less bad fuel problems.

Then there's the fact that RM ships were designed for the Mediterranean ... short legs and not Atlantic-seaworthy ... which further reduces their effectiveness.

None of this means they would be useless ... but constrains all the "usual suspects" of "what ifs" in ways most people don't appreciate.

Phil



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RE: The Rock - 3/28/2012 6:30:45 AM   
Razz


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Well.. let's add to the fire.
You forgot Bordeux in France. An indestructible Submarine base that was used for the Atlantic War.

No need to risk invasion of Gibraltar or Spain.

People also forget that it takes several months to repair ships. So Damaging a few vessels or loosing a few is very risky.

Taking Gibraltar will not cut off the Med. The Luftwaffe already cut off the Med and force the British to sail around the horn to supply Malta.

Your better off enforcing Operation Herkules to take Malta.

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RE: The Rock - 3/28/2012 8:51:47 AM   
Rasputitsa


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quote:

ORIGINAL: aspqrz

I never said the RM or KM did nothing

I merely indicated that the RM operated under severe constraints and indicated, further, what those constraints meant in real world operational terms.

Likewise, I indicated that, from as early as 1941, KM (and, indeed, all Heer and Luftwaffe operations as well) were constrained because of fuel shortages.

Note: Again, this does not mean that either or both did nothing - you only have to look at what they managed in the "real world" (tm) (c)

However, consider all those wishful thoughts all wargamers, computer, miniature figure, and board, have had from time to time of "if only ..." and consider that there may well have been non-obvious, and certainly non-"sexy" constraints that prevented the "what if" you want to try ...

Wishing for a 100% motorised German army in 1940-41 is fine, and you could probably do it with the excess of PPs you seem to get, but, in real life, you'd still have been limited to what it could do by fuel availability ... so, at any given time, only around 15% would be operational, as in real life

Phil

quote:

That's the real reason most of the RM's major fleet units did nothing but stay in port ... only enough fuel to keep maintenance levels of operation.


You have great career in politics waiting.

Whatever happened in history, this game allows players to something different, you could decide to scrap your armoured forces, build and supply a huge navy, should you then still not be able to pass a Gibraltar.

Historically the Axis did not try to force the straits with surface ships, I don't think they had the strategic power, or need to do that, with the priorities they had set. However, the game is about having the ability to set different strategic priorities, so why keep the limitations applying to a strategy your'e not using.

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RE: The Rock - 3/28/2012 9:04:37 AM   
Rasputitsa


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Razz
Well.. let's add to the fire.
You forgot Bordeux in France. An indestructible Submarine base that was used for the Atlantic War.

No need to risk invasion of Gibraltar or Spain.

People also forget that it takes several months to repair ships. So Damaging a few vessels or loosing a few is very risky.

Taking Gibraltar will not cut off the Med. The Luftwaffe already cut off the Med and force the British to sail around the horn to supply Malta.

Your better off enforcing Operation Herkules to take Malta.


You forget the the original post is about how effective Gibraltar is in blocking the Straits, it isn't about whether taking Gibraltar is a good idea, or not. Warships are built to be put in harms way, otherwise why do we spend PPs on them, taking risks is what the game's about.

If you're not taking risks you're not having fun, terrible when a plan fails, but great when it works.

The question I'm asking is if Gibraltar is Axis controlled, whether, or not, it's a good idea for that to happen, can the Allies force a passage through the Straits.

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 3/28/2012 9:16:19 AM >


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RE: The Rock - 3/28/2012 9:19:48 AM   
Rasputitsa


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Razz
No, both sides of the strait must be controlled.

In your case no one may pass.


This is the case for free passage of the Straits, but the discussion is about forcing a passage past an enemy controlled Gibraltar.

So this comes back to the point, should these fortifications alone be enough to close the Straits to either side, or should it possible for the opposing side to force a passage, for at least submarines and possibly surface ships.

Can the game system permit combat resolution, over a contested passage of the Straits, but opposing forces.


< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 3/28/2012 9:30:48 AM >


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RE: The Rock - 3/28/2012 9:51:12 AM   
Rasputitsa


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The reason why this issue is worth some thought, is that I understand Doomtrader is looking for ways to make the naval aspects of the game more interesting. The possibility of a contested passage of the Straits is an factor that could contribute to a more interesting naval war, for both sides.

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RE: The Rock - 3/28/2012 9:52:26 AM   
aspqrz

 

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The attack on Malta is actually a more realistic option.

Not a very realistic option, mind, just more realistic than an attack on Gibraltar.

ISTR that the problem with the planned attack on Malta was that it assumed that the Luftflotte assigned (temporarily) to support Rommel in North Africa, the one slated for transfer off to Barbarossa "real soon now", and the one which (in addition to the one he was actually "regularly" assigned) was the one that enabled all his major initial successess ... that one was to be diverted to support the attack on Malta.

So, as with most things, the diversion of that Luftflotte for an attack on Malta means that the DAK is neutered ... and may mean that the Allies take North Africa a year or two earlier than they did ... for the possible loss of Malta.

And what do the Axis actually get in return?

Most people point out that Malta acted as a node for allied interdiction of convoys from Italy to North Africa ... submarines were based there and recon flights from the island helped provide target information for subs and other assets based off island.

And, indeed, Malta was useful in those areas.

The problem is, even if it was lost, and the amount of ships the Italians lost went down somewhat, there is another non-sexy issue that trumps any gains the Axis might make.

See, the ultimate limitation of all DAK and Italian operations in North Africa was logistics ... supply ... right?

So, getting more ships across would mean getting more supplies to the fighting forces, right?

Well, as it happens, not so much.

The problem was limited port capacity for all the major ports available in North Africa ... they simply didn't have the actual wharf space for more ships than got across anyway ... indeed, even the number that did get across overwhelmed the unloading facilities as it was.

Then there's the issue of getting the additional supplies from the major ports to the front.

Two ways, really, by road or sea.

By road? Well, at full stretch it took more fuel than a tanker could carry as cargo to get that tanker to where the sharp edge was ... double or more ... and that meant that the DAK required a truck park equivalent in number to that provided to any one of the three Army Groups deployed for Barbarossa 41.

Nothing extra to squeeze there, and no way of getting more ... unless you want to cut Barbarossa, perhaps?

So that leaves sea transport.

Two problems.

One. The capacity of the minor ports, even when undamaged, was even less than that of the major ones ... so they were incapable of handling the throughput of supplies needed anyway.

Two. Coastal Shipping. The Axis never had enough. Ever. Not even at the beginning. And whatever they could scrounge was always less than they were losing to the Allies.

So, sea transport can't handle any more supplies, anyway.

If you want some idea of just how desperate the Axis supply situation was in North Africa, they eventually took to flying fuel across in Messerschmitt Gigants, in 200 liter drums.

So, maybe Malta doesn't really have the cachet many people think it might after all?

(Read Martin Van Creveld's "Supplying War" for more details ... or Thomson's "Lifeblood of War")

Phil

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RE: The Rock - 3/28/2012 11:12:26 AM   
Rasputitsa


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The discussion is not about an attack on Gibraltar, it's about Axis naval units doing a 'Channel Dash' through the Straits, at least with U-boats, and maybe with surface vessels. Whether it's a good strategic move is up to the player, we all know that the German attack the Soviet Union was a grand strategic blunder, you can and probabily will write pages about how it can never succeed, but the game does not stop you trying.

We don't say, there are a lot of heavy guns along the coast of France, no landing can be made there, we say fight it out, resolve the combat.

I have introduced the added example of what happens if Gibraltar is controlled by the Axis, it doesn't matter whether it's a good idea not, that is up to the player. Britain is defeated, Spain joins the Axis, the Germans build CVs and so on ..........

You can quote many examples of what was possible, or not possible, in WW2, I've read the books too, but what might be possible with different strategic and production choices is what the game is all about.

So, can we answer the question that has been posed, how much of a block should the 'Rock' be, is it reasonable that U-boats and maybe surface ships, could pass several 9.2in guns, with, or without loss. How can Gibraltar based air and naval units, or units in adjacent sea areas, be used to enforce the blockade. How might the combat in a contested attempt to pass the Straits, be resolved.

Or, shall we not bother and accept the status quo, accepting that the game system just won't be able to represent the event.

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 3/28/2012 11:30:05 AM >


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RE: The Rock - 3/28/2012 11:34:04 AM   
Rasputitsa


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Doom, we need some comments, if you want more interest in the naval aspects of the game, is this worthy, can it be implemented, or are we wasting our time.

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RE: The Rock - 3/28/2012 12:19:21 PM   
doomtrader


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It is hard to comment anything at the moment.
We would love to add more and more features into the game, but the most important limitation for us is what would the AI be capable to do.
We can add more and more and more things, but I would prefer to avoid situation when those helping only the human player, as the AI is not able to use them

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RE: The Rock - 3/28/2012 12:29:11 PM   
aspqrz

 

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Yabbut ... if you want fantasy outcomes, fine ... do all of that.

However, it is generally agreed that the chances of the Axis taking Gibraltar *unless* Spain is either conquered first or allied first is as close to zero as possible ... probably as much chance of it happening as there was, in reality, of Sealion succeeding in anything other than creating the largest self-organising camp for German POWs in the ETO.

Same series of related problems.

The Germans ... Hitler if you will ... made a whole series of decisions in 1933-39 that made it impossible for them to do Sealion, or a seaborne invasion of Gibraltar. Malta was, barely, doable, but, for the unsexy real world reasons I pointed to, probably wouldn't have helped them win in North Africa any more than what they actually did.

The loss of Gibraltar will not result in the "deafeat of Britain" ...why on earth would it?

As I noted elsewhere, there were real world constraints about what the Axis would get out of any such capture, and the Allied capture of the Azores and Canaries would more than equal, if not exceed, any Axis benefit.

As for German CVs, they actyally laid down a couple. Never completed them.

Do you know why?

Lack of resources.

As I have (tried ) to point out, the Kriegsmarine was last in the queue for access to resources. Sure, the Z-Plan got the money budget but, in Nazi Germany as in Soviet Russia, money was meaningless ... control of resources was what counted ... the money the KM had might as well have been Monopoly money for all the good it was.

All the key resources were controlled by Fat Herman and he ensured that the lion's share went to the Luftwaffe, the rest to the Wehrmacht, and the scraps to the KM.

If you want to complete those CVs, well, it's a trade off that ToF PP's don't represent well ... you have to choose to motorise less than 15% of the Wehrmacht (few Panzer and PanzerGrenadier divisions) or cut the maximum size from 270-300 divisions overall to much much less than that. Or you have to cut back on the Luftwaffe. Massively.

And, even so, the Germans had neither the military slipways (civilian slipways are no good) nor the trained workers for those military slipways, to lay down more than the Hulls they actually did ... unless you want to gut the Submarine force, and maybe not even then.

Did you know, for example, that the Germans had one Steel Mill capable of rolling armour plate at the beginning of the war, and, yep, no allocated resources to expand either the Mill or the workforce for it. And it couldn't produce enough armour plate for much more than the major vessels they actually did lay down ... including the two CV hulls, which were Light carriers with a proposed air complement of 42 (either 30 Fighters/12 Dive Bombers or 12 Fighters/30 Dive Bombers, take your pick).

PPs don't represent that sort of thing.

And, of course, as is always the case ... knives cut both ways ... if the Germans can do crazy things simply because they have too many PPs for reality, and because there are no real world constraints on what they do, then, of course, the Brits will simply invade Germany by sea in 1940, doing an end run around the army stalled against the French Army that built Level 2 Armoured Units and Doctrine 2 Infantry units instead of the Maginot Line. Makes as much sense.

Have a fantasy scenario, by all means, but, as I have noted before, some of us would like a scenario that at least somewhat resembles reality.

YMMV

Phil

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Post #: 45
RE: The Rock - 3/28/2012 12:38:44 PM   
aspqrz

 

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On the whole, it would probably be preferable to ditch most of the Naval elements ... certainly, the whole Atlantic War ... by all means have the Germans build SSs, and the Allies build Escorts, but allocate them to a single "North Atlantic Convoy" Box and simplify the whole thing out of turn to turn contention.

As for the rest, it really should be almost impossible for the Germans or Italians to go toe to toe with the RN and win without major losses, certainly for surface actions (not saying the RN won't lose, just nowhere near as much) ... currently up to Turn 55 of the Grand Campaign, again, and the Germans have way way too many surface vessels overall and way too few Armoured units and Infantry Corps.

And, despite dozens of interceptions and surface combats every single turn, I have sunk exactly two German Subs and damaged a couple more while every time my fleets encounter a single German surface combatant, they universally miss all the time. Not a single gun or aircraft hit. In 50 turns.

In fact, the Germans, well, they're still stuck halfway through Belgium ... because most of the German Army are 2-3 Infantry Divisions stacked 4 or even five deep behind the front line making it impossible to maneuver the few armoured units.

And the Russians have attacked in the rear, and even with 2-2 Infantry Corps and 4-4 Armoured Corps they've retaken about half of Poland and almost all of Romania. And its not even 1941!

The Germans never invaded Norway, or Festung Norway as it now is, and the Italians have, sanely, stayed out of the war, but also seem to be interested only in building their navy and keeping it at sea in the middle of nowheresville.

Not a very good showing, I must say ... too caught up with pointless expenditure on things that are, really, a distraction ... like a navy (both Germany and Italy).

The AI definitely needs some work!

Phil


< Message edited by aspqrz -- 3/28/2012 12:41:14 PM >


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Post #: 46
RE: The Rock - 3/28/2012 12:48:12 PM   
doomtrader


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aspqrz, could you please send me your save game?

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RE: The Rock - 3/28/2012 3:04:53 PM   
Rasputitsa


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The loss of Gibraltar will not result in the "deafeat of Britain" ...why on earth would it?

My point was that the defeat of Britain and/or Spain joining the Axis, could result in the loss of Gibraltar to the Axis.

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RE: The Rock - 3/28/2012 3:14:10 PM   
Rasputitsa


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quote:

The Germans ... Hitler if you will ... made a whole series of decisions in 1933-39 that made it impossible for them to do Sealion, or a seaborne invasion of Gibraltar. Malta was, barely, doable, but, for the unsexy real world reasons I pointed to, probably wouldn't have helped them win in North Africa any more than what they actually did.


This isn't an unsexy real world, it's a very sexy game, it allows you to make decisions the real characters did not make. What if Churchill had been run over by a bus, in May 1940, on the way Chamberlain's office and Lord Halifax had become PM, negotiated a peace with Germany to save the British Empire, fantasy, all gaming is fantasy.

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RE: The Rock - 3/28/2012 3:20:43 PM   
Rasputitsa


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As I noted elsewhere, there were real world constraints about what the Axis would get out of any such capture, and the Allied capture of the Azores and Canaries would more than equal, if not exceed, any Axis benefit.


The original question is not talking about capturing Gibraltar, it is about passage of the Straits by Axis naval forces, I introduced the point about Axis control of Gibraltar, because any rules applying to the Axis passage of an Allied Gibraltar, would equally have to apply for Allied passage of an Axis Gibraltar, however unlikely that might be.

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RE: The Rock - 3/28/2012 3:25:18 PM   
Rasputitsa


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quote:

Did you know, for example, that the Germans had one Steel Mill capable of rolling armour plate at the beginning of the war, and, yep, no allocated resources to expand either the Mill or the workforce for it. And it couldn't produce enough armour plate for much more than the major vessels they actually did lay down ... including the two CV hulls, which were Light carriers with a proposed air complement of 42 (either 30 Fighters/12 Dive Bombers or 12 Fighters/30 Dive Bombers, take your pick).


So take CVs out of the German production screen, but while they are still there, players may chose to build them and the rules need to take account of strategies that might result from that. Remember this is not the real world of 1933-1945, somebody else is making the decisions and allocating resources, the player.

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RE: The Rock - 3/28/2012 3:27:22 PM   
Rasputitsa


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quote:

s I have (tried ) to point out, the Kriegsmarine was last in the queue for access to resources. Sure, the Z-Plan got the money budget but, in Nazi Germany as in Soviet Russia, money was meaningless ... control of resources was what counted ... the money the KM had might as well have been Monopoly money for all the good it was.


Maybe last in the queue in Hitler's world, but may not be last in the players' queue.

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RE: The Rock - 3/28/2012 3:30:08 PM   
Rasputitsa


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I hope you are getting the message, I read the books and see the documentaries, just like you. I can judge what history means, just like anybody else, but it's a game.

As soon as you press the 'go button' and start making decisions you are leaving the historical path, the combat odds change from game to game and from history, I am just as interested in history as I think you are, but I also want to have fun with the game, using the historical capabilities of the forces of the day, but on different decision paths.

I know what happened in reality, the beauty of this game is that you don't always know what is going the happen next, which has its own realism, because the people in WW2 didn't always know what was going to happen next either, they didn't get to read the books until after it was over. We have hindsight, attack Russia and lose, great to have a game that comes up with the unexpected, what are you going to do if you lose Gibraltar, I don't know because there isn't a book on it.

This game is flexible and moddable enough for most eventualities to be played out. Whatever is provided does not necessarily exclude any other possibility.

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 3/28/2012 3:54:56 PM >


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Post #: 53
RE: The Rock - 3/29/2012 12:01:41 AM   
aspqrz

 

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Possibly.

As noted in previous posts, the plans for taking Gibraltar by land after either a) conquest of Spain by Germany or b) aaliance of Spain with Germany were based on logistical assumptions that may not have been sustainable.

Still, like all Sieges, as long as the attacker remains in place and can't be dislodged or distracted, there's really only one outcome likely ... recuction of the works and its capture.

Still, as I also noted, the loss really doesn't give the Axis very much at all.

As for the "surrender" of the UK meaning the automatic capture of Gibraltar.

Maybe.

Or Maybe Not.

Do you think the Brits will go the Vichy route, and bend over to give the Germans even those things that the Germans can't actually physically occupy with large occupation forces?

Or will they be like the Dutch, or even the Belgians, and would the outposts of Empire remain in the fight?

Most historians seem to assume the latter.

YMMV.

Phil

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Post #: 54
RE: The Rock - 3/29/2012 12:30:18 AM   
aspqrz

 

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Indeed. But there were real world constraints that were in place by 1939, and even more so in 1933, that should limit what the player can actually do.

The Germans, historically, tried to get around many of them, and failed.

Case #1: Naval Building Limits. Sure. They tried to build several whole new classes of Submarine by offsite production in nontraditional factories way to hell and gone from the slipways, largely targeted by the Allied Strategic Bombing Campaign, and then assemble them onsite ... but, well, it didn't work out well.

* The nontraditional factories weren't up to the required levels of quality control and the various hull sections of almost all of the initial production run (those few that actually entered service before the end of the war, and almost all of those still working up after launch but nonoperational for crew or other reasons at war's end) found that there were significant size variations between them ... usually several inches ... and these are pressure hulls.

Sure. They could be welded together ... but they weren't able to handle the even the crush depths of the older, pre-war, designs ... rendering them effectively useless.

* The whole design process had been shortcircuited to rush them into production and, well, the usual problems that would have been found and corrected by a more normal prototyping process was cut out ... and the hull section size mismatches were only the very grossest of the errors that resulted.

* The assembly facilities proved to be just as easy, if not easier, targets for Allied bombers as the slipways they replaced. More vulnerable in some ways ... even if not actually hit by bombs during a raid, if the welders working on attaching two hull sections stopped the weld before it was finished, it rendered the whole job unusable .... and the weld process could take the best part of a day.

* By the time they were staring to be available, if still mostly unusable, the Allied ASW efforts had rendered the whole German U-Boat force a complete waste of resources.

Case #2. Iron and Steel production. The Germans didn't have enough iron ore, and couldn't afford to import as much as they would have liked (from Sweden and elsewhere) because they didn't have the foreign currency reserves ... and never did. Their pre-war solution was to expand the mining of iron ore in Germany ... but the problem was that the chemical composition of the ore was such that then available refining technology could either not process it, or do it only with significant difficulty.

The Germans went ahead with the expansion anyway, in the hope they'd make a breakthrough in refining tech. They never did. Postwar allied development, in fact.

Case #3. Aero Engines. As early as 1935/5, IIRC, Goering et al realised that German manufacturing practices and factories simply couldn't match the output of US aero engine factories, or, really, even British ones. And they realised that in event of a war the Brits would have access to US production while Germany wouldn't ... and, even before the war, Germany wouldn't as she didn't have the foreign currency reserves to buy.

Solution? Build a huge aero engine factory, sorta like an engine "Willow Run", and hope that it would boost German aero engine production massively enough. It failed because the Germans couldn't ever quite figure out how the allies managed to do what they did, because they could never organise it efficiently (one party systems generally have this sort of problem, as you may have noticed ), and because the resources needed by it were simply never available at the levels needed (see the problem with steel refining/production mentioned above).

Case #4. The War came too soon. In a lot of other munitions and armaments related areas they had plans underway to expand production capacity underway in 1939 ... but not planned to come online until the mid 1940's ... so they had a choice. Abandon the capacity expansion programs in order to get short-term increases by, forex, working existing facilities three shifts rather than one, or, perhaps, two, for a short term boost, but long term dead-end ... or labour on with the limits enforced by the eventual expansion plans. They chose to do the latter, mostly, which is why there are considerable production increases in 1944-45 (Speer took credit, but the programs were already in place).

The real reason the Germans did so well is because they had a 2-3 year head start over the Allies. If they could have managed a quick victory, they may have gotten away with their gamble, but it was always a long-shot, given that the productive capacity, and expansion capacity, of the Allies was always much greater from the get go.

As it was, they did very well.

Could they have won?

Depends on how you define "winning".

It's pretty unlikely they could have conquered Russia ... something they even accepted themselves ... and the Brits, well, the closest example historically is the Napoleonic Wars. Napoleon conquered most of Europe, and, so he thought, had Britain on the economic ropes (and, to a degree, he did), but Britain fought on, off and on, from 1789-1815. 26 years (yes, not all fighting actively).

Sealion is a nonstarter in anything even vaguely resembling reality. So Britain is going to continue to fight. And Germany simply doesn't have the naval or air resources to starve or bomb her into submission. So Britain is going to be there all along.

Nope. PPs don't represent everything.

Phil

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Post #: 55
RE: The Rock - 3/29/2012 12:33:07 AM   
aspqrz

 

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Yes. It's just a game.

If you want to play a fantasy game with not the slightest nod to real world constraints, fine, I have no problems with that.

I don't think that's what you're saying, but even if it is, I really have no problems with it.

As long as you accept that there some of us who want to make those alternative decisions but within the real world constraints that existed.

Which is where I stand.

Phil

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Post #: 56
RE: The Rock - 3/29/2012 12:36:29 AM   
aspqrz

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: doomtrader

aspqrz, could you please send me your save game?


Love to. But where are they? Can't find them in the ToF game directory.

NB: Razz's 3rd Reich Scenario, Germany and Italy (and other German Minors) on Standard, Allies on Very Easy, just to see what would happen.

Similar situations in unmodified GC, with all set to Standard, but not as bad ... and I've only been playing Razz's scenario recently.

Phil

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Post #: 57
RE: The Rock - 3/29/2012 12:43:03 AM   
aspqrz

 

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You keep on missing the point entirely.

Sure, the RM can be provided with more fuel than was historically the case.

However, you seem to be assuming that there is some magic every expanding fuel tank that can supply unlimited quantities of fuel, simply at the wave of a bunch of PPs.

My point is that the amount of fuel available is finite. There was never enough. Historically the Luftwaffe and Heer got the lion's share, and the Kriegsmarine got the scraps ... and even then, ALL the German forces were operationally constrained by fuel shortages from 1941 onwards.

So, if the RM gets more, who gets less?

The Luftwaffe? The Heer's armoured units? The Kriegsmarine?

And what's the gain?

And German inter-service and inter-party politics being what they were, even Hitler's say so only had a severely circumscribed writ ... there are enough books on this issue so that I would have thought everyone knew that.

Phil

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Post #: 58
RE: The Rock - 3/29/2012 9:34:47 AM   
Rasputitsa


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quote:

ORIGINAL: aspqrz
Love to. But where are they? Can't find them in the ToF game directory.
Phil



To find the ToF saved games look in - Personal Folder (your name in your computer)/My Documents/My Games/Time of Fury/Saves.

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Post #: 59
RE: The Rock - 3/29/2012 10:45:35 AM   
Rasputitsa


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quote:

ORIGINAL: aspqrz
You keep on missing the point entirely.
Phil


I have not missed the point, I have not contested the historical points that you have made, I have pointed out constantly that this is not real world, it's a game

This game gives you control of production, allocation of resources, unit build, etc., control means choices and change. It means things are not necessarily going to be like what happened in the real war. The player can make different choices, that's why we play the game, If we can't make choices, what's the point.

If the player's choice is to give more resources to the navy, then there will be less for air and army ... doooh ! Balancing these needs and matching them to strategy is what the game is all about. It's for the player to decide where the gain is, depending on what strategy they have chosen, will it work, is it the best strategy, it's called playing the game, it's what we paid the money for.

You can continue to quote what happened in WW2, I have shelves groaning with books, and DVD cabinets full of titles, I guess you have too. Your telling me what I already know and I have not missed any of your points.

I have 5 versions of ToF on my HDD, stock version, modded vesions, Slaytanic's realism mod, Razz's Third Reich mod and other patches and additions. In time there will be many more options, some will be closer to reality than others, none of them will be historically completely accurate, they never will be, but they can be great fun and give much enjoyment. Am I replicating the actions of the great figures in history, no, I'm playing a game.

Sometimes I will want the game to be as historically accurate as it is capable of being, sometimes I will want it to just be a blast and have fun, the game settings and mods will do both. Since getting this game I have encountered situations that are not entirely historical and haven't happened in other games, but it really has been fun, with no precedent for what happens next. Just as it was for the historical characters, I didn't know the script, what was possible, what was not, it's a great gaming experience.

We are way off topic, because the question is, could Axis naval units pass through the Straits of Gibraltar (whether, or not, it's a good strategy, uses up all the oil, etc., etc.), which the game prohibits. Historically U-boats did pass the straits into the Med, adverse currents make it difficult, if not impossible, to return. Axis surface units never tried to force a passage, I think they should be given the opportunity to try. Doomtrader is looking for ways to make the naval aspects of the game more interesting, but is concerned about the effects on AI performance.

So, not surprisingly game world conflicts with real world, game U-boats cannot pass into the Med through the Allied controlled Straits, that happens a lot, shame, but that's where we are, but still with a lot of good gaming to be had. Each in their own way.

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 3/29/2012 12:37:43 PM >


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