From: Denver Colorado
ORIGINAL: Michael T
People play games for many reasons. Personally, I just don't get why people who are 100% historical sticklers play these games. They are never going to be happy. I don't even know what they are trying to achieve. Because it seems unless the exact same historical result is reached they claim 'the game is broken'. I just don't get it. Why bother putting so much time and effort in to something that you hope ends up being the same result as reality? And then whinge when its not. These same guys will moan on and on when the Axis go further than they did in reality. Like the German high water mark of 1941 was the utmost best that the German Army could have achieved, all game results should be equal to that or less. Funny though these same people are quite happy for Germany to be overrun sometime in early 1944.
I read serious studies of military history to satisfy my interest in military history, not play games. I look at wargaming from a point of it being an intellectual challenge to defeat another intelligent mind on a field that is *loosely* based on a historical conflict. I am competitive by nature and what motivates me more than anything is a challenge.*I am not a win at all costs person*. But I try my best to win *and* have fun doing it. Generally I am happy with a wargame if the outcomes are within the realm of possibility. You have to include player skill here. So what is possible? Really that question cannot be answered. We are all guessing. People will be happy or unhappy with results based upon there own perceptions of what is reasonable.
WITE is not the perfect East Front simulation/model. That will never exist. What we have is a game, loosely based on history. If you want it to be more restricted than what it is, play with a bunch of house rules, but I suspect you will still be disappointed. There are just too many fundamental problems to overcome.
What would I do if faced with this opening and muling? First, I would not be concerned. I would use my superman security regiments and para units to screen my headlong retreat. Delay long enough to evacuate key industry. Don't worry about losing Moscow or other cites. Just get out the industry. If you do that and avoid massive loses, from the blizzard of 1941 on you will be in the drivers seat if you know your business.
But the real question should be how can Germany hope to have any chance of winning the *game* without muling or the Lvov opening? The answer is they cannot. I would bet a very large sum of money that I would beat any Axis player who took me on without muling and the Lvov opening.
I have spent just as many turns playing as Soviet as I have German in game time. But I have spent many many more hours trying to think of ways to make myself more completive when playing as German. I have spent much less time thinking about Soviet tactics as it is not required. They are the much easier side to play. If you want a challenge and some stress play German. For a nice enjoyable relaxing game, play Russian.
Since it has been asked here is what I consider is just as 'unrealistic' as muling and the Lvov opening but on the Soviet side. In no particular order except number one.
1. Top of the list. Being able to run run run to where ever they like. With no repercussions what soever. Without mulng the Russian's can avoid pitched fights and encirclements until they have a huge army that is overwhelming. Totally wrong. The game needs a mechanism to stop this rubbish. Muling counters this to a degree in that they need to run much further much earlier. To wrongs make a right for once :)
2. Super ants. The Sov's can use Security Reg's and Para's to soak up MP's and fuel to delay the German mech units in the first 6 or so turns. This gives the Sov's breathing space that they need with a very small price in units. The game desperately needs and overrun rule to prevent this crap.
3. No real C&C chaos in the Soviet command structure in 1941. Soviet units should have much more severe movement penalties. Some should get stuck and not move at all. Its also way too easy to attack under one Army HQ. There is too much flexibility in the changing HQ's on the fly.
4. Zoc's. This is a real pet peeve of mine. It defies common sense. Why would a 800 man Security reg have the exact same zoc as a stack with 50000 men and 500 tanks. Its totally nuts. This allows for things like checker boards and carpets. If we had a set of over run rules and some proper zoc rules there would be no more checker boards or carpets.
5. Reserves. Sure lets put the whole, entire, I mean every unit, in reserve mode. Its nuts and a blight on the game. Sure it helps Germany too in 43 and beyond but it needs to be fixed. The current reserve rules are way over powered. They are very simple rules, but with a little intelligent thought could be way better.
6. Soviet mech units that can have 45+ MP in 1942. Wrong.
7. The blizzard is still too harsh. Cav units overpowered in 1941 winter. Coupled with the front wide steam roller attack from Stavaka. Wrong.
There is more but that will do. Fix all that up and I would be happy to play without muling or the Lvov thing.
There is a key fundamental flaw in the design of WITE. That is that fuel expenditure is directly linked to MP spent, its linear. On the face of it you think well why not? Well here is an example. Why should crossing a major river in a zoc (might just be a ant zoc) cost around 50-60%% fuel? There are many other examples. But the crux of the matter is that MP expended equals fuel expended. But fuel expended should be equal to miles per gallon or kilometres per litre. If I drive a tank to a river, cross a bridge or pontoon then continue on why would it cost me 10 times more in fuel when not crossing a river? Sure I lose MP to the time lost in crossing but the equivalent of fuel lost is wrong. Same with moving through zoc's. Fuel used should be based/weighted more on hexes traversed rather than MP expended. At the moment its totally based on MP. I know its valid that fuel consumption will increase due to combat manoeuvring and such but there are numerous cases like my example above where the link between MP expenditure and fuel used is too linear.
I find it incredulous that GG creates these complex models and then neglects fundamental and very crucial mechanisms like the fuel/MP link. Its just too simple. No doubt there are many complex formulae used in logistics and combat but if you then end it all with a linear MP to fuel used outcome, what is the point? Its like building a formula one car and racing it on a dirt track.
Like I have said many many times. I am not a fanboy of either side. But playing Germany in *this* East Front game is by far the greater challenge and as such it appeals to me. I wish when playing Russian it was equally challenging but sadly it is not.
Lastly there are other loopholes in this game that I am aware of but have not commented on. I leave those for others to discover themselves. One point here though, I do not spend my time trying to find loopholes in systems, their discovery is merely a consequence of spending time trying to understand how the system works in order to maximise the efficency of the force at hand.
The problem we have is that we are looking at this from many different perspectives. Some guys want a virtual replay of the actual war. Others are more like myself. Many are somewhere else. I accept it for what it is. A game.
That’s all from me on this subject. Of course some people will disagree with my take on it. I expect that. But I am not going to be drawn in to arguing over it. People can play the game however they like. Just be upfront about what you expect at the start and all should be good :)
This post should be required reading.
MichaelT's analysis of the problems with the game are spot on.
The group-think of 2by3 and their beta test team is patently obvious in any reasoned reading of these message boards. It's tons of Soviet whining about anything that Germany can do which produces an advantage, and the justification of anything the Soviet can do by historical anecdote.
Spring 2017-Playing: Hell's Highway, Advanced Squad Leader,
Reading: Kampfgruppe Walther & Panzerbrigade 107 (Magnificent). Lots of Osprey stuff.
Rulebooks: ASL (always ASL)