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Next qualitative leap for WitE

 
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Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/18/2012 7:31:56 PM   
Guru

 

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(first of all sorry for my deficient English, I'm not a native speaker)

If I got it right, in the developers' opinion the current version seems to be more or less finalised.
I guess, however, evolution in the future is not excluded, and I was wondering what features of the present game appeared most likely to mutate

One of the issues that has been recurrently raised by the community and that ultimately affects the crucial aspect of play balance is the considerable margin for improvement in the conduct of war for the Soviets during the opening stage of the invasion - this makes it difficult indeed for a German player with a similar degree of competence to drive the Russians to the historical state of panic and near collapse.

In a thread that has received little attention, a contributor synthesized the problem pretty well

quote:

I think the problem with the strategic side of the game is that the German can squeeze 20% improvement (over historical distance covered and losses Germany suffers) out of the freedom enabled by the game in 1941, whereas the Soviet Side can squeeze about 50% improvement (speaking to losses, saved industry, and army/air force organizational efficiency improvements) out of the freedom in 1941.

Thus, to me, WitE hands Germany a net 30% disadvantage over history in 1941, and that will be leveraged into further disadvantage in subsequent years. It is a recipe for me for an unenjoyable game, and for now at least, I've started my last game. I won't play Soviet because it's still too easy. I won't play Germany again because it's just not worth the time investment for the frustrating impotence you are handcuffed with, forced to deal with watching the Soviet scurry eastward just fast enough that you can't do anything meaningful (like damage factories or capture manpower) about it.


I couldn't agree more, and this is where I believe there is an opportunity for a qualitative leap for WitE

Some may argue that this is the point of wargaming, and that straight-jacketting the options too tightly to match history ends up producing a mere re-enactment, not a game

However, although I am no "german fanboy" or anything like that, I believe the "margin of improvement" to be of a very different nature for Germans and Russians. If, for the Wehrmacht, the improvement lies in strategic and operational issues, ultimately a question of decisions, for the Red Army the improvement actually implies a radically different doctrine : in other words, if playing better, as the German, consists in making better strategic and operational decisions, which is not historically implausible, and therefore fits in a simulation model, playing better as the Russian consists in mastering the principle of elastic and in-depth defence from the very beginning of the campaign, which is, according to me, historically implausible to say the least.
Indeed, the Red Army was conceived as an offensive army. Its physiognomy was determined by its offensive doctrine, that had been honed since its birth
back in the early days of the Revolution, and had know significant theoretical developemnt in the early 30's. This offensive doctrine impregnated the training of every officer, from the General Staff downwards to the platoon commander.

So I believe that the offensive disposition of the Red Army, and therefore its incapacity to implement the sort of optimum strategy that WITE players favour, is a sort of in-built, inherent, characteristic. And in the same way WITE as a simulation respects the material characteristics of the equipment and all - Sturmgeschützen don't fly - for the sake of the simulation the Red Army should not be allowed to do something it was intrinsically incapable of doing: it took one full-year of experiencing disastrous counter-attacks, forced retreats and routs, and being bashed to bits before the Red Army started to integrate the principle and value of retreat as a deliberate element of its operational doctrine.
Now, all this could be splitting hairs, but I think this could provide us with a consistent reason to narrow this "margin of improvemnt" of the Red Army, that, obviously, hurts the game a little.
Indeed, I believe, and this is the only reason why I mention this, that if the German could inflict closer to reality 1941 casualties, probably by creating the large historical pockets such as are never seen in a game with a half-competent Russian player, the game would be a lot more tense, including , and maybe especially in 1942.
Now, how to constrain the strategic and operational freedom of the Red Army in game-terms?
Some have suggested fewer movemnt points (preferably a randomized reduction) and that isn't a bad idea, but it wouldn't invite to much counter-attacking anyway.
What I thought of is something like, randomly assigning (maybe modified by the pol rating of the leader) some sectors/HQ's/a mixture of both to the AI at the very beginning of the Russian turn (with the AI set on "aggressive mode"). This would account for the silly counter-attack and no-retreat orders, whose implementation, and ensuing failure, were a necessary step in the maturation of the Red Army. This would still create interesting dilemmas, such as abandoning the units that counter-attacked to their fate, or somehow try and protect them from being encircled, at the risk of suffering more. We could also include a "disobedience" sub-game, where the leader rolls his political rating in order to be freed from the obligation (failure would implie removal/execution). This, of course, could be applicable to the Germans later in the war (how else would precious leaders such as Guderian and Manstein be disposed of in a normal WITE game?)
Obviously, this "overtaking by the AI" would gradually diminish with time. But I think that allowing some premature wasting of Soviet offensive potential à la Kharkov offensive would also be beneficial to the game and to how long it can remain a tense and interesting challenge. Indeed, that fact that it seems more or less admitted (am I right?) that the best Soviet strategy is the general withdrawal without ever initiating combat, and then hoarding forces until in a position to launch an unstoppable juggernaut poses a real problem in terms of intensity and interactivity, and leads to justified comments and loss of interest such as the one I quoted
Anyway, that was just brainstorming, awaiting for the enlightened judgement of the Community...

Post #: 1
RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/18/2012 8:45:39 PM   
Klydon


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A "political" system rating would be an interesting option, but I think it would be an option, not part of the "standard" game.

To me, the short list is fix the logistics and also fix the air war. Both have severe issues and are at the root of a lot of the game play issues.

One of the things we don't know about is what effect will the overall project have on WitE in terms of the Axis side. Will they eventually gain the ability to build whatever support units they wish like the Russians? How about units in general? Will the withdraw requirements go away as well? The withdraw system is very simplified in WitE in that any unit that goes away will first be brought up to full strength and then go away. Units were often transferred from the East in a depleted state.

(in reply to Guru)
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RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/18/2012 8:49:58 PM   
entwood

 

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Yes, "Shock and Awe" and FOW rules are desperately needed.

This problem goes all the way back to the original SPI War-in-the-East board game, and still not yet solved. In-supply Germans are super-men, Soviet's do not attack, run away, too much omniscience on both sides. I also like trying to use Leaders more among other changes that can/should still be done as often noted by the community.

There should be a lot more "WTF" from players as the game proceeds as your best laid plans don't always come off.

Additionally, there could be Hitler and Stalin rules ; no pusillanimous retreats for example.

enlightened judgement of the game developers is needed. I try make it easy, I will pay for a "Field Marshal's" version upgrade with
some of these things included.

(in reply to Klydon)
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RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/18/2012 9:51:12 PM   
Schmart

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Guru
What I thought of is something like, randomly assigning (maybe modified by the pol rating of the leader) some sectors/HQ's/a mixture of both to the AI at the very beginning of the Russian turn (with the AI set on "aggressive mode"). This would account for the silly counter-attack and no-retreat orders, whose implementation, and ensuing failure, were a necessary step in the maturation of the Red Army. This would still create interesting dilemmas, such as abandoning the units that counter-attacked to their fate, or somehow try and protect them from being encircled, at the risk of suffering more. We could also include a "disobedience" sub-game, where the leader rolls his political rating in order to be freed from the obligation (failure would implie removal/execution). This, of course, could be applicable to the Germans later in the war (how else would precious leaders such as Guderian and Manstein be disposed of in a normal WITE game?)


I don't think this will work in any game. Historically, the Russians/Stalin evolved from meddling to professionalism through the war, whereas the Germans/Hitler went the other way (professionalism -> meddling). So, by 1944, the German player would have say 40% of his forces on this random partial AI control, and probably 80% by 1945. That doesn't sound like a whole lot to look forward to as a German player. Then again, it would be good motivation to try everything to end the war early!

(in reply to Guru)
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RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/19/2012 8:11:38 AM   
Guru

 

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quote:

I don't think this will work in any game. Historically, the Russians/Stalin evolved from meddling to professionalism through the war, whereas the Germans/Hitler went the other way (professionalism -> meddling). So, by 1944, the German player would have say 40% of his forces on this random partial AI control, and probably 80% by 1945.


It doesn't necessarily have to be that drastic - a small volume of troops forces to cling on to some keys locations would do a lot.
And then again, the troops does have to be hanaded to the AI entirely. They can just have "orders" (obligation to attack, obligation not to move away from the enemy front, whatever) that the player executes himself

(in reply to Schmart)
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RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/19/2012 9:10:42 AM   
olivier34

 

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I agree with you Guru. You have summarize my thoughts about this game and why I did stop playing it (after a year spent on it). My first pbem as the axis was very enjoyable because my opponent (a beginner like me) did not retreat as fast as I can see most of the soviets player do now.
I am currently playing the game "decisive campaign warsaw to Paris". To force the Allies to follow the Dyle plan there is a very clear system of points that you get by moving assets in require areas (Belgium...) and if you fail do to this, the morale of the Allied nations drop with all the consequences that you can expect.
Right now,if I start another pbem game, it will be with an opponent ready to follow a set of house rules so the game will be more exciting to play from the first turn until the end.

(in reply to Guru)
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RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/19/2012 12:29:24 PM   
Guru

 

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quote:

To force the Allies to follow the Dyle plan there is a very clear system of points that you get by moving assets in require areas (Belgium...) and if you fail do to this, the morale of the Allied nations drop with all the consequences that you can expect.


indeed, one of the many options to explore (and a fairly simple one) would be to impose penalties in morale and maybe admin points for the premature abandonment of the forward positions. But I still think a key element would be to somehow force the Soviets to counterattack - the Dyle plan was a forward DEFENCE prerequisite, but the early Red Army doctrine conceived defence in a strictly offensive way
True, the ordinary Soviet attacker losses/ German defender losses ratio is horrendous in the first turns (a little too horrendous IMO, losses of 300+ tanks and 5000+ men for a couple of German soldiers are not unheard of!!!) but one (possibly the sole) positive effect (from the Soviet point of view) of these bloodbaths was to delay the Germans a bit, which, due to the IGO/UGO system, is not reflected in WitE. It could be interesting to make counterattacks reduce the movement points available to the attacked unit(s) for their following turn

(in reply to olivier34)
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RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/19/2012 1:10:53 PM   
jaw

 

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If your criticism is true, how do you explain all the AARs that show the Axis outperforming history?

(in reply to Guru)
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RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/19/2012 1:35:12 PM   
janh

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Guru
One of the issues that has been recurrently raised by the community and that ultimately affects the crucial aspect of play balance is the considerable margin for improvement in the conduct of war for the Soviets during the opening stage of the invasion - this makes it difficult indeed for a German player with a similar degree of competence to drive the Russians to the historical state of panic and near collapse.

quote:

I think the problem with the strategic side of the game is that the German can squeeze 20% improvement (over historical distance covered and losses Germany suffers) out of the freedom enabled by the game in 1941, whereas the Soviet Side can squeeze about 50% improvement (speaking to losses, saved industry, and army/air force organizational efficiency improvements) out of the freedom in 1941.


Indeed, I believe, and this is the only reason why I mention this, that if the German could inflict closer to reality 1941 casualties, probably by creating the large historical pockets such as are never seen in a game with a half-competent Russian player, the game would be a lot more tense, including , and maybe especially in 1942. Now, how to constrain the strategic and operational freedom of the Red Army in game-terms?


I disagree with the degree with which hindsight can benefit each game side. Also the Germans have a huge potential to benefit from it, and I don't think anyone can easily make a quantitative assessment whether these advantages weigh heavier ultimately than the Soviet ones:

- "better intel", allowing to judge things better especially in the early months (contributes to ability to do a Lvov pocket so cheaply/easily in terms of casualties -- the latter alone is a huge advantage compared to history, saving many weeks plus many casualties, and inadvertently reducing the Soviet power to defend/fight forward a lot quicker than in history).
- not having any Hitler, which is a single huge factor worth a net of some 30 divisions that I would guess alone to have been lost to his fault. Then there is a lot more benefits from the fact that a player can concentrate on destroying the Red Army in 41 and 42, whereas in history he had additional constraints to follow such as taking only politically or "propagandistically" important cities.
- later, there are huge benefits to be gained by conducting a proper flexible defense yet not clinging to anything. That alone seems to be such an impactful benefit that as of so far, not too many Russian players in PBEM have made it to Berlin in time for a victory. The devs would know about the majority of the not-AARed PBEMs, and they would probably make further changes if too few would reach Berlin in time, so likely the overall balance due to each sides benefits would seem ok. But it certainly doesn't look like the simple exercise you make it sound for the Soviet, or which I in early days had falsely expected it to become due to the logistics model and disadvantage of defensive versus phasing moves.

If you want to ask why casualties are different, or why the heavy fighting in 41 is hardly present, it would be better to look for real reasons instead of adding artifical or arbitrary rules. Ask whether with some increased morale or unit quality, and without the outright loss of two fronts in one turn, they would have more fun counterattacking instead or residing to an optionless retreat? Ask whether it is not a motivation problem, but a problem of choice between getting more units pocketed without effect, or simply trying to avert a total disaster. Ask whether you want a bigger challenge and not always to succeed with taking Leningrad, or whether you want Moscow to become a bigger challenge? Ask what success a German player ought to commonly expect, where the balance should really be? For you? Ask why the benefit to build a Soviet army translates into so little advantage, as Pavel said earlier, that most armies build are smaller than a historical reinforcement scheme would provide?

Knowing forces much better, knowing leader skill or unit moral to the digit, knowing by hindsight what to go for, or what casualty ratio is long-term sustainable, adds to different behavior, that's just the way with games. Things people back then didn't know. But they had their head in a slope if they didn't show progress, or where beaten, or sacrificed their men. Players don't. Most AARs show that German casualties prior to blizzard are substantially smaller, whereas the Russian ones are occasionally smaller, or larger than in history. We know today that the war won't be won in a few months long rush before Christmas, but Hitler and part of OKW did. The latter believe surely is a reason why the Germans pushed harder and harder despite growing casualties as late summer wore on and autumn came. And their losses before blizzard were quite heavy, which in turn seems like a prerequisite for a Soviet blizzard offensive. If Axis players push less hard, naturally also Soviet casulties can be expected to be lower.

I certainly think it is not a clear cut judgement whether any side has inherently larger advantages in WitE.

(in reply to Guru)
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RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/19/2012 6:57:42 PM   
vicberg

 

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quote:

agree with you Guru. You have summarize my thoughts about this game and why I did stop playing it (after a year spent on it). My first pbem as the axis was very enjoyable because my opponent (a beginner like me) did not retreat as fast as I can see most of the soviets player do now.
I am currently playing the game "decisive campaign warsaw to Paris". To force the Allies to follow the Dyle plan there is a very clear system of points that you get by moving assets in require areas (Belgium...) and if you fail do to this, the morale of the Allied nations drop with all the consequences that you can expect.
Right now,if I start another pbem game, it will be with an opponent ready to follow a set of house rules so the game will be more exciting to play from the first turn until the end.


We can discuss historical vs. non-historical until blue in the face. I'm about to stop playing this game for the following reasons:

1) The game is weighted to the Soviets unless the German player aggressively mules, and then the game can swing, in the right hands, to the Germans. Either way the game is way out of balance.
2) The air model is absurd. Not enough control at all even with adjusting the dumb thresholds. The Germans should have a huge advantage in air in the beginning of the war, yet air is hardly ever felt or has a major impact. You should be able to unit bomb at any point in the turn, not just at the beginning. If a panzer can drive 100 miles and attack within a week long turn, air should be able to launch and fly within a day the exact same distance to a target spot. If "movement points" are available, the air units should be able to transfer bases, once again, not just at the beginning.
3) FOW is extreme right now. Recon shows the presence of a unit in a hex, sometimes. Moving next to the unit reveals the contents of the hex, sometimes. Combined with hasty attack CV wildly adjusting up or down or deliberate attacks, there's far too many 80 to 1 odds and then suddenly a 1-4 odds. Makes the game extremely difficult for the Germans. The Soviets do not have to contend with this nearly as much because by the time the Soviets are attacking, they usually have huge numbers of troops and start attriting the Germans with deliberates. The Soviets do not have to worry about damaging the German army or production nearly as much as the Germans do against the Soviets. So the entire combat model is weighted to the Soviets over the long term.
4) Hasty attacks should allow for multiple hexes to participate. No reason at all why it's limited to a single hex.
5) For the extreme FOW in this game, there must be a recon type of attack. One point use to figure out what's in the hex. There isn't and hasty is simply too much of a crap shoot to find out, especially only allowing one hex to attack.
6) The Blizzard is still far too extreme, unless the German player has been able to significantly damage the Soviets in 41, which against a good Soviet player isn't going to happen without muling.

All of this includes the silliness of Leningrad and Lvov pocket, etc. Without those, it would be game over even before 42. Many issues lead to a waste of time for a German player. I know I'm not the best player, but I've played enough to know what I'm doing and this game is completely out of whack. I'm seeing too many game end in the same results facing huge numbers in of reds in 42. So after I finish my current PBEMs, which won't last long, I'm putting this game into the delete bucket. I've warned the Soviet fanboys that in short time, the will be playing against the AI, or against Pelton and Michaelt and muling.


< Message edited by vicberg -- 4/19/2012 7:12:27 PM >

(in reply to olivier34)
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RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/19/2012 7:41:35 PM   
vicberg

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: jaw

If your criticism is true, how do you explain all the AARs that show the Axis outperforming history?


Who are all these players? Michaelt and Pelton both mule, which in their hands swings the game to the German side, but many consider to be gamey.

SJ80? Glav admittedly didn't want to retreat. Hat's off to him as it makes for a more exciting game, but he paid the price in the form of 3 major encirclements. BTW, SJ80 does a great job concentrating his forces, hats off there. But the Soviets can't afford 3 major encirclements after the first turn. If Glav had done an orderly retreat, those could have been avoided.

Many German players probably don't post on AARs because it can be very embarassing. I've played against two good Soviets. I don't mule. I faced an 8 million man army in 42 and am facing a 6 million man army in 41 and getting nailed by the silly 1 to 1 becomes a 2 to 1 rule during blizzard. Both guys did orderly retreats. One did a carpet and one did checkerboard, until he had more than enough troops to solidy the lines.

Either way, without muling, and against a Soviet player willing to retreat, the games heavily stacked against the Germans.

< Message edited by vicberg -- 4/19/2012 7:47:10 PM >

(in reply to jaw)
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RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/19/2012 8:10:45 PM   
Aurelian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: vicberg

quote:

ORIGINAL: jaw

If your criticism is true, how do you explain all the AARs that show the Axis outperforming history?


Who are all these players? Michaelt and Pelton both mule, which in their hands swings the game to the German side, but many consider to be gamey.

SJ80? Glav admittedly didn't want to retreat. Hat's off to him as it makes for a more exciting game, but he paid the price in the form of 3 major encirclements. BTW, SJ80 does a great job concentrating his forces, hats off there. But the Soviets can't afford 3 major encirclements after the first turn. If Glav had done an orderly retreat, those could have been avoided.

Many German players probably don't post on AARs because it can be very embarassing. I've played against two good Soviets. I don't mule. I faced an 8 million man army in 42 and am facing a 6 million man army in 41 and getting nailed by the silly 1 to 1 becomes a 2 to 1 rule during blizzard. Both guys did orderly retreats. One did a carpet and one did checkerboard, until he had more than enough troops to solidy the lines.

Either way, without muling, and against a Soviet player willing to retreat, the games heavily stacked against the Germans.


He said outperforming history. Which is anything but a loss for the Axis. For example: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2792361

Tarhunnas did outperform history. He didn't lose.

(in reply to vicberg)
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RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/19/2012 8:23:11 PM   
vicberg

 

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I just went through the AAR. Thanks for the link.

It all comes down to 41 and what the Soviets allow you to do. Tarhunnas was able to achieve numerous encirclements which has a snowball affect. Encirclements prevent strong soviet defenses allowing the Germans more ability to damage production or further encircle as well as limiting the Soviet counter offensive in the blizzard.

Good soviet players now won't allow that. They will put up pickets, checkerboards or carpets and do orderly retreats, especially during the critical turns of 4-10 when most of the panzer groups are running on fumes and the soviet defenses haven't solidified. The soviet player will pull the factories out of Leningrad and the south and do a checkboard (or carpet) in the south using the logistical dead zone east of the Denpr as their major defense. By the time the campaign season has ended, soviet losses might be around 2.5 to 3 million, not nearly enough to prevent a strong counter offensive in the blizzard, using the 1-1 becomes 2-1 rule. The counter offensive and blizzard in general leaves the Germans seriously weakened, while the Soviets have increased greatly because of the lack of damage to either the red army or their production.

If the Soviet players allow it, a good German 41 will enable the game to go to 45. Using mules helps that greatly, but is somewhat gamey. So if you don't mule and the Soviet doesn't fight forward and allow for encirclements, it's game over for the Germans by 42 or 43 at best.

< Message edited by vicberg -- 4/19/2012 8:34:50 PM >

(in reply to Aurelian)
Post #: 13
RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/20/2012 12:33:58 AM   
AFV


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I gotta agree to a degree with vicberg on several of his points on this- at least 1) and 2).

To add to that, to me, bottom line, its *funner* to play the Soviet side. You get to do more things with your Army. Because of that, I kinda prefer playing that side. I bet a lot of people feel that way. If everyone prefers to play one side (not saying that is the case here, but hypothetically), then the game becomes stale because people are only playing against the AI, because people dont want to play the other side.

I dont think thats what Flaviusx, Aurelian, et al want- but we have to admit, Wite could be gravitating that way (for various reasons).

Also, I do not believe pointing out one example in an AAR is really too definitive. Even if we examined every single AAR, which would be much better than just one, its still a small, biased sample.

(in reply to vicberg)
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RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/20/2012 12:42:41 AM   
Tophat1812

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: AFV

I gotta agree to a degree with vicberg on several of his points on this- at least 1) and 2).

To add to that, to me, bottom line, its *funner* to play the Soviet side. You get to do more things with your Army. Because of that, I kinda prefer playing that side. I bet a lot of people feel that way. If everyone prefers to play one side (not saying that is the case here, but hypothetically), then the game becomes stale because people are only playing against the AI, because people dont want to play the other side.

I dont think thats what Flaviusx, Aurelian, et al want- but we have to admit, Wite could be gravitating that way (for various reasons).

Also, I do not believe pointing out one example in an AAR is really too definitive. Even if we examined every single AAR, which would be much better than just one, its still a small, biased sample.


What in the world is fun about playing the soviet side with crazy Lvov pocket and Hq muling laid out in an almost idiots guide to screw the soviets in 41'? What?

(in reply to AFV)
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RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/20/2012 12:45:50 AM   
AFV


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tophat1812


What in the world is fun about playing the soviet side with crazy Lvov pocket and Hq muling laid out in an almost idiots guide to screw the soviets in 41'? What?


I take it that you only play the Axis side then?

(in reply to Tophat1812)
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RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/20/2012 12:56:39 AM   
Tophat1812

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: AFV


quote:

ORIGINAL: Tophat1812


What in the world is fun about playing the soviet side with crazy Lvov pocket and Hq muling laid out in an almost idiots guide to screw the soviets in 41'? What?


I take it that you only play the Axis side then?


You know the old saying: Never assume. I play both sides,started out favoring the axis more but have cometo appreciate the soviets. I don't like gamey tactics of any kind or exploits. While I enjoy a good reasoned argument I also have a BS meter. And no,this is not trying to pick a fight or flame and go crazy,it just is what it is. At this point if something is not done that Lovov exploit combined with Hq muling being used so unbalances the game it destroys the enjoyment for me.

(in reply to AFV)
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RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/20/2012 2:06:59 AM   
AFV


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I did not assume you played the Axis, I asked if you did. If there is nothing you enjoy about playing the Soviet, it does stand to reason you would favor playing the Axis.
However, since you "have come to appreciate the Soviets" there must be something about them you enjoy.

In response to the rest of your comment, I agree that the Llov pocket and HQ muling is a problem, and I think without both of those things this is a better, more enjoyable game. However the game has been balanced with those aspects, so taking them away or changing them will greatly imbalance the game.

If my original comments set off your BS meter, then too bad. I stand by what I said, its my opinion- although for the most part we agree so i am a bit puzzled.

(in reply to Tophat1812)
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RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/20/2012 2:59:39 AM   
vicberg

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tophat1812

What in the world is fun about playing the soviet side with crazy Lvov pocket and Hq muling laid out in an almost idiots guide to screw the soviets in 41'? What?


Because the Soviets will recover if they don't make a mistake and be domininant by 42. Remember, Germans had enough juice in 42 to fight all the way to Stalingrad, far east side of the map. Can't happen in this game if the soviets don't make futher mistakes in 41. Not even close.

Tophat, Soviets players run away because of Lvov pocket. A fine and effective strategy. It's scary to think about what would happen to the Germans without Lvov, barring other changes to the game.

FYI, mules not only are unrealistic they swing the game in the favor of Germans in the right hands. I've been clear in all my frustrated posts today that I don't mule. Without muling and INCLUDING the Lvov pocket, it's extremely tough for the Germans. So much so, that game is frustration.

< Message edited by vicberg -- 4/20/2012 3:05:11 AM >

(in reply to Tophat1812)
Post #: 19
RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/20/2012 3:04:34 AM   
Tophat1812

 

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What? How in the world if we are diametrically opposed on Hq muling and the lvov exploit can we for the most part be in agreement? The game is anything but balanced with those two items in the mix. The lvov nonsense causes the soviet southern front to disintegrate and forces the runaway scenario many axis players complain about.

And yes i have enjoyed playing the soviets.

I've played the game since its release and poured over the aars from beta to the present. I'm disturbed at the level of partisan bickering that seems to now be habit for more and more players. I'm not trying to single you out or start an argument and i regret my use of the bs meter comment as a sign of my frustration with what I perhaps blindly consider a very good game. Without some house rules or really knowing my opponent wouldn't go gamey on me there is no way I'd invest the time and effort to play this game multi-player now and that really bothers me. My apologies for the rant.

(in reply to AFV)
Post #: 20
RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/20/2012 3:07:47 AM   
Tophat1812

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: vicberg

quote:

ORIGINAL: Tophat1812

What in the world is fun about playing the soviet side with crazy Lvov pocket and Hq muling laid out in an almost idiots guide to screw the soviets in 41'? What?


Because the Soviets will recover if they don't make a mistake and be domininant by 42. Remember, Germans had enough juice in 42 to fight all the way to Stalingrad, far east side of the map. Can't happen in this game if the soviets don't make futher mistakes in 41. Not even close.

Tophat, Soviets players run away because of Lvov pocket. A fine and effective strategy. It's scary to think about what would happen to the Germans without Lvov, barring other changes to the game.

FYI, mules not only are unrealistic they swing the game in the favor of Germans in the right hands. I've been clear in all my frustrated posts today that I don't mule. Without muling and INCLUDING the Lvov pocket, it's extremely tough for the Germans. So much so, that game is frustration.


Indeed. I fairly agree with a number of Michael T's gripes and observations myself. And yes my frustrations have taken me from feeling this was an excellent game down to a good one.

(in reply to vicberg)
Post #: 21
RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/20/2012 3:36:08 AM   
vicberg

 

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Yes, the Soviet are funner. Why?

1) You can create SUs and tailer your armies.
2) You can create guard units and shock armies
3) They seems to have many more additional AP points to play with and more flexibility
4) You can make a few mistakes and still win

Germans have to play perfect and with FOW being so extreme, as well as hasty attack limitations, no recon or probe attack ability, unit bombing on begining of turn only, Soviet production incredibly strong if you don't smash it somehow, the game is SO out of balance it is to be believed.

Using mules is the balancing mechanism, though I'm tempted to find out in detail what BigA does, to make this game playable. Right now, I don't think it is, unless you find a Soviet opponent who gives the German player chances in 41.

Not going to buy WITW. If they can't get this game right, not going to waste more money. Besides, Gary's games are too extreme in general and take years to correct (see WITPAE). Don't feel like waiting around.

< Message edited by vicberg -- 4/20/2012 3:46:00 AM >

(in reply to Tophat1812)
Post #: 22
RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/20/2012 3:43:47 AM   
vicberg

 

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No worries guys.

This game isn't going to change. I'm not sure I'm going to buy another matrix game, not at least until it's been out a long time and there's LOTS of forum posts about it. They can't seem to create a balanced game, at least coming from Gary, sorry Gary, you are a brilliant designer, but your desire for variance is too extreme and I have no idea why you create games that one side can't win. Why bother?

So, I'll move on.


(in reply to vicberg)
Post #: 23
RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/20/2012 3:59:25 AM   
Klydon


Posts: 2156
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tophat1812

What? How in the world if we are diametrically opposed on Hq muling and the lvov exploit can we for the most part be in agreement? The game is anything but balanced with those two items in the mix. The lvov nonsense causes the soviet southern front to disintegrate and forces the runaway scenario many axis players complain about.

And yes i have enjoyed playing the soviets.

I've played the game since its release and poured over the aars from beta to the present. I'm disturbed at the level of partisan bickering that seems to now be habit for more and more players. I'm not trying to single you out or start an argument and i regret my use of the bs meter comment as a sign of my frustration with what I perhaps blindly consider a very good game. Without some house rules or really knowing my opponent wouldn't go gamey on me there is no way I'd invest the time and effort to play this game multi-player now and that really bothers me. My apologies for the rant.


Speaking of the BS meter going off, here we go.

Make all the case you want for muling and far more of the community will agree with you. It is "gamey" and deserves to be looked at with a remedy because it further circumvents an already too generous logistics system. I am confident that at some point in the future, this will be addressed and fixed.

The Lvov opening on the other hand is another matter. Make a logical and reasonable argument on why it should not be possible. It seems you (and others who want to remove the Lvov option) have absolutely no issue at all with what happens in the AGC area where the Germans not only make a deeper thrust, but it is through terrain that is not as open as what is available in the south.

That in a nutshell is the crux of the issue. How do you justify a nerf on the Lvov opening while allowing the drive on Minsk just on the grounds that it was "historical".

I would like to think the Lvov operation won't be nerfed, but who knows. Personally, I think it would be a mistake. Players deciding to play "house rules" not to do it is fine with me as well, depending on what other house rules may be involved as well.

(in reply to Tophat1812)
Post #: 24
RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/20/2012 3:59:52 AM   
entwood

 

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You won't get the Dev's to admit to any fundamental imbalances. An imbalance is ok in my book. The Axis have to win fast or not win at all. Once into 1942, there is the United States to deal with, starting to lose the U-boat war, Italy faltering, German economy, more and more garrison requirements in occupied areas, bombing of Germany, and all the other outside influences.


If I had a 10% chance to win as the Axis that would still be fun for me. If there is a glimmer of hope, it is just to to fix or overcome as much of the remaining gamey, funky, unrealistic, and other problems and issues that even the most notable players like Pelton and MichealT are not shy about stating.



< Message edited by entwood -- 4/20/2012 4:12:12 AM >

(in reply to vicberg)
Post #: 25
RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/20/2012 4:02:05 AM   
vicberg

 

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Yes, they mule. It's the balancing mechansim to this otherwise imbalanced game.

(in reply to entwood)
Post #: 26
RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/20/2012 4:04:26 AM   
Klydon


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quote:

ORIGINAL: vicberg

No worries guys.

This game isn't going to change. I'm not sure I'm going to buy another matrix game, not at least until it's been out a long time and there's LOTS of forum posts about it. They can't seem to create a balanced game, at least coming from Gary, sorry Gary, you are a brilliant designer, but your desire for variance is too extreme and I have no idea why you create games that one side can't win. Why bother?

So, I'll move on.



Your option on all of this of course although I would disagree about about one side being unable to win in this game, depending on your definition of "winning". An outright German win should be fairly rare. A German marginal victory as defined by the rules does not appear to be that tough right now between two fairly equal players from what I have seen.

I can't really think of any Pacific WW2 game (computer or board) that doesn't use some sort of victory point total to define victory, because the Japanese "winning" the war isn't going to happen under almost any circumstance.

(in reply to vicberg)
Post #: 27
RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/20/2012 4:13:05 AM   
vicberg

 

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No Klydon, I don't believe that "not losing" can happen if you dont' do enough damage in 41. Period.

Game will be over by 43 at best. The games that have lasted to 44 or 45 are the result of Soviet mistakes (or German mules) that have allowed the Germans to survive. The snowball affect in 41, for the Germans, either damaging production or encircling units, allows the game to continue. Otherwise, the game is heavily pro-soviet.

Soviet players are getting wise to the game and preventing a 41 that allows the game to continue, even with Lvov pocket or Leningrad being absurdly easy to take.

< Message edited by vicberg -- 4/20/2012 4:18:29 AM >

(in reply to Klydon)
Post #: 28
RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/20/2012 4:27:57 AM   
Klydon


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It is not just 41 on the offensive for the Germans, but what happens over the winter and into the spring/early summer of 42. I have seen several AARs where the Germans make some serious hay in the spring/summer of 42. It also depends on how much territory the Russians have lost. A lot of games are featuring at least the loss of Leningrad and Moscow probably falls more often than not if the Germans make it somewhat of a priority. If the Germans have done well in the south too, the Russians find themselves short on manpower, perhaps a bit low on armaments and a long way to go to Berlin against a stronger than historical Axis army.

I don't have a feel for how common the mule stuff is. I know some Germans used it all the time. I never have.

Most Russians have run for the hills for a long, long time so that is nothing new. They don't really have a choice to a point and are not penalized by it very harshly in game terms. Same deal for the Germans in the winter. There is simply no penalty for pulling back, so the Russians find it extremely difficult to inflict any meaningful damage on the Axis armies during the winter. The fear of a spring offensive will often cause a Russian offensive to come to a premature halt.

(in reply to vicberg)
Post #: 29
RE: Next qualitative leap for WitE - 4/20/2012 4:39:24 AM   
vicberg

 

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Well, there is a penalty for the Germans running. They get out of their forts, lose troops and the all important morale. They are depleted by 42.

Your are pointing out exactly the issue. The Germans making hay in 41. Against a good opponent isn't going to happen. FOW, hasty attacks, no probe attacks, silly recon, etc. prevents a decent German offensive without mules from turns 4 on until the railheads catch up, which is usually too late as the Soviets have formed their defenses behind good fortifications.

I keep saying mules, because it really is the balancing mechanism. I haven't found another solution. BigA has another solution, but I really need to see his movements from first turn. If Soviets make mistakes, then Klydon, you are right. The game can last until 45. If the Soviets don't make mistakes, then no chance for Germans. That's my point. The game isn't balanced.

Quite frankly, if the German goals are Leningrad, Smolensk, Kiev and the west of Denpr, WTF, that should be ok to continue a fight into 42, but it isn't. That's the problem. The Soviet production is way overpowered, forcing the Germans to capture production or encircle units in 41 or die.

Sorry, but my experience against and playing Russians in the winter is different. They can attack and should. The 1-1 becoming 2-1 rule is enough.



< Message edited by vicberg -- 4/20/2012 4:41:36 AM >

(in reply to Klydon)
Post #: 30
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