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Where are my Mules? (Muling)

 
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Where are my Mules? (Muling) - 4/23/2012 12:17:05 AM   
jazman

 

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I keep hearing talk of mules, and muling. I can't find any reference in the rules to mules.

(Subject edited for ease of search).

< Message edited by jazman -- 4/23/2012 4:36:34 AM >


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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/23/2012 12:22:08 AM   
kg_1007

 

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I second this, I have no idea what this is, and am hearing so much about it, I am also curious.

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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/23/2012 12:27:40 AM   
comsolut

 

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Check the mountain divisions.

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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/23/2012 12:38:09 AM   
jazman

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: comsolut

Check the mountain divisions.


I see a picture of a mule--how do we know it's not a donkey?--but no mules in the TOE.

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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/23/2012 1:19:14 AM   
glvaca

 

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Muling is a term used to describe the use of empty HQ's (no units attached) which are kept within 20MP's of a RR and are then used to do a HQ builup. This cost only 4AP as no units are attached.
The HQ is then rushed to the front filled with supplies and fuel and combat units are then attached, receiving the supplies and fuel in the logistics phase. If done consistently, you will retain high movement points and thus mobility allowing for a greater uptempo of the game.

At least that's my understanding as I've never done it myself.

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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/23/2012 1:41:57 AM   
AFV


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It is frowned upon, and was not (to my understanding) something the devs had in mind for HQ buildups. But they have not patched it out of the game either.

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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/23/2012 2:25:24 AM   
Aurelian

 

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Shame the Russians have a hard time doing it. Could make use of the six empty HQs I have at the moment.

It's frowned upon. But done by some anyway.

All I can say is either A: Don't play against those who use it, Or B: Don't agree to any house rules that put limits on how you use your units. And only your units.

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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/23/2012 3:02:36 AM   
Baron von Beer

 

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Somewhere in there is Rundstedt. And a Kubelwagen.



< Message edited by Baron von Beer -- 4/23/2012 3:03:47 AM >

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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/23/2012 4:35:59 AM   
AFV


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Aurelian- not sure what value your post adds or what your trying to say.

Why is a shame the Russian has a hard time doing it? Seems to me the Russian does not have a hard time doing it, its just not beneficial when you're on defense.
And your conditions (A or B) indicate you are ok if the German side uses it, as long as there are not limits on how you use your units (B)? Does this mean you believe you can negate the benefits of muling with para drops, or is there something else you are getting at?

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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/23/2012 6:35:30 AM   
Aurelian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: AFV

Aurelian- not sure what value your post adds or what your trying to say.

Why is a shame the Russian has a hard time doing it? Seems to me the Russian does not have a hard time doing it, its just not beneficial when you're on defense.
And your conditions (A or B) indicate you are ok if the German side uses it, as long as there are not limits on how you use your units (B)? Does this mean you believe you can negate the benefits of muling with para drops, or is there something else you are getting at?



The Russian don't have the trucks to spare to do HQ buildups.

The conditions are self explainatory.

For example, from a seeking Soviet opponent thread:

House Rules:
1. No Para drops beyond 10 hexes from the front line. No Soviet Para drops before the first blizzard.

*Warning* I use HQ Buildup in its various forms.

Don't see any rules that limit the Axis on anything.

So, why would I agree to that? Especially as we know just how well some can exploit HQ buildups/muling. Why limit Soviet players but not Axis?

Want to exploit the supply system as an Axis player? Go ahead. But if you do that, I'll drop paratroopers at the limit of the transport's range and screw with your rail lines.

< Message edited by Aurelian -- 4/23/2012 6:36:37 AM >

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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/23/2012 9:28:00 AM   
AFV


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So, per your B condition, you are ok if your opponent mules as long as you can drop paratroopers? I dont think you can negate the effects of muling even with para drops.
Personally, I dont think muling should be used at all.

btw, I have no idea why you would agree to that, I am not in your head. Of course the thread was not about limiting the Soviets and not the Axis, he was just asking what muling is.

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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/23/2012 12:03:39 PM   
elmo3

 

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Muling was not intended to be part of HQ buildup. The devs and testers continue to discuss what to do about it.

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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/24/2012 2:33:59 AM   
vicberg

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Aurelian

Shame the Russians have a hard time doing it. Could make use of the six empty HQs I have at the moment.

It's frowned upon. But done by some anyway.

All I can say is either A: Don't play against those who use it, Or B: Don't agree to any house rules that put limits on how you use your units. And only your units.


According to Michaelt, Russians can mule, and he uses them. Probably part of the reason he's never lost as either side.

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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/24/2012 2:43:10 AM   
AFV


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Quit looking at things from both sides vicberg. This forum is no place for logic and reasoning.

Elmo: I am glad the devs are looking at it.

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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/24/2012 2:49:34 AM   
vicberg

 

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ROFL, ok...mules suck, Germans should suck, I'm on board.

< Message edited by vicberg -- 4/24/2012 2:50:40 AM >

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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/24/2012 2:59:20 AM   
map66

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: AFV

Elmo: I am glad the devs are looking at it.



As am I. I would say I'm surprised that such a blatant and cheesy exploit is still in the game, but then every time I try and think of some way that it could be prevented by qualifying rules within the current HQ buildup system without completely destroying the HQ buildup system as it was intended, I come up blank. And the game does need some form of HQ buildup given the other limitations of the supply system, so maybe this gamey loophole is here to stay.

It's probably something that is just necessary to have a gentleman's house rule against in PBEM games. I just don't see any other real way to eliminate the exploit without throwing the baby out with the bath water...




< Message edited by map66 -- 4/24/2012 3:02:06 AM >

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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/24/2012 3:40:15 AM   
Ingrid37

 

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I have no idea what this is, and am hearing so much about it, I am also curious.

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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/24/2012 5:23:13 AM   
Michael T


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Like all inventions 'muling' was born from necessity. Originally HQ BU had no limit in range from railheads. The devs then reduced this range to 20MP from a railhead. Smart Russian players then realized they could simply stay just out of range of the German Panzers (since they could only pursue to a limited range now) and avoid the large loss of units due to encirclement.

Some German players then realized that they could HQ BU corps that had no units attached. This HQ, laden with extra supplies could then be moved up to the distant line next turn and refuel the Panzers (that were attached to it when it reached the front). Thus the term muling was born. The technique helped nullify the Soviet runaway ploy.

Contrary to what you might have read that is written by the uniformed it only mimics the moving forward of supply dumps. The debate is over the distance that these dumps should be allowed to move and their capacity.

The facts are that it is a difficult technique to master. It is limited by AP's (its costs many AP's as you are constantly changing units from one HQ to another). The supplies can only be moved once, as the extra trucks required will return to the pool after one turn. The technique on its own is not enough, it must be used with other fuel saving measures as well.
Mostly all the rhetoric you hear is from Soviet fanboys. More reasonable minds assert that without muling Germany cannot hope to win the game whether you think the technique is gamey or not.

There is nothing wrong with moving supplies from a railhead forward to dumps that can be drawn from. After all this is a logistical reality. The argument is about range and quantity. And to a degree what HQ's represent in the game. I agree that it is not entirely realistic in its current form. But it balanced out other Soviet unrealistic advantages.

The game has a fundamental problem in that the Soviet player is not forced to fight a forward defence as his counter part was historically. So there is nothing to stop him from simply avoiding the German army until late in the summer of 1941, where upon he will have amassed a huge and overwhelming army. By using carpets and checker boards (possible since no over run or realistic zoc's rules exist) and this huge army the game is essentially over. Muling negates this problem as the Soviet cannot out run it.

If the game had a mechanism that forced the Soviet to fight forward (like many other games have), a decent set of zoc rules (like other games) and a over run rule (like other games) then muling would not be necessary.

If the designers remove muling without doing something that prevents the Soviet run away then the game is dead in so much as it modelling a 1941 campaign, unless your Soviet opponent agrees to fight forward.

Pick any popular major title on the same subject and it will have some mechanic that prevents the Soviets simply running away. Either victory penalties, replacement/reinforcement penalties, C&C penalties etc. With a little effort and intelligence a mechanism could be developed. But the devs to date have not acted and probably won't.

Without muling, between two equally skilled players Germany has no chance of winning the *game* within the current rule set.

That of course will be refuted by some. But there are not many German fan boys left around here now. Most gave up. This forum has become a Soviet back slapping centre of excellence. For the record I like playing both sides as long as the game is reasonably balanced. I have taken up the German cause in this issue because I know its important for German players to feel that they have a chance at winning the game. Otherwise people will simply stop playing it. And that will be bad for the hobby and any future games of this genre.


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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/24/2012 6:53:15 AM   
AFV


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While I disagree on the use of muling, I do agree with your other premises.

There is no reason for the Soviet not to simply run- but there could be
1) Manpower loss- does not matter much- but devs could make it matter
2) Armament loss - super RR capability combined with HI not needing to be moved, so this does not matter
3) Victory points - simplistic VP conditions so this too does not matter but it could if there were VP that could be gained or lost by holding certain cities by a certain date
4) Moral - seems like this could be linked to territory- give up too much, your moral drops, keep more than average, it goes up. But instead moral is on a strict time line with nothing to do with what happens in the game. 

Sadly, I have to agree, two evenly matched foes- its a slam dunk as Russian. Just dont fight forward. Easy formula- run like hell, evac arms, factories you need, wait for mud, then regroup and its all downhill for German. By the time clear weather comes again, there should be no chance for breakthroughs, Soviet will lose hexes but the German will grind his army to a nub- and really for no reason as industry is gone and manpower does not have much of an impact.

Michael- you and Pelton are part of the problem (no offense intended, read on). The Soviet fanboys point to your AARs and say "see, the Germans are too powerful as it is". Unfortunately, the other 99% of the games played are not visible, and thusly ignored- which follow the formula above, and end in 42 when the German can muster only gaining a few hexes across the entire front each turn.


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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/24/2012 10:25:28 AM   
timmyab

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: AFV

While I disagree on the use of muling, I do agree with your other premises.

There is no reason for the Soviet not to simply run- but there could be
1) Manpower loss- does not matter much- but devs could make it matter
2) Armament loss - super RR capability combined with HI not needing to be moved, so this does not matter
3) Victory points - simplistic VP conditions so this too does not matter but it could if there were VP that could be gained or lost by holding certain cities by a certain date
4) Moral - seems like this could be linked to territory- give up too much, your moral drops, keep more than average, it goes up. But instead moral is on a strict time line with nothing to do with what happens in the game. 


Yes, I agree with all that.
I'd also add that the rail system is too powerful as it stands.There needs to be a limit on what individual rail lines can carry per turn.
As an added bonus, the high capacity main lines would tend to run through cities which would give another powerful reason for capturing those cities.
If this limitation of rail cap could be applied to supplies as well then we would really be getting somewhere.

All of these things combined with a simulation of the breakdown in the Soviet command structure in 41 would make the game much more interesting and realistic.Muling and possibly even HQ buildup itself could then be done away with.

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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/24/2012 11:50:43 AM   
Tarhunnas


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quote:

ORIGINAL: timmyab


quote:

ORIGINAL: AFV

While I disagree on the use of muling, I do agree with your other premises.

There is no reason for the Soviet not to simply run- but there could be
1) Manpower loss- does not matter much- but devs could make it matter
2) Armament loss - super RR capability combined with HI not needing to be moved, so this does not matter
3) Victory points - simplistic VP conditions so this too does not matter but it could if there were VP that could be gained or lost by holding certain cities by a certain date
4) Moral - seems like this could be linked to territory- give up too much, your moral drops, keep more than average, it goes up. But instead moral is on a strict time line with nothing to do with what happens in the game. 


Yes, I agree with all that.
I'd also add that the rail system is too powerful as it stands.There needs to be a limit on what individual rail lines can carry per turn.
As an added bonus, the high capacity main lines would tend to run through cities which would give another powerful reason for capturing those cities.
If this limitation of rail cap could be applied to supplies as well then we would really be getting somewhere.

All of these things combined with a simulation of the breakdown in the Soviet command structure in 41 would make the game much more interesting and realistic.Muling and possibly even HQ buildup itself could then be done away with.



All very good points and I agree. One thing though. Morale something of a misnomer, it is not morale per se, but rather proficiency, so I think that is good as it is.

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41Ger
41Sov
41Ger
42Ger
42Sov

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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/24/2012 12:12:23 PM   
Meteor2

 

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Good posts, indeed !
It is my deep concern, that fundamental problems are not being considered any more by the devs and that
we have reached nearly the final game status. Is that the reason, why the community is not so involved any more ?

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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/24/2012 12:21:34 PM   
Panzeh

 

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The problem with the Soviets in 1941 is that there's no chance of accomplishing anything with a forward defense. Historically this posture did some damage to the German army, but in game there's absolutely nothing you can do to stop German attacks or even cause casualties in 1941 so there's no point fighting. That's kind of the general trend for this game. Each side is an unstoppable force for its alloted part of the game, which makes it kind of boring.

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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/24/2012 1:01:25 PM   
Tarhunnas


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The forward defense probably did more damage to the Soviet army than the German, but the point is that there is no incentive to fight forward in the game. With more dynamic victory conditions, there might have been.

It is often the victory conditions that make a game interesting and playable, even an unbalanced situation can be made interesting to play with well thought out and balanced victory conditions. The tragedy with WITE is that the game itself is good, but somehow uneven, with some areas immensely complex and almost overdone (the air war), and others underdeveloped, for example the victory conditions in the GCs (supply is another one).


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Read my AAR:s ye mighty, and despair!
41Ger
41Sov
41Ger
42Ger
42Sov

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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/24/2012 1:07:02 PM   
Panzeh

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas

The forward defense probably did more damage to the Soviet army than the German, but the point is that there is no incentive to fight forward in the game. With more dynamic victory conditions, there might have been.

It is often the victory conditions that make a game interesting and playable, even an unbalanced situation can be made interesting to play with well thought out and balanced victory conditions. The tragedy with WITE is that the game itself is good, but somehow uneven, with some areas immensely complex and almost overdone (the air war), and others underdeveloped, for example the victory conditions in the GCs (supply is another one).



It's true that 1941 was utterly disastrous for the Red Army, but they did some damage to the Germans, which was kind of critical, and the "blizzard" had a lot more to do with the Germans needing to rest and refit after the campaign than the weather conditions. Unfortunately, this game just kind of scripts it out since 1941 is busted and thusly, 1942 is busted, too.

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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/24/2012 1:27:02 PM   
elmo3

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Meteor2

Good posts, indeed !
It is my deep concern, that fundamental problems are not being considered any more by the devs and that
we have reached nearly the final game status....


Depends on what you mean by fundamental problems. Rewrites of major systems like logistics or the air war are not going to happen and the devs have been very up front about that. Where the devs agree there is a problem with the game not working as they intend, and there is a simple fix, then that problem will get addressed. The need to keep fixes simple is partly to insure that more problems do not get introduced with the fix. The last thing they want is one step forward, two steps backward at this point. The other reason to keep fixes simple is limited programming time and the need to move forward with other games. Of course bugs will continue to get fixed as they are discovered and can be reproduced with a save file.

_____________________________

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RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/24/2012 2:47:36 PM   
marty_01

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: AFV

While I disagree on the use of muling, I do agree with your other premises.

There is no reason for the Soviet not to simply run- but there could be
1) Manpower loss- does not matter much- but devs could make it matter
2) Armament loss - super RR capability combined with HI not needing to be moved, so this does not matter
3) Victory points - simplistic VP conditions so this too does not matter but it could if there were VP that could be gained or lost by holding certain cities by a certain date
4) Moral - seems like this could be linked to territory- give up too much, your moral drops, keep more than average, it goes up. But instead moral is on a strict time line with nothing to do with what happens in the game. 

Sadly, I have to agree, two evenly matched foes- its a slam dunk as Russian. Just dont fight forward. Easy formula- run like hell, evac arms, factories you need, wait for mud, then regroup and its all downhill for German. By the time clear weather comes again, there should be no chance for breakthroughs, Soviet will lose hexes but the German will grind his army to a nub- and really for no reason as industry is gone and manpower does not have much of an impact.

Michael- you and Pelton are part of the problem (no offense intended, read on). The Soviet fanboys point to your AARs and say "see, the Germans are too powerful as it is". Unfortunately, the other 99% of the games played are not visible, and thusly ignored- which follow the formula above, and end in 42 when the German can muster only gaining a few hexes across the entire front each turn.


Good summation of the issues at hand.

(in reply to AFV)
Post #: 27
RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/24/2012 3:22:28 PM   
Walloc

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: elmo3

Muling was not intended to be part of HQ buildup. The devs and testers continue to discuss what to do about it.


Well, removing them shouldnt be to hard. Not that im a programmer but since provisions are in game/code for 2 out of following 3 steps i cant imagien its alot of code rework.

1. Make HQBU so that as of now where they add supply fuel to divs within 5(corps HQ range or what ever the command range happens to be) and sets them at 0 movement.
Remove the fuel, supply build up at the HQ it self in HQBUs.

2. Remove the fact that the HQ cant draw supply the following turn to off set the fact that the HQ doesnt build up supply.
Else u would be penalized too, thats not the intend.

3. Either make changing HQ costs 1 MP that u need to have or make 0 movement point units unable to do so. This one is essential too.
Else u can still continue too semi mule/exploit HQBUs in 1 HQ and moving units to another after the BU is made.
Edit: if u wana make it airtight, make a unit unable to change HQ in turn following BUs.

Muling removed, while keeping the intended build up ability at the divisional level.

Kind regards,

Rasmus

< Message edited by Walloc -- 4/24/2012 3:57:07 PM >

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Post #: 28
RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/24/2012 4:13:57 PM   
vicberg

 

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Ok, small changes

1) Assume a house rule for no mules
2) A diff scenario so ppl can play both versions
3) Improve soviet morale for all starting units on map by at least 10 or 20 points. They did consitute the regular soviet army and though they weren't very powerful, they probably had a higher morale than 40. If that doesn't stop the Lvov opening, then put the anti-tank, tank and infantry units that stand between PZG1 and Romania to 90, lol. Whatever it takes.
4) Add level 4 forts (level 5 if the game doesn't prevent it) to all leningrad hexes plus the critical open terrain hexes (with the all important port) to the east of Leningrad and just south of Finland. Add level 2 forts along the length of the Volga river
5) Don't let manpower escape, period. Not sure if that's going to have a real impact as manpower doesn't seem to be a major issue to the Soviets. If it isn't an impact, then perhaps move manpower forward so it does have an impact.
6) Guns or butter, either increase the cost of moving arm factories or HI or decrease soviet rail capacility. It could enable the Germans do to some all-important encirclements because the soviets can't rail enough to the front or cost them in terms of not being able to rail factories out in time.
7) Winter quarter rule - assume that Hitler listens to his generals and they build winter quarters by extending the x coordinates where blizzard does not take affect east. Enables a functional German army going into 42. This is not forts, but rather housing.

All of the above items would have to played with for game balance. Goal is to enable a fairly historical German 41, without needing mules, that 1) prevents Lvov pocket, 2) encourages a more forward fight or suffer a greater loss of production as the Soviets, 3) prevent massive soviet troops from being shipped to the front without risking factories in cities, or pull factories out and have less troops at the front, 4) enable a competitive 42.

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Post #: 29
RE: Where are my Mules? - 4/24/2012 4:19:53 PM   
marty_01

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: elmo3


quote:

ORIGINAL: Meteor2

Good posts, indeed !
It is my deep concern, that fundamental problems are not being considered any more by the devs and that
we have reached nearly the final game status....


Depends on what you mean by fundamental problems. Rewrites of major systems like logistics or the air war are not going to happen and the devs have been very up front about that. Where the devs agree there is a problem with the game not working as they intend, and there is a simple fix, then that problem will get addressed. The need to keep fixes simple is partly to insure that more problems do not get introduced with the fix. The last thing they want is one step forward, two steps backward at this point. The other reason to keep fixes simple is limited programming time and the need to move forward with other games. Of course bugs will continue to get fixed as they are discovered and can be reproduced with a save file.



Understood regarding the constraints associated with trying to invoke any sorts of changes in the logistics system at this point in WiTE development. I think most folks that visit this site on a somewhat routine basis appreciate the honest and forthrightness of the 2by3 designers. For me, what I am hoping is that the 2by3 designers approach to supply\logistics will be revisited and revamped during development of "War in the West". And hopefully such changes can be play tested honed\polished and eventually make their way into "War in the East 2" or "War in the East -- Admirals Addition" (or whatever). I'd like to see HQ build-up completely eliminated from the game.

Having said that, I think HQ-Buildup was (and is) a necessary abstraction given the current supply system. I'd even go as far as to label the original design intent of HQ-Buildup to be both an elegant and simple solution to various in-game supply problems Axis players invariably experience during 1941 and 1942 portion of the game. I also agree with some of the points by MichaelT, and think that there has to be a means by which the Axis can obtain an early “win” in WiTE against an equal skill-set Soviet player. IMHO, it feels like -- given equal opponents -- the only way for the Axis player to stand a chance is to completely hammer the Soviets in 1941. Or – steel himself for a long drawn out war against a bulldozer and hope that he can hold onto Berlin through 1945. The only way to completely hammer the Soviets in 1941 (again assuming equal playing skills on both sides) is to employ muling. Some folks will disagree with this statement. It’s my own opinion based upon playing WiTE numerous times on both sides of the fence vs. a wide variety of players. But I don’t post AARs, so I’d be amongst the silent majority of game players of WiTE that AFV is referring too in his above posting.

It's evident (at least to me) – given the way HQ-Buildup is being employed by some very vocal players -- that HQ Buildup in its current form needs to be tossed out the window (along with the baby – i.e. the supply system). How to fill the HQ Build-up vacuum? Who the heck knows? As I say the original intent of HQ-Buildup is sort of a necessary game evil for the Axis player in 1941/42. Unfortunately when "muling" is used, it's a complete game changer in that muling is providing the Axis player with a level of operational mobility that was never intended by the game designers. Perhaps the place to start is to work backwards and look at why an abstraction like HQ-Buildup was needed in the first place.

And an aside -- I also agree with the premise that if the Axis player is going to hammer his opponent with muling, the Soviet Player shouldn't feel any need to rein in the use of deep para-drops on the Axis rail net. It's the logical outgrowth of muling. Muling was not intended by the game designers, nor do I think was deep rail cutting via para-drops. Both are horsepower boosters for those interested in working the system. Personally I'd rather see both fixed, but if someone is gonna use muling against me, than I'm not going to hesitate to use deep air-drops.

(in reply to elmo3)
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