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Optimal support levels

 
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Optimal support levels - 5/21/2012 7:31:39 PM   
Jabba

 

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In the Operational Boot Camp by Dan Lazov, one of his first recommendations is to go through each of your corps HQs at the beginning of the scenario, in order to reset the support level so that it corresponds to the number of divisions in that corps or army (or the number of the divisions plus one in the case of elite spearhead formations such as Panzer Corps).

Do people agree that this is the optimal set-up? If so, it is a very choresome way to begin each game of WITE, and kind of irritating that the scenario designers have not already done this for me. In almost all the scenarios, the support level is a generic 3 for every corps or army, no matter how big or important.

Would it be too much to ask that the designers tweak the scenario set-ups so that the support levels are appropriate? Or may be Dan Lazov has got it wrong, and 3 is just right for every army and corps?
Post #: 1
RE: Optimal support levels - 5/21/2012 9:34:55 PM   
janh

 

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I do lock support levels and micromanage them. As Axis, the support units, in particular the Pioneers and also the 210mm arty and nebelwerfer can have quite an impact and I try to shift them in timely fashion from AGC (and AGS) initially to AGN until Leningrad is breached, and then either back to AGC for swallowing Moscow, or to AGS depending on the progress and situation. It costs more AP, but in my experience these are better invested than fine tuning some corps level commands from type 6 to type 7 generals or so. The auto-distribution of SUs works as well, but I need to be sure the pioneers (or sappers and AT when Russian) are where they can have an impact.

(in reply to Jabba)
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RE: Optimal support levels - 5/21/2012 10:40:23 PM   
Jabba

 

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I understand that some people want to micromanage support units, but that is not really what I'm asking about.

I want to know whether bigger corps should have higher automatic support levels than smaller corps (makes sense to me), and if so, I think that the designers should tweak the scenario set-ups so that this is the case. Why should I have to do this at the start of every game (as recommended by Dan Lazhov) when the designers could have saved me the bother?

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RE: Optimal support levels - 5/22/2012 12:01:10 AM   
glvaca

 

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You're just being lazy!

< Message edited by glvaca -- 5/22/2012 9:59:20 PM >

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RE: Optimal support levels - 5/25/2012 10:16:27 PM   
Jabba

 

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Can nobody actually answer my simple question? Is it correct that the optimal automatic support level for a corps consisting of four divisions should be about one point higher than for a corps consisting of three divisions (other things being equal)?

This is what is recommended in the "Boot Camp", yet it is not how the scenarios have been set up - which is unnecessarily tedious if the player has to correct it every time he starts a game.


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RE: Optimal support levels - 5/25/2012 10:29:15 PM   
Ron

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jabba

Can nobody actually answer my simple question? Is it correct that the optimal automatic support level for a corps consisting of four divisions should be about one point higher than for a corps consisting of three divisions (other things being equal)?

This is what is recommended in the "Boot Camp", yet it is not how the scenarios have been set up - which is unnecessarily tedious if the player has to correct it every time he starts a game.




No, there is no optimal level for SUs and Corps size is not really relevant. What is relevant for me is the tasks of the Corps and their capabilities for those tasks. I will adjust the type and number of SUs as necessary. Yes it can be a little tedious, but that's what wargaming is at times - just many consider that fun. :)

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RE: Optimal support levels - 5/25/2012 10:52:15 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ron
Yes it can be a little tedious, but that's what wargaming is at times - just many consider that fun. :)


Well said, sir...

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RE: Optimal support levels - 5/25/2012 11:53:18 PM   
Aurelian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jabba

Can nobody actually answer my simple question? Is it correct that the optimal automatic support level for a corps consisting of four divisions should be about one point higher than for a corps consisting of three divisions (other things being equal)?

This is what is recommended in the "Boot Camp", yet it is not how the scenarios have been set up - which is unnecessarily tedious if the player has to correct it every time he starts a game.




A simple answer.

What is optimal for one player is probably not so for another. All depends on what you're trying to do.

< Message edited by Aurelian -- 5/25/2012 11:54:01 PM >

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RE: Optimal support levels - 5/26/2012 3:08:03 AM   
Farfarer

 

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I have given up and set everything to 3, after sending Turn 1 SU's to mech divs. Periodically I refresh what I have sent to the mech divs, but essentially I recommend a Pontius Pilate.

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RE: Optimal support levels - 5/26/2012 6:04:58 AM   
Jabba

 

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quote:

I will adjust the type and number of SUs as necessary. Yes it can be a little tedious, but that's what wargaming is at times - just many consider that fun. :)


Thank you to everyone who is weighing in on this topic.

I am talking about the scenario set-ups - at the very start of the game - when the deployment and size of the corps have been pre-determined by someone else. Just setting the support level to a generic 3 for every corps and army is neither helpful for the player, nor a historical set-up, nor logical.

It is not fun wargaming to go through all of my corps and army headquarters, even before the game has started, to readjust the support levels so that some pathetic reserve corps with one division has a lower support level than a four-division Panzer Corps. Yet that is precisely what is recommended in the "Boot Camp" strategy guide that now comes with the game.

This has nothing to do with strategy or decision-making, but is just correcting for the fact that the game designers didn't make any allowance for corps size when they set everything to "3".

The support levels at start should IMHO reflect the corps' relative weight and role at start, just as the rest of the set-up is supposed to be historically accurate and consistent. After that, as the game progresses, the player can have as much "fun" as he likes re-adjusting them.

< Message edited by Jabba -- 5/26/2012 11:24:41 AM >

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RE: Optimal support levels - 5/27/2012 10:01:32 AM   
Offworlder

 

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Actually SUs in the German army reflect the role assigned to each corps for the begining of the game. Thus VIII korps and there's another one down south, have an exsessive number of SU for the simple reason that they are breakthrough korps intended to open up the front. Its not so bad as it seems since both corps are normally found in the thick of things - VIII Korps can easily be used to drop off SU's as it advances eastwards not only to the other Korps in the same army but also to the 2 Armee which comes up to the front close by it. The same situation occurs down south. In my experience only 18 armee up north and 17 and 11 armies down south are a bit 'far off' from these korps.

As to the best level of support, my standard preference is for 3 artillery units, 1 pioneer, 1 LW mixed flak unit minimum. As mentioned by an earlier poster the 210's are a godsend and therefore tend to go where the breakthrough is needed (the same applies to higher calibre units).The same applies for nebelwerfer units. Stug and PaK units tend to go to either motorised units or exposed infantry korps. There are also LW light flak battalions that can be either attached to Korps HQs or LW HQs and these tend to become useful later on in the game when the Red airforce becomes more than just a niunsance. With the Rumanians, they have sufficient SUs to have someting similar to the above (though they are short of PaK something which can be parially alleviated through the use of AA). Finnish korps have a superabundance of SUs. On the other hand the Hungarians don't and can only sport 2 artillery SUs by stripping those formations that remain frozen for the duration of the game (othewise they have sufficient AA and pioneer units).

Incidentally later on in the game, the Germans lose several artillery units so it can be tricky to maintain the above distribution. Just strip the quite sectors for the active ones

(in reply to Jabba)
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RE: Optimal support levels - 5/27/2012 11:36:25 AM   
Jabba

 

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I'm talking about the automatic support level, which is set to 3 for every single HQ at the start of the game, irrespective of corps size, role or location. If this is not a problem, why is the Boot Camp recommending players to go through each of their HQs to change it?

This is what it says:

quote:

We discovered many schools of thought when testing a) set O.K.H Support Level to 1, AGN to 2, each attached Army HQ to 3 and then each Corps HQ to 4 or more depending on the number of divisions within that HQ or b) set each HQ to 3 or c) Set the Higher HQ to 9 and then all of the HQ in the chain of command downwards to 0. What this will do is transfer back up the chain of command all those support units to higher HQ and then you can the following turns reset the support level to bring in the support units you want.


But he then goes on to advocate a modified version of a), in which the support level is set at the number of corps/divisions under the HQ's control, although sometimes one higher for important spearhead units:

quote:

Now go ahead and click the X to close out this window, this will take you back to AGN, go ahead and click on the 18th Army text. Same thing here lets set our support level to 4 this time though since we have four corps HQs.
~ 34 ~
When you're done go ahead and click the X and then when you're in the AGN unit detail window go ahead and click on the 4th Panzer Group text to get to the 4th Panzer Group HQ unit detail window. You'll see you have only two panzer corps and an army level attached unit (the Totenkopf SS Motorized division). Since this is one of the spearheads go ahead and increase the support level to 3
Now let's click on the XXXXI Panzer Corps HQ text. Again, this will bring us directly to the XXXXI Panzer Corps HQ unit detail window.
~ 36 ~
Now we're getting to some of the meat on the bones here. Take a look at this unit detail screen, the attached units are the 1st and 6th Panzer Division, the 36th Motorized Division and the 269th Infantry Divisions.
Go ahead and set the support level to 4 for the XXXXI Panzer Corps (my preference really since there is 4 divisions that could have up to three support units attached), when done click the X which will take you back to the 4th Panzer Group now go ahead and click on the LVI Panzer Corps and go ahead and set the support level to 3 for this HQ.


Note that all this clicking and viewing and resetting of support levels is stuff that is being recommended before you have even moved a single unit.

So it is of some importance to players, especially new or novice ones, whether any of this laborious tinkering with the at-start HQ support levels is actually rationally based.

In a Grand Campaign, there are more than 100 German HQs that supposedly require checking in this manner at game start.

I have so far found only one scenario (Kharkov 42), in which the support level is not set at 3 for every HQ. The designer of that particular scenario presumably thought there was something wrong with "one size fits all", yet this is how it is in the other scenarios.

(in reply to Offworlder)
Post #: 12
RE: Optimal support levels - 5/27/2012 8:41:08 PM   
coolts


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I feel your pain. I'm contemplating starting a new '43 campaign vs. the AI and SU & TOE management are front and centre of my overall plan
Read this thread first;

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2658528&mpage=1&key=?

I’m going to use heliodorus excellent spread sheet organiser

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2911364&mpage=1&key=?

The way managing SU's is handled in game is clunky IMO. The CR helps a lot but the individual movement of SU's in a front this huge is a large click fest, and there is just no getting round that.

My advice would be to set all Corps at the boot camp suggested level, (i.e. set each Corps SU level dependant on how many Divs are attached. This will give you a baseline of 3 x arty, 3 x AAA, 3 x engineers..., etc.
One to support each div. assuming your corps CO has a high enough Initiative rating to get them off their arses). After a few turns, lock them all, (-1 in CR I believe), and do some limited micromanaging.

I can’t think of any easier way. I don’t trust the AI nor do i want to spend a whole weekend farting about in the CR. That takes up valuable eating and drinking and time IMO.

Your mileage may vary ;)


_____________________________

"Gauls! We have nothing to fear; except perhaps that the sky may fall on our heads tomorrow. But as we all know, tomorrow never comes!!" - Chief Vitalstatistix

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RE: Optimal support levels - 6/21/2012 8:11:11 AM   
Grungar

 

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Did not the boot camp also say you can just lock everything and the ai will do a good job for you? I am going through the same learning process for the red side with only 5 front commands and billions of ant units. As ron says wargames can be tedius. But they are far easyer now then the old days of my cats nuclear tail and my grandfathers napalm elbow!

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RE: Optimal support levels - 6/21/2012 9:09:41 PM   
NotOneStepBack


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One of my biggest gripes about the design is that I wish there was a master summary of Support units and how they are attached, and if I want to move them around, it would be way easier to drag and drop in ONE window rather than endlessly clicking through two or three screens per division.

(in reply to Grungar)
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RE: Optimal support levels - 6/22/2012 9:51:04 AM   
coolts


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Ive been trying to use the "auto" system and set all corps to "3".  5 turns later there are some corps with 1 x SU and some with 11.  So it doesnt work, or at least, not in any way thats any use to me.  Lock them all and micromanage i guess.  Its a pain.  At the very least i would like to be able to do a one click "send to higher HQ" button on each SU like you get on const units.  Then you could assign from one pool to corps hq's a lot quicker.  Still a massive pain but slightly less soul destroying.

_____________________________

"Gauls! We have nothing to fear; except perhaps that the sky may fall on our heads tomorrow. But as we all know, tomorrow never comes!!" - Chief Vitalstatistix

(in reply to NotOneStepBack)
Post #: 16
RE: Optimal support levels - 6/22/2012 9:11:00 PM   
Jabba

 

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quote:

Did not the boot camp also say you can just lock everything and the ai will do a good job for you?


Not that I recall. But the very fact that you use "lock" to mean "do nothing" shows how confusing the system is. In WITE "lock" means that you manage support units manually. The AI manages things when you DON'T lock support units.

Dare I say it... but IMHO the whole concept of managing battalion level units in a strategic level game is misconceived. I do not feel that they add anything to the game except tedious micromanagement.

But given that zillions of support units are included whether you like it or not, then the designers could at least spare the player the added tedium of having to tweak all the starting support levels, so that the support levels assigned to each HQ at the start of the game actually make sense.

(in reply to coolts)
Post #: 17
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