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Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units)

 
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Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/8/2012 12:48:47 AM   
notenome

 

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As a lot of people have noted, there are some serious problems with the first turn of WITE. Namely, the Axis are achieving in 3 days what took them a week, or in the case of the south, what they never managed to accomplish. As such I'd like to make a simple suggestion, halve the first turn mps for all units and have no Soviet rail cap, this will create a situation where the Lvov mega pocket can't occur (good) but with halved mps and no rail cap the Soviets won't be able to run for the hills. This doesn't seem like it would require much coding time.

The second suggestion is in regards to pockets. During the first two winters Axis formations were trapped in pockets (Demjansk and Stalingrad were probably the most famous) yet still resisted for months. I'd suggest that a unit trapped in a pocket, whilst still suffering from increased attrition and having its morale degrade slowly, should make a morale check (d100 vs current morale). If it passes the morale check negative combat penalties and lowered CV values are negated for that turn. This should allow for high morale units (of which the Axis have plenty in the first two years) to survive in pockets for a while, but getting progressively weaker.

This could of course be tweaked in several different ways: for example, the TOE of a unit must be higher than 50% or it automaticaly fails, or perhaps you make it a morale and an experience check, each reducing penalties (so if a unit passes both it defends at 100% for the turn) etc.

< Message edited by notenome -- 6/8/2012 12:49:33 AM >
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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/8/2012 1:11:19 AM   
Flaviusx


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It's not that simple, alas. If you halve the MPs, the Axis will fall short of what they did.

Furthermore, they'll be stuck with the costs of deliberate attacks which are scaled for full MPs. For mobile units, that means they'll be able to make exactly one deliberate attack, with 9 MPs left over.

There's no easy fix here, believe me, I've wracked my brains trying to come up with one and have thrown up my hands. The scaling issues are such that you have to work it over from the ground up.



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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/8/2012 3:53:15 AM   
notenome

 

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I don't really understand Flav, for one thing the cost of attacks in mps on turn 1 is already reduced for the Axis. Furthermore two 25 mp turns = 1 full turn. So if the first two turns are halved, you're basically playing a week in two steps. It took the Axis a week to reach Minsk, right now they reach it in half. So make two half turns. That will make all historical achievements possible, and prevent the Lvov Pocket which never occurred.

If you want to make extra special sure that the Soviets won't be able to block the advance in the center and north, freeze some of the Soviet units on turn 1.

< Message edited by notenome -- 6/8/2012 3:54:57 AM >

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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/8/2012 4:05:19 AM   
Flaviusx


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Because I don't think the attack movement costs are scaled correctly this way, Notenome. They are twice as expensive in relative terms when you drop the MP by half.

On the defensive side, you run into reserve issues too. Most units won't have enough MPs to benefit from reserve mode (even if they don't move in some cases!), which I think is weird, obviously those costs are also scaled for larger movement point pools. For example: all Soviet motorized units will have 9 MPs in this circumstance. These units won't be able to either conduct deliberate attacks or react if placed in reserve. Infantry units will have 6-8 MPs for both sides, which is barely enough to conduct a single deliberate attack with little or nothing to spare for movement. They have barely enough MPs to be placed in reserve mode and react if they don't move at all.

The absolute value MP requirements of deliberate attacks and reserve reactions are very plainly tailored with full week long MPs in mind. They work with those larger pools. Not so much otherwise.

I don't think you can simply halve the MPs and call it a day, everything needs to be adjusted accordingly. The whole game system has built in assumptions in terms of scaling and things are going to get whacky if you tweak the scaling for one thing and leave everything else as is.



< Message edited by Flaviusx -- 6/8/2012 4:21:42 AM >


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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/8/2012 7:25:07 AM   
Tarhunnas


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I believe just take 5 MPs off of the German motorized units, and no Soviet rail movement for units starting west of a line running through Smolensk should do it.

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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/8/2012 7:42:21 AM   
Tarhunnas


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quote:

ORIGINAL: notenome

The second suggestion is in regards to pockets. During the first two winters Axis formations were trapped in pockets (Demjansk and Stalingrad were probably the most famous) yet still resisted for months. I'd suggest that a unit trapped in a pocket, whilst still suffering from increased attrition and having its morale degrade slowly, should make a morale check (d100 vs current morale). If it passes the morale check negative combat penalties and lowered CV values are negated for that turn. This should allow for high morale units (of which the Axis have plenty in the first two years) to survive in pockets for a while, but getting progressively weaker.

This could of course be tweaked in several different ways: for example, the TOE of a unit must be higher than 50% or it automaticaly fails, or perhaps you make it a morale and an experience check, each reducing penalties (so if a unit passes both it defends at 100% for the turn) etc.


+ 111111111111111111111

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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/8/2012 9:15:52 AM   
cavalry

 

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Sounds like a good idea.

At the mment any massive pocket is totally doomed ( in my limited experience). IRL these large pockets were tough to break from what is read.

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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/8/2012 9:19:06 AM   
cavalry

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas

I believe just take 5 MPs off of the German motorized units, and no Soviet rail movement for units starting west of a line running through Smolensk should do it.


I agree I cannot imagine anyone thinking of retreat on the first turn and the rail network i imagine was caught as much by suprise as was the air etc.
I also think though it would be interesting if Soviet units say 3 or more hexes behind the line had some sort of random set up say within 2 hexes of their alloted position so that the same opening tactics by the axis do not succeed everytime.

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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/8/2012 12:53:53 PM   
jaw

 

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I made a radical suggestion to the development team that got absolutely no response that the simplest solution to the first turn issues, not just for the 41 Campaign but for the first turn of all campaigns/scenarios, is to have the AI make the first player's move. I called this solution the "Historical First Turn" option. By having the computer execute the first player's first move based on how those operations were conducted historically (with some random variation) we would not only avoid issues like the "Lvov Gambit" on the first turn of Barbarossa but the problem that perfect intelligence causes for the first turn of any campaign/scenario in an IGOUGO game. This option would not be difficult to incorporate into the game since the AI is already scripted to make these moves for any game the AI is the first player. Since it would be an player option no one would be required to use it but for those players annoyed by first turn exploits of the game system it would be an easy way to restore balance without circumscribing the capabilities of either side.

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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/8/2012 2:13:08 PM   
Tarhunnas


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Nice idea Jaw! But is the first Soviet turn scripted as well? If not, there might be a risk in that the Soviet AI would do the usual stupid AI things in its turn and offer an Axis clean sweep in turn 2 instead, thus just moving the issue one turn forward. But it would be well worth trying.

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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/8/2012 2:58:09 PM   
notenome

 

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Flav, I'm fine with the Soviets being incapable of making deliberate attacks in the first two turns as this would simulate well the badly coordinated and chaotic first week. If halved mps are too little for the Axis, the reduce them by a 25%, the numbers can be tweaked. With WitW coming, changes to the first turn have to be easy and uncomplicated. If not they won't happen (unless its a mod). Which does remind me, a mod solution might be the best way out.

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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/8/2012 3:12:06 PM   
Flaviusx


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Notenome, I think you need to drop reserve reactions and deliberate attack MP requirements by half if you drop MPs by half. If you go with 25%, then 25%. The costs must maintain their relative impact on the MP pool whatever it is.

I just do not see it working otherwise. It'll be much too easy to stall the Axis with existing requirements.



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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/8/2012 3:14:30 PM   
Flaviusx


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jaw

I made a radical suggestion to the development team that got absolutely no response that the simplest solution to the first turn issues, not just for the 41 Campaign but for the first turn of all campaigns/scenarios, is to have the AI make the first player's move. I called this solution the "Historical First Turn" option. By having the computer execute the first player's first move based on how those operations were conducted historically (with some random variation) we would not only avoid issues like the "Lvov Gambit" on the first turn of Barbarossa but the problem that perfect intelligence causes for the first turn of any campaign/scenario in an IGOUGO game. This option would not be difficult to incorporate into the game since the AI is already scripted to make these moves for any game the AI is the first player. Since it would be an player option no one would be required to use it but for those players annoyed by first turn exploits of the game system it would be an easy way to restore balance without circumscribing the capabilities of either side.


I'm cool with this, but I suspect very few Axis players will sign on to it.

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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/8/2012 4:22:23 PM   
kg_1007

 

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I would be cool with that also...

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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/8/2012 5:08:20 PM   
Joel Billings


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The first turn movement rules for the Germans were set up to allow the Germans to do what they did historically. In the north and center they do this (plus or minus a hex or so). Cutting to 50% would put them way behind schedule. In the south, the issue has always been the German ability to loan units to AGS and create the Lvov pocket. This proved a very tough nut to crack, and at this time we don't see a simple solution to both keep this from happening and keep the game balanced. When we're working on WitE 2 we'll be very interested in ideas on how to better deal with the issues brought up. Until we are able to add game options to WitE (something that will only happen in the original WitE with outside help), we're not likely to have a change for this.

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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/8/2012 7:11:46 PM   
Rufus T. Firefly


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quote:

The first turn movement rules for the Germans were set up to allow the Germans to do what they did historically. In the north and center they do this (plus or minus a hex or so). Cutting to 50% would put them way behind schedule. In the south, the issue has always been the German ability to loan units to AGS and create the Lvov pocket.


Please excuse me because I am not as well read on the subject as many of you obviously are, but if the German mobility and attack strength is about right (accepting Joel's presumption), then it would seem that the Germans may well have been able to form a Lvov pocket had they chosen to do so. If anyone can prove otherwise I will stand corrected.

So given the above, isn't it correct to say that the problem is not with WitE itself, but with the nature of wargames in general? Players will employ 20/20 hindsight, both in terms of what happened historically and what they have learned from previous games (not to mention AARs!) in order to improve their play and their chances of "winning". Personally, I don't see anything wrong with that. I understand that not everyone agrees, but to me the fun of wargames is in testing different what ifs and seeing if I could do better than historical outcomes. I don't see a lot of point in just trying to replay history exactly.

My solution to this issue (here I go again ). Is to allow both players a free setup with reasonable limits. Now the Russian player can turn the tables by using his hindsight to create a better initial defense, which of course the German player may be able to counter with his setup, but this adds an additional level of challenge, embraces the fact that we have perfect hindsight that we can't get around, and creates more variety in the game.


_____________________________

Rufus T. Firefly: Do you realize our army is facing disastrous defeat? What do you intend to do about it?
Chicolini: I've done it already. I've changed to the other side.
Firefly: What are you doing over here?
Chicolini: Well, the food is better

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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/8/2012 9:21:36 PM   
kg_1007

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rufus T. Firefly

quote:

The first turn movement rules for the Germans were set up to allow the Germans to do what they did historically. In the north and center they do this (plus or minus a hex or so). Cutting to 50% would put them way behind schedule. In the south, the issue has always been the German ability to loan units to AGS and create the Lvov pocket.


Please excuse me because I am not as well read on the subject as many of you obviously are, but if the German mobility and attack strength is about right (accepting Joel's presumption), then it would seem that the Germans may well have been able to form a Lvov pocket had they chosen to do so. If anyone can prove otherwise I will stand corrected.

So given the above, isn't it correct to say that the problem is not with WitE itself, but with the nature of wargames in general? Players will employ 20/20 hindsight, both in terms of what happened historically and what they have learned from previous games (not to mention AARs!) in order to improve their play and their chances of "winning". Personally, I don't see anything wrong with that. I understand that not everyone agrees, but to me the fun of wargames is in testing different what ifs and seeing if I could do better than historical outcomes. I don't see a lot of point in just trying to replay history exactly.

My solution to this issue (here I go again ). Is to allow both players a free setup with reasonable limits. Now the Russian player can turn the tables by using his hindsight to create a better initial defense, which of course the German player may be able to counter with his setup, but this adds an additional level of challenge, embraces the fact that we have perfect hindsight that we can't get around, and creates more variety in the game.


Rufus, I quite agree with your assessment. You are absolutely correct in that players will learn..if the historical Germans would have had the ability to "re-begin" their war..probably they would have decided not to fight it lol, but on the chance they fought it, they would have done much better the second time..as of now I have played the game's first7 months or so..through the first blizzard...enough times that I have learned many lessons from the German side that of course, historically, they only learned through trial and error over those months...I have also learned a lot from the Soviet side in the game..players in this game, know from the Soviet side, it is better to quickly create an elastic defense that bends but does not break, a defense in depth, rather then the historic choice of standing and fighting..as the German side, I have done better when I paused and kept my strength, rather than when I followed what even the game suggests, and just charged 100% at the fleeing enemy...so we do all learn, and I think that is why some"unlikely" things happen, more than that the game has an edge to the Axis or Soviet side.

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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/8/2012 9:44:55 PM   
map66

 

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Part of the problem is that the game doesn't model that the Germans were not as well prepared in the south as they were in the center and the north, especially logistically, due to the diversions necessary for the Balkan campaign. In game terms, obviously, one rail head can be used be used to support an unlimited number of panzers--- something that sounds like it will be modeled better in WiTW, but for now allows a rather a-historical diversion of forces south and the resulting Lvov pocket.

One possible solution would be to have the turn 1 surprise rules not be in effect south of certain line--- i.e. German units that operate south of there pay normal movement and attack costs. This might do a decent job of modelling the relative German un-preparedness in the south and the relatively higher performance of the Soviet units in that area. Obviously, any units from Army Group Center moved south of the line would start to pay the higher movement costs, and my suspicion is that this might eliminate the Lvov pocket as an option, or make its implementation much more of a trade off then it is now.


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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/8/2012 10:49:33 PM   
Rufus T. Firefly


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That's an interesting idea. However, I have to say that it is certainly not too hard to form the standard (not the extended one) pocket without borrowing units from PzGrp 2.

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Rufus T. Firefly: Do you realize our army is facing disastrous defeat? What do you intend to do about it?
Chicolini: I've done it already. I've changed to the other side.
Firefly: What are you doing over here?
Chicolini: Well, the food is better

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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/9/2012 12:50:30 AM   
map66

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rufus T. Firefly

That's an interesting idea. However, I have to say that it is certainly not too hard to form the standard (not the extended one) pocket without borrowing units from PzGrp 2.



I meant that the lack of surprise rules would affect the units of Army Group South already there as well--- making it all but certain that the advance in the south in turn 1 would be fairly limited as that which occurred there historically in the first several days of the war.


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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/9/2012 7:13:57 AM   
Tarhunnas


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quote:

ORIGINAL: map66

Part of the problem is that the game doesn't model that the Germans were not as well prepared in the south as they were in the center and the north, especially logistically, due to the diversions necessary for the Balkan campaign. In game terms, obviously, one rail head can be used be used to support an unlimited number of panzers--- something that sounds like it will be modeled better in WiTW, but for now allows a rather a-historical diversion of forces south and the resulting Lvov pocket.

One possible solution would be to have the turn 1 surprise rules not be in effect south of certain line--- i.e. German units that operate south of there pay normal movement and attack costs. This might do a decent job of modelling the relative German un-preparedness in the south and the relatively higher performance of the Soviet units in that area. Obviously, any units from Army Group Center moved south of the line would start to pay the higher movement costs, and my suspicion is that this might eliminate the Lvov pocket as an option, or make its implementation much more of a trade off then it is now.



Sounds like a good idea! Worth exploring.

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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/9/2012 7:38:48 AM   
vicberg

 

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No....Germans don't win against Soviet run away strategy. Someone show me wrong, and I'll be happy to recant. First turn is not the game. LVOV pocket, plus all the other additional pockets that may be formed now first turn do not mean automatic victory. If the Soviets withdrawl correctly, it's still very much in Soviet hands. You want a completely one-sided game. Fine. Keep going and no one will play it. Have fun against the AI. Don't build this game on the results of a 2 German players. Even then, I'd like to see someone play against Pelton or Michaelt with the ability to fully withdrawl and no mules, and see if these two players can recreate the same results. I doubt they will.

I'm sorry, but have been on this forum for a while, I get the strong feeling that if the Germans even have a chance at victory, that's wrong. Sorry, it's a game, with two players, and both having a chance for victory. Any other option, and one side is wasting their time.

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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/9/2012 4:11:27 PM   
Rufus T. Firefly


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If there was a logistical problem in the south then maybe a cleaner more accurate fix would be to give AGS units somewhat less than full supply on turn 1. A fuel shortage would have the effect of taking away movement points as Tarhunnas has suggested, but this gives it a rationale rather than being arbitrary. An ammo shortage would limit the number of attacks.

I think this is better than taking away the suprise rule which to my mind quite properly makes German attacks more deadly on the first turn.

_____________________________

Rufus T. Firefly: Do you realize our army is facing disastrous defeat? What do you intend to do about it?
Chicolini: I've done it already. I've changed to the other side.
Firefly: What are you doing over here?
Chicolini: Well, the food is better

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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/9/2012 11:35:28 PM   
notenome

 

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With 20/20 hindsight or a million/million hindsight the Germans wouldn't have been able to form the Lvov pocket. Firstly, the Lvov pocket was pretty much what OKH wanted to do, trap the Soviets vs the Romanian border. The problem was the incredibly large number of Soviet mechanized forces that attacked the Germans in what became a series of meeting engagements (including the largest tank battle of all time at Dubno) combined with Soviet resistance in the swamps which created an elongated right flank.

To Joel:

I agree with the first turn rules except its only three days! By the end of turn 1 (again, 3 days) the Germans hadn't created the large pockets or reached the Dvina in the north. That took a week. Not 3 days. That's the sticking point for me, to advance 200, 250 miles in 3 days was impossible at that time (and still very hard in this day and age). The only commander to do so was Rommel, because he rufueled his puppies at civilian gas stations. Also, what about the unit isolation idea?

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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/10/2012 3:56:24 AM   
kg_1007

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: notenome

With 20/20 hindsight or a million/million hindsight the Germans wouldn't have been able to form the Lvov pocket. Firstly, the Lvov pocket was pretty much what OKH wanted to do, trap the Soviets vs the Romanian border. The problem was the incredibly large number of Soviet mechanized forces that attacked the Germans in what became a series of meeting engagements (including the largest tank battle of all time at Dubno) combined with Soviet resistance in the swamps which created an elongated right flank.

To Joel:

I agree with the first turn rules except its only three days! By the end of turn 1 (again, 3 days) the Germans hadn't created the large pockets or reached the Dvina in the north. That took a week. Not 3 days. That's the sticking point for me, to advance 200, 250 miles in 3 days was impossible at that time (and still very hard in this day and age). The only commander to do so was Rommel, because he rufueled his puppies at civilian gas stations. Also, what about the unit isolation idea?

It is difficult, but not impossible. The 7th Panzer Division advanced between 0305 hrs on 22June, 1941, and 2300 Hrs on 25June..just 4 days, ...390km, and cut the highway between Minsk and Moscow..in that 4 days, 1 day was spent halted at Vilna allowing the flanks some hours to close.

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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/10/2012 5:34:39 AM   
Rufus T. Firefly


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Wouldn't the simple solution to the 3 day first turn issue simply be to make all turns including the first turn 7 days and forget about trying to conform to the calendar?

In game turns this means that using random weather there would be a significantly increased progbability of mud arriving 1 turn sooner for example' turn 16 now starts 4 days later) than at present, which will make it harder for the Germans to take Moscow, which is a more historical result.

_____________________________

Rufus T. Firefly: Do you realize our army is facing disastrous defeat? What do you intend to do about it?
Chicolini: I've done it already. I've changed to the other side.
Firefly: What are you doing over here?
Chicolini: Well, the food is better

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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/10/2012 5:39:22 AM   
kg_1007

 

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Rufus, you have a good head on your shoulders, as they say. I have wondered this myself often.

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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/10/2012 7:06:34 AM   
notenome

 

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I agree with that as well, it would solve the Dvina and Minsk issue. Still leaves the Lvov pocket in the open, unfortunately. As for comforming to the calendar, just make the first mud turn 3 days long, nothing happens on that turn anyways so you wouldn't have to deal with the whole 3 day advance thing.

One solution to the Lvov Pocket would be to make some of the first turn rules not apply to the South. This would be historically correct as Kirponos disobeyed Stalin's order and began alerting and moving his forces to the front a few days before the invasion.

< Message edited by notenome -- 6/10/2012 7:08:08 AM >

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RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/10/2012 11:04:37 AM   
Tarhunnas


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A problem with isolation is that it is so digital. Either you are isolated and very weak and susceptible to surrender, or you are not and units are much stronger and will not surrender. That invites things like the para-pocket-relief.

IMHO Isolation should be much more gradual, with poor morale units more likely to surrender and long supply lines or low supply status increasing the risk.

Pardrops are ok to block someone elses supply IMHO, but having them drop to reopen supply lines is unrealistic. A good way woul be to make a hex converted by airdrop "neutral" so that no side could trace supply through it. But I guess that would be complicated to implement.

(in reply to notenome)
Post #: 29
RE: Two suggestions (turn 1 and isolated units) - 6/11/2012 4:34:17 PM   
cavalry

 

Posts: 1792
Joined: 9/2/2003
From: Blackboys East Sussex UK
Status: offline
I agree and high morale units like Guards TK Corps etc and Pz/ SS units did not surrender as a rule only when instructed. For certain it would be good to have units surrender on a roll based on current morale and supply. Conversely low morale units adjusted by fatigue and supply and non mobile units ( that know they cannot easily get out) would surrender more easily as a rule.

Its a week long turn and Cav/ mobile / armoured units would react and could easily break out of a weak encirclement before it got stronger. If they got orders to do so.

Cav

(in reply to Tarhunnas)
Post #: 30
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