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The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey"

 
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The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/26/2012 5:08:55 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Ok, as the Germans, we've all done it. As the Soviets, we've all been victims of it. The Germans surrounding the majority of the Southwestern Front on turn 1 in the "Lvov Pocket".

ITS GAMEY!!! And I'm defining "gamey" here in this instance as taking advantage of the system for a desired result NOT in accordance with historical capability.

Why is it gamey? Simply because the German player has 100% knowledge of the EXACT position of each and every Soviet unit at the start of the game (anyone playing the German side who has NOT looked at or studied the Soviet dispositions are excluded here) and meticulously moves his units to take advantage of this knowledge. This usually results in a single panzer division with just enough movement points to make it to the Rumanian Border - thereby releasing the Rumanians early by the way.

OF COURSE THE GERMANS ARE GOING TO DO THIS!!! Its too beneficial not to. What makes me smile is reading the AARs with house rule that prevent all sorts of minor issues, and don't stop this initial move....

OK, the purpose here isn't just to complain about this (and yes, when playing the Germans next time, I'd do it as well), but to offer a solution. Perhaps its even something that can be implemented.

I've read the forums calling for Soviet ability to deploy their own forces. That's a bit much. What is needed here (and in fact with all scenarios) is a LIMITED movement capability for the #2 player (The Soviets in the 1941 campaign). This limited movement would consist of a Soviet player turn on 15 Jun 1941 (Soviet's start the PBEM right?) where all units are frozen, and zero rail cap. No ability to access air units. Of the armored and motorized divisions (Northwestern Front = 6, West Front = 18, Southwestern Front = 24 for a total of 48 divisions, a random number of them would be "released" and allowed to move. By random number, I'm thinking maybe a random of from 0% to a max of 10-15% or so, that's it. These "released" units can be moved by the Soviet player during this "turn before start" anywhere he wants up to the unit's movement allowance. Breakdowns would occur.

With the variable number released, each game is different. And only the Soviet player would know how many are released. Yeah, I know, we'd have to find a way to prevent a dishonest Soviet player from starting the game a number of times until he got a good number released.

The result of this is a little variation in the starting position of Soviet forces at start - (but not everything) the German wouldn't know exactly what had moved. Recon may indicate some, then again, may not. Moving just some units around Kovel or Tarnopol perhaps might give the Germans pause whether or not to stick his neck out trying to bag the Lvov Pocket. And that's the key - make it slightly variable - just enough to prevent the Germans from studying for "an exam on the perfect move".

This could be incorporated into every scenario just to give it some variation - nothing drastic, but to prevent the "movement counters" the perfect move (not that there's anything wrong with that!).



< Message edited by IdahoNYer -- 7/26/2012 5:13:46 AM >
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RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/26/2012 8:24:05 AM   
Red Lancer


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To my simplistic mind there is already an easy solution. Use the editor to change the initial soviet positions and/or modify the German MP values. It is not a perfect solution but it is practical and possible today.

The game has been on general release for about 18 months and the 'expert' players are well versed in the best opening gambits. Why not mix it up a bit?

Moving units in the editor is simple - the difficult bit is:

a. Knowing where to move the units to counter the Lvov Pocket.
b. Avoiding the howls of protest from some people when one side or the other is disadvantaged.

That said I am more than happy to make the changes if there is a desire for a modified starting position campaign.

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RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/26/2012 10:37:35 AM   
janh

 

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Yes, so it is. As gamey as locking in units using the map edges. Or so many other things which are clearly just a consequence of "game rules". It has been stated a thousand times by those who do not solely play the Axis side, or who aim for more plausible courses of action. It basically comes down to the static part of the I-Go-U-Go, where your ants can't react to anything for a "felt-eternity in terms of Panzer range" -- not really the setup, but a flexible setup could mimic units redeploying, interposing or meeting the threat within the first days.

Your suggestion is interesting, much so like a "free-setup" turn for both sides with more or less freedom to reposition. As Joel said, any such major change won't happen, but hopefully they will notice the demand and see to it in one of the next titles. Alternatively, they could finally copy this reaction concept they themselves devised in WitP, so one doesn't just have the option to "guesstimate" the path of advance and just put up static roadblocks.

Another alternative might be if there as a set of say 30 GC 41 PBEM start files, each minimally changed and free to look up for everyone, and one would be randomly chosen from them without each side knowing which exact one. That would require someone to create them, though, and some way of chosing randomly -- i.e. perhaps a small script that automatically copies one to a final GC file?


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RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/26/2012 10:49:14 AM   
Pelton

 

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SHC will just take that 15% and run with it.

I personally have messed around testing it out and generally alls that happens is:

1. Germans end up with a huge pocket on turn 2, much bigger then opening Lvov.
2. Smart SHC run for the rivers with their 15%.

Be carefull what you wish for, like it taking longer to reduse pockets.

Gamey minds can take things that look like fixes and turn them into something you never thought of.

Wite is at its peak right now for sure until a uber major over haul which is not going to happen until after witw is out for a yr or so and is fully tested for gamey things by gamey players.


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RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/26/2012 1:08:48 PM   
Flaviusx


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Surprise turn is just borked beyond belief due to intrinsic issues of time and scale. Needs to be redone from scratch.

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RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/26/2012 1:24:24 PM   
carlkay58

 

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I think that exempting the Southwestern Front from the surprise rules would probably do the Lvov pocket in. The Soviets would be stronger in the Axis first turn and would be stronger and have more movement during the Soviet first turn. Since the Soviets in the Lvov pocket would be stronger and have more MP, they could probably break through the weak pocket that is usually formed around them and cut off a large majority of the Axis mech units too. This would make the Lvov pocket riskier to the Axis and more like the real situation was.

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RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/26/2012 1:28:16 PM   
Ketza


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If you give the Soviets the chance to move first 9/10 of them will run with whatever they can get away with. Just like the Axis player does now the Soviet player will have the ability to "game" the set up.

If and when the surprise rule gets a revamp I would say giving the Soviet player a very limited pre move phase where he would run the risk of misplacing units the further he tried to move them.

An example would be attempting to move a tank division with 16 mps. The first hex would be normal movement, the next hex would involve a check of some kind which could result in freezing a unit in place. Every unit moved would be a risk.

There needs to be a risk so there is a chance of not setting up the perfect defense or the wholesale runaway east. Also no aps for doing things like sending SUs in danger areas to Stavka.

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RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/26/2012 1:43:27 PM   
Flaviusx


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Exempting SW Front from the surprise turn rules is probably the most painless way to deal with this without addressing the fundamental time and scale issues. But this is just another way of saying that the surprise turn mechanics don't really work with this time and scale. When you can move up to 25 hexes deep into enemy territory in any direction in 3 days with no ability for the other side to respond...you're asking for trouble. It really boils down to that. Simple game mechanics.



< Message edited by Flaviusx -- 7/26/2012 1:44:31 PM >


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RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/26/2012 1:52:44 PM   
Red Lancer


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You can adjust the starting MP values for any unit in the editor. Surely that will give you an 80% solution.

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RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/26/2012 5:28:38 PM   
Pelton

 

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If you cut Mp's then SHC games sytem running.

Many guys make the Lvov pocket leaky so the SHC will send in help, then bag even more units on 2nd turn. The "cut off" panzer units will be 90% full of gas so as you get to them they still have 40MP's.

Flaviusx has got it right, it is what it is because of the game mechanics.

No reason to mess up 225 turns because of 1/3 of a turn.

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RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/26/2012 5:59:26 PM   
lycortas

 

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That is one of the saddest things about this game; it is in some ways less advanced than Grigsby's games from the late 80's early 90's.

I am semi okay with igo ugo for this as it shows tempo of the campaign. But to make this work the game should have constriction penalties. I have played games a decade, 2 decades ago that had a +1 movement point addition to a hex for every unit that moved through it on your turn. That would have fixed this problem in Lvov.

This game has an illusion of depth due to its huge counter mix but it is extremely simple in many ways, weather, movement and combat.

As an example, IRL the Germans took about 900,000 casualties by November '41, about the same as they took in two months against France. However, i have been watching AARs, playing my own games, etc and i have never seen a German opponent take 900,000 casualties by November. So the designers made winter extra harsh. Balances things or something.

I am not sure if this would be a fix but turn by turn VP for cities might make a better campaign. Maybe that would be breakable by the Cult of cheese on the forums though.

Mike

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RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/26/2012 10:15:17 PM   
Klydon


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Given the current game set up and system, the Lvov is not "gamey" at all. I will use two pieces of evidence to support my claim.

First, you can't do the Lvov gambit with just AGS forces on the first turn. You need help from AGC panzer forces. Considering that PG1 has a mere 4 panzer divisions available turn 1 (and not very good panzer divisions equipment wise at that), bringing down 3-4 more panzer formations (including a elite motorized SS unit), you have increased the striking power in the south on the first turn by a big margin.

Try just using AGS forces and you wind up with a very historical/traditional AGS opening. Effectively doubling the strike force with better units makes all the difference in the world.

The second point is the distance is shorter and the terrain is far easier to get through in the south to the Rumanian border compared to what the Germans had to do in the center with AGC to get to Minsk on the first turn.

I think people are a bit too hung up by what "historically" happen in the opening in the south when the opportunity was potentially there for the Germans to do so much better if they had more to work with.

Yes, the game opening needs to be fixed on many levels.

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RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/26/2012 10:36:31 PM   
Walloc

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Klydon

I will use two pieces of evidence to support my claim.

First, you can't do the Lvov gambit with just AGS forces on the first turn. You need help from AGC panzer forces. Considering that PG1 has a mere 4 panzer divisions available turn 1 (and not very good panzer divisions equipment wise at that), bringing down 3-4 more panzer formations (including a elite motorized SS unit), you have increased the striking power in the south on the first turn by a big margin.

Try just using AGS forces and you wind up with a very historical/traditional AGS opening. Effectively doubling the strike force with better units makes all the difference in the world.


I would disagree with that. It is certainly possible to do with AGS forces only. Just a question of that training that, if one is into that sorta thing.
Its easier to re open the pocket for a turn, but u can effectivly stop them from escaping, re pocketing in turn 2. Sure a Pz Corps from AGC seals the deal in a whole other way.

quote:


The second point is the distance is shorter and the terrain is far easier to get through in the south to the Rumanian border compared to what the Germans had to do in the center with AGC to get to Minsk on the first turn.


Yeah, but the quality, prepareness, density and type off forces they faced were also quite different.
Russian armored counterattacks in essence stopped the advance of significant german motorised forces for more time than what amounts too the entire 1st turn. No real way to replicate that, or it never actually happens in game.

quote:


I think people are a bit too hung up by what "historically" happen in the opening in the south when the opportunity was potentially there for the Germans to do so much better if they had more to work with.

Yes, the game opening needs to be fixed on many levels.


Sure, but u could just as well argue where is the possibilty of the russians doing better? why is it only 1 side that gets that option. The answer is ofc logical given the game mechanics, but as a concept when arguing one side could do better some ppl tend to forget so could the other side.
Conviniently leaving that option out of possible outcomes.

I agree on the last statement.

Kind regards,

Rasmus

< Message edited by Walloc -- 7/26/2012 11:09:21 PM >

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RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/26/2012 11:02:04 PM   
Speedy

 

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Agreed Rasmus. The Lvov gambit can be done solely with AGS. It's almost always leaky like that but it does the job

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RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/26/2012 11:08:42 PM   
Klydon


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Lvov pocket with just AGS forces is extremely difficult to pull off and especially not have the pocket get broken. Yeah, you can see about bagging more, but if you are just using AGS forces, the Russians might think about being a bit more bold.

The point is the Russian resistance may have been better in the south, but then the Germans attacked with less, especially in the opening days of the campaign. This board seems to generally accept that the Germans should be held up no matter what type of force is committed to the south and I simply disagree with that, especially given the Russians have no issues at all holding up a historical open by the Germans.

The other issue not even in the game in any meaningful way was that AGS was repeatedly held up because of rainy weather for a lot of the early summer campaign. While not nearly as bad as the Rasputa, it would be nice to see the inclusion of "light mud" (instead of mud or no mud) that would somewhat reduce movement, especially for motorized forces, but not nearly as harsh as the "spring-fall" mud.

As far as Russian dispositions go, there is no real reason to change them dramatically from the standpoint that the strength ratios were predicated on known German force positions (IE, if the Germans had more in the north, the Russians would have moved troops around to match whatever the Germans had).

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RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/26/2012 11:20:30 PM   
Pelton

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: lycortas

I am not sure if this would be a fix but turn by turn VP for cities might make a better campaign. Maybe that would be breakable by the Cult of cheese on the forums though.

Mike


Many have been asking for this for over a yr Mike.

It would surely liven things up.

Cheese and anti cheese want turn based VP's and have for a long time



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RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/26/2012 11:27:46 PM   
Flaviusx


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I'm quite sure that had AGS gotten hold of an extra panzer corps, they still could never have done what this game allows them to do, i.e., pocketing most of SW Front in 3 days and driving straight to the Romanian border more or less unimpeded. The Lvov pocket is a fantasy and artifact of game mechanics, nothing more. It's the bastard child of excessively high movement rates and the peculiarities of IGOUGO combined with poorly conceived surprise turn effects.

The game does not simulate the huge meeting engagement that would surely have taken place even with that extra panzer corps. The Axis merely breaks through the crust and races into the interior with no Soviet reaction possible, and Soviet movement rates during their own turn crippled by surprise attack rules. It's shooting fish in a barrel.



< Message edited by Flaviusx -- 7/26/2012 11:28:38 PM >


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RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/27/2012 12:04:01 AM   
Walloc

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Klydon

The point is the Russian resistance may have been better in the south, but then the Germans attacked with less, especially in the opening days of the campaign. This board seems to generally accept that the Germans should be held up no matter what type of force is committed to the south and I simply disagree with that, especially given the Russians have no issues at all holding up a historical open by the Germans.


I cant speak for others but that is absolutly not what im saying. Im saying there in reality is no way given the historical forces used on both sides that u get a near historical result. Thats not saying it couldnt have gone been better. Its saying the real life result unless specificly tried to replicate isnt achieveble in the game. Or it never happens. U apparently disagree and u have every right too. I just dont think many that agrees with u in that AGS forces alone cant make the pocket.
Now assuming that its correct that u can make the pocket with AGS forces alone. Then its logic that there is a bias the games current balance being able to do better as we never see any one doing worse, but always better. If u alrdy do better in game per default with only using historic forces, it again is very logical what will happen if u add more forces. Thats in no way the same as saying they wouldnt have been able to do better having more forces.
Its just agknowledgeing the realities of how the game plays out in this regard currently. It is possible that they could have done better with out adding forces. Since they per default alrdy does that, the options of doing the near historical or russians doing better is alrdy taken off the boards. With added forces its very possible that they would have done better. Its also possible in that case that the russian would have foght better, so we cant per say, if it would have gone better/worse or the same. We dont know.

Its u that brought the comparison with Minsk into the conversation. So i do think it has merits to look at the differences in between the 2 cases and try and gain an understanding if that had any thing to do with seeing different results. Again it seems that u differ and again this is ur right Still if some one recognise some reason to why X happens and u try to replicates X its natural to expect that those same reason have an impact on replicated X. Again thats not saying it cant go different, but its within reason to assume it goes near the same as there are some reasons to why u got X in the first place.
Sorry Klydon, i try not to get personal, but i do think its ur initial bias that colors what u think ppl say. What I say is we never see the historical result, why is that? and isnt that in self a representation of the actual state of balance on this particular issue.

Just a note its wiki, but i'll still use it.

By the time this decision was made on the evening of the 23rd of June, barely 48 hours since the war had begun, the 11th Panzer Division had already penetrated 40 miles into Soviet territory with the 16th Panzer Division traveling in its wake. The 14th Panzer Division and 13th Panzer Division were well their way up the road to Lutsk, with the objective of reaching the Styr River on the 24th, and the 298th Infantry Division, the 44th Infantry Division and the 299th Infantry Division moving up to consolidate the advance.[16]

So half way into turn 1. The Germans are 5 hexes into russian territory.

The group had about 300 tanks, including no less than 100 T-34 and KV tanks. On 27 June, Popel's group surprised and defeated the rears of 11th PD and captured Dubno, a road crossing of strategical importance. This was the most successful Soviet action of the time, as it cut off supply lines of the German armored spearhead – the 11th PD. However, this was not exploited by Soviet command who failed to communicate with Popel' and to provide supplies or reinforcements. The group waited in Dubno and prepared for defence, losing the operational initiative.

The situation was considered "serious" by the German high command:

In the Army Group South sector, heavy fighting continues on the right flank of Panzer Group 1. The Russian 8th Tank Corps has effected a deep penetration of our front and is now in the rear of the 11th Panzer Division. This penetration has seriously disrupted our rear areas between Brody and Dubno. The enemy is threatening Dubno from the southwest… the enemy also has several separate tank groups acting in the rear of Panzer Group 1, which are managing to cover considerable distances.
— General Franz Halder,


We're now half way into second turn and 9/10 hexes in. Can u point to any AARs where it isnt tried too on purpose, going this "badly"?
Not saying that it was bound to happen that, but its how it happen, and practically never happens in game. Comparing this to AGC advancing in the same periode is like comparing ables and oranges. Any how its in the game now and we just have to deal with that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Brody_(1941)

quote:


The other issue not even in the game in any meaningful way was that AGS was repeatedly held up because of rainy weather for a lot of the early summer campaign. While not nearly as bad as the Rasputa, it would be nice to see the inclusion of "light mud" (instead of mud or no mud) that would somewhat reduce movement, especially for motorized forces, but not nearly as harsh as the "spring-fall" mud.


Totally agreed.

Kind regards,

Rasmus

< Message edited by Walloc -- 7/27/2012 12:54:48 AM >

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RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/27/2012 3:17:07 AM   
Klydon


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/sigh.. so now I am biased for the Germans.. where was the guy that accused me of being a Russian fan boy? Heh.

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RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/27/2012 5:16:08 AM   
Walloc

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Klydon

/sigh.. so now I am biased for the Germans.. where was the guy that accused me of being a Russian fan boy? Heh.


Again Klydon. Thats not what i said.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Walloc
Sorry Klydon, i try not to get personal, but i do think its ur initial bias that colors what u think ppl say

I didnt say german bias, but initial bias. That its not possible to do it with AGS forces alone. As u say it.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Klydon
especially given the Russians have no issues at all holding up a historical open by the Germans.


They attacked historicly and they advanced 6-7ish hexes in first turn and not much further than 11-12ish hexes by turn 2. For reasons briefly descriped in above post. I dont think that ppl in game find this to be true. At leased i have never seen it. Rather I tend to see every one reaching Rumenia on the first turn. Even when not using AGC forces.

Kind regards,

Rasmus

< Message edited by Walloc -- 7/27/2012 6:01:53 AM >

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RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/27/2012 5:19:58 AM   
Michael T


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If they took everything out of WITE that is 'gamey' I am not sure there would be any game left :)

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RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/27/2012 5:26:13 AM   
Walloc

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Michael T

If they took everything out of WITE that is 'gamey' I am not sure there would be any game left :)


That might be very true. Hench me saying about the Lvov pocket: Any how its in the game now and we just have to deal with that

That should stop some one from calling a spade a spade tho,

Rasmus


< Message edited by Walloc -- 7/27/2012 5:59:40 AM >

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RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/27/2012 8:39:31 AM   
Red Lancer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Pelton

If you cut Mp's then SHC games sytem running.

Many guys make the Lvov pocket leaky so the SHC will send in help, then bag even more units on 2nd turn. The "cut off" panzer units will be 90% full of gas so as you get to them they still have 40MP's.

Flaviusx has got it right, it is what it is because of the game mechanics.

No reason to mess up 225 turns because of 1/3 of a turn.


I don't understand your logic here. The editor allows you to adjust the MPs for each unit on the 'first' turn of a scenario. On the second turn the MPs will be at the normal setting based on type of unit, experience, supply etc. Why would this mess up 225 turns anymore than the Lvov Pocket does or doesn't do already?

I agree that the first turn is not right but I am faintly amazed that the player community's only approach is to suggest numerous changes that can only be implemented by the Devs. The same Devs who I presume are much more focused on WitW (the source of new revenue) and therefore unlikely to implement any such changes. This 'Dev fix it' approach is adopted on a number of other elements which can be easily fixed using the editor (e.g. the Stalingrad unit withdrawals)

I am not saying that using the editor will deliver a 100% solution - but then again neither do I believe that changes to the first turn rules would solve all the problems. What I am saying is that a sub optimal solution (but still an improvement) may be availble now and might be worth exploring further.


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John
WitW Test Co-ordinator
WitE & WitW Scenario Designer

(in reply to Pelton)
Post #: 23
RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/27/2012 9:56:30 AM   
Helpless


Posts: 11940
Joined: 8/27/2004
Status: offline
Thanks for the good post, John.

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Pavel Zagzin
WITE/WITW Development

(in reply to Red Lancer)
Post #: 24
RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/27/2012 3:50:45 PM   
gradenko_2000

 

Posts: 818
Joined: 12/27/2010
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I see the Lvov Gambit as really the result of a 'perfect storm' of multiple factors.

Any historical turn-based wargame is in a position where the player that goes first always knows his opponent's first-turn dispositions, but it's quite a few other things as well that makes the Lvov Gambit possible:

First: The relative strengths of the forces - if this was something like a Fulda Gap scenario where the competency/quality, if not the quantity, of forces is fairly even, the Red Army player going first probably would not be able to execute the same first turn every time because he wouldn't be able to guarantee that the sequence of attacks A then B then C would all succeed. The Soviets in WITE however are weak enough that the German player can make the same attacks over and over across multiple games and still be fairly confident that they'll all go off as planned.

It's somewhat akin to if the Japanese player knows that this percent of the US BBs will always sink during the Pearl Harbor attack, and so he rations his escorts under the fated knowledge of that happening.

The other big factor that makes this possible is the scale involved, both in terms of distance and time. A single turn in War in the Pacific is one day, and save the first-turn-movement-bonus of the Japanese on Dec 7 1941, getting ANYWHERE takes multiple turns, giving the defender a chance to discern your movement. Even if WITP used an IGOUGO system instead of simultaneous execution, the fact that you need several days to march through jungle or sail to an island means you're going to telegraph your intentions at some point or another, which gives the other side a chance to react.

In contrast, the Lvov Gambit works because it can be pulled off in a single turn due to the week-long time and panzer-driving distance, and because there's very little randomness to the success or failure of the sequence of attacks involved, due to how weak the Soviets and how strong the Germans are.

(in reply to Helpless)
Post #: 25
RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/27/2012 4:13:26 PM   
kg_1007

 

Posts: 229
Joined: 4/19/2008
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: lycortas

That is one of the saddest things about this game; it is in some ways less advanced than Grigsby's games from the late 80's early 90's.

I am semi okay with igo ugo for this as it shows tempo of the campaign. But to make this work the game should have constriction penalties. I have played games a decade, 2 decades ago that had a +1 movement point addition to a hex for every unit that moved through it on your turn. That would have fixed this problem in Lvov.

This game has an illusion of depth due to its huge counter mix but it is extremely simple in many ways, weather, movement and combat.

As an example, IRL the Germans took about 900,000 casualties by November '41, about the same as they took in two months against France. However, i have been watching AARs, playing my own games, etc and i have never seen a German opponent take 900,000 casualties by November. So the designers made winter extra harsh. Balances things or something.

I am not sure if this would be a fix but turn by turn VP for cities might make a better campaign. Maybe that would be breakable by the Cult of cheese on the forums though.

Mike

Not sure where you get these numbers, German ARMY casualties in all of 1939-1941 June, STILL had not reached 900.000. I would imagine there were also naval and Luftwaffe casualties, but cannot imagine they were more than the army which had done most of the fighting.

(in reply to lycortas)
Post #: 26
RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/27/2012 4:38:36 PM   
Flaviusx


Posts: 6395
Joined: 9/9/2009
From: Southern California
Status: offline
Seaton quotes Halder as stating that German casualties were in the neighborhood of 686,000 as of 4 November. No doubt that went up a lot before the year was out. 900,000 is plausible.

Even as early as mid August German casualties exceeded 440,000.

In general, the game's combat engine simply doesn't generate these kind of losses for the Axis in 1941, and the numbers get made up for during the blizzard. It's all a bit contrived.

At the same time, I have real doubts that the game's replacement system could handle the historical losses. (This is also true for the Red Army during the same time period, which starts falling apart after 3 million in losses or so, and if anybody got up to the 5 million historical, the game would be over. The replacement system simply can't handle those numbers. It doesn't even produce that many replacements during this period.)



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WitE Alpha Tester

(in reply to kg_1007)
Post #: 27
RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/27/2012 4:38:40 PM   
janh

 

Posts: 1226
Joined: 6/12/2007
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: kg_1007
quote:

ORIGINAL: lycortas

That is one of the saddest things about this game; it is in some ways less advanced than Grigsby's games from the late 80's early 90's.

I am semi okay with igo ugo for this as it shows tempo of the campaign. But to make this work the game should have constriction penalties. I have played games a decade, 2 decades ago that had a +1 movement point addition to a hex for every unit that moved through it on your turn. That would have fixed this problem in Lvov.

This game has an illusion of depth due to its huge counter mix but it is extremely simple in many ways, weather, movement and combat.

As an example, IRL the Germans took about 900,000 casualties by November '41, about the same as they took in two months against France. However, i have been watching AARs, playing my own games, etc and i have never seen a German opponent take 900,000 casualties by November. So the designers made winter extra harsh. Balances things or something.

I am not sure if this would be a fix but turn by turn VP for cities might make a better campaign. Maybe that would be breakable by the Cult of cheese on the forums though.

Mike

Not sure where you get these numbers, German ARMY casualties in all of 1939-1941 June, STILL had not reached 900.000. I would imagine there were also naval and Luftwaffe casualties, but cannot imagine they were more than the army which had done most of the fighting.



Mike's number's sound quite right. A while back there was already a discussion about that. There are some original German records in the Offical Reports of the OKW, which I recall were a similar ball-park figure. I can look it up tonight, if necessary. Generally in most AARs the German casualties seem comparably low, which may be due to the different course and nature most AARs take from history. Back in time there seems to have been a lot harder fighting on both sides - for whatever myriad of reasons.

One thing to keep in mind when comparing "some statistics" to "in-game statistics", though, is to be sure that the counting is done in same way. For instance I read German statistics that counted German wounded only as wounded if they'd not be able to fight anymore, whereas others also counted only lightly injured as well. I noticed this trick was used on the Soviet casualties to exaggerate the latter and lower the former. The Soviet'd probably used similar tricks. WiTE does the accounting its own way, and may or may not be comparable to any given data.

< Message edited by janh -- 7/27/2012 4:39:52 PM >

(in reply to kg_1007)
Post #: 28
RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/27/2012 4:39:42 PM   
Scook_99

 

Posts: 268
Joined: 6/20/2007
Status: offline
I play both sides, and as the game stands, it is an evil necessity. I like to think of it as the Kiev pocket, but early. I read where German casualty figures are too low. I am feeling players here are aping what they see, on both sides, and attacking is easier than defending. The early Soviet game play isn't evolving, it seems to be run, run, away. If you can fight along the way as Russian, there will be more German casualties, and that number will approach 900,000 in November, give or take 150,000. I am not saying forward defense, as that is Russian suicide in the game we currently have.I won't state anything new, but the best fixes I see:

- 2 turns a week instead of 1
- Dynamic victory conditions making you fight or lose
- op tempo needs to come down (Flaviusx is right, but with a caveat)


I think more turns is the best solution, moving only 25mp instead of 50 opens up the Lvov pocket, and makes for more interaction of pocketing units. Since the turn length is pretty set in stone, this one is out.

Victory conditions making you fight, kinda cheesy in the grand scheme of things, Russians and Germans mostly fought and died horribly while not falling back. This will put USSR in a severe bind, as we know fighting forward early will take out too many Russians because of....

Op-tempo, which should come down somewhat. People do like offense more, so it is high, too high. Bringing it down will help, but that would mean in the current state of the game, Axis players will be further behind as they cannot catch up to retreating Russians. On it's own, this wouldn't work either.

So, multiple things would have to change in order to "balance" the game out, as it stands. Otherwise, we get the Lvov Pocket as it stands. My faith has waivered, but it is back with the 2X3 crew, as this is still the best eastern front game for me. This is still one of the most active sections on the Matrix boards. No matter what you think, this has done what entertainment should do: evoke strong emotions.

(in reply to kg_1007)
Post #: 29
RE: The Lvov Pocket and why its "gamey" - 7/27/2012 5:04:53 PM   
kg_1007

 

Posts: 229
Joined: 4/19/2008
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: janh

quote:

ORIGINAL: kg_1007
quote:

ORIGINAL: lycortas

That is one of the saddest things about this game; it is in some ways less advanced than Grigsby's games from the late 80's early 90's.

I am semi okay with igo ugo for this as it shows tempo of the campaign. But to make this work the game should have constriction penalties. I have played games a decade, 2 decades ago that had a +1 movement point addition to a hex for every unit that moved through it on your turn. That would have fixed this problem in Lvov.

This game has an illusion of depth due to its huge counter mix but it is extremely simple in many ways, weather, movement and combat.

As an example, IRL the Germans took about 900,000 casualties by November '41, about the same as they took in two months against France. However, i have been watching AARs, playing my own games, etc and i have never seen a German opponent take 900,000 casualties by November. So the designers made winter extra harsh. Balances things or something.

I am not sure if this would be a fix but turn by turn VP for cities might make a better campaign. Maybe that would be breakable by the Cult of cheese on the forums though.

Mike

Not sure where you get these numbers, German ARMY casualties in all of 1939-1941 June, STILL had not reached 900.000. I would imagine there were also naval and Luftwaffe casualties, but cannot imagine they were more than the army which had done most of the fighting.



Mike's number's sound quite right. A while back there was already a discussion about that. There are some original German records in the Offical Reports of the OKW, which I recall were a similar ball-park figure. I can look it up tonight, if necessary. Generally in most AARs the German casualties seem comparably low, which may be due to the different course and nature most AARs take from history. Back in time there seems to have been a lot harder fighting on both sides - for whatever myriad of reasons.

One thing to keep in mind when comparing "some statistics" to "in-game statistics", though, is to be sure that the counting is done in same way. For instance I read German statistics that counted German wounded only as wounded if they'd not be able to fight anymore, whereas others also counted only lightly injured as well. I noticed this trick was used on the Soviet casualties to exaggerate the latter and lower the former. The Soviet'd probably used similar tricks. WiTE does the accounting its own way, and may or may not be comparable to any given data.

Statistisches Jahrbuch für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland..the German records of their own war casualties, published by the West German government some ..16 yrs after the war's end...shows ~~around 47.000 killed and missing from the army in the campaign in the west(France, Belgium, Netherlands combined) And show approximately 250.000 killed or missing, from June 1941-November 1941. Playing either side in this game, those have been fairly close..as the German side, of course, being that this is a game, we already expect the vicious winter, etc..so THAT advantage cannot be overcome, just as the Soviet side, obviously since this is ABOUT the war, already knows the Germans will attack, which is a bit of information denied to them by Stalin in the historic example.So, all in all, there always will be gamey things that you cannot get rid of, since, in fact, you are playing a game.

(in reply to janh)
Post #: 30
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