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RE: Looking at DCCB

 
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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/8/2012 12:47:18 PM   
James Ward

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

quote:

ORIGINAL: James Ward
I'm not sure what can be done about the AI movement, I'm not sure how hard it is to change.


I'm no programmer, but I expect that this would be fairly hard to fix. The German AI in WitE has essentially the same problem.

But what do other players think about this "out of supply" issue? I had a couple of frustrating situations: around Stalingrad I had a traffic jam of units crossing the Volga, and I moved one regiment onto the island south of the city. Unfortunately for some reason it got stuck there and could not move back off the island until the river froze a couple of months later. Another time I had a security unit chasing a partisan unit up by the north map edge, and the partisan unit moved on, leaving a trail of Sov-controlled hexes which immobilized the security unit, which I found very odd.


I think there should be a road bridge over the Volga at Stalingrad. It is very difficult to take the city back as the Russian or advance past it as the Germans as it is now.

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Post #: 61
RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/8/2012 2:00:51 PM   
redmarkus4


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But it would have been very difficult to do either in real life, precisely because there was no bridge, just a very wide river... :)

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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/8/2012 2:07:54 PM   
James Ward

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: redmarkus4

But it would have been very difficult to do either in real life, precisely because there was no bridge, just a very wide river... :)


True but they were able to run ferry's across and these are not portrayed in the game nor do you have the ability to build temporary bridges.
It's a little odd that to advance past Stalingrad you need to capture a city hundreds of miles north or south of it and convert a rail line all the way back to Stalingrad.

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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/8/2012 2:13:16 PM   
76mm


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All this talk of rail lines makes me recall another question I had about the game: I could not use rail transport on the east side of the Volga, even after all of the rails had been converted. It is a long long march from Stalingrad to Baku, why could I put my guys on trains? I also had problems with putting the Romanians in the Crimea on trains...


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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/8/2012 2:42:16 PM   
stonestriker

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: James Ward


quote:

ORIGINAL: redmarkus4

But it would have been very difficult to do either in real life, precisely because there was no bridge, just a very wide river... :)


True but they were able to run ferry's across and these are not portrayed in the game nor do you have the ability to build temporary bridges.
It's a little odd that to advance past Stalingrad you need to capture a city hundreds of miles north or south of it and convert a rail line all the way back to Stalingrad.


I think that ferries and temporary bridges are abstracted in the movement/supply rules. The capacity of these bridges and ferries are just so low, that it takes a lot of AP to cross it.

Men, tanks and supplies are all able to cross rivers in the game, and how would they do this otherwise?


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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/8/2012 3:32:15 PM   
James Ward

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: stonestriker
I think that ferries and temporary bridges are abstracted in the movement/supply rules. The capacity of these bridges and ferries are just so low, that it takes a lot of AP to cross it.

Men, tanks and supplies are all able to cross rivers in the game, and how would they do this otherwise?




In the game it is practically impossible to advance past Stalingrad without controlling Saratov or Astrakan AND converting the rail lines to and from the cities. Why would Stalingrad have any significance if it's just a dead end?

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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/8/2012 3:48:36 PM   
Bonners


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Is that quite correct?

I seem to recall that major cities act as supply centres in the rules, but take a few turns to get their new supply status once you take them? I'm sure in my game against the Soviet AI I was able to gradually advance down the east bank of the Volga as the supply net gradually recovered in the turns after Stalingrad was taken, i.e. major supply centres increase the length of the supply line.

I', sure I've got an old saved game so I'll have a check when I get home from work.

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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/8/2012 4:00:18 PM   
James Ward

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bonners

Is that quite correct?

I seem to recall that major cities act as supply centres in the rules, but take a few turns to get their new supply status once you take them? I'm sure in my game against the Soviet AI I was able to gradually advance down the east bank of the Volga as the supply net gradually recovered in the turns after Stalingrad was taken, i.e. major supply centres increase the length of the supply line.

I', sure I've got an old saved game so I'll have a check when I get home from work.


Once the rail is converted and the damage to the city is repaired it can be the point where supply leaves the rail net but it costs to count supply over the Volga, a LOT in some cases. You are very limited on how far you could advance without taking one of the two bridges that cross the Volga and convert the rail lines.
I have had to play a speed card just to move a unit back across the Volga even though there was a rail line two hexes away with the HQ on it. It just didn't have the supply/AP's to make the move.

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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/8/2012 6:11:12 PM   
stonestriker

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: James Ward

Once the rail is converted and the damage to the city is repaired it can be the point where supply leaves the rail net but it costs to count supply over the Volga, a LOT in some cases. You are very limited on how far you could advance without taking one of the two bridges that cross the Volga and convert the rail lines.
I have had to play a speed card just to move a unit back across the Volga even though there was a rail line two hexes away with the HQ on it. It just didn't have the supply/AP's to make the move.


I am not sure that Stalingrad was as important for the germans, as it was for the russians (supply-wise). AFAIK was the last direct railroad link between Caucasus and the rest of russian, so denying that city to the russians would hinder the flow of oil. Furthermore, any river transport on the Volga could be bombarded as well. Have a look at this map for instance, where you can see the railroads:


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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/8/2012 6:12:33 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: James Ward
You are very limited on how far you could advance without taking one of the two bridges that cross the Volga and convert the rail lines.


Which rail lines are you talking about, the one through Palloschovka? After taking Stalingrad I took Saratov but never took that rail yet was able to advance to Astrakhan and then to Baku, and to Chapaev in the east.

The rail leading south from Saratov is on the wrong side of the Volga so that shouldn't help...

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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/8/2012 6:15:37 PM   
James Ward

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm


quote:

ORIGINAL: James Ward
You are very limited on how far you could advance without taking one of the two bridges that cross the Volga and convert the rail lines.


Which rail lines are you talking about, the one through Palloschovka? After taking Stalingrad I took Saratov but never took that rail yet was able to advance to Astrakhan and then to Baku, and to Chapaev in the east.

The rail leading south from Saratov is on the wrong side of the Volga so that shouldn't help...


I'm not at the game right now but isn't there is a road/rail line down the east side of the Volga that runs basically from Saratov to Astrakan? If you want to move east from Stalingrad you need one of those cleared to get supply.

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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/8/2012 6:59:53 PM   
76mm


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quote:

I'm not at the game right now but isn't there is a road/rail line down the east side of the Volga that runs basically from Saratov to Astrakan? If you want to move east from Stalingrad you need one of those cleared to get supply.


There is a line from Stalingrad to Astrakhan which basically hugs the east side of the Volga. From Saratov, however, the rail stays more than ten hexes east of the Volga, and only joins the Stalingrad-Astrakhan line at the town of Bastunyak, SE of Stalingrad and about 16 hexes east of the Volga. I only managed to capture part of the rail to the north, towards Saratov but was able to continue south without much of problem.

[EDIT] You can actually see these rail lines on the map posted above.

< Message edited by 76mm -- 11/8/2012 7:01:33 PM >

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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/8/2012 7:16:15 PM   
James Ward

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

quote:

I'm not at the game right now but isn't there is a road/rail line down the east side of the Volga that runs basically from Saratov to Astrakan? If you want to move east from Stalingrad you need one of those cleared to get supply.


There is a line from Stalingrad to Astrakhan which basically hugs the east side of the Volga. From Saratov, however, the rail stays more than ten hexes east of the Volga, and only joins the Stalingrad-Astrakhan line at the town of Bastunyak, SE of Stalingrad and about 16 hexes east of the Volga. I only managed to capture part of the rail to the north, towards Saratov but was able to continue south without much of problem.

[EDIT] You can actually see these rail lines on the map posted above.


I think there is also a road that runs close to the east side of the Volga. It can provide a little better supply than tracing across the Volga though not as good as the rail line.

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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/9/2012 2:45:56 AM   
LiquidSky


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The cost in AP's to move over the Volga is +100AP. For supply as well. In other words, it is a brick wall to the Germans, who will not be able to cross it and fight effectively on the other side. The same goes for the Russians..at least, until winter hits (which effectively eliminates ALL rivers)

The Russians did build a bridge over the Volga into Stalingrad. They finished it just before the Germans reached the city, and where told to dismantle it right after, to prevent it falling into enemy hands. (In Beevor's book, Stalingrad). The Russians do have a rather large number of river craft which can be used as ferries, and should be able to cross the Volga for a cheaper ap cost then the germans, who have no way of building or capturing their own rivercraft.

In the game, the only way to fight over the Volga is at Saratov (an impossible scenario, given the size of the Russian forces north of the map), or at Astrakahn... but then, you only need Baku and Stalingrad to get an auto victory. No need to even cross it.



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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/9/2012 7:37:28 AM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: LiquidSky
The cost in AP's to move over the Volga is +100AP. For supply as well. In other words, it is a brick wall to the Germans, who will not be able to cross it and fight effectively on the other side. The same goes for the Russians..at least, until winter hits (which effectively eliminates ALL rivers)


While you say makes complete sense, it seems like I didn't have the extreme problems that you are referring to. Frankly I can't remember if I turned on the "hard core" supply rules for my first game, would that have made a difference?

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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/9/2012 12:38:58 PM   
James Ward

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: LiquidSky



The cost in AP's to move over the Volga is +100AP. For supply as well. In other words, it is a brick wall to the Germans, who will not be able to cross it and fight effectively on the other side. The same goes for the Russians..at least, until winter hits (which effectively eliminates ALL rivers)

The Russians did build a bridge over the Volga into Stalingrad. They finished it just before the Germans reached the city, and where told to dismantle it right after, to prevent it falling into enemy hands. (In Beevor's book, Stalingrad). The Russians do have a rather large number of river craft which can be used as ferries, and should be able to cross the Volga for a cheaper ap cost then the germans, who have no way of building or capturing their own rivercraft.

In the game, the only way to fight over the Volga is at Saratov (an impossible scenario, given the size of the Russian forces north of the map), or at Astrakahn... but then, you only need Baku and Stalingrad to get an auto victory. No need to even cross it.




I understand that but if Stalingrad is just a dead end as far as advancing past it, what is it's strategic worth? Why do you need to take it to win the game? It seems pretty easy to take as it is easy to isolate and hard to defend for the Russians.

Would it be better to make the automatic victory taking Baku and Saratov, make it really hard to accomplish?

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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/9/2012 1:02:02 PM   
starbuck310

 

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Surely the whole point was to take and hold Stalingrad as well as advancing to the south. If it was a worthless objective it would bring in to question the whole context of the game. Its a historical political important objective and the ones in the south are important strategic resource goals that the military were directed to be taken together.

I ofc avoid mentioning the primacy of focusing on the destruction of enemy forces rather than taking ground. But political and strategic considerations are very much a limiting factor even on to days operations.

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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/9/2012 1:12:35 PM   
James Ward

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: starbuck310

Surely the whole point was to take and hold Stalingrad as well as advancing to the south. If it was a worthless objective it would bring in to question the whole context of the game. Its a historical political important objective and the ones in the south are important strategic resource goals that the military were directed to be taken together.

I ofc avoid mentioning the primacy of focusing on the destruction of enemy forces rather than taking ground. But political and strategic considerations are very much a limiting factor even on to days operations.


Wasn't the main goal of Case Blue was the oil fields? Didn't Stalingrad become the focus AFTER the offensive was launched due to the insistance of Hitler to take the city named after the leader of the USSR?

The Volga may have been a good defensive line to anchor the advance to the oil fields on but if there is no way across the Volga in the south except at Astrakan then why not make that the strategic target to hold? You could keep making Stalingrad an objective with big penalties for not holding it but I'm talking strictly from an automatic victory point of view. Why Stalingrad?

< Message edited by James Ward -- 11/9/2012 1:13:33 PM >

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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/9/2012 1:20:04 PM   
Bonners


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Been reading a fair bit around Case Blue recently and that is my understanding of the original German plan. Take the line of the Volga, eventually stretching down to Astrakhan and only once that had been taken to advance into the Caucasus to take the oilfields which were always the strategic objective. It was only through Hitler's interference that both objectives had to be taken concurrently.

As an aside, on British TV at the moment there is a Russian made documentary series about the war in the east, has been very interesting. From my western eyes it seems very biased towards the Russians, but I guess that is to be expected and there are plenty of documentaries around that have a bias towards the German side.

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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/9/2012 5:42:52 PM   
starbuck310

 

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Think your mixing up political and military objectives. I totally agree with your point from a purely military point of view. But Stalingrad like Moscow and Leningrad to a lesser extent had a lot of political and moral importance for the leadership and the nation.

von Clausewitz on war stressed the moral and political nature of war. There are not divisible. Often misquoted as meaning war is the extension of politics by another means. Can I recommend Eric Von Manstien by Mungo Melvin for a feel for the political interference and although this is from the German perspective Churchill but other leaders such as Churchill ignored their military advisors (Alanbrooke) and military disasters or dissipation of effort inevitably followed.

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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/9/2012 6:16:44 PM   
James Ward

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: starbuck310

Think your mixing up political and military objectives. I totally agree with your point from a purely military point of view. But Stalingrad like Moscow and Leningrad to a lesser extent had a lot of political and moral importance for the leadership and the nation.

von Clausewitz on war stressed the moral and political nature of war. There are not divisible. Often misquoted as meaning war is the extension of politics by another means. Can I recommend Eric Von Manstien by Mungo Melvin for a feel for the political interference and although this is from the German perspective Churchill but other leaders such as Churchill ignored their military advisors (Alanbrooke) and military disasters or dissipation of effort inevitably followed.



In terms of real life Stalingrad wasn't the objective at the start of Case Blue but it came to symbolize the whole thing after the German defeat there.

I'm mostly talking about it in terms of the game for automatic victory. The oil fields were the main objective of the campaign so I get Baku. Saratov opened a route to Moscow so I get that. Stalingrad led nowhere and was not a goal of the campaign so I don't get why it is included.

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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/9/2012 7:31:12 PM   
stonestriker

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: James Ward

In terms of real life Stalingrad wasn't the objective at the start of Case Blue but it came to symbolize the whole thing after the German defeat there.

I'm mostly talking about it in terms of the game for automatic victory. The oil fields were the main objective of the campaign so I get Baku. Saratov opened a route to Moscow so I get that. Stalingrad led nowhere and was not a goal of the campaign so I don't get why it is included.


The way I see it is that Baku is the key to the campaign, as you say. But in order to secure the oil completely, the germans need Stalingrad (closing rail and river access to Caucasus). Besides Stalingrad contained quite a lot of heavy industry important to the russian war effort, that in itself could be seen as important.

However taking Saratov should work just as well in securing Caucasus, or even better, so changing the objectives to Baku and (Stalingrad or Saratov) would seem quite logical.

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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/9/2012 7:37:50 PM   
Bonners


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quote:

ORIGINAL: starbuck310

Think your mixing up political and military objectives. I totally agree with your point from a purely military point of view. But Stalingrad like Moscow and Leningrad to a lesser extent had a lot of political and moral importance for the leadership and the nation.

von Clausewitz on war stressed the moral and political nature of war. There are not divisible. Often misquoted as meaning war is the extension of politics by another means. Can I recommend Eric Von Manstien by Mungo Melvin for a feel for the political interference and although this is from the German perspective Churchill but other leaders such as Churchill ignored their military advisors (Alanbrooke) and military disasters or dissipation of effort inevitably followed.



Totally agree with you about political interference, but when the goals for the campaign were originally made the taking of the flank on the Volga was supposed to have been completed first. It was only when political interference happened that the objectives got widely expanded. Totally agree with you about the Mungo Melvin book by the way, it was about time there was a more critical appraisal made of Manstein whilst still recognising he was a masterful and skilful general.

Anyway, I think everybody is kind of right as this game does mix up the political and strategic objectives for the Germans quite well. yes strategically all the Germans needed to do was to anchor the flank and disrupt the Volga traffic, but politically I dont think you can take Stalingrad out of the objectives. If you take away the barmy high command objectives doesnt it become a totally non historic setting on a historic map?


< Message edited by Bonners -- 11/9/2012 7:38:47 PM >

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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/9/2012 8:03:36 PM   
James Ward

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bonners
Totally agree with you about political interference, but when the goals for the campaign were originally made the taking of the flank on the Volga was supposed to have been completed first. It was only when political interference happened that the objectives got widely expanded. Totally agree with you about the Mungo Melvin book by the way, it was about time there was a more critical appraisal made of Manstein whilst still recognising he was a masterful and skilful general.

Anyway, I think everybody is kind of right as this game does mix up the political and strategic objectives for the Germans quite well. yes strategically all the Germans needed to do was to anchor the flank and disrupt the Volga traffic, but politically I dont think you can take Stalingrad out of the objectives. If you take away the barmy high command objectives doesnt it become a totally non historic setting on a historic map?



I'm not suggesting taking Stalingrad out as an objective. It should be a very expensive one to not take/hold if ordered. This would insure that a good part of the forces are committed to it. I do question why it is part of the automatic victory conditions. The game should be decided on points most of the time not automatic victory.

Automatic victory should be really hard to achieve. I don't think it is possible for the Russian to get an AV against a human as Kiev is required and I don't see how they get there. Stalingrad is very hard to defend for the Russians due to the lack of a direct supply route from the East. Making a North and South objective as the Automatic victory conditions with Stalingrad in the middle as a big prestige point generator/drain would force the Germans to get an overwhelming victory everywhere to get an AV.

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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/9/2012 10:19:02 PM   
Bonners


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I am totally rubbish, meant to get a screenshot showing supply to the Stalingrad forces in my AAR. Anyway, the point is that I checked the supply and at the moment they are all getting plenty of supply coming from across the river. Are there special rules built into the game governing the supply for Stalingrad? Will be interesting to see what happens when/if the German airforce are there in force to interdict the supply.

As for automatic victory, I'm not sure either way as I dont think I've got the experience to fully judge either way. Points I would consider though would be whether when the automatic victory conditions are achieved whether there is always that much point in carrying on the game? At least it makes both opponents go for historic objectives. It is already an expensive objective, but it is possible for the Germans to avoid and still get a major victory anyway. In my game Isokron already has about 430 vps without Stalingrad. As I said, I dont know the answer either way, just points for discussion really.

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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/10/2012 4:03:28 AM   
76mm


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I've posted a screen shot of my advance past Stalingrad. At this point I had not yet taken Saratov or Astrakhan. I'm still a bit fuzzy on how supply works in this game, but all of the units, including the leading unit which I've highlighted, seem to be drawing 100% supply. I did have occasional supply issues, but I think they were caused by mud rather than by the Volga. I'm a bit embarassed to admit that I didn't even realize that there was no bridge at Stalingrad...


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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/10/2012 9:52:21 AM   
Isokron

 

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I don't think your units in that screenshot is at full supply 76mm, you need to open the detail view to see that. I have no idea what that supply indicator among the ap/readiness etc stats are supposed to show but it always seems to be 100% for me. Also notice how low your readiness for all those units in the screenshot is.

My understanding (and some traces of enemy supply in my game against Bonners seems to confirm it) is that an unbridged Volga crossing cost 100 points for supply. Which mean that if you have no other penalties to your supply route then your units will receive 0.75 of their wanted supply. What that means is that in the long run (after units local supply stockpile is used) the unit can regain 10 readiness per turn instead of 20 in full supply. And of course once you reach 100 supply cost its not far (4 hexes of open terrain) to the next step at 150 cost which give you 0.5 supply and that will prevent you from regaining readiness at all in the long run.

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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/10/2012 10:02:42 AM   
Vic


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Dont forget that once Stalingrad has recovered its full structural points it functions as a major logistical center, helping to ease the traffic over the Wolga.

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RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/26/2012 5:41:40 AM   
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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm
Another thing I wanted to mention: I was surprised by the high morale of the Sov units in this game, often it was higher than my German units, although morale was certainly all over the map, I think the lowest I saw was 7, and the highest 100. Overall I would have expected Sov morale to be lower.


I'm still far from understanding how unit stats influence combat resolution, but I've noticed some oddities in unit stats as well, which might or not be related to some surprising combat results I'm getting, such as GD being badly mauled by one of the typical single-hex based human wave - or meat ball, more properly - attacks that DCCB AI likes to do.

I say this is surprising because GD was well able to defeat, inflicting massive casualties, a similar assault by 3rd Mech Corps, months later, on the banks of the Luchessa River during Operation Mars.

Morale and experience values for certain German divisions seem to be a bit low. I mean, I have noticed that, in the Voronezh scenario, Grossdeutschland is modeled with its regiments having 50 experience. I need to check the values for Soviet formations on the editor, but I'd be surprised if I find experience values for 5th Tk Army tank corps units to be above 10. That is, I'm fine with elite German units not having 100's in all departments, but I'd be surprised to see that they're rated similarly as freshly formed Soviet formations.

PS: I bought this after reading Flaviusx endorsement above

(in reply to 76mm)
Post #: 89
RE: Looking at DCCB - 11/26/2012 9:08:30 AM   
Reconvet

 

Posts: 355
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bletchley_Geek

quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm
Another thing I wanted to mention: I was surprised by the high morale of the Sov units in this game, often it was higher than my German units, although morale was certainly all over the map, I think the lowest I saw was 7, and the highest 100. Overall I would have expected Sov morale to be lower.


I'm still far from understanding how unit stats influence combat resolution, but I've noticed some oddities in unit stats as well, which might or not be related to some surprising combat results I'm getting, such as GD being badly mauled by one of the typical single-hex based human wave - or meat ball, more properly - attacks that DCCB AI likes to do.

I say this is surprising because GD was well able to defeat, inflicting massive casualties, a similar assault by 3rd Mech Corps, months later, on the banks of the Luchessa River during Operation Mars.

Morale and experience values for certain German divisions seem to be a bit low. I mean, I have noticed that, in the Voronezh scenario, Grossdeutschland is modeled with its regiments having 50 experience. I need to check the values for Soviet formations on the editor, but I'd be surprised if I find experience values for 5th Tk Army tank corps units to be above 10. That is, I'm fine with elite German units not having 100's in all departments, but I'd be surprised to see that they're rated similarly as freshly formed Soviet formations.

PS: I bought this after reading Flaviusx endorsement above


Experience levels for reinforcement nonguard soviet units is 30, german panzer units arrive with 45 iirc.

Experience does have its value in DCCB. But in this game I've learned the hard way to first look at readiness, supply stocks and integrity before I send/expose units to battle. I'd bet your GD had attacked before they were mauled, maybe several turns in a row, which caused its readiness to be lower than 70% and had used up its supply stock to lower than 0.5. Units with integrity lower than 50% run a high risk to break if taking further heavy losses in battle. In DCCB you really have to give your units some rest once in a while, or your losses will get catastrophic real quick.

In my pbem with Bonners I successfully started to counterattack his german units (including his panzer divisions) after they had taken one or two hexes. I used rested troops I was able to mass in a second line, and if those counterattacks included a higher number of tanks I frequently was able to break several tired german regiments. My AAR is lagging hopelessly behind, but I'll post a screenshot of such an attack:






Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Reconvet -- 11/26/2012 9:14:22 AM >


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