From: Denver Colorado
Helio, reading your message above, you state that it is bad that the Axis (who you admit have no AP crunch at all) have a hard time switching units from corps to corps while the Soviets (who you also admit DO have an AP crunch) have an easier time to switch units from army to army.
So, do you propose that the Axis cost is reduced and thus giving them even more of a surplus? Or should the Soviet cost be increased and thus have even more of a shortage? Or perhaps understand that the current situation seems to be more of a game play balance than the ideal situation?
But, you also stress above, that the real problem is that the German army was badly organized in June, 1941 and that it requires too many AP to optimize the proper Axis organization and leaders to get the maximum benefit for the Axis in 1941. Which, unfortunately, hits my "pet peave" button about people who insist that everything must be able to be optimized to the absolute best and ignore the historical realities of politics and actual unit composition. Thus we have players who will send factories of equipment that they do not like into the path of the advancing Axis forces so that resources are not spent building the "useless stuff". They disband entire units and hierarchies in order to move the manpower and such to the ones that they favor. And then they complain that something or other is broken because it relies on the very stuff that they changed.
To be productive in this, however, use the editor and optimize the Axis forces to your desires in the Barbarossa scenario and then PM me and I will be the Soviets against you. You can even use the options to give your self the maximum APs per turn and reduce the Soviets to the minimum. Then you will be able to what the effect would be.
My point is not simply that "It's bad that Germany pays so much in AP compared to the Soviet.”
My argument is that by removing this particular imbalance in the way the two sides must experience and interact with the game mechanic, let’s call it the “Germany pays way more to move divisions than the Soviet (particularly for Axis Minors)” problem, a more enjoyable 1941 will be experienced. I assert that it will be more enjoyable for both sides, and will enable new strategies (and require new strategies) by both sides that are not the kind of mechanical abuse that muling is, but I’m sure a Fire Brigade will descend in short order to tell me how wrong I am and how my rationales are foolish (or worse).
I am saying that if the German player in War in the East experienced divisional HQ allocation costs identically to the Soviet player, specifically in 1941, then the 1941 game would be much more dynamic, with more numerous and more varied approaches to playing the game would follow (maybe just 41, maybe 41-42, who really knows). That is the simple sentence I assert should be the reality.
I advocate that people open their mind to this kind of game where Germany can more quickly optimize the arbitrary command problems that it has when it begins on Turn 1. To give an example, I always refer to 8.Corps, 9.Army and the insane number of SUs it starts with.
Yes, 8.Corps 9.Army started with a gazillion support elements in the real war, but in game terms, this historical fact is translated mechanically by the game engine into a “expletive you” to the German player. 8.Corps, 9.Army in the game (and every panzer corps on Turn 1) is trapped by under the heavy penalty of diminishing returns because the real Wehrmacht had no idea Gary Grigsby was going to arbitrarily set the diminishing return point at 5 SUs.
Note what I mean about the difference between German and Soviet: whatever the Soviet CV problem in 1941 (and I do not assert that it is small), the passive SU removal system is a marvel of efficiency for the 1941 Soviet, doing exactly what the Soviets need it to do – save lives and AP at the same time. In addition, the free-to-assign new arrivals, like Cavalry, and high-strength rifle divisions, can be staged at precisely the right place, and assigned into precisely the right commander, at precisely the optimal time, because each and every turn, all your divisions arrive as free-to-assign.
So the mechanical effect is that the game engine passively optimizes the Soviet army without the Soviet having to spend AP to improve what historically was one of their biggest inefficiencies in 1941 – Organization and C&C. Why does the Soviet get passive but continuous improvement whereas Germany not only starts being punished by the arbitrary (in terms of WitE mechanical penalties) real life organizations in the corps, it is punished again by an arbitrarily unequal AP cost structure?
Moreover, for the Soviet 1941 game army, being over-burdened in a Front is not particularly noticeable in terms of unit performance for most units and most leaders. For the Soviet as well, being un-attached to any Front or lower HQ is also not particularly harmful to second and third-tier defensive units whose main purpose is to dig, and take on replacements (these problems are far more negatively impactful to the German 1941 performance).
For the German, the SU problem and the AP cost sink translate into loss optimization opportunities derived when Germany organizes its army around the mechanics of the engine (having only 5 SUs per Corps, for example, and getting the over-burden penalties out of 11.Corps, for example).
Imagine for a moment that the AP cost structure is a part of the game map of War in the East. In this scenario, it is as though the map is scaled differently for the German side, and the difference in scale results in degraded performance than Germany would experience if it got to play on the same map as the Soviet got to play on.
I’m not advocating that anything be done to the current Soviet C&C costs. I’m not asking for Soviet divisions to be force-assigned to HQs. I’m not asking for Soviets to pay more APs, or reduce their available AP. I’m not asking for any mechanical changes in how the Soviet interfaces the game. I’m asking for Germany’s interface to match the Soviet interface in price and at scale. Re-assigning a division is re-assigning a division.
For those of you who argue that both sides receive replacement divisions for free, I make two counter-arguments. First, in saying that this equality balances things out, you voluntarily overlook two key points, which is intellectual negligence. 1) On the aggregate, the Soviet benefits by orders of magnitude more than the German will benefit from free replacements – it cannot be denied. 2) The 1941 free HQ allocations in arriving units is a tremendous advantage over the historical problems that the actual Soviet army had in 1941 with C&C and execution of higher HQ orders at the front line. Note also in this argument that I’m not trying to take this advantage away from the Soviet.
As for your pet peeve, I respond to that in two points: 1) Empowerment of the player to be free from historical imperatives of the respective armies is always better than static attachment that constricts strategies from the player, and: 2) The game is so vastly inaccurate to history anyway that any argument which attempts to justify War in the East mechanics with World War 2 are easily destroyed by several important facts about the game (the supply model is arcade-style in simplicity, and totally tilts in favor offensive operations compared to history; the air war is ridiculous; Soviets can save every single important factory without worry, etc.).
I refuse to let anyone get away with historical justifications because it is a justification always founded on inconsistency and hypocrisy– it is the height of hypocrisy for 1941, that the Soviet command structure, literally the biggest handicap that the 1941 Red Army faced, is optimized by facile, mostly passive effort on the Soviet’s player’s part.
None of us bought this game to be tethered to history, but to deviate from it. There is no justification for the difference in mechanical costs that the German and the Soviet pay for movement of units within the command structure. We both play on the same hex grid super-imposed over the real earth, but Germany has an artificial net thrown over it by the arbitrary assigned cost differences of command change costs.
Make them even.
Spring 2017-Playing: Hell's Highway, Advanced Squad Leader,
Reading: Kampfgruppe Walther & Panzerbrigade 107 (Magnificent). Lots of Osprey stuff.
Rulebooks: ASL (always ASL)