From: Bristol, UK
I am glad we have got back to a more focused discussion. There are now some good points being made.
Here's my penny's worth in no particular order whilst I await the .05 hotfix
1 Map scope fine for campaign game. Any more and you are up against the law of diminishing returns both in game terms and also impact on limited design time better spent on more key areas.
+1. Not going to reject it if supplied, but do not do it if there is a significant cost in time and effort,and especially if the AI struggles. An off map 'box' (a la WitW EF box) if you must, but it wasn't important and could never be at a EF 1941-45 level. Even given the carrot of cutting a major lend lease port, the Germans/Finns didn't prosecute seriously. Tell you anything?
2 I like the idea of increased MPs for going over hexes fought over in player's turn. Worked well in Next War. It meant that it took my Soviets 3 or 4 turns to crush NATO rather than 2 or 3. Does not have to be the same for both sides all the time. For eg, it could dis-applied to Germans' for T1 and ?T2, and the impact on Russians diminish later on as they got more skilled.
+1. The only objections so far seem to be based on concerns as to what it would do in WITE1, which is irrelevevant. Also, rolling over a typical 1-1 takes very little MPs, so you really are not going to have much effect on T1 of WitE2.
3 Combat system needs revamp. Massive complexity under the hood which doesn't really affect the end result - or that's what it seems to me anyway.
Not so certain here. I think the biggest issues with the losses may not be the pure combat system, but I am prepared to debate it. But first we need data. And not just losses by army by year. I do not understand how the engine reflects the intensity of combat. If the defender doesn't want to fight (RL), it is hard to inflict heavy losses in the 'combat', but of course the withdrawal (lets call it that to differentiate voluntary and involuntary retrograde movement) must be properly executed or it will become a retreat. I haven't seen a detailed discussion of how the engine actually works (although there are lots on the effects!)
4 Losses. I understand the arguments for but we need a game that works. As has been written, losses are low vs history, but there were many in uniform not in game so their losses are invisible in game. Also, I imagine that many RL casualties have short term injuries ie less serious than WiTE's disabled category. I have just got, but not yet read, 'The Rzhev Slaughterhouse' by Svetlana Gerasimova. In it she says that over 15 months the Red Army lost 2 million casualties -just over 30K per turn in WiTE terms, which would be unworkable.
5 An end to super ants. This was a very irritating problem in GG's excellent predecessor game and surprisingly/sadly also WiTE itself. Suggest some sort of overrun rule where MP cost for divs/corps attacking ants is removed/diminished and whereby ants take the big losses instead of the attacking bigger unit(s). David v Goliath only happened once, and then only because there was just 1 Goliath.
I am very against 'special rules'. The key to the combat system must be that the basic mechanics are robust and produce a plausible range of results across as wide a range of situations as possible. Any special rules tend to produce a discontinuity in the results curve, which gives opportunities for anomalous results or player exploits.
5 Supply. I don't have any original ideas but I've always thought HQBUs were a ludicrous, if necessary, fudge. WiTW seems to be much better, tho' that's only from what I have read about it.
6 To make russians attack in early stages - why not make it a requirement? In the old (SPI?) board game 'Objective Moscow' I think Warsaw Pact had to make X attacks in each of the 1st 3 turns at a minimum of some odds ratio.Failure to do so meant instant loss of game. I also used to have a large East front board game, ? name but made in about 1990, of '41 Southern front where there was also a requirement for soviets to make X attacks in first y turns. Failure meant a morale penalty or something, or it might have meant russians got some reward for achieving the target number. The point is that it can be very simple to impose such a requirement or make it something the Russian will want to do.
Again, I hate special rules and they should only be used for one off unique situations (like Pearl Harbour for example, where the preparedness of the port was way outside of any realistic war footing). The key is to work out WHY the Russians attacked, and address that. That is, provide similar stimuli and choices for the Russian player...
7 You could do the same to replicate Hitler's 1st winter 'stand fast' order.
Again, special rules disease. You need to consider what you want the game to reflect. Who is the Axis player? Is (s)he Hitler? Or the Army high commands with Hitler above? Players generally seem not to like being forced to do things. On the other hand, in front of Moscow in 1941 I think the stand fast order is not a bad thing to do , so the game needs to reflects that as a valid choice. Later on it is less so. Players also seem to dislike VP driven bahaviours, but the Germans could have a parameter (morale, or something) that rewards a forward defense.
I dont like cutting down the damaging effect of the first winter on GE. But I can see why a GE player would like to be able to prepare (with training/winter clothes). However unless the effect of that is reflected (less other supply, delayed reinforcements), the game is in danger of having a very detailed historical micro level and a fantasy macro one... I am rambling a little.
NB These last 2 might be better as options (or more sensibly combined a single 'historical' option) as not everyone will like them.
8 I like the idea of VPs per objective per turn held. Easy enough for a computer to do as it will encourage the holding of ground for real strategic/political reasons that players do not currently have to consider.
9 Get Jison to do the map
I like the idea of VP per turn. This addresses so many odd tactics, (first winter mass withdrawal, lack of aggressive defence) rather neatly, as well as reflecting issues outside of the game (political/diplomatic aspects etc).
Final point. The game should avoid where ever possible 'scripted' events like national morale changes. They should be driven by on map results - cities changing hands (preferably by number not name - dont want to force axes of attack), losses, number of units in play etc. If National Morale is kept at an amalgam of doctrine and true morale, it could rise with number of combats (maybe wins counting more than losses) and fall by casualties and cities lost etc)
I have a cunning plan, My Lord