I've always thought that TOAW combat is too bloody in lots of cases. It's hard to be precise, or to test, quantify, analyse this.
I'm really mostly interested in fiddling around with scenarios, trying to get the AI to do sensible things and watching the results in PO vs PO play. This obviously isn't a normal use case for the game, and given that the AI is fairly moronic the results often won't be that close to what you would get with human players.
Nevertheless, the following might be of some interest.
I've been fiddling around with the "Home Before the Leaves Fall" scenario, which seems like a pretty well-crafted 1914 Battle of the Frontiers/Battle of the Marne scenario. It's an infantry/artillery/cavalry battle, with no tanks and no aircraft, so relevant for checking out basic "soft target" behavior.
I've done some testing on this, up to the 10th September turn, which is the period for which I have some rough casualty figures, to the eve of the Marne.
For this period, the PO vs PO outcomes tend to be roughly historical in terms of the limits of the German advance. But by my rough reckoning casualties average at about 2.4X historic for the Germans and 2.1X for the Entente.
I won't go into the details of how I get to those averages - it's all very rough & here just intended to set baselines for looking at the effects of changing things.
So the obvous thing to change is the Attrition Divider (AD). This is set to 10 by default. Setting it to X is supposed to change average "lethality" of individual combats by 10/X. So setting X to 20 should make combat half as lethal; and twice as lethal if you set it to 5. (Or is there a square root factor in this? Doesn't matter for rough purposes.)
Very naively & without much thought, you might expect that setting the AD to 20 will on average halve casualties while preserving eg the extent of the German advance. But a moment's reflection will dissolve that intuition - fewer individual-combat casualties to the defender may mean fewer retreats and evaporations, and more combat and less movement for the attacker. The outcomes are not obvious.
Here's what I get from playing around.
AD = 10 (the default): German 2.4X historic, Entente 2.1X, German advance roughly historic.
AD = 20: German 2.5X, Entene 2.2X, German advance a bit slower. So casualties actually *increase* a little bit.
AD = 50 (so per-combat casualties are supposed to average 20% of the default): German 2.1X, Entente 2.1X, German advance noticeably slower. So overall casualty outcomes only slightly below the default.
AD = 1000 (the max setting, 1% of default): German 2.3X, Entente 1.8X, Germans struggle to clear Belgium etc. German casualties higher than in the default case, Entente 15-20% lower.
This all very rough and doesn't control for various elements of variability (eg variable German unit withdrawals etc). But the conclusion I come to is that fiddling with AD settings can have a significant impact on rates of advance but overall may not have a significant impact on actual casualty outcomes. In the case of this scenario, the best approach appears to be to leave the AD at its default level of 10, and design-for-effect by increasing replacement rates to offset too-bloody combat.
Of course this may vary a lot by scenario, but it does illustrate that you can't just use the AD as a dial to control casualty outcomes.
Is there any more comprehensive analysis of the AD effects anywhere? Don't recall ever seeing anything.
< Message edited by Szilard -- 12/22/2017 1:48:26 AM >