Well, as you have said a bit above, there is the counterintuitive part of it that does gnaw at my bony behind.
I always thought that the combat units' rolls, and off map (HQ attached) SUs engagements were in direct (reverse) relationship to the distance from their immediate HQ. As in: the closer a Soviet Army HQ is to the attached fighting Divisions, Brigades and Corps, the better their chances for good combat rolls and getting the Army attached SUs into the fight. I also thought that proximity of the direct HQ had to do with the supply and digging in part.
I also thought that the SUs in a Front could not support actual fighting units (Divs Bdes Corps) unless they "passed" through an Army HQ (I'm talking about a super clean chain of command setup in which no fighting units are attached to the Front HQ, you realise that, I'm sure). If that (my former? conviction) were true, the proximity of Army HQ to the attached fighting units, as well as the proximity of the Front HQ to the attached Army HQs would be of paramount importance.
...a Front HQ can supply SUs for the fighting units in its chain of command (but not directly attached to the Front in question), thus "skipping" the Army level, and possibly influence the fighting units' combat rolls instead of it being done by a more remote Army HQ.
The trusty NKVD firing squad is checking their rifles already...
I have a lot of sympathy with what you say, and would urge the NKVD firing squad to go easy. What you describe is the intuitive understanding of how chains of command work - and indeed how I and most others did play it at the beginning. This is the idea of "daisy chaining" the different levels of command and each level feeds into each other. Sadly, for whatever reason, and with a few exceptions, this is not the way WitE was coded. Essentially in most cases there is simply a relationship of a unit to its HQ, and then from the HQ to the homeland.
To explain what it means in each case
-supply&logistics: the optimum is usually to get the HQ just within the necessary supply distance (usually 5 hexes) of its direct report units (but anymore than that is unnecessary) and otherwise as close as possible to the railhead or supply sources. A corps HQ for example seems to make its own arrangements with factories in Germany and the rail network - it does not keep its HQ in the loop. The use of vehicles from the railhead to the HQ is substantial, the use of vehicles to carry supply from an HQ to its units (so long as it is in supply) you can take as insignificant.
-SU commitment: again you need to have the HQ close enough to commit its immediate units to commit SUs, but going any closer after that is unnecessary. All the SUs in higher levels of command cannot be committed to a unit for that battle if there is an intermediate HQ in the chain of command. So yes that is right, all those SUs you have in armies or army groups that have no combat units directly attached to them cannot be used. (The manual describes a small exception for construction SUs to help in digging fortifications, where they can be committed through intermediate HQs - which is odd given they cannot in other cases). On the other hand if you do directly attach combat units to a Front etc. with no intermediate HQ then they can commit to support those in battle.
-Ratings: All HQs in a chain of command can help to improve the ratings checks for a combat unit in this case. Oddly in the case of first level of command (usually corps for Axis, army for Soviet) it makes no difference at all what is the distance - they could be on the moon and work just as well! But the superior levels in the chain of command do improve odds the closer they are to the unit. But as described in the picture above, only distance to the unit matters - how close they are to each other is irrelevant. As digging in is partly influenced by passing ratings checks, in this sense moving (higher) HQs closer to the units can help.
-Movement of SUs during logistics phase: If you leave all HQs on an SU commitment level of zero, SUs will in general go to the HQ one up in the level in the chain of command during the logistics phase (between the turns you take) - so in this case the chain of command does matter. But again distance is irrelevant here.
-There is also a separate case of support squads (as opposed to support units) who are the admin personnel that can be "lent" to further down the chain of command
What in effect this seems to mean, at least to me, is that the significance of the chain of command is substantially hollowed out from what you might have thought. They do not help with supply or logistics to units, they do not commit SUs etc. The biggest impact they can have to being closer to units lower down in their chain of command is to improve their ratings checks. In some cases this is worthwhile, for example for critical locations on the front lines. But in all cases you do have to set against it the substantial cost of moving the men and vehicles inside the HQs around too much as they have a supply and vehicle cost too.
can you point me in the direction of the source of your conviction? If I played this game wrong for all too long, I'd like to know where these minute details of the mechanics are discussed in the manual or elsewhere.
I think it is all there in the manual if you dig, but quoting for all would be a substantial job in itself. It might be you need to specify some specific examples that we can point to in the manual?
< Message edited by Telemecus -- 10/16/2018 5:02:12 PM >