Well, I tried then to treat it as an hex based game, with all it’s logic based on this arbitrary unit, the hex. Instead of treating the infantry hex as the battlefield, and it’s relative equipment density as the main variable, I treated the focal hex with all hexes around will be the battlefield, with seven different parts. This panzer unit should be able to encircle this tiny foot infantry unit in open terrain. So, I set for it.
We have two serious problems then: we can only divide a unit by 3 and we must deal with enemy ZOC. As shown in the picture, we must disengage, go around ZOC and enter ZOC again. It takes 9 MP from 15 MP, which in game terms means approximately 14 hours to go around this tiny unit. Since we only can divide it by 3, We establish a pyramid like shape, which in my opinion, based on the difference of force and mobility, should be considered already an encirclement. But it isn’t. After more than half a day maneuver, when the northern unit advances, the squads just flow like water through the gaps that, in real life, would be easily closed by the flanking units (figure 4), considered their greater mobility and favorable terrain. And the goose chase begins, since, after 14 hours, there is no more MPs to go around the infantry unit using an hex based logic.
Oh, but there isn’t enough equipment to guarantee an hermetic encirclement, one could say. Well, I divided the panzer unit in two different units in the scenario editor, with exactly half the equipment of the original unit each. This way, I would be able to get 6 units from the “in game” division, but exactly the same force relation between the two opposing units. You can see the result in figure 8. The infantry unit is ALWAYS encircled and eliminated. It takes still too long, because of the tiny infantry unit ZOC, but at least we don’t have to chase it around.
So, no matter the difference in force of both units, we would always have to call a second unit just to get six sub units and close the hex based gaps. If we had octagons, instead of hexagons, we would have to have 8 sub units, independently of equipment density and mobility.
To be honest, when using planned combat (preventing RBC), we get better results, even with the 3 units encirclement, but the infantry unit can still escape most of the time. The difference is that using planned combat, instead of forcing RBC, we can kill it (them, when it divides) more easily afterwards. The losses are greater, since all three sub-units take part in combat. But, again, as said earlier, the point here isn’t on the losses, but on the dynamics of encirclement and pursuit.
The necessity to occupy the 6 hexes for encirclement is artificial, since most of the combat should take place (in case of very low density units like this, at least) in the infantry unit’s hex, which, in this particular case, would be easily encircled. But, in this example, even if it wasn’t the case of treating the infantry hex as the exclusive battlefield area, the tanks would easily move to close the gaps against foot infantry.
If the game logic is completely hex based, the units should, at least be able to divide by six (the magic number for encirclement) and ZOC of tiny units (relatively, of course) eliminated. But a more realistic approach would be to verify if the relative mobility would allow a unit to pass through a gap between two enemy units without having it’s path blocked (terrain could be a factor by it’s influence in mobility and relative strength of units). If there is a supporting friendly unit in this gap (the unit Curtis though I wished the game should supply?), the retreat should be easier.
In relation to RBC, units with lower mobility should be eliminated more easily. The influence of mobility in disengagement attacks isn’t enough.
< Message edited by Cabido -- 4/2/2019 2:01:40 PM >