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Best Practices/Rules of Thumb/Turn Checklist - 5/8/2019 6:32:17 PM   
Bamilus


Posts: 442
Joined: 4/30/2010
From: The Old Northwest
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Hello all,

I've been starting to play more TOAW but I still find it hard to adjust my head to the time system (which I really like, btw). Since starting, I've read all the tutorials here (Larry's workshops, Obersts slides, a few others) and I've gathered little tidbits of knowledge. I'm hoping, however, if someone could help me with how to approach and think about the game that will improve my play, i.e. strategy, rather than just learning how the systems work. I can teach someone how the game of baseball plays, but they won't immediately know optimal strategy. I'm in this boat with TOAW right now.

For example, some "best practices" I know of are:

1. If you have units in the rear that you don't expect to move past front line or enter combat, then move them first so you can use their whole allowance (otherwise it will get eaten up by combats performed by other units).
2. Don't chase units around the map using RBC because it will create time stamps. Rather, try to surround the units (pretty self explanatory I think).
3. Try to set up attacks that end at small amount of different rounds as possible so as to help decrease the chances of a force proficiency check (conceptually makes sense)
4. If possible, attack with units who haven't moved yet at front lines because they will start at earlier round rather than bring in units from behind and attack, causing a BTS in that hex.

I know these, but I'm still looking for maybe a checklist or really simple list that just outlines the things to think about in a turn that can be consistently applied to any scenario. I see these AAR's for the big scenarios and I have no idea how people manage to think of all the aspects of time so I'm looking for heuristics to help.

Lemays posts are super helpful because they explain why a certain strategy or game feature is like that. I guess I'm looking for more things like that. For instance, the force proficiency check thing didn't really mean a whole lot to me until I read a post that Lemay had explaining that it models that more complex plans (more attacks on different rounds = more proficiency checks) are more prone to fail (as much as a IGOUGO wargame can model).

< Message edited by Bamilus -- 5/8/2019 6:45:28 PM >


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RE: Best Practices/Rules of Thumb/Turn Checklist - 5/8/2019 7:31:55 PM   
larryfulkerson

 

Posts: 37832
Joined: 4/17/2005
From: Tucson, AZ
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Bamilus
Hello all,

I've been starting to play more TOAW but I still find it hard to adjust my head to the time system (which I really like, btw). Since starting, I've read all the tutorials here (Larry's workshops, Obersts slides, a few others) and I've gathered little tidbits of knowledge. I'm hoping, however, if someone could help me with how to approach and think about the game that will improve my play. For example, some "best practices" I know of are:

1. If you have units in the rear that you don't expect to move past front line or enter combat, then move them first so you can use their whole allowance (otherwise it will get eaten up by combats performed by other units).

2. Don't chase units around the map using RBC because it will create time stamps. Rather, try to surround the units (pretty self explanatory I think).

3. Try to set up attacks that end at small amount of different rounds as possible so as to help decrease the chances of a force proficiency check (conceptually makes sense)

4. If possible, attack with units who haven't moved yet at front lines because they will start at earlier round rather than bring in units from behind and attack, causing a BTS in that hex.

I know these, but I'm still looking for maybe a checklist or really simple list that just outlines the things to think about in a turn that can be consistently applied to any scenario. I see these AAR's for the big scenarios and I have no idea how people manage to think of all the aspects of time so I'm looking for heuristics to help.

I've got a procedure that I use to avoid forgetting something important and it goes like this:
1. load the game file and watch the playback. Pause it when something happens that you need to make a note about. Enemy troops moving: what direction and how many and what types of vehicles, etc. After the playback ends the first thing I do is check that the aircraft are in the best places ( now that the front line has changed ), and rest the yellow ones in the rear where supply is usually much better than at the front. After the aircraft are taken care of:

2. Hold down the period key ( '.' ) to disembark everybody. If you're playing D21 this will require that you embark all your RR engineers again to move them but you usually don't need to move but a couple of them. They hardly ever repair the rail as I recall. So they hardly ever need to move.

3. Once the stage is set to start moving the units I start at the beginning of the OOB and move the units one at a time, trying to keep the formations together. I like to assign missions to the separate formations, a task for them to do, even if it's only to move to a new location. I like to keep track of the supply levels of the terrain before I move the first unit in a new area because I don't want to wonder into a no-supply area and go un-supplied or overextended. I like to move the units realistically. Leapfrogging one unit ahead while the other overwatches. Also, I like to keep the front line units near each other if possible to prevent gaps and holes that enemy units can infiltrate through. I like to keep to the roads and rails as much as possible because the supply flows along them and without supply it'll be a mighty short war.

4. On those strategic moves, moves that will take a long time to complete, provide some CAP along the entire path of the moving units to help prevent INT attacks and mitigate the results of the attacks.

5. At the front lines place your lesser units in the front and back them up with larger units in 'T' status and arty if that's available even if it's only mortars. Keep the range arc of the arty on the defending units to defend them and if you're attacking then the range arc must cover the target hex. Be on the lookout for arty duels against larger stacks of enemy arty. Nothing destroys arty tubes like enemy arty. Unless it's an overrun by a tank unit.

6. There's a school of thought that dictates defensive lines with a mix of defending unit types. Some INF, some AFV's, maybe some AT guns, maybe an AA unit, at least one of each, in each stack when possible. That way no matter what attacks the stack there will be a defender for that specific attacker.

7. Don't attack just to be attacking ( unless you have units to burn like the Soviets ). That's the way to fight a war of attrition and not very many armies have enough units to burn like that. Have a goal that you're working on and press to that goal but on the other hand don't try to force your way through some fortified enemy units like the situation at Kiev. First surround them, cut them off from their supply if possible and then bombard them with arty to decrease the effort it will take to push that target over. How much bombardment is needed depends on what kind of attacking force is available. When I surrouond Odessa with Rumanians it's usually a skeleton force with some reserves nearby. I usually bombard each turn at least once, one three-dot attack each turn. Sometimes it's not too costly to bombard with aircraft except that some ground units include AA in their organic equipment and attacking them with low-level aircraft is costly. You need to use the high-altitude bombers when there's AA involved in the attack. Less losses that way.

8. There's different ways to win the scenario and some designers go for the highest VP gain from capturing specific cities and the other way is to get your NVA to capture Saigon and hold it for one turn ( Campaign for South Vietnam ). Or some other specified goal like that. In Pacific at War just capture Tokyo or Okinawa.

9. Keep the moving units covered by friendly arty when possible. In D21 that means moving your arty along with moving the INF units. When you capture an airfield consider moving a fighter to it for a CAP. Don't be afraid to pause moving a unit to get some other unit to support the moving one. Like using an engineer to repair a bridge before the moving INF unit can continue across it. Try to support your recon units with supporting units following the recon units so that if they ( the recon units ) get ambushed the support units can move in and rescue the recon unit. Let your units support each other, which will require that they stay within a movement phase of each other.

10. Something else I can't remember now. Use your HQ's to cheer up the lagging lads. I like to put my HQ units on an intersection so that resting units can be adjacent and still be on a road hex. I like to set up rest camps where an HQ unit will park itself at a good supply area behind the lines where the tired units can park and rest for a couple of turns to tune up their proficiency and supply levels before being launched back into the fight. Continual rotation of units, fresh ones for tired ones, will keep the best units at the front.

11. I like to trim the range of the aircraft so that it just fits the area it's working. No need for coverage of the entire map when the enemy troops closest in range are the most dangerous. Unless you're trying to INT the Soviet units streaming west from the Urals on rails. In FITE2 there's a new house rule about the Axis side bombing bridges to prevent the Soviet reinforcement effort. Dropping a lot of bridges can cut off the supply to an entire area and that's considered not fair so the new house rule prevents INT missions for the duration of the game. I think they've killed a fly with a sledge hammer with this rule.


< Message edited by larryfulkerson -- 5/9/2019 12:54:47 PM >


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RE: Best Practices/Rules of Thumb/Turn Checklist - 5/8/2019 7:35:15 PM   
Bamilus


Posts: 442
Joined: 4/30/2010
From: The Old Northwest
Status: offline
This is exactly the type of thing I'm looking for. You the man, Larry!

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