Foritifcation (Full Version)

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MarcA -> Foritifcation (11/15/2007 4:39:07 PM)

The thing I find least realistic in TOAW III is the way fortification is handled. I have no problem with units in defend mode and then progressing to entrenched. But I think fortified status is reached far too easily.

Fortified is the highest defensive level in the game and represents bunkers and pill boxes and the like. These take time, resources and man power to construct. You can form a line of units and created a line of forts in less than three weeks in this game. This would take years in real time. Such things as the West wall, the Atlantic wall and the Stalin line all took 1000's of men years to build, using tens or even hundreds of thousands of tons of concrete, not forgetting the minefields, tank ditches and obstacles, etc which also are part of a fortified area.

The reality is that any one side could only hope to build a limited number of fortified locations at any point in time.

I think it would be better handled in the game by allowing the majority of units to only dig in to entrenched level by themselves. Fortified status would then be a property of the hex. For example units could only achieve fortified status if the hex they occupy has a fortification level of 100%. And only engineering units could be used to increase the fortification level to 100%. Infantry type units could be allowed to fortify a hex to a limited value, say 25%, and beyond that engineers are required.

Also I would think that the rate of increase in fortified status of a hex should be capped at something like 10 or 15% per turn, depending on timescales, unit sizes, etc. The drop in fortified status when a hex is taken should also be increased from 33% to either 50 or 75%. One sides fortifications etc aren't much use to the other side. The minefields and barbed wire are on the wrong side of the defensive line and all the bunkers, etc are facing the wrong way. Apart from trenches and fox holes there is not too much that one side can immediately use in defense.

The above rules would certainly limit the rate of units reaching fortified status in a game to a more realistic level.







golden delicious -> RE: Foritifcation (11/15/2007 5:47:37 PM)

1) The fortified terrain type in TOAW gives additional benefits above and beyond what is awarded to units on fortified status. So just getting that little "F" doesn't mean that there are concrete pillboxes, emplacements for the guns etc. I would take it to represent an extensive network of trenches, tanks emplaced, and the whole formation in best deployments for defensive operations. All you really need for this is time, men and shovels. Entrenchment would be an improvised and incomplete trench system or a less-than-optimal deployment.
2) in TOAW if you want to get "fortified" in two turns you'd better be damn sure you have some engineers. A unit made up just of infantry squads setting up in open ground might take three or four times as long.
3) I find the effectiveness of fortified defenders to be appropriate for the above-described level of fortification, and I don't consider that units entrench too quickly (except perhaps for armour). So any change to the strength of fortified status or the speed at which it could be reached would make the game less realistic
4) Fixed fortifications have consistently had less of an impact than expected throughout recent history. The Maginot line was all well and good, but it was never intended for the French army to stand absolutely rigid on this line; it depended on the ability of more mobile elements in the rear to launch counterattacks to defeat enemy penetrations. When these were not available in June 1940 the Germans were able to assault parts of the line with considerable success.

You may be able to make a case for strengthening the effectiveness of fortified terrain- and arguments have been made about the ability of armour to entrench. But reducing the ability of well-prepared infantry to defend themselves would I think completely break the game.




MarcA -> RE: Foritifcation (11/15/2007 7:34:40 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious

1) The fortified terrain type in TOAW gives additional benefits above and beyond what is awarded to units on fortified status.


I know fortified terrain allows units to dig in faster. What other benefits does it provide?

quote:


So just getting that little "F" doesn't mean that there are concrete pillboxes, emplacements for the guns etc. I would take it to represent an extensive network of trenches, tanks emplaced, and the whole formation in best deployments for defensive operations.


I would argue this is what "E" means, not "F"

quote:


All you really need for this is time, men and shovels. Entrenchment would be an improvised and incomplete trench system or a less-than-optimal deployment.


Does the name Entrenched not mean just that, that they are in trenches. You seem to define entrenched as half entrenched

quote:


2) in TOAW if you want to get "fortified" in two turns you'd better be damn sure you have some engineers. A unit made up just of infantry squads setting up in open ground might take three or four times as long.


It's true engineers help but time and again I have seen combat units reach F in two turn. And even if it was 4 turns or 8 turns it still far to short a time to build proper fortifications.

quote:


3) I find the effectiveness of fortified defenders to be appropriate for the above-described level of fortification, and I don't consider that units entrench too quickly (except perhaps for armour). So any change to the strength of fortified status or the speed at which it could be reached would make the game less realistic


That depends on what you mean. If you mean that a TOAW III assault on Omaha beach is realistic then why can those fortifications be built in the game in a a handful of weeks when they took years in real life. Or do you mean realistic when a unit is fully dug in to "f" but, as per you definition, without bunkers, obstacle, ditches, etc. Then why is the defensive bonus for these troops the same as the troops in the pillboxes on Omaha

quote:


4) Fixed fortifications have consistently had less of an impact than expected throughout recent history. The Maginot line was all well and good, but it was never intended for the French army to stand absolutely rigid on this line; it depended on the ability of more mobile elements in the rear to launch counterattacks to defeat enemy penetrations. When these were not available in June 1940 the Germans were able to assault parts of the line with considerable success.


My point is not the effectiveness of a fortification but rather the speed with which they are constructed.

quote:


You may be able to make a case for strengthening the effectiveness of fortified terrain- and arguments have been made about the ability of armour to entrench.


Maybe this is all just semantics. I assume F means a unit in proper fortifications, you assume it means a fully entrenched unit. Maybe just the term "F" means fortified is misleading.

I think we both agree that a fortified hex is a properly fortified area and increasing the effect of a fortified hexes would have a meaningful effect. But my argument on how fast a hex reached 100% fortification still holds. It is still too fast.

quote:


But reducing the ability of well-prepared infantry to defend themselves would I think completely break the game.


This is a salient point. But I still can't say I am happy with the way the games deals fortifications. It either degrades the effect of proper fortifications or overstates the defenses value of "f" deployed units, depending on which way you choose to look at these things.




JAMiAM -> RE: Foritifcation (11/15/2007 8:55:26 PM)

Just a quick note for clarification purposes...

Being in Fortified Deployment, any terrain, and being in a Fortified Hex, any deployment, confer the same benefits. The advantage to being in a Fortified Hex is that no matter what combat results occur, you don't have to worry about a loss-induced, or counterattack-induced, change in deployment status degrading your defensive benefits.

I think that there should be more variation in effects for terrain types and deployments. What we have now is a case of too little variety, and too large a jump in effect. That is, the discrete steps are too large, and there should be more of a 'continuous' effect than what we have now.




Karri -> RE: Foritifcation (11/15/2007 9:35:36 PM)

'Dig in'  to me means hasty foxholes. Entrenched means better foxholes, better prepared positions and trenchlines. Fortified means a step up from that with dugouts, minefields, barbed wire etc.

This can be done in 3 weeks.






DeadInThrench -> RE: Foritifcation (11/15/2007 9:53:44 PM)

My two cents on this, for what they are worth....

Fortified status gives infantry defense an x8 modifier, and I can see this for prepared fortifications, along the lines mantill mentions, but IMO this is too high for a unit in a non prepared fortification hex.

Also, entrenched in a prepared fortification hex, should be worth more than entrenched in a non prepared fortification hex. Another example, entrenched in mountain, urban, urban ruin, etc, should be worth more than entrenched in open.

So, what I would suggest (lol.. I tend to suggest <g>), is separate modifiers for entrenched/fortified status and terrain. In other words, two modifiers here instead of just one.

Hmmm.... there is also the case of a hex being less than fully 'entrenched' status. Could use this as a modifier to the entrenched bonus instead of a chance that the unit can become entrenched. I have noticed I can move a unit into a hex that is partially entrenched, and then if I dig in and do not become entrenched, can undo and try again until I get that entrenched status (yeah, tried to turn off that level of undo to be fair but, that was in another game).

The thing is, like mantill, I have seen infantry get to entrenched in one turn and, seems like more often than not get to fortified status on the next turn. Hmmmm, that may have been in mountain terrain but then again, as things stand now, entrenched in mountain terrain, doesn't buy you anything.

Whatever,

DiT




DeadInThrench -> RE: Foritifcation (11/15/2007 10:19:18 PM)

Hmmm.... actually I would go a bit further on a suggestion here.

First, change the meaning of the 'F' that appears on the counters, from 'fortified' to, 'fully entrenched'.

Then, separate modifiers for entrenched status and terrain.

Then, when a unit spends less than it's full movement allowance digging in, it goes to 'defend' status.

If it spends it's entire turn digging in, it then goes to 'entrenched' status. However, it only gets the percent that the hex is entrenched TIMES the entrenched modifier, as it's bonus (e.g. if the entrenched bonus was 2x, but the hex was just 20% entrenched, the bonus would be just 1.2x).

Then, each subsequent turn that the unit continues to dig in, the entrenched level of the hex goes up, until it reaches 100%.

Then, if a unit starts its turn on a hex where the entrenchement is 100%, or a prepared fortification hex, and digs-in for that entire turn, it goes to 'fully entrenched' status, which is maybe a 1.5x multiplier on normal entrenched status.

So, a unit that enters a fortification hex, would go to 'defend' status on the turn it moves in, then to 'entrenched 100%' status at the end of the next turn if it digs in for that entire turn, and then to 'fully entrenched' status if it digs in again for the third turn in a row. This would be the way things woul work in general except, if a hex is not fully entrenched to start with, will take time to get it to that point.

This isn't that different from the way things are now except, right now units get no bonus from a partially entrenched hex.... just a chance that it can become entrenched 100% and then they can get 'entrenched' status.

DiT




MarcA -> RE: Foritifcation (11/15/2007 11:01:37 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: DeadInThrench

First, change the meaning of the 'F' that appears on the counters, from 'fortified' to, 'fully entrenched'.

Then, separate modifiers for entrenched status and terrain.



I think these are both sensible suggestions.




golden delicious -> RE: Foritifcation (11/16/2007 11:36:31 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: mantill

I know fortified terrain allows units to dig in faster. What other benefits does it provide?


I can't recall off the top of my head- but it's in the manual in the section on combat modifiers for terrain. IIRC it's not an immense bonus. Like I said, it could stand to be reviewed.

quote:

Does the name Entrenched not mean just that, that they are in trenches. You seem to define entrenched as half entrenched


I judge based on the effect that the status has, and the speed at which it is achieved.

quote:

It's true engineers help but time and again I have seen combat units reach F in two turn.


Both the existing entrenchement level and the number of engineers in the hex contribute to the rate of entrenchment. This is probably the effect you are seeing. Also most regiments and brigades and all divisions will have some engineers.

quote:

That depends on what you mean. If you mean that a TOAW III assault on Omaha beach is realistic then why can those fortifications be built in the game in a a handful of weeks when they took years in real life.


Try attacking a fortified hex without artillery support. That's Omaha Beach. Anyway, for Omaha add escarpment, a fortified hex, and extra guns for the defenders.

quote:

Maybe this is all just semantics. I assume F means a unit in proper fortifications, you assume it means a fully entrenched unit. Maybe just the term "F" means fortified is misleading.


Yeah- that's my view. Since the game plays pretty well as it stands, I tend to think that any problem is in terminology rather than the system.




golden delicious -> RE: Foritifcation (11/16/2007 11:37:43 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Karri

'Dig in'  to me means hasty foxholes.


Well the status is "defending" I take this to mean just being in defensive dispositions.




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