osiris_slith -> Battlefield Time Stamps-Redundant & Unecessary (1/4/2018 8:03:27 PM)
This topic has been rehashed a lot of times and its battle field time stamps. I will do my best to explain why they are unnecessary and actually do more harm then good
The purpose of BTSs is to simulate the passage of time to prevent unrealistic battlefield movement. While this is necessary for any game the problem in TOAW IV is one of relevancy and plain bad mechanics.
Sample games with time management
John tiller Campaign Series-Each turn represents 6 minutes. I personally use a 15 minute per turn window based on the Avalanche press board game Panzer Grenadier when designing scenarios. The reason being is want to take full advantage of the game engines variable visibility option where you can start a scenario in early evening and transition to a night battle. The system is brilliant, simple and realistic and far better then what TOAW IV has.
Red Storm Rising
Passage of time in this game varies based on when you place your orders, communications check, supply check, battle complexity. While similar to TOAW IV the system is far superior in that the player cannot be penalized for a late unit move.
The 3 games above and there are far more example all operate on 1 basic rule of gaming. The passage of time MUST be simultaneous. A rule which TOAW simple violates and then complicates the whole thing with redundancies which make BTS completely unnecessary.
Why BTS are redundant
TOAW is actually a very realistic simulation of operation warfare that actually doesnt need the BTS because prior to combat a unit must under go the following
So lets look at each of these and how they make BTS completely redundant.
Morale Check-If the unit morale is average or more then the unit can execute either combat or movement. But what happens if it fails the morale check? Clearly if the unit FAILS a morale check the game system should render the unit NON EFFECTIVE as in not capable of executing combat.
Supply Check-If the unit fails a SUPPLY check then there are only 2 results it can generate. NOT COMBAT READY and INCAPABLE of MOVEMENT
Communications Check-As far as I can tell this is used to gauge a units level of cooperation with another unit as a Tactical reserve and this is VERY VERY critical fail for TOAW. If a unit FAILS a communication check in TOAW there is really no consequence. But if a Corp or Divisional commander DOESNT receive a order from higher HQ then that unit will NOT AND CANNOT MOVE to the designated assemble area, jump off point or retreat or objective.
For a operational level game there are already 3 systems in TOAW that should prevent a unit from taking part in combat or movement. Unfortunately there are no real penalties connected to the above 3 features.
BTS and Conflict with Design
Lets look at TOAW TGW 1941-1945 Eastern Front. The designer made this a 1 week per turn scenario. But wait! How does that work with 10 rounds of combat? It doesnt because that works out to 1 round equals approx 0.7 days. There is no such thing as 0.7 days of combat IN ANY PC wargame. The BTS are ignoring the fact that combat and movement together with passage of time are simultaneous. But one could argue well you didnt take into account LATE MOVES? I did! What would effect a late move for a combat unit?
Well what about extended combat? Well there' nothing about it because if your unit gets a bloody nose (FAIL MORALE CHECK), Runs out of ammo (Fails Supply Check) and/or didnt receive orders to continue the attack (Fails communication check) then the unit can neither attack or move.
and there you have it ladies and gentlemen all would be fine except in TOAW those 3 features have very little effect on the game. Units usually pass morale checks, pass supply and pass comm checks. If these 3 features have no real consequences then why even bother having them at all? BTS in effect already play this role.
Getting Around the BTS
This is fairly simple.
Move first-mobile units are better
DO NOT use the attack planner to execute combats. Choose the unit and right click for automatic attack (minimize losses)
Any enemy units that do not retreat or evaporate on automatic attack use the attack planner to plan deliberate attacks just before you end your turn.
The fact that you can simply shut the BTS nearly complete down is a clear sign the system is broken and not needed
So whats the fix? To get rid of the BTS we need 3 things + 2 with very real consequences. However the system would have to execute these in the proper order...
Any unit out of communication automatically does not recieve supply, replacements, nor can it move up, participate in attacks or execute deliberate retreats. Movement caused by retreats only.
Weather Check-Any unit caught in adverse weather such as rain, snow, floods will have limited movement. So if 48 Pz Corp is caught in a flood due to heavy rain then it may not have enough movement to exploit a breakthrough.
Morale Check-A fail means the unit cannot move or participate in attacks. Movement caused by retreats only.
Supply Check-A fail means a unit cannot move or participate in attacks. Movement caused by retreats only.
Heavy Combat Check-Any unit that loses 30% of its attack or defense value undergoes an immediate communications, morale, supply and weather check.
If these 5 features would have realistic and harsh consequences then the BTS would be completely redundant and it would make TOAW not only more realistic but more appealing and fun to play.
In ALL OTHER PC wargames the assumption is that your units in the rear ARE NOT HAVING A DAY OFF! (because the passage of time is simultaneous..hence movement and combat are assumed as well) The problem in TOAW the assumption is your units are having a UNION mandated do nothing.
The player gets penalized because
A-they want to do the COMBAT rounds first which is human, natural, i wanna do the cool stuff first and boring stuff later like moving units up because the results of my attacks will tell me where my exploitation forces will go..but damn the BTS is there to prevent the movement of exploitation forces HENCE killing the breakthrough. The correct assumption as in ALL other PC wargames and all board games is that your units in the rear are MOVING UP because the passage of time is simultaneous. A rule which TOAW breaks.
have a nice day