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Why is bombardment so weak?

 
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Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/26/2006 9:44:56 AM   
Uncle_Joe


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Hi all,

This has been one of my biggest pet peeves with the game system since the beginning. Bombardment (and by extention, Air Strikes) seem incredibly weak.

I'm still tweaking the Third World War scenario and one consistantly 'wrong' thing is just how pointless assigning aircraft on strikes is. Its a brigade/divisional scale scenario set at 25km/hex and weekly turns. I've tested, retested, tweaked and re-tweaked and I just cant seem to get airpower to actually 'strike' units with any effect.

As an example, I just fired it up in hotseat mode and assigned 2 units of A-10s (150 aircraft each, so 300 total) to attack a stack of 2 Sov divisions and a tank brigade. End result: 57 A-10s destroyed and about 10 tanks and an equal number of APCs/arty destroyed (plus some squads and a handful of trucks)....Um, with that kind of kill ratio people would given up on the airplane a LONG time ago....

All other airstrikes have similar (negligible) effects. The scenario doesnt have dedicated artillery units, but HQs can contain substantial artillery concentrations but their bombardments are equally pointless.

So, what is the story here? Is this just one area of the code that was weak that was never given attention? If so, why not? It just seems to be a glaring omission for modern combat that attack aircraft cant attack (unless supporting ground units and there its tough to actually see if they are adding much effect). Are there any plans to change this? Why bother having a dedicated strike/bombard option if it is not going to really have much (if any) effect?

Thanks!

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/26/2006 10:49:51 AM   
Szilard

 

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I think probably part of the issue here is that AA is too strong now (as against too weak in previous versions). Matrix have said this will be addressed sometime soon. See http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=1151523

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/26/2006 11:29:56 AM   
PDiFolco

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Szilard

I think probably part of the issue here is that AA is too strong now (as against too weak in previous versions). Matrix have said this will be addressed sometime soon. See http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=1151523


Well, maybe, but still 300 A-10 (!!) should kill an impressive number of vehicles ! IIRC a single squadron of them can reduce to burning wrecks a tank regiment ....

Already in the WW2 scenarios airpower looks somewhat feeble, in the game I never saw Stukas, Typhoons or Sturmoviks have much success in tank-busting. Here it seems awfully incorrect.


EDIT : maybe you didn't properly setup your forces ! In fact all ground attack modern aircraft in TOAW have a low Hard Attack rating, and "can use precision guided munitions" tag. Then you have to setup proper "Precision Guided Weapons Level" in the Force Editor, in your case US 2005 should be at something like 200-300, that'll multiply by 3 or 4 their attack strength. Now you will have effective A-10s !


< Message edited by PDiFolco -- 6/26/2006 1:26:47 PM >

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/26/2006 1:38:57 PM   
Industrial


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quote:

ORIGINAL: PDiFolco

EDIT : maybe you didn't properly setup your forces ! In fact all ground attack modern aircraft in TOAW have a low Hard Attack rating, and "can use precision guided munitions" tag. Then you have to setup proper "Precision Guided Weapons Level" in the Force Editor, in your case US 2005 should be at something like 200-300, that'll multiply by 3 or 4 their attack strength. Now you will have effective A-10s !



that, or try the same attack with 300 Apache helicopters for some real tank killing carnage

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/26/2006 5:27:15 PM   
hank

 

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ditto on this thread  ... I've noticed air strikes don't garner the kills the way it seems they should based on historical accounts ...

For me, I've been playing mostly WWII sce's.  The air strikes don't do much damage at all ... (I don't have the game up so I can't test what I'm saying but it seems other folks have noticed this too)

IMHO, if this the case, air strike and dedicated bombardment effectiveness should be revisited.

later

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/26/2006 5:52:31 PM   
golden delicious


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Pure bombardments aren't great in TOAW. Airpower and artillery should be used in support of ground forces, not on its own.

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/26/2006 6:30:20 PM   
a white rabbit


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..much depends how many times you hit the target, the first couple of hits only take out readines, and for some reason supply, actual carnage only occurs around the 3-4 th hit

..or use helios

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/26/2006 7:44:00 PM   
Uncle_Joe


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quote:

Pure bombardments aren't great in TOAW. Airpower and artillery should be used in support of ground forces, not on its own.


Well thats what I'm saying. Why is this? Why not 'fix' the engine such that this is not the case?

Yes, I've mucked around with the 'Precision Guided Weapons Multiplier' but that doesnt solve all of the problems (it was at 140 for that test!).

So my suggestion would be to address whatever the basic formula is for bombardments. Either that or remove the option as it is currently worthless. Why include a 'feature' that doesnt work?

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/26/2006 8:00:42 PM   
Chuck2


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Pure artillery bombardments work fine. Bombardments work best when you can get the defender out of their entrenchments with ground support. It also helps your tactical bombardment when you know where the enemy actually is located. However, there may be an issue with the uber-strong AA pushing off the air units.

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/26/2006 9:04:43 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chuck2

Pure artillery bombardments work fine. Bombardments work best when you can get the defender out of their entrenchments with ground support. It also helps your tactical bombardment when you know where the enemy actually is located.


Yeah- exactly. Carpet bombing has historically tended to yield poor results, and the long bombardment prior to the Somme did little to reduce the defensive power of the Germans.

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/26/2006 9:26:23 PM   
alaric318

 

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greetings, only to add all already say here, a fast way to increase aircraft proficiency is to increase from turn 1 onwards with events the "air shock" event, so, you do not solve the high aircraft losses, but aircraft will be more powerfull, at this time on the engine, maybe some helicopters, already effective, can be maybe too powerfull with this posted solution, another way to balance aircraft at this time, and in adition, or as a alternative, to the already say is tweak the replacement rate and the replacement priority from air units, however this can require much time to implement in large scenarios, as "bulge 2000" with many air units, maybe some of you reading already know all this, but maybe not all interested on this,

with best regards,

Murat30.

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/26/2006 10:16:17 PM   
PDiFolco

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Uncle_Joe

Yes, I've mucked around with the 'Precision Guided Weapons Multiplier' but that doesnt solve all of the problems (it was at 140 for that test!).


140 isn't enough, it only gives 240% attack, the range is 0-999, in the Taiwan 2005 scenario US has a PGWM of 350 (450% attack !)

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/28/2006 10:55:04 PM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: PDiFolco

quote:

ORIGINAL: Szilard

I think probably part of the issue here is that AA is too strong now (as against too weak in previous versions). Matrix have said this will be addressed sometime soon. See http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=1151523


Well, maybe, but still 300 A-10 (!!) should kill an impressive number of vehicles ! IIRC a single squadron of them can reduce to burning wrecks a tank regiment ....

Already in the WW2 scenarios airpower looks somewhat feeble, in the game I never saw Stukas, Typhoons or Sturmoviks have much success in tank-busting. Here it seems awfully incorrect.


EDIT : maybe you didn't properly setup your forces ! In fact all ground attack modern aircraft in TOAW have a low Hard Attack rating, and "can use precision guided munitions" tag. Then you have to setup proper "Precision Guided Weapons Level" in the Force Editor, in your case US 2005 should be at something like 200-300, that'll multiply by 3 or 4 their attack strength. Now you will have effective A-10s !



There is some good work around on the effects of air power during WWII. I thinkyou are expecting too much, and I think is actually closer to reality than you allow.

In 1944, if memory serves, tests in England pitted rocket firing typhoons against a stationary captured Panther. In these ideal (and unrealistic) conditions, the aircraft managed a 4% hit rate. The American Air Force never actually used rockets with their Fighter Bombers IIRC (with one odd exception during the NW Europe campaign) and thus their iron bomb results may well have been even worse if tested.

I'd need to do some testing myself (although I'm having enough fun playing!) but I'd expect to see airstrikes lowering readiness of armoured units to simulate units pulling themselves together afterwards, and reduced supply to simulate destroyed soft skinned vehicles which would have carried the fuel and ammo and which were very vulnerable to airstrikes in a way the tanks weren't.

I would expect the effects of these air strikes to increase with reduced experience and proficiency of the target since you can see some evidence of inexperienced crews jumping out of tanks under air attack, into the potentially more lethal enviroment outside, and either being killed or taking to their heels.

Regards,
IronDuke

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/29/2006 12:57:38 AM   
Warship NWS

 

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Some of you might want to see our conversations on this topic on our forums at NWS,

http://forums.navalwarfare.org/showthread.php?t=1183

and

http://forums.navalwarfare.org/showthread.php?t=1175

IMHO, I also feel that CAS, artillery, and tactical air strikes are too weak (especially regarding WW2) and I sent over some emails to the design team regarding this topic and also offered any resources at our disposal as assistance if needed.  I do know the dev team is listening to feedback on this subjective topic.

As to AAA effectivness.. I definitely agree that AAA is presently too stong.

Thanks.

< Message edited by Warship NWS -- 6/29/2006 1:00:28 AM >


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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/29/2006 1:51:23 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Warship NWS

Some of you might want to see our conversations on this topic on our forums at NWS,

http://forums.navalwarfare.org/showthread.php?t=1183

and

http://forums.navalwarfare.org/showthread.php?t=1175

IMHO, I also feel that CAS, artillery, and tactical air strikes are too weak (especially regarding WW2) and I sent over some emails to the design team regarding this topic and also offered any resources at our disposal as assistance if needed.  I do know the dev team is listening to feedback on this subjective topic.

As to AAA effectivness.. I definitely agree that AAA is presently too stong.

Thanks.


The threads agree with me, I think, in that few Tanks would be destroyed but the effects could be seen in other ways, reduced supply, morale and readiness.

Gooderson's book is the best one I've seen on the subject,and I can't think of a better study to have to hand when modelling the effects.

On the subject of Armed Recce, this was essentially interdiction so can be modelled within the game to some extent. Interdiction does replay showing you where the strike was made so it does model to some extent both of the key effects of Armed Recce, intel and combat.

I think the game's key ground for development is in:

1. modelling national doctrine and characteristics. The artillery rules, for example, seem generic when real life was anything but, and I think the reasons some scenarios can be unbalanced when they were even in real life is that everybody gets to fight in the manner they want here and now which wasn't an option back then. These rules would have to be optional for the uber realists only but might take the game forward.

2. If not modelling doctrine so much, the arty rules could still be reasonably tweaked to make them more historical.

3. Some work on the formation rules. Fixed formation and OOBs works fine within the short mechanised campaigns Norm envisaged for the game originally, but most of the best experiences I've had with the game have been with the longer scenarios covering weeks or even months and years of scenario time. In these circumstances, we need the ability within allied OOBs to switch Divisions between Corps etc, and within German formations to create ad hoc groupings on the KG model.

4. I'd like a couple of extra reserve orders (eg Counterattack, where the unit would act as tac or local reserve unless the hex was taken before it intervened in which case it would counterattack the breach of the line). German defensive doctrine is impossible to model on games with more than half day turns without this sort of order.

5. Probably an extra loss tolerance that just told the unit to ensure (provided the combat power, mobility and recce numbers applied against it were not too overwhelming) that it held until pressured and retreated in good order. Moving second, fighting retreats are hard to pull off with routed units held in place until the next turn or ordered to reorganise. Even if these could be ordered to just pull back a small percentage of their movement allowance instead of being tied in situ, it would help create the ebb and flow a little better of a front line being pushed back under remorseless pressure.

Regards,
IronDuke



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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/29/2006 1:53:37 AM   
Warfare1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chuck2

Pure artillery bombardments work fine. Bombardments work best when you can get the defender out of their entrenchments with ground support. It also helps your tactical bombardment when you know where the enemy actually is located. However, there may be an issue with the uber-strong AA pushing off the air units.


I would also have to add that Arty seems to work just fine.

I am playing Fortress Stalingrad in TOAW 1 Elite Edition, and when I mass arty (which may be the key here) I am achieving devastating results against non-entrenched units, with perhaps up to 30% casualties on a hex.

However, this number will vary depending on the amount of arty I use; the entrenchment level of the unit being bombarded; the type of unit (whether it's armoured or infantry); the terrain; the proficiency of the unit; readiness of unit; weather; reconaissance of the unit; etc....

< Message edited by Warfare1 -- 6/29/2006 1:57:01 AM >

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/29/2006 2:52:08 AM   
Warship NWS

 

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One thing I would like to see is the missing combat results from interdiction attacks. You see the results of all other engagements.. except, interdiction. Thanks.

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/29/2006 3:15:18 AM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

In 1944, if memory serves, tests in England pitted rocket firing typhoons against a stationary captured Panther. In these ideal (and unrealistic) conditions, the aircraft managed a 4% hit rate. The American Air Force never actually used rockets with their Fighter Bombers IIRC (with one odd exception during the NW Europe campaign) and thus their iron bomb results may well have been even worse if tested.


Sounds about right. The primary role of artillery and airpower is not so much to kill the other guy as to keep him busy whilst the rest of the army sets about making it irrelevant that he's alive.

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/29/2006 3:17:17 AM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Warship NWS

One thing I would like to see is the missing combat results from interdiction attacks. You see the results of all other engagements.. except, interdiction. Thanks.


In some scenarios you get literally hundreds of interdiction strikes each turn. It's already a pain clicking "OK" for every one of them. A full combat report would be even worse.

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/29/2006 7:20:58 AM   
Uncle_Joe


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quote:

Sounds about right. The primary role of artillery and airpower is not so much to kill the other guy as to keep him busy whilst the rest of the army sets about making it irrelevant that he's alive.


Perhaps in WW2, but modern aircraft are quite capable of killing enemy armor (and especially soft vehicles). And in that role, they are utterly ineffective in the game. Airpower should be able to hammer units without the need for the enemy to on the line and subject to ground attack.

With the current model, its a wonder that aircraft were even built. The kill/loss ratios for air to ground are ridiculously in favor of the ground units. Yes, I've read that AA is too effective at the moment (any word on a patch for that?), but that aside, a large number of modern strike aircraft SHOULD be able to inflict significant damage on enemy units.

Bombardments seem dicey as well. In smaller scale battles they seem to be OK, but at the divisional level, they are also quite ineffective. Again, I think this is a problem with the modeling. Despite claims of individual shots and whatnot, it still seems like bombardment attacks are simply using ratios of combat factors. If I bombard a divisional sized unit with a few arty units (HQs actually, but full of Corps/Army assets), I rarely score many kills. If those same units hit a brigade or battalion sized unit, the kills tend to be higher. Note that this is net kills, not the percentage listed on the report (which will naturally be higher on the smaller units).

I believe this to be a fairly fundamental flaw in the game engine. Is it a deal-breaker? Of course not, but it forces the player to jump through hoops and perform unrealistic actions to actually use airpower (and to a lesser extent, artillery) correctly.

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/29/2006 5:11:14 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Uncle_Joe

Perhaps in WW2, but modern aircraft are quite capable of killing enemy armor (and especially soft vehicles). And in that role, they are utterly ineffective in the game. Airpower should be able to hammer units without the need for the enemy to on the line and subject to ground attack.


Modern? MODERN!?!

OK, but note that we've not actually had a proper modern war- one in which both sides were at the state of the military art- since 1945. That an F-15 can knock out an Iraqi T-55 without any danger to itself is not an interesting fact. Perhaps you should look at the results of the purely air campaign in Kosovo. Airpower was very ineffective there, it seems.

In any case, try Saddam's Final Gamble. The Iraqi player very rapidly finds himself without any armoured units at all- they all get destroyed from the air.

quote:

Bombardments seem dicey as well. In smaller scale battles they seem to be OK, but at the divisional level, they are also quite ineffective. Again, I think this is a problem with the modeling. Despite claims of individual shots and whatnot, it still seems like bombardment attacks are simply using ratios of combat factors. If I bombard a divisional sized unit with a few arty units (HQs actually, but full of Corps/Army assets), I rarely score many kills. If those same units hit a brigade or battalion sized unit, the kills tend to be higher. Note that this is net kills, not the percentage listed on the report (which will naturally be higher on the smaller units).


I don't think this is true. I ran a quick test;

Ten units of 100 155mm ER Guns each bombarded a unit of 10 rifle squads. Total rifle squads lost: 29
Ten units of 100 155mm ER Guns each bombarded a unit of 100 rifle squads. Total rifle squads lost: 115

This at 5km/hex. I think the 100 squad units produced a green density light, but the impact of that would be minimal.

< Message edited by golden delicious -- 6/29/2006 5:14:46 PM >


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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/29/2006 7:40:09 PM   
Uncle_Joe


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quote:

That an F-15 can knock out an Iraqi T-55 without any danger to itself is not an interesting fact. Perhaps you should look at the results of the purely air campaign in Kosovo. Airpower was very ineffective there, it seems


But it sure cant in the game. So you are saying that game postulates that airpower between equal opponents will be ineffective? Thats a pretty big supposition.

Kosovo was not a general war. There were not massed formations moving to the attack. There were no concentrations of vehicles at crossroads or crossing points etc etc.

What makes no sense is that planes seem to be able to destroy vehicles if added to a ground attack (although its harder to differentiate what is killing what). But they cant have the same effect when they attack solo? That is ridiculous.

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/29/2006 7:48:17 PM   
Uncle_Joe


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quote:

I don't think this is true. I ran a quick test;

Ten units of 100 155mm ER Guns each bombarded a unit of 10 rifle squads. Total rifle squads lost: 29
Ten units of 100 155mm ER Guns each bombarded a unit of 100 rifle squads. Total rifle squads lost: 115

This at 5km/hex. I think the 100 squad units produced a green density light, but the impact of that would be minimal.


This is showing exactly the problem! Look at the aggregate damage. A far higher proportion of the 10 rifle units is destroyed than the 100 rifle units. Almost 3 to 1! Why would that be the case?

< Message edited by Uncle_Joe -- 6/29/2006 7:52:22 PM >


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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/29/2006 11:40:48 PM   
PDiFolco

 

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Maybe the WW2 planes weren't that effective, but the last example I had in play was laughable : I had some 60+ Mosquitos, Typhoons and Marauders bomb a panzer unit with 2 dozens (total) of StuGs and StuH in the "2 weeks in Normandy" scenario turn 1. There was absolutely no Luftwaffe planes nor AA units.
What were the results ? Guess what ... there was *1* panzer destroyed for ... 18 planes shot down !!!!
It's totally ludicrous, that kind of results had absolutely no chance of realistically happen, please fix it yesterday !!!

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/29/2006 11:53:39 PM   
Chuck2


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Uncle_Joe

quote:

I don't think this is true. I ran a quick test;

Ten units of 100 155mm ER Guns each bombarded a unit of 10 rifle squads. Total rifle squads lost: 29
Ten units of 100 155mm ER Guns each bombarded a unit of 100 rifle squads. Total rifle squads lost: 115

This at 5km/hex. I think the 100 squad units produced a green density light, but the impact of that would be minimal.


This is showing exactly the problem! Look at the aggregate damage. A far higher proportion of the 10 rifle units is destroyed than the 100 rifle units. Almost 3 to 1! Why would that be the case?


The 100 Rifle Squad units are receiving more losses than the 10 Rifle Squad units from the same artillery bombardment. Why would that be the case? Perhaps it is easier to pinpoint where 100 Rifle Squads are then where 10 Rifle Squads are in a given hex.

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/30/2006 12:35:48 AM   
Uncle_Joe


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No, the 100 squad units are suffering less, not more, which is the problem that I see (and the reason I suspect simply attack/defense ratios at work).

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/30/2006 12:39:41 AM   
Chuck2


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Uncle_Joe

No, the 100 squad units are suffering less, not more, which is the problem that I see (and the reason I suspect simply attack/defense ratios at work).


It seems to me the 100 squad units are taking more net losses from the same amount of artillery. Perhaps Golden Delicious can clarify.

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RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/30/2006 1:07:54 AM   
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Let's look at it, this way...

One man is standing in the area represented by a hex. An artillery bombardment of x shells strikes the hex. The man is in the "wrong spot, at the wrong time" and is incapacitated. The proportional loss is 100%.

Ten men are standing in the area represented by a hex. An artillery bombardment of x shells strikes the hex. Some number y1 of the men are incapacitated, and the proportional loss is y1/10.

A thousand men are standing in the area represented by a hex. An artillery bombardment of x shells strikes the hex. Some number y2 of the men are incapacitated, and the proportional loss is y2/1000.

A million men are standing in the area represented by a hex. An artillery bombardment of x shells strikes the hex. Some number y3 of the men are incapacitated, and the proportional loss is y3/10^6.

In each of these cases, a probabilistic function determines where these men are (to be hit), based on the size of the hex, the number of men, and the number of firing pieces of equipment, the terrain and deployment. An assumption is built in that the firing equipment is actively targeting the deployed men, instead of simply firing blindly and randomly into the hex.

Depending on these variables, this may make the proportional losses to the cannon fodder be either higher, or lower, and this is represented by the attrition rate that the engine uses to derive the losses.


(in reply to Chuck2)
Post #: 28
RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/30/2006 1:24:40 AM   
Chuck2


Posts: 830
Joined: 10/12/2005
Status: offline
OK, I agree with your analysis. Anyway, I'd hate to see what the opening pure bombardment in Road to Rimini would look like if the suggestion to increase artillery power is taken.

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(in reply to JAMiAM)
Post #: 29
RE: Why is bombardment so weak? - 6/30/2006 1:45:31 AM   
Uncle_Joe


Posts: 1985
Joined: 8/26/2004
Status: offline
Regardless of how you analyze it, the end results do not match reality. Aircraft should be able to inflict losses when they strike and at the moment, they cannot (and they take ridiculous losses in the process). This should be especially true for 'Mobile' units. Perhaps when everyone is dug in and fortified and dispersed, airstrikes can be less effective, but not inflicting casualties on units in mobile mode just seems wrong.

SOMEWHERE in there is a problem whether it be the data or the formulae used to calculate the effects.



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(in reply to Chuck2)
Post #: 30
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