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HELP need a tutorial - 12/6/2006 9:25:06 AM   
jjax


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Hey all

So i just downloaded the game and now im feeling a bit overwheled. Does any one have any good suggestions for learning how to play ( in know there are tutorial scenarios but no walkthrough in the manual!?)
thxs


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RE: HELP need a tutorial - 12/6/2006 9:39:29 AM   
MarcA


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Possibly the most asked question on the forum. The tutorials are in the tutorial directory of the scenario files. At the scenario selection screen, when you highlight a tutorial you want to play, hit the documentation button. This is the one next to the tick under the scenario description. This will call up Word with the tutorial documentation inside it.

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RE: HELP need a tutorial - 12/6/2006 9:51:16 AM   
jjax


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Thxs.....looks like i got me some reading to do

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RE: HELP need a tutorial - 12/6/2006 11:22:32 AM   
shunwick


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I am certainly no expert on the matter as I am still a novice myself. But there appears to be five main things that you need to get a grip on.

1. Detail matters. You must understand exactly what your units are capable of against what sort of opposition in what sort of terrain and in what sort of weather. The better you understand the capabiities of your formations the better you will be able to handle them. One the major problems with TOAW or with any wargame is that you suddenly take command of an army without prior knowledge of its composition or formations or reliability or capabillity. If you were really the commanding officer of the army then you would have much of this information. Understanding capability becomes easier with experience but you make an effort from the start.

2. Intelligence estimates suck. This mainly concerns the planning an attack window. Use this information with a pinch of salt. You may be attacking an apparently weak enemy unit with overwhelming force but you can never be sure that sheer bloody mindedness of some troops are going to hang in better than the intelligence would suggest.

3. Turn Burn. Better men than me will be able to explain this better. Essentially, take careful note of the remaining movement points of units you are using for an attack. Launching attacks with units who have not previously moved will tend give you more cambat rounds per turn. Complexity of attacks has an effect also.

4. Planning. Because TOAW (and all wargames) make it trivial to move this unit herre and that unit there and lauunch an atack at a moment's notice (and usually a moment's thought) you should resist the urge to play instinctively. Real military operations are planned very carefully and you must try to emulate this. Think carefully about what you want to achieve then examine the forces at your disposal. Then come up with a plan to achieve it or to try something else in case your planning has shown it to be unobtainable.

5. Empathy helps. It helps if you can see past the counters and the hex grids to the (albeit binary) warriors under you command. These guys will hurt. It may not be "real" hurt but it is hurt nevertheless. If you want to get the best from them then treat them like real people. Rest them, rotate them. Look after their welfare. This marries in with item 4 - plan how you going to use your troops to get the best out of them and item 1 detail maters. Know you troops.

I hope this goes someway to get you into the best frame of mnd for playing TOAW.

Best wishes,



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RE: HELP need a tutorial - 12/6/2006 12:28:14 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: shunwick

1. Detail matters.


Yes, but don't get bogged down. Usually, it's enough to know you've got an infantry regiment which is in a reasonable state. Whether it has 100/108 squads or 90/108 squads isn't terribly important.

quote:

2. Intelligence estimates suck. This mainly concerns the planning an attack window. Use this information with a pinch of salt.


I'd go further; the success and loss predictions in this window are to be ignored entirely. However this window is very useful for assigning units to an attack and to support from multiple large stacks whilst keep track of how many rounds you've used.

quote:

3. Turn Burn. Better men than me will be able to explain this better. Essentially, take careful note of the remaining movement points of units you are using for an attack. Launching attacks with units who have not previously moved will tend give you more cambat rounds per turn. Complexity of attacks has an effect also.


Yeah. There are two separate concerns here;
a) if you assign a unit which has used some of its movement then the attack will begin late and no matter how easily its fought part of your turn will be used up. Naturally this becomes less and less of a concern as you use up the turn; and once one gets down to 20-40% of the turn generally everyone piles in.
b) regardless of how far the units have moved, the battle may last a long time and consume a lot of your turn. Since units break off from combat as a result of a certain degree of losses, the battle will be prolonged if neither side is able to deal a significant proportion of losses to the other- for example if a large infantry unit is attacking a small armoured unit. Obviously, loss tolerances have an impact on this, and adding more units to the attack produces more chances that one of them will stick at it for longer. Of course it also allows you to do more damage to the defender. It's a cost-benefit question.

Naturally, these two effects can combine. If you assign a unit which has used 20% of its move and the battle then lasts four rounds, you will have used 60% of the turn.

quote:

4. Planning. Because TOAW (and all wargames) make it trivial to move this unit herre and that unit there and lauunch an atack at a moment's notice (and usually a moment's thought) you should resist the urge to play instinctively.


Absolutely. This is probably the most important principle. Personally, I find keeping an AAR forces me to think about operational goals, but this can be hard to keep up.

quote:

5. Empathy helps.


For your opponent too. Get to know what his fears are. Play on them. Then do something else.

And remember- Freedom is the right of all sentient beings (just for you jjax)

< Message edited by golden delicious -- 12/6/2006 12:36:16 PM >


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RE: HELP need a tutorial - 12/6/2006 4:03:25 PM   
RobertWevodau

 

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Shunwick,

I've been struggling to gain a feel for this game for a long time. It's a great game, but somewhat obtuse in some areas. I tried the "New Players" workshop over at SZO and felt completely overwhelmed in the relatively small scenario we used there (7 Days in Normandy I believe). Your comments are among the best, and most concise, advice that I have read. I think you have accurately portrayed the principles that I have for the most part not appreciated about mastering TOAW.

Thanks for you contribution. I'm ready to try to move to the next level with TOAW.

Robert

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RE: HELP need a tutorial - 12/6/2006 9:27:58 PM   
larryfulkerson


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I've found that playing a scenario hotseat first gives me a rough draft idea of the capabilities of the units I will be commanding so I usually do that first before I tackle a real oppponent in a PBEM contest. You don't have to do the whole scenario, just a couple of turns usually.

I'm also a fan of AARs. Some of the AARs have pictures and the behind the scenes thinking of the contestants that comes in handy. It goes without saying that some of the AARs are better than others in this reguard. Especially handy are those AARs that depict the contest you are thinking of playing against somebody. Those that have been there before you and have had the obstacles that you will face may give you an idea of how to handle them yourself. GD is correct in that AARs are hard to keep up to date sometimes when in the midst of playing against somebody. Some of the pictures depicted in the AAR itself may give away good military intellilgence to the opponent and are avoided for that reason. I myself play for the love of the game ( ask Karri E. ) and don't much care about the intelligence revealed therein and do it anyway.

I've been at this TOAW scene about three years now and I'm still learning things from time to time. I'm getting better at asking the more probing questions I guess. There's lots of experience represented in the forum so don't hesitate to ask if you have a "stupid" question. I tend to ask a lot of "stupid" questions myself. And thanks for your posting(s).

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RE: HELP need a tutorial - 12/6/2006 9:43:28 PM   
MarcA


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RWevodau

Shunwick,

I've been struggling to gain a feel for this game for a long time. It's a great game, but somewhat obtuse in some areas. I tried the "New Players" workshop over at SZO and felt completely overwhelmed in the relatively small scenario we used there (7 Days in Normandy I believe). Your comments are among the best, and most concise, advice that I have read. I think you have accurately portrayed the principles that I have for the most part not appreciated about mastering TOAW.

Thanks for you contribution. I'm ready to try to move to the next level with TOAW.

Robert


14 days in Normandy was short but it was also a very technical scenario and required the understanding and application of a lot of different concepts in order to achieve a good result.


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RE: HELP need a tutorial - 12/6/2006 9:47:30 PM   
RobertWevodau

 

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Yeah, 14 Days in Normandy. That was it. I guess I was only remembering my game when I called it "7 days in Normandy"

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RE: HELP need a tutorial - 12/7/2006 2:04:03 AM   
shunwick


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RWevodau, thanks for your kind comments.

Golden Delicious, thanks for your annotations.

I would just like to point out that my spelling is better than my typing. 

Best wishes,


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I love the smell of TOAW in the morning...

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RE: HELP need a tutorial - 12/7/2006 11:57:49 AM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: larryfulkerson

GD is correct in that AARs are hard to keep up to date sometimes when in the midst of playing against somebody.


N.B. I just mean writing a couple of paragraphs on what you did each turn and why. I don't publish these AARs turn-by-turn if at all.

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"Event 902: Bob Cross slays dragons!"

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RE: HELP need a tutorial - 12/8/2006 11:35:10 AM   
shunwick


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Golden Delicious,

In another thread (which I cannot now find) you mentioned a book that helps to get players thinking the right way about military operations in TOAW.

Would you be kind enough to post that information again?

Best wishes,



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RE: HELP need a tutorial - 12/8/2006 11:53:27 AM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: shunwick

In another thread (which I cannot now find) you mentioned a book that helps to get players thinking the right way about military operations in TOAW.

Would you be kind enough to post that information again?


It was just referring to Manstein's Lost Victories. Don't expect this to be a complete solution, but the author's description of operational-level decision making certainly improved my play. You should be thinking about the real world in TOAW. If you get bogged down thinking about ZOCs and a few percent proficiency here or there you will be lost. They're incidental to the game.

_____________________________

"Event 902: Bob Cross slays dragons!"

http://www.savemstateathletics.com/tdg/

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RE: HELP need a tutorial - 12/8/2006 6:03:32 PM   
Graymane


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Jame's Dunnigan has an interesting set of articles on how to play wargames in general that helps with what to do in general, turn-by-turn. It really covers more how to play a game, how to analyze a position and things like that.

http://www.hyw.com/Books/WargamesHandbook/2-how_to.htm

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RE: HELP need a tutorial - 12/8/2006 6:16:45 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Graymane

Jame's Dunnigan has an interesting set of articles on how to play wargames in general that helps with what to do in general, turn-by-turn. It really covers more how to play a game, how to analyze a position and things like that.

http://www.hyw.com/Books/WargamesHandbook/2-how_to.htm


Dunnigan's book deals almost entirely with board games. He does have a section in the chapter you've linked which deals with computer wargames, but his more general remarks are very much geared to manual games and their own peculiarities. For example, one could hardly base one's play around the CRT in TOAW. TOAW has no CRT.

_____________________________

"Event 902: Bob Cross slays dragons!"

http://www.savemstateathletics.com/tdg/

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RE: HELP need a tutorial - 12/8/2006 6:32:08 PM   
Graymane


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Yes, I'm assuming the reader is able to take a literal discussion about CRTs and apply the lessons learned to a formula in a computer wargame. More generally, that site provides a means to analyze the situation. While the specific examples pertain mainly to board games, it is not a very big leap to apply some of the techniques to computer games. How he discusses dividing your units into fast + powerful, fast + weak, slow + weak and slow + powerful and how to use them. Dividing the map into smaller areas of analysis and assigning scores to groups of 5-6 hexes to decide how much combat power to put into each. Understanding the factors that are important for the particular game system you are playing (terrain effects, morale effects, supply, etc). Understanding your forces and the limits of the game to come up with the maximum power you can do one attack with.

I think those kinds of techniques apply to any kind of war game.

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RE: HELP need a tutorial - 12/8/2006 6:57:43 PM   
shunwick


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quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious


quote:

ORIGINAL: shunwick

In another thread (which I cannot now find) you mentioned a book that helps to get players thinking the right way about military operations in TOAW.

Would you be kind enough to post that information again?


It was just referring to Manstein's Lost Victories. Don't expect this to be a complete solution, but the author's description of operational-level decision making certainly improved my play. You should be thinking about the real world in TOAW. If you get bogged down thinking about ZOCs and a few percent proficiency here or there you will be lost. They're incidental to the game.



Thanks for that.

Best wishes,


_____________________________

I love the smell of TOAW in the morning...

(in reply to golden delicious)
Post #: 17
RE: HELP need a tutorial - 12/9/2006 8:41:39 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Graymane

Yes, I'm assuming the reader is able to take a literal discussion about CRTs and apply the lessons learned to a formula in a computer wargame. More generally, that site provides a means to analyze the situation. While the specific examples pertain mainly to board games, it is not a very big leap to apply some of the techniques to computer games. How he discusses dividing your units into fast + powerful, fast + weak, slow + weak and slow + powerful and how to use them. Dividing the map into smaller areas of analysis and assigning scores to groups of 5-6 hexes to decide how much combat power to put into each. Understanding the factors that are important for the particular game system you are playing (terrain effects, morale effects, supply, etc). Understanding your forces and the limits of the game to come up with the maximum power you can do one attack with.

I think those kinds of techniques apply to any kind of war game.


It sounds like a very detail intensive approach, which is fine for games with under a hundred peices (like a typical manual game) but less so for those with 200-1000 peices (like a typical TOAW scenario).

Some of the concepts are made obsolete by the complexity of TOAW. For example it's difficult to exploit a particular facet of the game system when there is such a huge amount of calculation involved. Further, the means of delivering "maximum power" for one attack would vary depending on what your target is. You don't just line up all your 3-4s and have at it.

< Message edited by golden delicious -- 12/9/2006 8:51:26 PM >


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