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RE: 'stuffing' the border

 
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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/12/2009 8:32:14 PM   
Froonp


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quote:

ORIGINAL: micheljq
quote:

ORIGINAL: Froonp

I don't believe that this discussion is good for the game, on the contrary, because it is trying to design the wrong way. Look, I am not a game designer, neither do you nor no one here, so let's not pretend we know the job better than Harry Rowland.

If this discussion was happening on the playtest list of WiF FE, I would not be saying the same. Harry have a much deeper understanding of the intricacies of the rules, better than anyone here, so I'd rather trust his judgement.

In other words, I'd much prefer a rule change from him.



Of course, Harry Rowland must have the final word. But is he aware of the many discussions that did occur on this particular subject at least?

I think that he is as aware as a game designer can be.
There are discussions on the WiF Playtest list where Russia ability to resist 1941 Barbarossa and the Pact breaking are mentionned, but not as vehemently as here.

(in reply to micheljq)
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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/12/2009 8:44:00 PM   
Froonp


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quote:

ORIGINAL: hakon


quote:

ORIGINAL: Froonp
Hakon, you're an optimizing player, and you got rid of that parameter by saying that you focus on side victory, but while cooperation and side victory are important elements of the game, each country can win including Italy / Japan, and I as an Italian player would not bow to the German player ambitions without fulfilling mine.


Focusing on side victory has been a tradition in my group since before I started playing there, I think. Norway is, after all, a socialist country.

I claim that because of this biais, your experience is non representative.

quote:

Keep in mind that an uncooperative Italy will not get any victory cities at all, unless Germany lets him have them.

This is uterly wrong. I'm disapointed that you don't know this.

quote:

A player that ONLY plays italy, is very unlikely to win, anyway, of course, he is simply too small for that (unless the bid is very high). But a Japanese/Italian player can do very well in a super balbo, at least if the alleis do what they seem to be doing in 90% of cases, that is to focus almost exclusively on europe when russia is being crushed.

Wrong too. It looks like you have optimized German play too much, forgetting about Italy & Japan. Italy / Japan can win the game and beat Germany, and that's not going east.

I've had 2 big victories in games I was Italy / Japan, one with 15 victory cities & Germany had 13, and another with 21 victory cities and Germany had 14. A third game I was in was won by Italy / Japan with 9 objectives with Germany had 6.5. Tell me how many times you would have such scores for Italy / Japan when they go east ?

So I have the feeling that your habit of playing team victory and not individual victory is the reason why you allow the Super Balbo Strategy (and forbid the Stuffing the border strategy because it is the only thing that can screw the Super Balbo). Removing this bad habit you could again play a game cured from both problems.

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Post #: 272
RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/12/2009 11:43:19 PM   
rkr1958


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Pardon my ignorance again but what is the "Super Balbo Strategy"?

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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/12/2009 11:49:13 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: rkr1958

Pardon my ignorance again but what is the "Super Balbo Strategy"?

In a nutshell, the Italian HQ Balbo is sent to Russia with as many Italian aircraft as possible. Those aircraft can perform ground strikes and ground support, then be reorganized by Balbo and do it all a second time, every turn. Since the Italians have their own Action, that can be an air action which gives the Germans the ability to take land actions. The reorganization cost of aircraft is halved if you take an air action.

The net result is that an enormous amount of additional air power is available to the Axis for the war in Russia. The down side is that Italy isn't capable of doing much else (too few BPs).

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Post #: 274
RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/13/2009 3:46:08 AM   
rkr1958


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets


quote:

ORIGINAL: rkr1958

Pardon my ignorance again but what is the "Super Balbo Strategy"?

In a nutshell, the Italian HQ Balbo is sent to Russia with as many Italian aircraft as possible. Those aircraft can perform ground strikes and ground support, then be reorganized by Balbo and do it all a second time, every turn. Since the Italians have their own Action, that can be an air action which gives the Germans the ability to take land actions. The reorganization cost of aircraft is halved if you take an air action.

The net result is that an enormous amount of additional air power is available to the Axis for the war in Russia. The down side is that Italy isn't capable of doing much else (too few BPs).
Thanks. Wow! Thank sounds kind of gamey.

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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/13/2009 4:16:47 AM   
brian brian

 

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It is a strategy that can cause the Allies to fail a morale check and resign a game, to borrow a concept from another famous game, but it is not a guaranteed win for the Axis by any means.

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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/13/2009 6:11:13 AM   
oscar72se

 

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I have never seen the Balbo strategy in action, sounds interesting but shouldn't CW be able to make minced meat out of the Italians in the Med when there are no Italian air available?

Regards
Oscar

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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/13/2009 1:54:46 PM   
Bibs

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: oscar72se

I have never seen the Balbo strategy in action, sounds interesting but shouldn't CW be able to make minced meat out of the Italians in the Med when there are no Italian air available?

Regards
Oscar


This strategy assumes the Italians don't even bother with North Africa, so really not much fleet to protect. The Italian/German NAV can be in the Med if needed. Since the CW can't get the first AMPH until J/F 41, it is difficult for them to do anything in the Balkans/Sicily/Italy until mid-1941 at the earliest.

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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/13/2009 6:40:15 PM   
coregames


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quote:

ORIGINAL: hakon

A player that ONLY plays italy, is very unlikely to win, anyway, of course, he is simply too small for that (unless the bid is very high). But a Japanese/Italian player can do very well in a super balbo, at least if the alleis do what they seem to be doing in 90% of cases, that is to focus almost exclusively on europe when russia is being crushed.


Because Italy's objective total is projected to be zero, they have as good a chance to win as anyone. The only game where i had the individual victory was playing as Italy alone (the second-place player was Japan). I still had Persia at the end of the game, and my objective total was 6 when all was said and done.

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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/14/2009 9:02:47 AM   
Skanvak

 

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I have just read the rules of an old wargame (Totaler Krieg) that has an interesting way of dealing with the pact and the forward placement : Germany can go to war against soviet as they want but there is a rule that force soviet to not withdraw unit in border land which actually compel them to do what was done historically :D . Of course that have the side effect that the soviet player is not free of his strategy.

The game allow for politics, especially it deals with Hiltlers assassination, separate peace, political crisis... things that are not in Wif. Thought I think that WiF is globally a better game.

< Message edited by Skanvak -- 11/14/2009 9:05:15 AM >


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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/14/2009 7:47:34 PM   
Ullern


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quote:

ORIGINAL: hakon

Steve

By US entry chits, I assume the ones pulled by Germany and Russia (since you are using an infinite pool).

IF Germany tries to break the garrison, the chits pulled by Germany, and even more so, Russia, is much more important than losses taken in France, Poland, etc.

The marginal cost of 1 garrison point for Germany is 4 build points. This means that the difference between Russia pulling a 0 or a 6 in J/F 41, is equal to a different amount of losses equal to 2*4*6 = 48 build points for Germany. (The 2 because the attacker needs 2:1). This is about twice the typical german losses prior to Barbarossa.

Before M/J 41, Russia pulls 10 chits and Germany pulls 20. The contribution of the chit difference, can be expressed as the following function:

Chit Difference = CD = Sum(german_chits) - 2*Sum(russian chits)
Note that the value of the russian chits are doubled to account for the attacker needing 2:1 to break the pact.

Assuming infinte pools (which is true for MWIF), and somewhat equal stdv of each chit pull (which is close enough) we get the following expression for the standard deviation:

STDV(CD) = SQRT(20*s^2 + 10*(2s)^2) = SQRT(60s^2) which is almost equal to 7.7*s, where s is the stdv of a single chit.

Given that s=1.3, the standard deviation of the chits difference is 7.7*1.3 = 10.1 , or approx 10, or up to a 80bp loss difference, which completely dwarfs the standard deviation of german losses in France.

Still, if Russia waits until S/O, after pulling chits, to decide to actually stuff the border or not, they can reduce this standard deviation to:
STDV(CD_SO41) = SQRT(20*s^2 + 3*(2s)^2) SQRT(32s^2) = 5.6*s = 7.3.

At this time, German losses in France, german builds etc will all largely be known, making it reasonably easy for Russia to estimate Germany's potential garrison in 1941.

Assuming that Russia has an advantage over Germany in all known variables at this point of about 7 points, this would give them roughly an 80% probability of holding the pact. If the advantage is 15 points, the probability is about 95%.

And Russia always have the opportunity to DOW Italy, if they should pull very poorly after S/O. (The Japan option was taken away) This way they gain 4-5 reserves, which when reorganized and put at the border, are worth 8 or 10 CD points. On top of this, they can build mil, which is easily worth another 10 or so points, for a total of up to 20.

So even if the advantage is zero, Russia can get almost a 100% chance to stuff by DOW-ing Italy, which means that taking that 80% risk is not as dangerous as it sounds, if you are willing to sacrifice those 4 US entry chits if you pull poorly.

And if Russia, after seeing their S/O40 chit, decides that they have too poor chits, they can simply fall back during the next 3 turns, which if properly executed means that they will most likely be able to reach a reasonable line it time. They can even start building non-pact-optimizing units at this time, such as anti-tank units and HQ's, and still have them out before Barbarossa starts.

Russia can (and should) keep several chits face down in early 1940, to put pressure on Germany's ability to hold the pact when they are fighting in France. They can choose to have either high or low chits face down. If they are worried about the pact, they could keep their high chits face up, but if they want to break the garrison themselves, or if they they have so high chits that they feel secure, they can show th e low chits only, and hide the high ones.

All-in-all, this gives Russia all the power to control the development of the game, and to decide which games come down to a stuffing contest and what do not. Germany on the other hand, really need to decide in 1939 or early 40 if he wants to do a MED strategy, sealion or eastern strategy, unless he wants to be at a severe disadvantage from the beginning.

So, basically, Zarachus is quite right in his analysis. When playing against players understanding the above, and that are willing to stuff, the only sane thing to do as Germany, is to go west.

I think that this may be a very real threat to the success of MWiF, since other player may react as Zarachus, and simply stop playing the game after being stuffed a couple of times. (I would react simmilarily to him, though luckily, I've usually been playing with players that agree to house rule that Germany can break the pact in 1941, regardless of garrison.)

While many WiF veterans may be used to this mechanic (the ones that could not stand it, have probably left the wif community already), I think many potential new players will react very negatively when encountering this kind of behaviour.

Indeed, this is somthing I've been saying for years.


Cheers
Hakon


I had to repeat the calculations. And found, using only mean values, the ratio in May/Jun 41 to vary between 1.6 and 1.7 depending on optionals. These calculations assumed no casualties by either side, a garrison optimized strategy by both sides - including USSR DOWing Italy to be able to produce MIL, and no Yugo attack or alignment.

I then tried even more variations with a a historical Yugo DOW MA41, Hungary and Romania aligned, and Japan DOWing USSR SO39 with an immediate USSR surrender using the Annual 2008 rule for compulsory peace. This issues hurt the USSR prospects of stopping Barbaross but the average ratio was still below 2, more precisely 1,95 with USSR surrender to Japan and 1,79 without that war - all options on.

So far I just have to agree with what's presented.
But I'll come with a different STD calculation. (Which is why I quoted the post above.)

The formula
quote:


Chit Difference = CD = Sum(german_chits) - 2*Sum(russian chits)

is a bad estimation, when the function for the ratio is
quote:


Sum(german_chits + units garrison value) / Sum(russian chits + units garrison value)

When a +1 in the denominator would affect the calculations much more than +1 in the numerator.

If you instead you the formulas for uncertainty found at Wikipedia we can make the following calculations:


  • US -entry chit distribution used by MWIF
  • 39 mean: 2.33 STD: 1.19
  • 40 mean: 1.79 STD: 1.08
  • 41 mean: 2.6 STD: 1.22
  • 42 mean: 3.33 STD: 1.2
  • 43 mean: 2.87 STD: 1.37


Mean value Ge chits in MJ41 = 41.2
STD Ge chits in MJ41 = 14.6
(STD calculated using the formula for calculating variance for a sum at Wikipedia)

Mean value USSR chits in MJ41 = 20.1
STD USSR chits in MJ41 = 7.3

Then ratio calculations if using just
quote:


Sum(german_chits) / Sum(russian chits)

gives chits ratio = mean 2.0 and STD = 1.0
(STD calculated using the formula for calculating variance for a ratio at Wikipedia)

If I add in that units into that last equation:
quote:


Sum(german_chits + units garrison value) / Sum(russian chits + units garrison value)

Using the same number for units garrison value that I found doing my estimation for all options on and a historical Yugo DOW MA41 with Hungary and Romania aligned and USSR DOWing Italy to produce MILs, I find that
total garrison ratio = mean 1.84 and STD = 0.17

Meaning it must be something like a 84% chance that Germany can break the pact in MJ41. (Since mean + STD = 2.01 so the 2.0 is within the standard deviation and approximately 68% of results are within standard deviation but results outside of standard deviation causing lower ratios will also benefit the USSR.)



Of course it's likely that the USSR should try a forward set up only if his own chits are close to or above average. As Haakon pointed out it's usually safe to reassess this in late 40. This means that the times the USSR puts a forward set up, his chance will be better than what I calculated. But in something like 40% of the cases I would still recommend against trying a forward set up.

What if I calculated in losses to either side? Well let's assume Germany lost units worth 20BP and USSR lost units worth 10BP then the average would increase, because in garrison optimized strategy without any losses Germany had to build quite a few units which gave 1 garrison point for every 4 BP. While the USSR still was building units which gave 1 garrison points for every 3 BP. (So this means that with these losses GE would lose 5 garrison points while the USSR lost 3.3 garrison points, which would make the garrison ratio closer to 2.0). But I'd say there's a more than 50% chance the German losses are more than two times the USSR losses...


I don't know it this changes anything, but if we are to go for an optional I figure Steve's suggestion are by far the most elegant one.

I'd probably not use it myself, as I don't think it's important enough, and because it makes it more risky for Germany to attack Spain (If Germany goes for a Spain campaign, if would be safe for the USSR to set up forward anyway, and if the Spain campaign starts slow, Germany may easily have to abort after MJ41 because USSR could break the pact.)

But I will vote for the optional rule if enough people say this is important. I don't see why not.



< Message edited by ullern -- 11/14/2009 7:48:34 PM >

(in reply to hakon)
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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/14/2009 9:16:05 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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Nils,

Thanks.

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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/14/2009 9:50:35 PM   
hakon

 

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Hi, Ullern, it appears that you do not understand my calculation. I'll try to explain the point's you're not getting in some more detail:

The criterium for breaking the garrison is, as you write, as follows:
2 < Sum(German chits + German forces)/sum(Russian chits + russian forces)

=> 2*Sum(Russian chits + Russian forces) < Sum(German chits + German forces
=> Sum(Germanc chits + German forces) - 2*Sum(Russian chits + Russian forces)
=> CD > FD

Where CD is the Chit Difference function of my previous build, and FD is the force diffence function:
FD = 2*Sum(Garrison value of Russian forces) - Sum(Garrison value of German forces)

Now, since the FD function can be (pretty much) calculated deterministically, the statistical part can be reduced to calculating the probability that CD > some constant. (FD will tend to be somewhere in the range of +5 and +20, depending on behaviour).

Now to comment on your post:

quote:

ORIGINAL: ullern


The formula
quote:


Chit Difference = CD = Sum(german_chits) - 2*Sum(russian chits)

is a bad estimation, when the function for the ratio is
quote:


Sum(german_chits + units garrison value) / Sum(russian chits + units garrison value)

When a +1 in the denominator would affect the calculations much more than +1 in the numerator.



True, but this is why the russian chits are multiplied with 2. In fact, our expressins are equivallent so far.

quote:



Using the same number for units garrison value that I found doing my estimation for all options on and a historical Yugo DOW MA41 with Hungary and Romania aligned and USSR DOWing Italy to produce MILs, I find that
total garrison ratio = mean 1.84 and STD = 0.17

Meaning it must be something like a 84% chance that Germany can break the pact in MJ41. (Since mean + STD = 2.01 so the 2.0 is within the standard deviation and approximately 68% of results are within standard deviation but results outside of standard deviation causing lower ratios will also benefit the USSR.)



You mean that 84% is the chance that Germany can NOT break the pact, yes, since they need +1 STD of chits to break it? I would like to see exactly what garrison values (from unit only) you are assuming here. With a DOW on Italy, I would expect the probability for Germany to break the pact to be much smaller.

quote:





Of course it's likely that the USSR should try a forward set up only if his own chits are close to or above average. As Haakon pointed out it's usually safe to reassess this in late 40. This means that the times the USSR puts a forward set up, his chance will be better than what I calculated. But in something like 40% of the cases I would still recommend against trying a forward set up.



This is about the same percentage that I would arrive it, when the USSR is NOT willing to DOW Italy.

quote:




What if I calculated in losses to either side? Well let's assume Germany lost units worth 20BP and USSR lost units worth 10BP then the average would increase, because in garrison optimized strategy without any losses Germany had to build quite a few units which gave 1 garrison point for every 4 BP. While the USSR still was building units which gave 1 garrison points for every 3 BP. (So this means that with these losses GE would lose 5 garrison points while the USSR lost 3.3 garrison points, which would make the garrison ratio closer to 2.0). But I'd say there's a more than 50% chance the German losses are more than two times the USSR losses...



Russia can usually avoid losing very many bp, though, or any if Japan does not DOW them before M/J 1941. Of course, with the (optional) new compulsory peace option, Japan COULD dow Russia in 1940, attack Russian on all fronts, and (if Russia didnt DOW Italy), simply surrender in M/A 1941, forcing Russia to demobilize all reserves and any MIL. Not exactly the kind of game I would like to encourage, but it does make it somewhat for Germany to execute Barbarossa.

In any case, this is an option, and not everyone will play with the option. If you don't play with the option, then Russia will not have to DOW Italy if Japan attacks, and will still get the RES and MIL needed to stuff.

quote:



I'd probably not use it myself, as I don't think it's important enough, and because it makes it more risky for Germany to attack Spain (If Germany goes for a Spain campaign, if would be safe for the USSR to set up forward anyway, and if the Spain campaign starts slow, Germany may easily have to abort after MJ41 because USSR could break the pact.)


While I don't consider attacking Spain something Hitler would have been likely to to do, I do anticipate that more people than you will share this opinion, which is one reason why my preferred choice would be to simply allow Germany to DOW at the historical time.

Cheers
Hakon

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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/15/2009 7:43:34 AM   
Skanvak

 

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What I don't understand is why wanting to tweak the number to a specific value. Why not put the optional rule as variable and let the player enter variable value. That will save Steve A LOT of time trying to figure out who is right or wrong.

Personnaly, I think that this rule is meaningful only because USSR is part of the allied power and NOT playing for itself (like in history). I would rather let the player (in 6 player games only) figure out if they can go to war or not as those country are dictatorship. The actual system is biaised nayway. For example, declaring war on Spain could have had more internal and external political consequence as it was a fascist country, some of the anti-bolchevik movement in occupied territory that cooperate with Germany might have begun to question German action (meaning less volunteer for the Heer and the waffen SS). The effect on the axis minor country still neutral can be devastating too.

If we begin to create optional rules without ADG approvement we can go all the way down to editing every aspect of this rules. this will save discussion time.

< Message edited by Skanvak -- 11/15/2009 7:05:01 PM >


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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/15/2009 11:01:39 AM   
BallyJ

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Skanvak

What I don't understand is why wanting to tweak the number to a specific value. Why not put the optional rule as variable and let the player enter variable value. That will save Steve A LOT of time trying to figure out who is right or wrong.

This realy seems like a good idea to me.

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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/16/2009 1:56:07 AM   
Ullern


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quote:

ORIGINAL: hakon

Hi, Ullern, it appears that you do not understand my calculation. I'll try to explain the point's you're not getting in some more detail:

The criterium for breaking the garrison is, as you write, as follows:
2 < Sum(German chits + German forces)/sum(Russian chits + russian forces)

=> 2*Sum(Russian chits + Russian forces) < Sum(German chits + German forces
=> Sum(Germanc chits + German forces) - 2*Sum(Russian chits + Russian forces)
=> CD > FD

Where CD is the Chit Difference function of my previous build, and FD is the force diffence function:
FD = 2*Sum(Garrison value of Russian forces) - Sum(Garrison value of German forces)

Now, since the FD function can be (pretty much) calculated deterministically, the statistical part can be reduced to calculating the probability that CD > some constant. (FD will tend to be somewhere in the range of +5 and +20, depending on behaviour).



Ah. Get it.

quote:


Now to comment on your post:


quote:



Using the same number for units garrison value that I found doing my estimation for all options on and a historical Yugo DOW MA41 with Hungary and Romania aligned and USSR DOWing Italy to produce MILs, I find that
total garrison ratio = mean 1.84 and STD = 0.17

Meaning it must be something like a 84% chance that Germany can break the pact in MJ41. (Since mean + STD = 2.01 so the 2.0 is within the standard deviation and approximately 68% of results are within standard deviation but results outside of standard deviation causing lower ratios will also benefit the USSR.)



You mean that 84% is the chance that Germany can NOT break the pact, yes, since they need +1 STD of chits to break it? I would like to see exactly what garrison values (from unit only) you are assuming here. With a DOW on Italy, I would expect the probability for Germany to break the pact to be much smaller.


So true. This missing "NOT" from my statement I didn't see until now. But obviously at least Haakon figured.

On the rest of the post we seemed to agree and I didn't quote it.

I checked my calculations for garrison ratios and found I had Haakon's FD function between +11 and +31. While Haakon said he got between +5 and +20. But actually I think this difference is too small to warrant a discussion. (And it's probably explained by introducing some losses into my equations.)

For solution I see no problem with Haakons solution either. But as I said Steve's solution by introducing a step halfway through the calendar year which put the needed ratio halfway between that year and the next year an elegant solution. The shift in ratio from 2:1 to 1:1 is after all quite big, and some might perceive the suggested optional rule an improvement. But I don't mind what solution is made. So I'll just "shut up."

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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/16/2009 10:59:18 AM   
darune

 

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Im curiouse, have anyone done (or would do) an analysis where germany conquers Yugoslavia, Poland, Netherlands and aligns hungary and rumania in the first turn, and where france falls early-average (eg. MJ or JA), then aligns bulgaria in 41 ?

I did aproximately this in my last game without suffering any noteworthy losses. This was before we switched to 2d10, so with that you could of course expect to take more losses.

With 3 saved oil and enough ressource and some extra factories, overall i figure germany can produce maximum from the first turn or second turn (I think it is 17 BP after pact has been paid)

As opposed to the OPs analysis where germany does not produce on maximum for a long time.

I did start on the math, but my data weren't saved properly and figured it might as well be better just to hear your assessment ?

I still have the turn by turn production points if you are interested.


< Message edited by darune -- 11/16/2009 11:05:38 AM >

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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/16/2009 3:06:22 PM   
Edfactor


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So if you stack the boarder, whats to stop Italy form declaring war on the soviet union? put a few ZOCs on soviet stacks and poof the garrison ratio changes alot. I'll grant that it mean that Italy would have to have ground units on the polish frontier instead of air units.

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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/16/2009 3:43:01 PM   
lavisj

 

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It is possible for Italian to ZOC or Ground Strike Russians for that purpose. But due to the pact rules concerning the common border (that is that IT units can not be within the common border if IT is at war with Russia), IT needs a border with Russia in order for that plan to work.

Poland is excluded due to the specificity of the Polish partition rule. That leaves Lithuania or Hungary. So Italy would need to conquer Lithuania and/or Hungary for this to work.

As far as I know this is probably the best counter to a stuff. But unfortunately it is something that has to be planned from day 1 by the axis.... and it has some drawback.

Jerome

(in reply to Edfactor)
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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/17/2009 2:37:34 PM   
Edfactor


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What about a Japanese DOW on Russia and Japan not taking Vladivostok but instead pushing on toward other Russian resources? Can Russia afford losing a few corps and resources to the Japanese for a year or more?

(in reply to lavisj)
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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/17/2009 2:55:34 PM   
lavisj

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Edfactor

What about a Japanese DOW on Russia and Japan not taking Vladivostok but instead pushing on toward other Russian resources? Can Russia afford losing a few corps and resources to the Japanese for a year or more?


This actually helps Russia more than anything. It has some benefits:
1. Russia gains 4 immediate units
2. Russia can build Militias
3. Russia can take land impulses

How do those impact the stuffing?
Well, the 4 units (which do not have to be placed vs Japanese) are immediately helping.

Now, let's assume that Russia looses all 4 ressources in 1940. That means that it will loose 2 BP/turn for 5 turns = 10 BP. But even that is pessimistic because with the ability to take land impulses, Russia can wage a very strong war on Japan until SO40, and so should be able to actually push into Manchouria in MJ or JA 40, and make life really difficult for the Japanese. Of course in SO40, it needs to withdraw to avoid a JF41 DoW by Germany. So let's take the middle ground and assume that overall Russia will have lost 8BP.

Now, Russia would be hard pressed to loose more than 4 units (which are compensated by the 4 gained), but tlet assume they lost 4.
Since they can not build Militia, it means they have roughly 10 units to build at 2BP/garrison, instead of the MOT's at 4BP/GAR, or INF at 3BP/GARR..... which means that their GARR is actually going to increase drastically.... which will make a stuff more likely.

Now, the ability to be able to take a land, also makes the stuff a lot less risky as Russia can withdraw from the border much more easily, which means that their decision is pushed back, while Germany's isn't.

The new optional rule, which allows Japan to surrender Manchouria to end the war, allows of course the gamey counter which would be for Japan to surrender in MA41, forcing the removal of the reserve and MIL units.... if Russia built them to hold the pact.
So if playing with that rule, Russia should only be able to build 3-4 GARR to hold the Japanese front (which is already a 4 BP savings). Let's assume they lost 2 units for another 6BP. That means that Russia would be in the hole for 10 BP, which is 2.5 MOT.

So Russia would have lost 2.5 GARR points on average. So, If playing with that new optional rule, Japan can indeed have an impact, if it is willing to wage a war, knowing it may have to surrender in MA41 if Russian chits are good. That impact would amount to around a 5 German point help, which would increase Germany's chances to brak the stuff quite nicely. I do not know what the new percentage would be.

Jerome

(in reply to Edfactor)
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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/17/2009 4:02:44 PM   
hakon

 

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Jerome: Russia's counter to Japan's aggression, is to DOW Italy, which can be worth it if it goes that far.

Cheers
Hakon

(in reply to lavisj)
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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/17/2009 4:11:45 PM   
lavisj

 

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Hakon,

Now we get into an interesting question: If Russia DoW's Italy, when would they have to do that? In the winter of 40-41 I would think.
Would that be worth it for the Axis, just for that? After all, if we assume that every turn that the US comes in late costs the axis around 40BP on the course of the game, a 3 turn late would mean 120 BP. This is more BP than what Germany can kill in 1941.....

So, if Russia is that determined to stuff, that it DoW Italy to insure it, it is probably actually a loss for the allies?

Jerome

(in reply to hakon)
Post #: 293
RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/18/2009 12:38:41 AM   
brian brian

 

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For the situation of the Germans taking the Netherlands, Poland, and Yugoslavia all on the first turn with no losses ... just surrender your Allies and start over if you can't set up minors and the BEF well enough to prevent that. Hint: Defend Zagreb's flanks to the max and just leave one weak unit in Belgrade, cover the North Sea with a strong Home Fleet and threaten an intervention in Rotterdam.

Seriously though, that should be pretty rare. I wrote the original post in this thread when I was having trouble with how Safari displayed this webpage and the Login button well off to the right, so I needed a new login a couple times. I was only trying to illustrate that the Russians really can stuff the border quite successfully even in an 'average' game, and the AI programming needs to take that into consideration. Many players still don't think the Russians really can accomplish that until it happens to them in a game.


It is very hard to analyze what might happen to the Russians in a real war with Japan. Japan could, for example, send Yamamoto to the Russian front and play an O-chit on a key Russian stack, get a double move and trap a lot Russian units in the Far East. You probably won't know how much the Axis have decided to make it a team effort to take down the Soviet Union, and Japan can be quite the team player and reap rewards from that.

I have always been more interested in the math of the Russians and the border without building all the MIL as in my opinion the Russian MIL are quite a waste of BPs as Manstein loves smashing them once war does come. I build Russian INF and start scrapping the junk ones until the Germans are facing units equal to theirs and suddenly they grind to a halt.

For situations with using the Italians to break the pact, etc., I much prefer playing with grown-ups who can discuss some bare-bones basics before the game starts. For having more of a hard structured rule in place ahead of time, Steve's idea of a 1.5:1 ratio starting in Jul/Aug is probably the most elegant of any solution I've ever read to this question, and WiF rules should be all about elegance so we can focus on playing the game rather than adjudicating the game.

(in reply to lavisj)
Post #: 294
RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/18/2009 11:33:21 AM   
hakon

 

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lavisj: 120 bp is not more than the axis can kill, especially if you include what they can capture, and even more so if Russia starts at the border with Germany. Besides, the allies know what kind of chits are in the US pools. If they are are not very high, it will cost less than 3 turns of US entry. In fact, if the US is not due to get option 34 until 1942 (which is not so late in a Barb game), it's more likely that it costs only 1 turn.

Say for instance, that the US loses three 1's and a 2 by the DOW, this is less than they typically pull in one turn in 1942. Add to this that germany and russia continues to draw chits throughout 1941, instead of returning all their chits to the pool in M/J-41, diluting the pool. If Germany doesn't DOW Russia until M/J 1942, this effect alone can mean just as much as the Russian DOW.

On the other hand, if the US chits are high, the Russian ones may be quite low, and Russia may be forced to pull back anyway, regardless of the Japanese agression. Or the Russian chits may be high enough that the Japanese agression doesn't matter.

All-in-all, it's may well be worth it to DOW Italy with Russia in late 1940 or 1941, and especially so if they suddenly starts to draw low chits near the end of 1940.

At the very worst, the Japanese agression forces Russia to draw back as if they had not tried to stuff in the first place.

And of course, this all relies on using the new version of the compulsory peace optional to have Japan surrender at a time that makes it EASIER for Germany to DOW Russia. Imo, this is NOT a way that we should want the players to be forced to play in order to execute a Barbarossa at the historical time. Basically, its a simmilar type of gamey as having Italy conquering Hungary to be able to ZOC up russians.

Cheers
Hakon

(in reply to lavisj)
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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/18/2009 4:13:17 PM   
lavisj

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: hakon
And of course, this all relies on using the new version of the compulsory peace optional to have Japan surrender at a time that makes it EASIER for Germany to DOW Russia. Imo, this is NOT a way that we should want the players to be forced to play in order to execute a Barbarossa at the historical time. Basically, its a simmilar type of gamey as having Italy conquering Hungary to be able to ZOC up russians.

Cheers
Hakon


I agree, both strategy are gamey. And we do not want to play that way... but until the rule officially changes, there are only two options left to us:
1. Gentleman's agreement on house ruling the issue.
2. Gamey tricks.

And in my mind those gamey tricks are fair game to cancel the effects of the stuff rule, which I consider highly unrealistic.

Jerome

(in reply to hakon)
Post #: 296
RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/18/2009 4:42:56 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: hakon

lavisj: 120 bp is not more than the axis can kill, especially if you include what they can capture, and even more so if Russia starts at the border with Germany. Besides, the allies know what kind of chits are in the US pools. If they are are not very high, it will cost less than 3 turns of US entry. In fact, if the US is not due to get option 34 until 1942 (which is not so late in a Barb game), it's more likely that it costs only 1 turn.

Say for instance, that the US loses three 1's and a 2 by the DOW, this is less than they typically pull in one turn in 1942. Add to this that germany and russia continues to draw chits throughout 1941, instead of returning all their chits to the pool in M/J-41, diluting the pool. If Germany doesn't DOW Russia until M/J 1942, this effect alone can mean just as much as the Russian DOW.

On the other hand, if the US chits are high, the Russian ones may be quite low, and Russia may be forced to pull back anyway, regardless of the Japanese agression. Or the Russian chits may be high enough that the Japanese agression doesn't matter.

All-in-all, it's may well be worth it to DOW Italy with Russia in late 1940 or 1941, and especially so if they suddenly starts to draw low chits near the end of 1940.

At the very worst, the Japanese agression forces Russia to draw back as if they had not tried to stuff in the first place.

And of course, this all relies on using the new version of the compulsory peace optional to have Japan surrender at a time that makes it EASIER for Germany to DOW Russia. Imo, this is NOT a way that we should want the players to be forced to play in order to execute a Barbarossa at the historical time. Basically, its a simmilar type of gamey as having Italy conquering Hungary to be able to ZOC up russians.

Cheers
Hakon

Some of this analysis is moot in MWIF. The MWIF chit draws are from an infinite pool (using a probability distribution), so there is no interaction between the Nazi-Soviet pact and US Entry as far as chits are concerned.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to hakon)
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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/19/2009 3:47:31 AM   
Breunor

 

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Hi everyone! I'm a newcomer to the forum here, but I have played WIFFE quite a lot over the last decade, including tournaments and the like.

I also apologize for not having read the entire thread, but with a computer version of WIFFE coming out soon I had to register!

I find it interesting that people here worry about the Soviet Forward Defense (which is what my group called it, here I guess it is called stuffing the border). I don't remember this mechanic ever being considered a particularly controversial issue among the board game crowd, obviously here it is different.

My observations are:

The WIFFE world is somewhat split between people favoring 41 Barbarossa and a 42 attack, with the 42 attack having Germany take out Gibraltar, close the Med, take Suez and sometimes Persia, and attack across the board.

My view is the 42 Barbarossa is slighly more popular. (Personally, I'm usually a 41 guy).

There is some crowd (maybe 20% - 30% ) that think the 41 Barbarossa, along with a teamed attack by Italy and Japan, is too good.

And, of course, you have the opportunists, who also deal with the forward defense:

Depending on which rules are played, an all-out forward defense stops a Barbarossa about maybe 65% of the time. To get it this high, though, you need to strip Siberia completely, and let Japan walk in.

If you don't strip Siberia, the odds are probably no better than 50%, which is tremendously risky.

I think the way we have thought of it, is that if you don't succeed, you pretty much have lost the game, the forward defense is real bad if Germany can break the pact.

But the bigger response has been that if there is a forward defense in 41, then switch to 42. The forward defense may lead to facing a 42 with all of Siberia lost, which can be quite tough. Obviously, one Soviet 'compensation' for facing the 42 Barbarossa is that they are supposed to be stronger in Asia and the Pacific.

So the 'stuffing' isn't considered particularly problematic - if you get good chits, crush the Soviets and the game is over. If you get mediocre or bad chits, take Siberia, do a 42 Barbarossa, and the Axis players are is VERY good shape. It is always important to try to be flexible to react and not start the game with a single strategy (41 Barbarossa) in mind.

I would also recommend against something like having the USSR declare war on Italy.

In the years I've played WIFFE, I've heard a lot of 'this is broken' type issues, but to be honest I haven't heard this one.

I'm not trying to denigrate or deny the concerns of the posters here, but I thought I could probably convey what I've heard on the issue. Of course, WIFFE is a big, complex game, and there are going to be a lot of different opinions on many issues.


Breunor


< Message edited by Breunor -- 11/19/2009 3:49:55 AM >

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
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RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/19/2009 10:15:06 AM   
hakon

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: lavisj
And in my mind those gamey tricks are fair game to cancel the effects of the stuff rule, which I consider highly unrealistic.
Jerome


I agree with the principle that it is fair to use gamey tactics in response to other gamey tactics (and I do consider stuffing the border vs Germany in 1941 to be exploiting a game weakness, meaning it's gamey too.)

But I don't think this should be encouraged. And in particular, I don't think it's a valid defense of one set of flawed rules that they can be partially countered by other gamey practices.

So, as always, my proposed solution is:
1) Get rid of Russia's ability to stuff the border
2) Rebalance Russia as needed, to prevent 1941 Barbs from being blow outs so often.

While Steve's solution works ok on the first one, I still think my two proposed optional rules (Lebensraum and The Great Patriotic War) would be the easiest, most predictable ways to solve each issue.

Cheers
Hakon

(in reply to lavisj)
Post #: 299
RE: 'stuffing' the border - 11/19/2009 10:28:27 AM   
hakon

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets
Some of this analysis is moot in MWIF. The MWIF chit draws are from an infinite pool (using a probability distribution), so there is no interaction between the Nazi-Soviet pact and US Entry as far as chits are concerned.


Good point, then again, my agenda extends to the boardgame, too. :)

In any case, the main point was that the US entry pool chit average will tend to be at an all time low around then end of 1940, in particular if they made sure to send as many 1939 chits as possible into the tension pool in 1939 and early 1940, meaning that the average cost of a Russian dow on Italy is not quite as high as was claimed, and also that Russia can take the US actual chits into consideration when making the decision.

And the fact that US starting to get 2 chits per turn in 1942 also remains, of course.

So in total, i would guess that the average effect on US entry would be 1-1.5 turns, provided Russia doesn't do it if the chits in the Ge/It entry pool are very high.

Maybe slightly more for option 34, and slightly less for the war declarations.

This is a rather small price to pay for making Germany waste the 1941 offensive, and being at war will also be very useful when the time comes when Russia has to pull back (late 1941, early 42), significantly reducing the probability of being caught at the border.

Cheers
Hakon

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