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Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 10:29:44 AM   
vinnie71

 

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In the product page there is indicated that there will be indipendent battalions etc at Corps and Army level which could be attached to divisions. I've got several questions in this regard, so bear with me

a) Are these represented on the battlefield by counters or just equipment found in Corps/Army counters?

b) Once these units are joined to specific divisions, are they permanently joined or could these be reclaimed by Corps/Army HQs? This would be especially important in defensive fighting.

c) Could these units be brought together to form battlegroups?

d) What sort of units are we talking about here? I imagine something like SP, artillery, engineer units - anything else?

Tnx in advance!
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RE: Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 11:10:31 AM   
elmo3

 

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They are called support units in WitE.

a) they are not units on the map but they are battalions and soviet arty regiments and the game does track experience, equipment, morale, etc just like other units.

b) they are not permanently assigned.

c) No battlegroups or kampfgruppes are formed from support units.

d) construction (helps with fortress building and rail repair) and flak units are two others I can think of offhand.

In this shot you can see 18 support units currently attached to XII Corps.




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RE: Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 11:44:53 AM   
Terminus


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Separate armour battalions as well, like flame tanks and assault guns.

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RE: Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 12:28:58 PM   
critter


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quote:

ORIGINAL: elmo3

They are called support units in WitE.

a) they are not units on the map but they are battalions and soviet arty regiments and the game does track experience, equipment, morale, etc just like other units.

b) they are not permanently assigned.

c) No battlegroups or kampfgruppes are formed from support units.

d) construction (helps with fortress building and rail repair) and flak units are two others I can think of offhand.

In this shot you can see 18 support units currently attached to XII Corps.





So how do they work in combat? If not assigned how does a player know where they're at?

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RE: Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 2:26:10 PM   
freeboy

 

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interesting... Would loive to see an attack and defense breakout of how the game, in detail, handles the rounds of combat, or whatever
Thanks

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RE: Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 2:27:30 PM   
elmo3

 

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If a leader passes an initiative check their support units can be assigned to attack or defend.  Range from the HQ to the battle matters but I forget the specifics right now.  Max of 5 support units can participate in any one battle IIRC.  Support units are always assigned to either an HQ or a combat unit and that assignment can be changed.

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RE: Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 3:05:55 PM   
PyleDriver


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Btw good response Lee, also the player can lock these units into HQ's so the AI doesn't move them around. It costs an AP (admin point) to transfer them. I like control of where there at. I like every corps to have a little of each. When I play the 41 game I move all my big guns (2 Karl Bat, 600mm, and 3 Hvy Art Bat, 355mm, 305 mm) to 18th army for the later assalt on Leningrad. So this game can go as deep as you want, or let the AI help you as you go...

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RE: Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 3:50:27 PM   
Monkeys Brain


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How do you calculate this:

ZIEMKE - MOSCOW TO STALINGRAD

PAGE 139

"At the beginning of the 1941-1942 winter campaign, which includes the Moscow counteroffensive (and perhaps also the efforts at Rostov and Tikhvin) the Stavka had total reserves of 123 divisions, 31 brigade, and 16 independent regiments. During campaign it created or rebuilt 128 divisions, 158 brigades, 209 independent regiments.
Of the total of 665 units (251 divisions, 189 brigades, and 225 independent regiments, Stavka COMMITED ONLY 181 (99 divisions, 82 brigadesm and NO INEPENDENT REGIMENTS!!!) during winter campaign."

Now what this means?
is this game historically accurate or researched enough?

I see that many German units will not be included in the game and would not want to see all Soviet units included which will give Soviets enormous superiority.

And we see that many Soviet units were not even commited to combat!

Maybe I am wrong or don't understand this but would want as much as possible historical accuracy, not some mumbo jumbo. Maybe even developers can tell us source of their historical research.


Mario

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Post #: 8
RE: Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 3:56:26 PM   
Montbrun


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Monkeys Brain

How do you calculate this:

ZIEMKE - MOSCOW TO STALINGRAD

PAGE 139

"At the beginning of the 1941-1942 winter campaign, which includes the Moscow counteroffensive (and perhaps also the efforts at Rostov and Tikhvin) the Stavka had total reserves of 123 divisions, 31 brigade, and 16 independent regiments. During campaign it created or rebuilt 128 divisions, 158 brigades, 209 independent regiments.
Of the total of 665 units (251 divisions, 189 brigades, and 225 independent regiments, Stavka COMMITED ONLY 181 (99 divisions, 82 brigadesm and NO INEPENDENT REGIMENTS!!!) during winter campaign."

Now what this means?
is this game historically accurate or researched enough?

I see that many German units will not be included in the game and would not want to see all Soviet units included which will give Soviets enormous superiority.

And we see that many Soviet units were not even commited to combat!

Maybe I am wrong or don't understand this but would want as much as possible historical accuracy, not some mumbo jumbo. Maybe even developers can tell us source of their historical research.


Mario


This gives you an idea of all of the independent units attached to the German forces at the start of Barbarossa:

German Barbarossa OoB

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RE: Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 4:11:49 PM   
Monkeys Brain


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Thanks Brad. Interesting...

I found this when I searched about 12th German Army:

http://books.google.hr/books?id=QNftdEh7hX4C&pg=PA23&lpg=PA23&dq=german+12th+army&source=bl&ots=0PaU0gzXKx&sig=wqvtkAfSn2A-TWp7ED3sXjV2Kxg&hl=hr&ei=LO0wS7LVKcOe_gb7raSLCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CDQQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=german%2012th%20army&f=false

interesting...

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RE: Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 4:42:38 PM   
elmo3

 

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As has been stated before we are striving for historical accuracy since obviously this is a historical game.  However once a scenario starts it can and and will deviate from strictly historical results.  I'm guessing an extensive bibliography of sources will be included with the game documentation but we don't have that compiled yet.

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RE: Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 5:02:25 PM   
vinnie71

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: elmo3

They are called support units in WitE.

a) they are not units on the map but they are battalions and soviet arty regiments and the game does track experience, equipment, morale, etc just like other units.

b) they are not permanently assigned.

c) No battlegroups or kampfgruppes are formed from support units.

d) construction (helps with fortress building and rail repair) and flak units are two others I can think of offhand.

In this shot you can see 18 support units currently attached to XII Corps.






Taking a good look at the units listed there, we will have quite a cross-section of support units. Therefore it is wise to always keep something back (like artillery) but the others can be assigned to line divisions to prop them up in defence.

Two more questions please

Will Flak units fire on aircraft only or will they be able to fire on land bound targets (as in real life)? the Germans especially readily made use of their excellent flak units in an anti-tank and support role.

I see that there are construction battalions. Tney were quite numerous in the German army and were usually predominantly made up of second line troops and Hiwis as time moved on. Will they have a role of converting the rail guage as the Germans advance or is this not implemented in the game? (guess it isn't coz it must be difficult to do... but..)

Lastly (sorry a third query came to mind as I typed). Can we see the TO&E of such support units and do they have the same replacement method of other formations?

Thanks again for a game that seems to be coming along fine!


BTW @ Monkeys Brain - what German units are not going to be included in game?

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RE: Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 5:03:49 PM   
Monkeys Brain


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quote:

ORIGINAL: elmo3

As has been stated before we are striving for historical accuracy since obviously this is a historical game.  However once a scenario starts it can and and will deviate from strictly historical results.  I'm guessing an extensive bibliography of sources will be included with the game documentation but we don't have that compiled yet.



OK. I know that it is not easy but expectations are high on this title. And many East Front historians would judge your work hehe

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RE: Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 5:16:35 PM   
Monkeys Brain


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BTW @ Monkeys Brain - what German units are not going to be included in game?
---

I stand corrected - not Germans per se but some German allied units will not be in the game. Maybe some strange German formations as well - well they like Russians also did lot's of shuffling and there was also lot's of ad hoc formations or formations that were active only small time at the front and then transferred or dissolved.

Eastern Front is very complex topic and I've been researching that historical time period for years now. I have read many books on Eastern Front.

This game could also bring creativity in historical research hehe. Or bring some new issues that has been masked by some false informations (which happened mainly on Soviet side).

If German side would be too much simplified and many units put out, I don't know... Because even with real OOB Germans many times struggled and didn't have ANY reserves at all! (AGN for instance, AGC sometimes etc...). Some compromise would have to be found by designers.

I like the chrome in Eastern Front scenarios - look at Daniel McBride Drang Nach Osten, or Fite or elsewhere - the creativity of designers can shine there... that's why I don't like the notion when designers say "we ommited this or that unit". Hello! Game is developing for so many years and then it may be with lesser historical accuracy than TOAW scenarios.

For example for TO&E and OOB of combatants in World War I scenario, Daniel Mc Bride used book http://www.flipkart.com/world-war-data-book-john/1854107666-g0x3f2rbqc

It's not cheap but it is good, I have a copy as well.

Research is not cheap and certanly take time and you need sometimes to be very creative with partial data.


Mario


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RE: Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 5:31:30 PM   
vinnie71

 

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The basic problem with the German warmachine in the East (indeed wherever its was) was that the Germans made extensive use of battlegroups. These are impossible to implement unless each division is broken down in its battalion components, something which is not going to happen in this game. A good example is the old Avalon Hill title Stalingrad where it was pretty easy to create combined arms battlegroups suited to your needs. Obviously, it covered a really small part of the eastern front...

A good approximation is this idea of having indipendent units that can be attached to divisions. This means that for example in defence or attack, a particular division can be reinforced in order reach your goals. Its important to give a level of flexibility to the player...

True some units like Cossacks or the Brandenburgers (which I asked about) won't make it in the game. But when you think of it, the bulk of such formations would have been little more than the support units that are the topic of this thread, and therefore won't make such a big difference. A few Cossack regiments, Brandenburg battalions, Turkoman or whatnot battalions might be implemented as these units at best, considering the scale of the game.

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RE: Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 6:04:12 PM   
Monkeys Brain


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Offworlder

The basic problem with the German warmachine in the East (indeed wherever its was) was that the Germans made extensive use of battlegroups. These are impossible to implement unless each division is broken down in its battalion components, something which is not going to happen in this game. A good example is the old Avalon Hill title Stalingrad where it was pretty easy to create combined arms battlegroups suited to your needs. Obviously, it covered a really small part of the eastern front...

A good approximation is this idea of having indipendent units that can be attached to divisions. This means that for example in defence or attack, a particular division can be reinforced in order reach your goals. Its important to give a level of flexibility to the player...

True some units like Cossacks or the Brandenburgers (which I asked about) won't make it in the game. But when you think of it, the bulk of such formations would have been little more than the support units that are the topic of this thread, and therefore won't make such a big difference. A few Cossack regiments, Brandenburg battalions, Turkoman or whatnot battalions might be implemented as these units at best, considering the scale of the game.



OK, I may agree with you. But attention to details is always welcome in this type of games.

Brandenburgers captured bridge at Daugavpils for Manstein and at Luga later I think, etc... which was of some strategical importance. I agree with you that maybe this all could be irrelevant for big picture and that after all players will have enough units to push around in any case.

But we wargamers are like that... do you remember all those discussions of gun on KV-1 in Close Combat III etc...? hehe

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RE: Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 6:43:59 PM   
elmo3

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Offworlder

Two more questions please

Will Flak units fire on aircraft only or will they be able to fire on land bound targets (as in real life)? the Germans especially readily made use of their excellent flak units in an anti-tank and support role.

I see that there are construction battalions. Tney were quite numerous in the German army and were usually predominantly made up of second line troops and Hiwis as time moved on. Will they have a role of converting the rail guage as the Germans advance or is this not implemented in the game? (guess it isn't coz it must be difficult to do... but..)

Lastly (sorry a third query came to mind as I typed). Can we see the TO&E of such support units and do they have the same replacement method of other formations?

Thanks again for a game that seems to be coming along fine!

...


Not sure about flak as I'm fairly new to the team and the game. In addition to repair/conversion units that the player controls it is possible for the HQ AI to use construction battalions to repair/convert as well. Support unit refit is handled by the AI. And as always - this is alpha so anything you see is subject to change.






< Message edited by elmo3 -- 12/22/2009 6:44:18 PM >


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RE: Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 7:27:48 PM   
ComradeP

 

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Independent units could be problematic if not balanced properly, due to the differences between Axis and Soviet doctrine when it comes to support assets.

The Soviets suffered such heavy losses in terms of officers in the early stages of Barbarossa, that is was simply not possible for them to control larger units like full divisions with a plethora of organic support assets.

(All of this assumes paper strength, or theoretical strength)

As a result, in many scenarios in whatever wargame you might be playing, the Soviets often start with a pile of independent units, and pretty weak divisions. Rifle divisions, Guards and regular, were lucky if they had an organic AT battalion, and up to late in the war the majority of them had no real artillery, as that was centralized. In late 1944- 1945, Rifle Divisions with artillery regiments became more common, but artillery was usually all the support they were going to get.

Many of the betatesters are enthusiastic about Guards Mechanized Corps and Guards Tank Corps, but those were really the only roughly division sized Soviet formations that had any real organic support assets.

Moreover, a Guards Mechanized Corps was weak in tanks and a Tank Corps was weak in infantry. Some Tank Corps had a whopping 3 tank brigades AND 3 SU regiments, but only a single infantry brigade. If you think a Panzer division is weak on infantry, you should check out a Soviet Tank Corps, especially a mostly non-Guard formation. A Guards Mechanized Corps had about 3 brigades worth of mechanized infantry, which is nice, but often only a single brigade of tanks, or maybe a regular and a heavy tank brigade, as well as a SU regiment.

Those Guards Mechanized and Tank Corps generally included two or three artillery regiments (regular and rocket) and some AA. As Soviet armoured cars were generally rubbish, they had motorcycle recon units.

All other formations depended on their Army support assets, which was usually something between 4 and 8 artillery regiments and possible a few tank brigades.

For veterans of the Decisive Battles series by SSG or the later Battlefront and Kharkov:DotD, or veterans of other games featuring divisional integrity, masses of Soviet independent formations are usually a welcome sight, as they don't get a divisional integrity bonus and thus lose strength rapidly.

German infantry divisions had divisional AT assets, towed early on, Hetzers or StuG's later, an artillery regiment, motorcycle recon or foot/bicycle recon and a pioneer battalion (on foot or motorized). Panzer divisions had a regiment worth of tanks, motorized pioneers, and armoured recon. Panzer divisions might have a regular, (partially) self-propelled artillery regiment and a rocket artillery regiment.

German Corps usually had one or two independent artillery regiments, and possibly independent assault, tank or infantry battalions or regiments.

If the Germans are forced to fight with their regular theoretical divisional strength, Guards Tank and Mechanized Corps will always have superior firepower, as they can "glue" a tremendous amount of units together to form the unit. A Panzer division at full strength should be able to handle a Guards Mechanized Corps, but a full strength Guards Tank Corps would be tough to handle. If the Germans can create 3 tank battalion Panzer divisions, with an AT and StuG battalion, the Germans might stand a chance, especially SS formations.

The main problem is that, historically, the Soviets committed only a fraction of their total forces to the front. As Monkeys Brain quotes from Moscow to Stalingrad: Decision in the East (excellent book by the way), the Soviets left a lot of units in the rear areas, not at the front. As people can also read in Moscow to Stalingrad, one of the reasons why the various operations of what was initially known as Fall Blau worked was that roughly half of the Soviet strength below the AGN sector was concentrated around Moscow, as Stalin was afraid the forces there would attack Moscow.

The dismal failure of the Soviet spring and summer offensives only strengthened that belief, especially the failure of the Rzhev-Vyazma Strategic Offensive Operation and the Rzhev-Sychevka Offensive Operation, which ended in yet another encirclement of Soviet forces close to Moscow.

If the Soviet player doesn't make Stalin's mistakes, and concentrates forces, the Axis will face an avalanche of forces they can't possibly stop.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 12/23/2009 10:53:06 AM >

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RE: Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 8:02:19 PM   
MengCiao

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP

Independent units could be problematic if not balanced properly, due to the differences between Axis and Soviet doctrine when it comes to support assets.

The Soviets suffered such heavy losses in terms of officers in the early stages of Barbarossa, that is was simply not possible for them to control larger units like full divisions with a plethora of organic support assets.

(All of this assumes paper strength, or theoretical strength)

As a result, in many scenarios in whatever wargame you might be playing, the Soviets often start with a pile of independent units, and pretty weak divisions. Rifle divisions, Guards and regular, were lucky if they had an organic AT battalion, and up to late in the war the majority of them had no real artillery, as that was centralized. In late 1944- 1945, Rifle Divisions with artillery regiments became more common, but artillery was usually all the support they were going to get.

Many of the betatesters are enthusiastic about Guards Mechanized Corps and Guards Tank Corps, but those were really the only roughly division sized Soviet formations that had any real organic support assets.

Moreover, a Guards Mechanized Corps was weak in tanks and a Tank Corps was weak in infantry. Some Tank Corps had a whopping 3 tank brigades AND 3 SU regiments, but only a single infantry brigade. If you think a Panzer division is weak on infantry, you should check out a Soviet tank corps, especially a mostly non-Guard formation. A Guards Mechanized Corps had about 3 brigades worth of mechanized infantry, which is nice, but often only a single brigade of tanks, or maybe a regular and a heavy tank brigade, as well as a SU regiment.

Those Guards Mechanized and Tank Corps generally included two or three artillery regiments (regular and rocket) and some AA. As Soviet armoured cars were generally rubbish, they had motorcycle recon units.

All other formations depended on their Army support assets, which was usually something between 4 and 8 artillery regiments and possible a few tank brigades.

For veterans of the Decisive Battles series by SSG or the later Battlefront and Kharkov:DotD, or veterans of other games featuring divisional integrity, masses of Soviet independent formations are usually a welcome sight, as they don't get a divisional integrity bonus and thus lose strength rapidly.

German infantry divisions had divisional AT assets, towed early on, Hetzers or StuG's later, an artillery regiment, motorcycle recon or foot/bicycle recon and a pioneer battalion (on foot or motorized). Panzer divisions had a regiment worth of tanks, motorized pioneers, and armoured recon. Panzer regiments might have a regular, (partially) self-propelled artillery regiment and a rocket artillery regiment.

German Corps usually had one or two independent artillery regiments, and possibly independent assault, tank or infantry battalions or regiments.

If the Germans are forced to fight with their regular theoretical divisional strength, Guards Tank and Mechanized Corps will always have superior firepower, as they can "glue" a tremendous amount of units together to form the unit. A Panzer division at full strength should be able to handle a Guards Mechanized Corps, but a full strength Guards Tank Corps would be tough to handle. If the Germans can create 3 tank battalion Panzer divisions, with an AT and StuG battalion, the Germans might stand a chance, especially SS formations.

The main problem is that, historically, the Soviets committed only a fraction of their total forces to the front. As Monkeys Brain quotes from Moscow to Stalingrad: Decision in the East (excellent book by the way), the Soviets left a lot of units in the rear areas, not at the front. As people can also read in Moscow to Stalingrad, one of the reasons why the various operations of what was initially known as Fall Blau worked was that roughly half of the Soviet strength below the AGN sector was concentrated around Moscow, as Stalin was afraid the forces there would attack Moscow.

The dismal failure of the Soviet spring and summer offensives only strengthened that belief, especially the failure of the Rzhev-Vyazma Strategic Offensive Operation and the Rzhev-Sychevka Offensive Operation, which ended in yet another encirclement of Soviet forces close to Moscow.

If the Soviet player doesn't make Stalin's mistakes, and concentrates forces, the Axis will face an avalanche of forces they can't possibly stop.


Exactly. If the game simulates actual Soviet capabilities in terms of firepower and transport and other tangibles and simulates their command problems to the extent that the Soviet player can say, rescue enough good commanders early on to have a good commander for every army (with the support units at the army level, as was done very often in Soviet practice), then there is a significant chance that the Soviets will get rolling west much earlier than they did historically. Of course, since historically the Germans obliterated most of the Soviet army early on, its going to be hard to do much about simulating the tangibly enormous Soviet tangible assets since so much of the simulation work has to go into making sure the intangibles of German command capabilities have a huge impact. The tricky (and interesting) aspect of the simulation for me will be to see how quickly the Soviets can put together a good (army level at least) command structure to use their tangible resources (such as army-level support units). I wonder if something like signals and radio capabilities (which the Germans had if anything in excess) could be used to automate some of the Russian recovery of command control capability? Glantz and House in the Stalingrad series (vol1 is out) note that even at the army level in mid 1942, the Soviets did a terrible job with basic communications.


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Post #: 19
RE: Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 8:14:02 PM   
vinnie71

 

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Size is not everything. This is the post Purge army we're talking about with such geniuses as Budenny in command. Also most of the Soviet army was dispersed and incapable of offering immediate counterattack. Also the bulk of the armour and aircraft available intially was crappy at best. The men are mostly inexperienced and in low morale. Its not just in C&C that the Red Army was deficient and what passed for a supreme leader and HQ were frankly caught with their pants down.

Back to the game. So rail conversion is in the game. Will we be able to send units by train from one point to another? If yes, will there be any repercussions?

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Post #: 20
RE: Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 8:29:38 PM   
Monkeys Brain


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Excellent stuff ComradeP. Thanks.

I only disagree with you with size of artylery regiments attached to Soviet Armies as in 1943. there were 3 I think. I am quoting here John Erickson "The Road to Berlin" another great book based mostly on Soviet sources. But maybe you were talking about late Soviet Armies. Erickson also I think maybe a little inflates Soviet tank numbers or maybe Ziemke is here wrong because he puts larger tank numbers in reserve (after all crews had to be trained). But who knows who was right on target here.

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Post #: 21
RE: Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 9:05:27 PM   
MengCiao

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Offworlder

Size is not everything. This is the post Purge army we're talking about with such geniuses as Budenny in command. Also most of the Soviet army was dispersed and incapable of offering immediate counterattack. Also the bulk of the armour and aircraft available intially was crappy at best. The men are mostly inexperienced and in low morale. Its not just in C&C that the Red Army was deficient and what passed for a supreme leader and HQ were frankly caught with their pants down.



All true, but as a Soviet player, even in 1941 I'd like to think it is possible to:

a) salvage some good commanders from the mess at the front
b) release some good commanders (like Meretskov) from Post-Purge Prison and hand them good armies for particular missions
c) construct armies that resemble the make-shift Soviet armies of late 41 and early 42 where the army level command has what
little support units are available
d) find some way of improving C&C...possibly the admin points cover such things as setting up signal/radio nets for different size units and
simulates the steady improvment in C&C that better admin and signals would automatically allow.

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Post #: 22
RE: Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 9:43:13 PM   
ComradeP

 

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quote:

The tricky (and interesting) aspect of the simulation for me will be to see how quickly the Soviets can put together a good (army level at least) command structure to use their tangible resources (such as army-level support units).


A German corps was often worth more than the sum of its parts, due to the "synergy" bonus given by the German operational and tactical system. More units meant more chances of free flowing battles with ad hoc forces and more possibilities in general.

A Soviet Army was often worth less than the sum of its parts, because the leadership was so poor that, say, 8 Rifle divisions were used as a giant armed mob (in all honesty, a Rifle division often wasn't much more than an armed mob), using numbers rather than the possibilities given by having more units to use in an attack. Even those Guards Mechanized and Tank Corps were often more big than flexible, an unstoppable wave of men and machine crushing depleted German formations.

There are historians who say that the Germans were "outgeneraled" by the Soviets during, say Bagration. In my opinion, the Germans were more often outgeneraled by their own generals and often Hitler than by the Soviets as even in 1945, a determined Soviet assault could still be stopped as long as there was a force to stop it with. The main problem was, of course, that such a force wasn't there. Fighting and winning battles you can't lose doesn't make you a good general.

quote:

Size is not everything. This is the post Purge army we're talking about with such geniuses as Budenny in command. Also most of the Soviet army was dispersed and incapable of offering immediate counterattack. Also the bulk of the armour and aircraft available intially was crappy at best. The men are mostly inexperienced and in low morale. Its not just in C&C that the Red Army was deficient and what passed for a supreme leader and HQ were frankly caught with their pants down.


Funny you'd say "Size is not everything" regarding a War in the East game. In the East, size means a lot. If the Soviet Union had not been so huge, the Soviets would've had nowhere to run to. If their population wasn't big, they would've lost the war.

The Soviet Army in June 1941 was understrength and in most sectors poorly prepared for the Axis attack, true. However, the Soviet player could withdraw his quality formations (especially Rifle Corps and Armoured Divisions which would still be intact), disband many of the less than stellar ones, and get those up to strength.

It would be important to include a penalty on disbanding units that are in contact, or to not make it possible at all, otherwise the Soviet player could simply disband almost all of his initial formations near the border and use the replacements that would give him to boost all the other formations to proper strength in the time it will take the Axis to reach them.

Suck the Axis into the Soviet interior, delaying them with poor formations, and launch a counterattack in the winter. It would be very difficult to have less success than the Soviets did in real life, especially if your objectives are more realistic than what Stalin had in mind (which came down to "surround the majority of Army Group Center and North at the same time").

The Axis player needs to bleed the Soviet Army, by using sensible defensive strategies, by minimizing the amount of offensives that have little strategic value, such as the capture of Stalingrad or Unternehmen Zitadelle and by using the backhand blow method to encircle and destroy the slow moving Soviet army.

If the Soviet player doesn't allow the Axis to establish proper defensive lines when overstretched, can somehow force the Axis player to start offensives that serve little purpose, and advances slowly and methodically in one nationwide human wave that can't be flanked, the Soviet player more or less can't lose.

Infantry experience matters less than numbers if the doctrine ignores the individual and is focussed on the group. The Germans had their soldierly values and in some cases a nearly religious faith in victory, the Soviets had decades of brainwashing which meant that men carried out orders that meant certain death.

I don't believe that the Soviet soldier had low morale, in fact: I have some doubts whether morale was really in issue in many battles. It's all about leadership. As long as the communists were screaming at the peasants that they should advance, they did. When that stopped, confusion set in as the communist system didn't really allow any personal initiative at all (completely opposite to the operational and tactical system used by the Germans).

Many of the early war encirclements were possible because all those hundreds of thousands of men were sheep without a shepherd and thus the majority didn't really try to break out, which in many cases would've been quite possible considering that the Germans barely screened the flanks in the larger encirclements as they couldn't because the infantry was still catching up and the manpower wasn't available.

You'd also think that morale would be low in the winter of 1941-1942, after a long series of defeats, but still the Soviet soldiers died by the thousands in the snow because they were ordered to fight the Germans, who were hiding in the villages. Hardship was an accepted part of life it seemed. The result was many suicidal actions. A loud hurrah, an assault that left many men dead, another loud hurrah, another assault that left many men dead, and so on until the unit was depleted to the bone or the Germans were dead. Up to late 1943 primarily the former, from the beginning of 1944 the latter.

Also, many leaders in the Wehrmacht had a serious case of victory fever after the fall of France and the Balkans and they had no realistic idea of just what the Soviet Union would be capable of militarily, specifically how much damage the Soviet military could take and still function. There were many less brilliant generals on the Axis side too, but the training and initiative of their subordinates did more to cloud that than the "you go where I say you go" system of the Soviets.

quote:

I only disagree with you with size of artylery regiments attached to Soviet Armies as in 1943. there were 3 I think.


I was referring to sectors with active combat, the overall average is probably lower as the Soviets (and the Axis, of course) stripped quiet sectors of everything they could.

That average for early war operations, such as the Smolensk to Moscow period of Barbarossa in 1941 is 4>, the same goes for the battle for Kharkov in 1942 (with one Army getting a grand total of 12 regiments), average for late 1942 operations is lower as the Soviet artillery wasn't very mobile so encirclement battles could often not be supported in strength unless they were slow paced (such as the battle for Stalingrad).

The estimate for the third battle of Kharkov in 1943, is about 3 or 4 regiments for the Soviets, but that includes the not officially assigned Reserve artillery of Voronezh front. At Kursk, 13th Army seems to have had access to the equivalent of a sickening 27 regiments, mostly in the Breakthrough Artillery Corps and attached to the Guards divisions (so not all under Army control).

Early 1944, the average seems to have been around 4 regiments. Bagration's a bit of a black hole for me, I don't have the data on hand to compare the average artillery strength. Early 1945, divisions finally got their own artillery, so armies were drained a bit, but some got some very heavy firepower in the shape of Artillery Divisions, such as during the siege of Budapest.

All in all, I guess the overall average is lower than my 4-8, as it varied a lot in between Armies, but the average of around 4, with some much higher, for Armies in combat zones seem appropriate.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 12/26/2009 2:08:58 PM >

(in reply to Monkeys Brain)
Post #: 23
RE: Indipendent Units - 12/22/2009 10:45:59 PM   
Monkeys Brain


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OK ComradeP I see that you are well educated in East Front! Like that!

BTW, I must here also emphasize some thing that was done very poorly in TOAW...

There are many things but I will say just some - everything is in the books! So research!!!

If game is made only on numbers then dumb led Soviet formations will stop German attacks easily (see TOAW and entrenched tanks etc).

Now, if you read Clark, Ziemke all others - for example I will give one example - Operation Blau - before Voronezh, Soviets had around 800 modern tanks like T34, KV1 etc... but they were so poorly led (Stalin was yelling at some general about why he uses his tank corps to encircle one German regiment! hehe) - Germans bombed them with Stukas to oblivion and dispersed them and German armour although weaker finished them off...

In TOAW you can bomb Soviet tanks with Stukas like mad monkey hehe and you will destroy eventually 2 T-34 LOL

Another example, try attacking entrenched T-34 in TOAW with infantry even with German tanks and again - low results unless it is encircled - flaw in TOAW design.

Now if you read books you will see that before Stalingrad for example in balkas many T34 were destroyed guess what with German infantry! Try that in TOAW.

So note to designers - game should try to simulate history as much as possible. Sorry I write this fast but main thought is here.

(in reply to ComradeP)
Post #: 24
RE: Indipendent Units - 12/23/2009 7:26:59 AM   
vinnie71

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: elmo3

If a leader passes an initiative check their support units can be assigned to attack or defend.  Range from the HQ to the battle matters but I forget the specifics right now.  Max of 5 support units can participate in any one battle IIRC.  Support units are always assigned to either an HQ or a combat unit and that assignment can be changed.



Now that I'm looking at this statement, how do army reserves (if they exist in game) move? If there are indipendent units attached to Army or Army Group command, will they move to assist corps commands or even front line divisions?

(in reply to elmo3)
Post #: 25
RE: Indipendent Units - 12/23/2009 8:15:15 AM   
Rhetor

 

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From the screenshot I can see that these support units would be quite numerous.

It might be reasonable to implement some dialog displaying all the support units and their current attachments. With such number of support there also could be some kind of search tool or filter (e.g. "display artillery supports only").

(in reply to vinnie71)
Post #: 26
RE: Indipendent Units - 12/23/2009 9:24:48 AM   
critter


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I don't understand why the ind. units are assigned to hq's and are assigned randomly. You can move whole armies when, where you want to. Decide who they're attached to, even sack the corps/army commanders...yet hope 1 of 18 units in the hq reserve get into the battle.
Seems to me a unit could go thru the whole war in "reserve" and never fight if the die rolls where right.
Can they be assigned manually to your fighting units? Can you assign shot up Units to reserve?

(in reply to Rhetor)
Post #: 27
RE: Indipendent Units - 12/23/2009 10:11:54 AM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2641
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I like the feature of Korps/Army HQs having units assigned to them, which is how it worked in WIR. If WitE is going to be the same, then these assigned units will protect the HQ from direct attack and be available to re-enforce other units that the HQ is controlling. Especially in defence, you will not know where an attack may fall and you will want the HQ to have assigned units, which could be used by the AI to back up your attacked units. I would like to be able to manually assign units into HQs, where I think they will be of best use, even if units are initially automatically assigned. Will newly raised units first be assigned to a higher HQ, for the player to re-distribute to lower HQs of your choice ?

(in reply to critter)
Post #: 28
RE: Indipendent Units - 12/23/2009 10:46:46 AM   
elmo3

 

Posts: 5728
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Offworlder


Now that I'm looking at this statement, how do army reserves (if they exist in game) move? If there are indipendent units attached to Army or Army Group command, will they move to assist corps commands or even front line divisions?


Support units automatically move with whatever HQ or combat unit they are attached to at the time. Whether they will assist a combat unit on attack or defense depends on leader initiative and other factors such as distance of the HQ from the battle in the case of support units assigned to HQ's. When they do assist they don't really move on the map but they are included in the combat calculation for that battle. Hope that helps.

_____________________________

We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing. - George Bernard Shaw

WitE alpha/beta tester
Sanctus Reach beta tester
Desert War 1940-42 beta tester

(in reply to vinnie71)
Post #: 29
RE: Indipendent Units - 12/23/2009 10:48:41 AM   
elmo3

 

Posts: 5728
Joined: 1/22/2002
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rhetor

From the screenshot I can see that these support units would be quite numerous.

It might be reasonable to implement some dialog displaying all the support units and their current attachments. With such number of support there also could be some kind of search tool or filter (e.g. "display artillery supports only").


That screen shot was a pretty extreme case in terms of the number of support units attached. You would probably want to spread those around but I chose that shot to best show the variety of support units all in one shot.

_____________________________

We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing. - George Bernard Shaw

WitE alpha/beta tester
Sanctus Reach beta tester
Desert War 1940-42 beta tester

(in reply to Rhetor)
Post #: 30
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