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Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 3:31:05 AM   
notenome

 

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So on turn 2 I starting clearing out the large southern pocket I made on turn 1 of my new 41 GC game as the Axis (using BigAnorak's custom 100-110 setting) and I got so frustratred by the absurdly high casualties that I started taking screenshots. Keep in mind that these are all deliberate attacks made against isolated units, many which had retreated the turn before.

This is the reason I'm not going to be playing any PBEM's as the Axis any time soon. In my last GC I simply left the pockets alone (completely gamey tactic) and basically turned western Ukraine into swiss cheese.





I think my favourite might be loosing 700 men even though I had 70 bombers and 900:1 combat odds.

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< Message edited by notenome -- 1/7/2011 3:37:00 AM >
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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 3:42:03 AM   
Flaviusx


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Switch to hasty attacks. Your losses don't seem that high to me, but deliberate attacks generate higher casualties. The very high odds you are getting on these attacks kind of shows a lack of economy of force -- you're using much more than necessary to clear these hexes. And if they are isolated and ripe to surrender, then the point of the exercise is to bump them from the hex not throttle them with super high odds attacks.



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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 3:42:58 AM   
jjdenver

 

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Hm. I'm not sure losing 774 men killed, wounded, mia when attacking a force of 10,000 is so far off. I'd guess you'll get a lot of those guys returned from wounded status right? Soviets won't get any of them back afaik? I don't have east front casualty numbers at my fingertips but the Germans took casualties even when winning handily.


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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 3:43:49 AM   
jomni


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Your complaining about 700 casualties when your opponent gets thousands?
And those numbers include disabled units so it's not so bad. As the previous reply said, the Russians end up as captured so they are in deeper trouble.

Odds are dynamic right? The odds that you see at the end in your screenshots are the odds after the fighting.
Odds might just be 2:1 or 3:1 at the start and if you closely watch the numbers, you will notice that the attacker gets more casualties until the defender's breaking point.

< Message edited by jomni -- 1/7/2011 3:54:05 AM >

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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 3:55:49 AM   
notenome

 

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Flavius, I normally only do hasty attacks on pockets. This was done more out of frustration. With hasty attacks my losses are even worse actually. The point wasn't to be effective, as I didn't save. The point was to show that these losses are way too high for reducing a pocket, which wasn't even reduced. It's not at all uncommon for an Axis to loose 16-20k men reducing the Lvov pocket on turn 2, and disabled aren't much better do the 1% rate of return. And to ask why I am complaining as its worse for my opponent, well yes, I pocketed him dammit. If the Axis loss ration is 1:4, 1:3 or even 1:2 whilst reducing a pocket in July, then they are sorely screwed. Most axis players use a mark of 10:1 loss ratio by Mud as the goal, and pockets are the way to raise it.

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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 4:01:36 AM   
Flaviusx


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I'm surprised to hear you were getting higher losses from hasty attacks, that doesn't sound right.

The disabled issue is still under review pending more data. For whatever it is worth, I think the current percentage is too low even before blizzard, based on my own read of the sources. (Bob finally convinced me of this and I went back to Seaton and Halder's diary and found some figures to back him up.)

But we need more data to present a stronger case that this is affecting game balance. My own read at this point: the numbers kinda sorta work out ok in AI or even solo games but tend to break down in PBEM because the tempo of operations goes up in PBEM.

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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 4:03:15 AM   
Oleg Mastruko


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Those numbers seem OK to me. You're rushing to close pockets that in reality did survive some time and were reduced more slowly. Try letting them starve for a turn or two with no supplies... ah, OK, you won't do that because you're in a hurry, well, then take casualties...

Soviets sometimes fought like crazy to the last man like the defenders of the Brest fortress etc.

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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 4:25:12 AM   
notenome

 

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Oleg as I wrote before, I normally let the pockets starve for a couple turns, but that is a gamey tactic. Pockets were reduced gradually, not left to stew for weeks. You have to remember these are week long turns, and 2:1 and 3:1 loss ratios are insane for the beginning of the war. Also remember that some of these battles had over 100 bombers, which no one would use in their right mind. Also notice the gigantic disparity of forces. I've stated many times that I have no problems with soviets holding or not surrendring. I have a huge problem with axis casualties. Soviet defenses for the first months should burn axis mps, not manpower. Axis casualties on June on all fronts from combat were 8,8k dead, 29k wounded, 2k MIA.

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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 5:43:51 AM   
Joel Billings


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I just want to point out again that disabled are only a small portion of the wounded. Elements get damaged all the time and then recover or are sent back to the pool to flow back to another unit as a replacement (a small percentage would be disabled). You could take 700 "casualties" in a battle. What this might represent is 140 damaged 10 men squads. If most of these were repaired, you might actually have very few KIA's or disabled come out of those 700 casualties. Better to look at permanent losses if you want to compare versus history. It's because of the damaged elements representing the majority of the wounded that the disabled return rate is so low.

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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 6:18:16 AM   
abulbulian


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I too have seen the same causalities and think posted the same concerns as notenome. Sure of the 700 some will be disabled, however, but with the very low %1 return rate for disabled men. I think it's still a bit outrageous.

bwhealty also posted that he feels the loses to a hasty attack should be on average more than deliberate attacks. I agree and I think logically in most cases it makes perfect sense. Deliberate attacks have invested the time to scout best attack routes, plan for contingencies if things go wrong, etc. Thus lessening the causality factor.

I'd like to hear from those that think hasty attacks should incur less loses on average that deliberate.


The 900:1 odds taking 800 loses, that just doesn't feel right. It was 35k vs 10k. I'm wondering it the formula is just flawed and taking a certain ratio of loses from the attacker with less consideration to the odds. Say he had attacked with 70k, then he might have taken 1,600 loses? That isn't modeling the combat very well, IMO.

Given what should be low moral and experience for the sov defender in sum 41, I think a good portion of those sov soldiers being out numbered 3.5:1 would have ran or surrendered. Maybe later in the war when the sov soldiers where more confident and dogged defenders it would be different.

< Message edited by abulbulian -- 1/7/2011 6:21:12 AM >

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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 6:50:10 AM   
jomni


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quote:

ORIGINAL: abulbulian
The 900:1 odds taking 800 loses, that just doesn't feel right. It was 35k vs 10k. I'm wondering it the formula is just flawed and taking a certain ratio of loses from the attacker with less consideration to the odds. Say he had attacked with 70k, then he might have taken 1,600 loses? That isn't modeling the combat very well, IMO.


Again can anyone confirm if the odds are dynamic? 900:1 that we see is after the Sovets died and were taken prisoner.
The initial odds might just be 3:1. When I watch the combat resolution, the CV values change as the casualties mount so the ratio much change as well.

Here's how I see Hasty vs. Deliberate attack:

Hasty attack, unplanned and less coordinated, might take more casualties (manual says it will) but can abort the attack easily (especially with good initiative).
Deliberate attack, planned and well coordinated, might take less casualties as there are no penalties. But units are more determined to boot out the defenders so aborting is not as easy (my theory). More stacks / units can also be involved in the attack, more targets for the defender if they have the initiative and more long range weapons.
So in both cases heavy casualties can mount depending on the circumstances.


< Message edited by jomni -- 1/7/2011 7:12:54 AM >

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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 7:56:50 AM   
randallw

 

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Some of those battles had arty on the defense, which may have been 'outside' the pocket.

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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 1:27:23 PM   
ComradeP

 

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The worst I've seen is about 11k to 15k casualties solely for cleaning up the huge pocket I created in the AGS area. My losses in my game with notenome were also fairly high.

The main thing that bugs me about those losses, which I've reported a number of times, is that they only happen in the AGS area. The couple of extra points of morale and experience the Soviets units in that area have seem to make all the difference. I took minimal casualties in each battle in the AGN or AGC area, but hundreds in the AGS area. Sometimes economy of force isn't possible due to the terrain units are located in. Isolated units in cities or swamps can cause high losses. That's fine by itself, but the defenders should take more losses than the attacker due to their isolated state, which sometimes doesn't happen. Case in point being an attack on an isolated unit in a swamp in my game with notenome, where I took almost 1500 losses and the defenders held.

Considering the fairly low German replacement rate in general (which barely copes with attrition losses alone in later years), and the low disabled percentage, these losses do hurt. They're trivial for the Soviets, but not for the Germans.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 1/7/2011 1:28:18 PM >


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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 1:30:19 PM   
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So basically the issue is too many losses are KIA and to few disabled? Taking losses while clearing out a pocketed but fairly determined enemy should be costly...shouldnt it?

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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 1:31:48 PM   
ComradeP

 

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More like: too many disabled that return too slowly at a rate of 1%/turn. Lower losses or a higher return percentage for disabled would both solve the issue.

Also keep in mind that the forces in the AGS area retreat rather than surrender after many battles, which will mean you will have to take hundreds of losses attacking the same isolated unit a number of times. Somehow, their slightly higher morale/experience has a huge impact.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 1/7/2011 1:33:16 PM >


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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 1:42:51 PM   
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Probably hard coded, but I wonder if the 1% should be different depending on who you are talking about. If the Russians are 1%, then perhaps the Germans should be higher. The Axis Allies can remain at the lower rate as that makes sense for them. 

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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 2:36:06 PM   
raizer

 

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morale drops for isolated units right? The question is how much...its says 1...that seems low if im reading it right

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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 2:37:05 PM   
ComradeP

 

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Slightly each turn, yes.

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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 2:37:37 PM   
raizer

 

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should be a lot more than that imho 10% would be a start

< Message edited by raizer -- 1/7/2011 2:42:18 PM >

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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 3:15:35 PM   
Singleton Mosby


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quote:

ORIGINAL: abulbulian

bwhealty also posted that he feels the loses to a hasty attack should be on average more than deliberate attacks. I agree and I think logically in most cases it makes perfect sense. Deliberate attacks have invested the time to scout best attack routes, plan for contingencies if things go wrong, etc. Thus lessening the causality factor.



I disagree with this suggestion. A hasty attack doesn't pack the punch a deliberate attack does because only a small portion of the unit is used for the attack. Hence the casualties are relative light. A deliberate attack is a prepared attack by an entire unit, mostly used against a stronger defense.

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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 3:24:19 PM   
raizer

 

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delib attack, think assault-think taking ground
hasty attack, think meeting engagement, movement to contact

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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 4:17:18 PM   
Davekhps

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP
Also keep in mind that the forces in the AGS area retreat rather than surrender after many battles, which will mean you will have to take hundreds of losses attacking the same isolated unit a number of times. Somehow, their slightly higher morale/experience has a huge impact.


FYI, I've noticed that the propensity of isolated units to retreat vs. surrender is affected *greatly* by having available an enemy-controlled hex to retreat to. Meaning, if you really want to kill the maximum number of pocketed units with the least amount of your own combat power, try this:

1. First turn, form your isolated pocket, don't attack within the pocket.
2. Second turn, now that you have your proper pocket, you can attack within the pocket... but BEFORE you do this, use any free units (including 1 or 2 mobile units if you have them to spare) to eat away at all the enemy-controlled hexes within the pocket.

E.g., an isolated Soviet pocket may have five infantry divisions present, but the total number of enemy-controlled hexes in the pocket are ten. If you attack those five infantry divisions first, unless their morale and strength are exceptionally low, all you are likely to do is bounce those enemy divisions into retreats all around the pocket until they either finally surrender, or run out of hexes to retreat to.

HOWEVER, in our ten-hex pocket example, if you already move into those five clear hexes to take control of them, you've reduced the areas that the enemy can retreat to. Note that we're not talking about forming a completely new sub-pocket with an unbroken line of your units-- all you have to do is switch those empty enemy-controlled hexes to your control by moving your units next to them or through them.

Once this is done, enemy retreats will result in great numbers of surrenders-- enemy units can't overstack via retreats (e.g. two hexes, 4 units, 2 in each hex-- you force a retreat, only one enemy unit can retreat, the other surrenders).

One warning: I *did* notice a number of times, very few but they did happen, where a retreating enemy unit did retreat out of the enemy-controlled hexes in the new sub-pocket, into a friendly-controlled hex. Usually, this happened right next to one of my HQs, darn it .

But the bottom line was that this was VERY rare, and a lot less frustrating to deal with than forcing enemy retreats all across dozens of enemy-controlled hexes in isolated pockets, particularly in the late game (i.e., the Soviets in 1941 will shatter and surrender far more easily than in the later game, making it more important to force surrenders on as few attacks within pockets as possible rather than wasting time and strength bump-chasing retreating enemy units across big open pockets).


< Message edited by Davekhps -- 1/7/2011 4:18:13 PM >

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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 4:32:50 PM   
bwheatley

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Singleton Mosby


quote:

ORIGINAL: abulbulian

bwhealty also posted that he feels the loses to a hasty attack should be on average more than deliberate attacks. I agree and I think logically in most cases it makes perfect sense. Deliberate attacks have invested the time to scout best attack routes, plan for contingencies if things go wrong, etc. Thus lessening the causality factor.



I disagree with this suggestion. A hasty attack doesn't pack the punch a deliberate attack does because only a small portion of the unit is used for the attack. Hence the casualties are relative light. A deliberate attack is a prepared attack by an entire unit, mostly used against a stronger defense.



I respectfully must disagree.

15.2.1.	 HASTY ATTACK
Defined as “...an attack in which preparation time is traded for speed in order to
exploit an opportunity,” hasty attacks will generally result in higher attacker and
lower defender losses than a deliberate attack. A hasty attack will require the
expenditure of three MP’s for a motorized combat unit and two MP’s for a non-
motorized combat unit. Only a single stack of combat units can participate in a hasty attack
and their Combat Value (CV) will be reduced by one half for all steps in which CV is calculated.
Support units can only be committed from eligible headquarters units that have not expended
any movement points during the current turn. Note that support units attached directly to
combat units will always be committed to battles to which the combat unit is a participant.
ie coup de main. It says nothing about only a portion of the unit being involved. And while traditionally yes some of the coup de main style attacks by german units were just small portions of a unit that is no modelled in the game.

15.2.2.	 DELIBERATE ATTACK
Defined as “A type of offensive action characterized by pre-planned coordinated
employment of firepower and manoeuvre to close with and destroy or capture the
enemy,” deliberate attacks require the expenditure of sixteen MP’s by motorized
units and six MP’s by non-motorized units. Multiple stacks of combat units
can participate in a deliberate attack against an adjacent defending stack. Unlike a hasty
attack, support units can be committed from eligible headquarters units that have moved
during the current turn. In addition, Artillery combat units that have sufficient movement points
remaining may participate in a deliberate attack from two hexes away from the defending unit.
The artillery combat unit must be selected just as any unit would be selected to add into a
deliberate attack (5.3.1). If all units launching an attack are artillery combat units that are two
hexes from the target hex, then only artillery units from both sides can fire and no support,
reserve or air group units will be added into the battle for either side.

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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 5:07:40 PM   
Joel Billings


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When attacking a unit, you always want it in a position where it can only retreat to a hex adjacent to an enemy unit. This ZOC to ZOC retreat will cause extra losses and greatly increase the chance of surrender if the unit is isolated. So move and attack in such a way to put the units in a pocket in this position.

No one has commented on the fact that a very large part of the 700 losses in the example above might actually be damaged elements that repair, leading the actual long term (KIA/disabled) losses to be much less than 700. This is especially true for high experience German units that tend to take lots of damaged results and less destroyed results, and given their high experience tend to repair more quickly. I could be wrong, but you need to study the permanent losses that result from these battles, not the "casualties".

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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 5:20:38 PM   
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Well, I've been cleaning up the "Lenigrad pocket" (finally got that "right hook" strategy to work, but man it was a grind!) in late fall 42 of my GC and I can only DREAM of suffering 500-700 casualties per attack.
I am routinely seeing casualties of 2000-5000 per attack. Now granted, most of these Soviet stacks are in level 5 forts, but they have been isolated for weeks and I am attacking each stack with overwhelming force (and total air control, over the Leningrad area anyway), and usually from 3 or 4 (sometimes 5) sides.

In a couple cases I even had results where I suffered 7000+ casualties while the (isolated....for weeks) defenders suffered around 1000 and held! I had to restart the turn...cheesy as hell I know but I just couldn't stomach such results. I know, I know, these things can happen in war....Thermopylae, the Alamo, Bastogne, but still.....

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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 5:34:12 PM   
gingerbread


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I have absolutely no source to quote, but didn't a large part of the Kiev pocket (after Guderian's escapade) surrender en masse?

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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 6:07:18 PM   
Flaviusx


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Joel, the recovery of damaged elements is an under the hood game mechanic with no easily quantifiable metric. It's therefore hard to analyze it in the context of disabled losses generally, even if they are representing the light and easily recovered wounds.

If the loss tables tracked this, maybe folks would be more comfortable and get a better handle on the larger picture. But for now it's a kind of black box. And even taking that into consideration, I still have to wonder about the recovery rate of the "hard" disabled losses.

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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 6:20:52 PM   
moses

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Joel Billings

No one has commented on the fact that a very large part of the 700 losses in the example above might actually be damaged elements that repair, leading the actual long term (KIA/disabled) losses to be much less than 700. This is especially true for high experience German units that tend to take lots of damaged results and less destroyed results, and given their high experience tend to repair more quickly. I could be wrong, but you need to study the permanent losses that result from these battles, not the "casualties".


I was planning on looking into this tonight as I have no turns to work on.

This seems just like WITP where the same issue arose time after time. As I currently understand it, men don't actually die, instead elements get damaged or destroyed and this is converted into a casualty figure. So for example 200 damaged infantry squads might give the same casualty figure as 50 destroyed infantry squads. But the destroyed squads must be replaced. The damaged ones will repair in time without using replacements.

I'm wondering if the figures in the casualty screen (as opposed to combat reports) include damaged elements or only destroyed. If what you are suggesting in true then I'm thinking that after a combat report in which the german losses "700 casualties" you should be able to go to the casualty screen and see that fewer soldiers actually died. I'm hoping that the casualty screen matches with the production screen so that you can accurately assess if your losses are exceeding production.


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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 6:29:39 PM   
karonagames


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quote:

I'm thinking that after a combat report in which the german losses "700 casualties" you should be able to go to the casualty screen and see that fewer soldiers actually died.


You will and you do, if you run a combat then look at the casualty summary you will see that the recent casualty column shows the number that matches the the combat results report, but the permanent loss column is less, and this represents the damaged squads that were included in the combat results report.

edit: you will see occasional discrepancies, but I think I put it down to pilots crash landing when they got back to base, and this not being shown in the combat report.






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< Message edited by BigAnorak -- 1/7/2011 6:32:10 PM >


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RE: Casualty Madness - 1/7/2011 6:36:46 PM   
abulbulian


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Joel Billings

When attacking a unit, you always want it in a position where it can only retreat to a hex adjacent to an enemy unit. This ZOC to ZOC retreat will cause extra losses and greatly increase the chance of surrender if the unit is isolated. So move and attack in such a way to put the units in a pocket in this position.

No one has commented on the fact that a very large part of the 700 losses in the example above might actually be damaged elements that repair, leading the actual long term (KIA/disabled) losses to be much less than 700. This is especially true for high experience German units that tend to take lots of damaged results and less destroyed results, and given their high experience tend to repair more quickly. I could be wrong, but you need to study the permanent losses that result from these battles, not the "casualties".


Well with a 1% repair rate, I think damage is almost as good as lost. Still the numbers make no sense given the odds and the probably difference between the attacker's moral/exp vs the defender's. Keep in mind also that the terrain was light woods and clear weather.

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