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Leader Effects in 41 - 2/2/2011 8:59:26 AM   
PMCN

 

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(edit: ledder...oh my god...should have been leader...now corrected)
I'm going to start by saying something surprising. I think ComradeP has a point. There is a lot of "smoke" over the issue of the performance of the Red Army in 41. If you stand back and look at the situation honestly there is clearly a departure from what you might expect to happen.

The question is why is this happening.

The +1 odds adjustment, you can find my opinion elsewhere. I don't see this as a serious issue is the short form.

Surprising to me, there is little complaint or even comment on the final CV adjustment the game does. I would have expected a lot more wailing and gnashing of teeth over this. I know it has gotten my goat a few times in my game. But when I step back and look at the game as a whole I have to say this is a brilliant design feature of the game that is both necessary and given the scale of the game accounts for the things that often tipped the balance of battles in unexpected ways. It is clear that when you combine the effect of the doubling with the +1 that you can get some upsets.

But so what? People roll 12 on 2d6 sometimes. Or worse you are playing the game with someone who seems to have the ability to warp the laws of probability in his favor. It can get annoying but it is the way it is. This only gets to be deal breaking when anyone can produce this probability distortion rather than a few select individuals.

The issue is that leader rolls in this game are sort of everywhere, and while unlike either the +1 or the doubling they don't have that "red cape waving in your face" obviousness they make in total a huge difference. I'm afraid that personally since I have a house rule about not making player directed leader changes (after I swapped Timoshenko into the Kalinin front) I am probably about the least qualified person to comment directly on the effectiveness of putting in the Soviet All-Stars. However, Flaviusx made a comment that basically jelled my thinking on this matter. He said that the soviets respond well to good leaders in 41. Well yes this is true.

The reality is that in 41 your biggest problem is CV. A normal division is 10-15, a good division is 18-22, an exceptional division is 25+, some particularly rare reinforcement divisions if maxed out on TOE can get around 40. Consider what doubling up that regular division means in this case...normal becomes exceptional. Suddenly combats that you would not touch with a 10' pole and a CNB suit become things that enter into your battle plans.

But that isn't the only effect Team Soviet All Stars would have. More MPs, fewer routs (and correspondingly much lower losses), lower retreat losses, faster recovery from rout, more ammo, plus whatever else the effects of leadership are.

If we go back to the doubling of final CV. To me that looks to be the sort of thing that I would expect more often to happen for the German player, with his good Generals in all levels boosting his performance overall. It is the "tactical flair" the Wehrmacht was noted for. It should allow them to pull off things with minimal resources. If the Soviet player suddenly gets access to this on a routine basis...well the Germans on the whole don't need this effect. For the most part they usually win and if the the win is 5:1 or 10:1...makes not so much difference. For the soviets doubling a 15 to a 30...that makes a huge difference for them. Take a German Infantrie division with a CV of 100...using CV 15 Rifle divisions to get an attack that has a hope to succeed you need 6 of them...actually 8-9 to account for battle losses. But with a good chance to double what was a marginal attack...6 Rifle divisions against 1 Infantrie division suddenly looks like a done deal with the +1 odds adjustment.

Now I will admit all of this is speculative. If I look at my game, where I have the best view of what is going on there is some indication that better leaders really make better results. But...is it so? Did Zhukov commanding the Volkhov Front make the difference or was it the partisans and poor rail that allowed them to push back the Germans through bad terrain? Is it Eremenko or the fact I gave the 51st all the armour in the southern front that explains the 4 Guards Tank Bde and 3 Guards Rifle Bde? Is it the leaders themselves or the fact that I give the better leaders the better toys and more resources?

I can't say exactly. But I think Flaviusx is unlikely to be so strong on the leadership, to make sure he puts in the all star team first off if he didn't think there was a good reason to do it. I also think there would not be such a high level of complaint from the Axis players, and in particular ComradeP has suffered a few nasty hits that even I have to admit seem a lot dubious. A few of them would have me making comments at the computer that could be summed up as "unprintable obscenities." Without meaning any disrespect to his opponent either since the events didn't fall out the sky without work on his part.

At any rate this is my read on what is really causing the Axis to suffer significant deviations from expected. I can be completely out to lunch, I don't know. I am really really dubious Flaviousx would be so gung ho on the concept if there wasn't a gain to it.

My suggestion to "fix" the problem. Increase the cost of player directed leadership changes. The same x4 multiplier that applies to making new units should apply to leadership changes. Have that drop to a x2 in 42.

That will at least slow down the formation of the Soviet All-Stars and allow the Germans to make use of what I think was their signature advantage in both of these campaigns: better leadership.

Again, this is a lot of speculation and deductive thinking on my part. I could be completely or partially wrong.

< Message edited by Paul McNeely -- 2/2/2011 9:34:27 AM >
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RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/2/2011 11:02:40 AM   
Flaviusx


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Gonna go with no, here. I'm already paying quadruple for unit purchases. If I have to start paying quadruple for leaders...why bother giving me APs at all?

(I anticipate the response: buy SUs! And then somebody will conclude that the lowly spade is overpowered, and that construction battalions and RR brigades should have their APs costs increased to 10 apiece. Those darned forts just unbalance the game. Yes, I am burlesquing a bit here, but only a bit.)






< Message edited by Flaviusx -- 2/2/2011 11:16:34 AM >


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RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/2/2011 11:09:43 AM   
Flaviusx


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I note that Zhukov, at various times in 1941, was Chief of Staff, Reserve Front commander, Leningrad Front commander, and Western Front commander. That's a lot of APs. Rokossovsky went from commanding a mechanized corps in Kiev, to 16. Army on the Western Front. Konev went from the North Caucus, to army command, to Front Command, to deputy Front commander, to Front command again.

I can keep going on here. (Vatutin and Vasilevsky's careers are equally instructive, among many others.)

There's plenty more examples. But this idea that the Soviet Union didn't shuffle around leaders with great frequency doesn't wash.

If there's a problem with Soviet leaders in the game, making it impossible to move them around via AP starvation will "solve" that problem, but the solution itself won't be particularly historical.

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RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/2/2011 12:07:10 PM   
PMCN

 

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To be honest I didn't expect anyone to be overjoyed by the concept of increasing the costs.  But cherry picking the best in the first few weeks, assuming what I think is happening is happening, is causing a problem...or not if the true issue is something else.

There are clearly other things one might do to slow down the formation of Team All-Star.  The fact that you are so strongly against it, says the concept of increasing the cost is probably a good way to proceed but...

To me the more important question is if what I am suggesting is happening is correct or not?  If it is correct then, and only then, is it worth discussing what to do to fix it in any serious way: and that discussion would involve the design team not me or the other players.  Maybe the problem is solely with the +1 bonus, or maybe the problem is with the doubling or maybe the problem is something else entirely.  One could even ask the question is there really a problem in the first place?  Or is it just a bunch of whinging and complaining on the part of the axis player base due to some freak events and lack of experience?

My view on the last question is that there is starting to be a sufficient level of the "smoke" from this particular "fire" that there may be more to it then sour grapes and gripping.  But again, as I have said before, I could well be wrong in my view that something is wrong in the state of denmark over this situation.

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RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/2/2011 12:14:39 PM   
Flaviusx


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It's a bad, hackneyed solution, Paul. Doesn't make a lick of sense from a historical standpoint. The all star team did happen, did get shuffled around, and by the end of 1941 a very capable command cadre had emerged. The all star team was there at Moscow. Zhukov, Konev, Rokossovsky, Govorov, Katukov, Vatutin, etc. Stalin had the APs to burn, evidently.

Look. If there's a problem with the game's treatment of leadership -- and I do not concede this, but let's assume arguendo that there is -- it has to be dealt with directly in terms of the code and the engine. Not through AP tomfoolery.



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RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/2/2011 12:30:23 PM   
76mm


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The fact is that the Sovs have precious few good commanders in 1941 (in game): I think only Zhukov is really good, Rokosovsky, Eremenko, etc. are pretty good, but mainly just better than the usual dross. The STAVKA still has to decide where to use these few leaders to maximum effect, just as in real life. And Stalin had no shortage of means to deal with the really crappy leaders in '41...

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RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/2/2011 1:12:59 PM   
PMCN

 

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Can I suggest to please stop looking at my solution to the problem that may or may not exist?  Just assume I didn't put in the first post in the first place.  I was thinking about not doing so, since I thought it may cause this exact situation.

The important question, that I would rather not be lost in premature discussion of the merits of solutions, is if this "all star team" is why people are finding the first 12-16 weeks of the campaign are not living up to their expectations and that odd results are happening.  If yes then someone else, not me, will be finding the solution.  If no then the hypothesis is wrong and we move along.


< Message edited by Paul McNeely -- 2/2/2011 1:17:39 PM >

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RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/2/2011 1:20:22 PM   
Flaviusx


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Paul, allow me to clarify the problem. (If it is a problem.)

The game engine produces much greater variation in adjusted CVs for the Soviets as opposed to the Germans. They start off very low...and can wind up much higher than initially by succeeding their leadership checks.

Final adjusted CVs for the Soviets can be as high as 5 times the unadjusted rate. The Germans in contrast, never seem to do better than around 2-2.5 times their initial CVs.

This is the way the game engine works and has worked for some time. It's been discussed to death in the private forums. It is a subject of some controversy. It very nearly drove Bob insane and is now apparently leading poor Pieter down the same path of madness.

The upshot of this engine is that leadership is at a premium for the Soviets in a way that it never can be for the Germans -- because they don't suck. Ironic, but there you go. Sucky units can get dramatic results out of good generalship.

Now, having defined the actual contours of the issue, I think you can understand why this AP talk is really not grappling with it. If you really want to do something about it, then you have to tackle the engine directly.



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RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/2/2011 1:28:22 PM   
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quote:

It very nearly drove Bob insane


The therapy sessions are working.

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RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/2/2011 2:09:14 PM   
PMCN

 

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That the soviets can gain more than a factor of 2 is not in the manual by the way.  That only speaks of doubling, although there is a further comment about additional effects.  But for someone raised on Squad Leader the descriptions of a lot of the rules in the manual are vague.

I would also say that yes, this is indeed what is causing the axis players conniptions and throwing their time tables into the trash.

But...Is a counter attack by 8 good (by Russian standards) Rifle Divisions against a panzer and motorized division likely to be successful?  Given that the Soviets out mass the Axis by a factor of 3 in men and 2 in artillery is it not at least somewhat likely to succeed?  Without some modification by the game engine to the CV the base result will be a failure, an extremely costly one for the soviet, the +1 will not help.  With modification there suddenly becomes a chance (how high of one I don't know, but I would suspect increasing with leadership ratings) that it will succeed.  Is this overall bad for the game experience?

I can't imagine such an attack occurring in 1941 where getting a Soviet division to actually conduct a semi coordinated assault would be a minor miracle due to the fact the officers in charge of it likely should be leading companies or at best regiments and they have virtually no subordinates under them due to Stalin's purge.  In WIR this wasn't a problem as the game hard coded in command coordination issues.  The designers notes on Atomic Games' Stalingrad mentions that the brigades were critical to training the soviet officer corps as they could be commanded by the officers they did have.

My personal experience is more the other way, I see a lot of marginal Axis attacks succeed due to doubling...worst one was a case of doubling for them halving for me.  But I must admit this is observer bias.  It is exactly those sorts of things I will see, and remember.  I might be reducing a lot of 10:1 results to 5:1 for all I know or the tripling of a final adjusted CV from 1 to 3 may be occurring regularly but again if the odds are 30:1 or 10:1 don't matter that much.

I should also be again clear I think the final CV modification due to leadership is a good design feature, as otherwise it would become very easy to predict combat outcomes and there would be little variability in what you see.  But regardless it seems odd that it isn't overall much more a benefit to the Germans, at least in 41-42.

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RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/2/2011 2:25:05 PM   
horza66

 

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Could this be cured by a bit more Fog of War or, rather, limited information? With the built-in hindsight of knowing exactly how good every Soviet leader is, it's very easy to min-max them into exactly the right position. In reality Stavka couldn't assess Generalship until a given leader had been through the crucible of battle, indeed probably several times given the extreme adversity of the early conditions. The leader page really ought to just show approximate figures for the vast majority (the all-stars were fairly recognisable as their fire-brigade early careers demonstrate) with perhaps a reasonable idea of Administration and Morale qualities. Infantry and Mech command skills should probably only be revealed when they have had actual command experiences.

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RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/2/2011 2:42:21 PM   
Klydon


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I agree that using AP's is not a fix for this (if indeed a fix is needed, but that is another topic). The issue with raising prices as a fix is the Russians did shuffle leaders all over (as Flav points out). The other issue is lets say AP prices did go up. While it may cut down on some leadership changes, the Russians will just farm AP's out of their crappy mobile units as a way to get around it. 

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RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/2/2011 5:55:07 PM   
gradenko_2000_slith

 

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quote:

Could this be cured by a bit more Fog of War or, rather, limited information? ... The leader page really ought to just show approximate figures for the vast majority (the all-stars were fairly recognisable as their fire-brigade early careers demonstrate) with perhaps a reasonable idea of Administration and Morale qualities. Infantry and Mech command skills should probably only be revealed when they have had actual command experiences.


This would only work if leader stats (or leader names) were randomized.

That is, it doesn't matter if you can't see that Zhukov is a rank 9 genius. If you KNOW he's a rank 9 genius, you'll place him wherever you need him anyway, and seeing the actual rank wouldn't matter anymore.

Your idea would seem to imply that Zhukov might be great in one game and terrible in the next, and you won't know just how terrible he is until long after you've sacrificed thousands of men to the meat grinder.

It would definitely be something that would make the game more interesting from a gameplay standpoint, as currently the game gives you way too much information that wasn't available IRL until much later, but at the same time this approach would definitely be ahistorical.

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RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/2/2011 6:20:08 PM   
ComradeP

 

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I dislike AP based solutions to problems, because they're not really solutions. There are already enough ways to milk AP's out of the system to significantly reduce the AP crunch.

My main problem is the extreme variability, possibly the most extreme I've ever seen in a wargame. Units suddenly performing 4 or 5 times better than before can be really unbalancing in the sense that single attacks can be game changers. My opponent made some of those, and I'm still feeling the effects.

Axis CV's can also become higher when modified, but that mostly happens when the enemy they're attacking is routed , but due to the lack of a direct link between the CV or the odds and casualties for a certain result (scouted/held/retreat/rout), it doesn't actually cause more casualties than another attack causing the same result.

The main thing I see in battles is that, if the Axis get increased CV's, the Soviets get some too. In my game with notenome, I've had numerous attacks being held solely because, even if my CV was increased or even doubled, the Soviet CV was tripled or quadrupled, leading to a loss.

From my perspective, I also disagree with the statements that the Axis have less room for improvement due to having better units, because as I understand leader modifications, it doesn't make sense. The Axis have better divisions, with more morale and experience, which is why they have better CV's. As far as I know, modifications don't modify any of that, they're just clean modifiers of a CV value. I've asked a number of times on the tester forum, but have thus far not received a specific answer as to what causes the increased variability for the Soviets.

When modified CV was first explained to me, Pavel (a programmer) insisted that everything theoretically applied to both sides. Afterwards, he said that the Soviets have more variable results. He suffered from a case of the flu, lack of time and he might very well be tired of discussing things with me, so I still have no idea how the Soviets get a greater variability if the modifiers are multipliers or dividers (which most of them are, as explained by Pavel). If 2x2 is 4 for the Soviets, why isn't 2x2=4 for the Germans, so to speak.

From the perspective of primarily Soviet players/from Flavio's perspective, it can be difficult to understand the problem unless you take detailed looks at combat results and see exactly how you're losing/winning battles. As I probably have more experience with the Axis than Flavio at this point, this is one of the areas where we don't share the same opinion.

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RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/3/2011 9:23:51 AM   
PMCN

 

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Discussing a suggested solution's merits isn't worth the electrons it takes to transmit it if the problem isn't what I am suggesting it is.  Please just pretend I never mentioned it.

I have gone back to my current turn and looked again.  As is usually the case when you know what to look for you see things you missed before.  I have one battle where 4 German infantrie divisions attack one of my Tank Corps.  They go from an initial CV of 120 to 364.  So that is more than a factor 3 as they would have taken battle losses.  My units CV goes from 74 to 70, which may indicate some modification but is also consistent with limited battle losses.  The overall losses I suffered were likely mainly due to retreat.  I have another battle where the German forces get a clear x2, and I am fairly sure my forces got a x0.5, which resulted in them being pushed out.  I also saw one of my attacks got an odds shift that helped make the attack work...it was only a 1:1 attack based on counter values but I hit it with good troops and for a meeting engagement got not bad results with final odds of 3.3:1 and even losses (I lost more infantry but the percentage losses in men were the same on both sides, and tank and gun losses were even numbers wise).  Without the shift I would have won due to the +1 but I don't think that a meeting engagement between a seriously understrength panzer divsion (CV8) and a tank corps (even if it was green), a vetran cavalry corps, 2 guards tank bde, and 2 guards rifle bdes (Total CV 14 or so) led by Eremenko and supported by katashuka's and air power is something the soviets don't have a chance to win in reality...that is effectively 3 Corps (one of them a Guards mechanized) to 1 division, and an understrength one at that.

The leader that got the halving (or potentially got the halving) was a dunderhead retread that I very much wish Comrade Stalin had dealt with a bit more permently the first time he was removed from command.  His stats are: mech 2, infantry 4 and the leadership ones are at best 5...I think he has initiative 3.  The more iffy battle was Eremenko and the 51st (my proto Guards Tank Army).  So there seems to be a correlation here.  In the case of the dunderhead he can't be backstopped by the SW Front Commander (Kiriponos) since the front is over loaded by at least 20 pts.

The variability I think is necessary else combat would become a pure numbers thing.  As it stands now I rarely get surprised by results when I watch the battle.  There is simply far to many die rolls involved for you to not sit smack dab in the centre of the Guassian distribution.  The mechanic is an exceptionally good design choice, it is brilliant in the way it basically accounts for possible things that can go wrong and right for both sides that change the way a battle turns out.

But I'm afraid that I have to agree with ComradeP on this one.  To replicate the results of 41 you need to push to the absolute limit, fly on the hairy edge of the possible.  That means results where the unexpected happens...well they have to happen fairly rarely otherwise the whole advance starts to bog down.  And I view these positive modifications a lot like "tactical flair" something the Wehrmacht was noted for, and not something I, at least, associate with the Red Army.  One could, I have to admit, view the positive soviet results like the subborn resistance that developed as the shock of the first weeks wore off.  Even in the first weeks there were plenty of Russian units that held on to ground in the face of German advances.  So there is room for alternative view points on this issue.

As for the soviets, they have low base CV so they get a far greater effect from a positive shift.  The question is how often they get these benefits.  I watch the battles in great detail, but I don't watch all the battles as that would take far too long.  And during the early weeks of the campaign I didn't do this at all.  The Germans are probably gaining substantial number of final CV adjustments (I should count the last turn because otherwise any comment I make has a huge observer bias) but for the most part they are wasted since if you win by 5:1 or 10:1 doesn't make any difference since these odds reflect the situation after the battle, not before the battle like you have in most board games.  On the other hand a battle the Germans should win by 5:1 can be reduced to below 2:1 and then you have a hold, enough of those and the time table starts to slip.  But I'm still not sure that all battles are fought to the bitter end then the odds are calculated, I think that only happens in the case of a successful defense.  And my observation of such battles would tend to bear that out.  When I won defensive battles my losses from the battle were always at least as high as the Germans, and on some occasions higher.  Attacks where the defender retreats seem to be truncated early, if this is the case then any final odds adjustments for the German are essentially wasted and only count towards the possibility of routing the unit.

Since the mechanism to produce the adjusted CV modification appear to be leader checks, or from the manual morale checks of the unit itself...I can't see how the German's simply can't be making them more often the Soviets are.  So overall I also can't understand how the system is not a net force multiplier for the Germans based on what I've read both in this thread and in the manual I would have expected this to be something that allows the Germans to motor along using virtually nothing but hasty attacks through most of summer 41.

But I still the think the most important question to be answered is: "Why is the time table slipping?"  Is it because of because of a greater number of positive CV adjustments brought about by the early formation of Team Soviet-All-Stars or is there another reason?

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RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/3/2011 11:14:09 AM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Paul McNeely
But I still the think the most important question to be answered is: "Why is the time table slipping?"  Is it because of because of a greater number of positive CV adjustments brought about by the early formation of Team Soviet-All-Stars or is there another reason?


In my view the time-table is mainly slipping as a result of the Sovs being able to avoid many of the pockets that they suffered historically, thus leaving a lot more speed bumps in front of the Germans, especially if deployed in a checkerboard. In reality, I doubt that most of the battered Soviet units in the summer of 1941 could exert much of a ZoC, and historically would simply have been bypassed.

The effects of the swamp defense bug and excessive Sov manpower. addressed in the latest patch, probably contributed to a lesser extent.

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RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/3/2011 4:45:33 PM   
Nikademus


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Do leader effects include the impact of the respective staff's experience in relation to the size of the units and their coordination?

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RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/3/2011 5:15:05 PM   
gradenko_2000_slith

 

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Why is the objective to recreate the timeline/time-table in the first place? The IRL Soviet player was really bad at the game for the first couple dozen turns, so I'm not sure why we're supposed to set it up such that all the other players are shackled to the same bad play by putting in so many special rulings that a more adept player cannot squeeze out a better result anyway.

And even if we were to grant that that's an objective worth pursuing, you could ensure that the time-table doesn't slip simply by loading up a 1942 scenario.

Having said that, the game could probably use 2-3 more scenarios between the 1941 and 1942 grand campaigns: Something set right before or right after the resolution of the Kiev pocket, another just as Operation Typhoon is set to begin, and something in early 1942 to give the German player a chance to redeploy for a non-Fall-Blau offensive.

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RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/3/2011 8:01:00 PM   
raizer

 

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Im liking these soviet leaders.  In a current pbem Ive got kirill whatshisname of the 7th Indy army smacking the finns good.  he is 16wins vs 4 losses and one of his rifle divs is 11-0 , all by turn 8. The morales of some of his units are 70 already  I was thinking of retiring behind the no attack line but why?  Fight them in the hvy woods and as long as he is tossing all the support units I gave him into the fray, and getting us wins, he is good to go.  I put zhukov in charge of the 22nd army and max attached a bunch of divs to him-just waiting to see what he can do outside of Novgorod.

< Message edited by raizer -- 2/3/2011 8:02:00 PM >

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RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/3/2011 10:32:02 PM   
Aurelian

 

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Got to go with Flav on this.

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RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/4/2011 7:25:32 AM   
PMCN

 

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Pieter's comment that the final adjusted odds modifications happens as often for the Soviet as for him, if true, is what concerns me the most.  The trouble here is observer bias, if you don't actually keep records and the present a data table what you "see" and what happened may be rather different. 

I think that the odds modification should happen more often for the Germans, they have better leaders and better troops.  The effect of the odds modification will almost always be higher for the Soviets, and in certain situations it will change the battle outcome greatly.  But the frequency of those events should be low.

If this is not the case simply because you cherry pick your leader list then there is scope to discuss if first of all is that an in issue and second what could be done to fix it, not that I think it is our business what the solution is.

Frankly, replicating the Wehrmacht's advance in 41 should be a challenge, and at the same time doing significantly better than the soviets did should also be a challenge.

(in reply to Aurelian)
Post #: 21
RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/4/2011 11:36:21 AM   
ComradeP

 

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The issue seems to be tied to the lack of much of a room for improvement for German units, because they're already really good, and the fact that there's a lot of room for improvement for Soviet units. Essentially, poor quality units have a better chance at a more variable CV because they're not even close to the maximum.

Contrary to my earlier expectations, modified CV is not derived from initial modified CV (CV points of ground element multiplied by 0.*experience level*=CV), but from the actual CV points of ground elements and rolls for those elements (not for the initial CV), which is why it's possible that, even if both sides make their rolls, the Soviets benefit more. At first, it didn't make much sense mathematically, but it does make sense if modified CV takes a number unrelated to unit quality (ground elements) and multiplies that, although CV doesn't seem to go down if both rolls are made even if the theoretical outcome of the roll is lower than initial CV (as in one of the examples Pavel gave me).

As such, I have the feeling the German leaders main effect is to make sure the CV's are not divided (they're divided when an experience or morale roll fails), as there's not always room for improvement. The "doubling" of CV through leader rolls is as such also theoretical, the CV's are not always actually doubled, they can also be modified in some other way.

I'm not particularly happy with Soviet variability for CV, as the Soviet player can now essentially keep attacking/roll the dice until he hits the result he needs (which is more or less exactly what happened with notenome's attacks: they all failed until he seems to have rolled 6/6 twice so to speak and got a very significant modifier).

The same variability should be seen with the minor Axis/poor quality Axis units.

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Post #: 22
RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/4/2011 1:25:22 PM   
PMCN

 

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I can only go by what the manual says.  In this case it speaks of doubling, or halving for making or failing the mech or infantry leader rolls.  It then mentions other modifiers dependent on unit morale, etc.  Without seeing a formula or a description in some greater detail I can't make a sensible comment.

CV as printed on the counter differs from what I would calculate using the formula in the manual, and judging by the increases and decreases I see amounts to the formula as given in manual multiplied by a factor that is greater than 1 but dependent on the experience level of the device in question.  But this is just a guess on my part.

I'm not following exactly what you are trying to say.  This is a case where a pure formula is a lot more useful.  At least what I believe you are saying is that there is a cap, the German's start at this cap and for the most part don't go down.  The Russians start at the bottom of the hill and basically can only go upwards (or if they go down it usually hardly worth mentioning as half nothing is still nothing).

The problem then is again what I said.  If you stick in Team Soviet All-Star then you shift the chance of a good result significantly, and that sticks a rod in the spokes of the Germans plans.  Dunderheadski commanders with mech 2 and infantry 4, morale 3 and admin 4 aren't as likely to produce a net positive shift as are mech 5, infantry 6, morale 5 admin 6 guys after all.  Even if they suck compared to the Wehrmacht's officers that matters not so much, what matters is they are a whole different class compared to Comrade Dunderheadski.

I am may be wrong but I don't really see the argument against what I am saying anywhere.  The mechanism of CV adjustment isn't a bad one, I believe it is necessary or else the game becomes utterly predicable.   My opinion of the +1 is the same as always, it is bought and paid for and in my experience at least never that significant an effect, I haven't won a battle due to it in a very long time but I still take high losses on attacks.  If you want to blame something for large numbers of anomalous results showing up then the only thing left is swapping out the dunderheadskis.  It also has a large number of other side effects but in terms of combat it is clearly going to produce a net significantly more effective soviet force then any other single thing a soviet player can do.  In fairness to your opponent it is clear to me that he does a lot of work to ensure that when he gets the good luck he can capitalize on it.  And there was this rather somewhat famous short french generalismo who said something to the effect he preferred lucky generals... 

On the axis minor allies (especially the Rumanians) they appeared to be highly vulnerable to this sort of thing in the blizzard.  It cost me more men then the German's lost to shove a German force out of position (including security divisions) but against axis minor allies my attacks were devestating.  I would nearly always rout them for 20:1 losses.  Only the Rumanian 1st Armoured put up anything that resembled a fight in that it only routed after first being retreated.  I had several Rumanian infantry divisions shatter in place.  Pre-blizzard I routed several Rumanian units of various sizes but it was both costly and came about due to the application of mass, I hit them hard but my losses on those attacks were also on the scale of 4000 men, only the rout losses equalized the overall battle losses.  The blizzard effects in particular seem to be strongly tied to the morale of the unit.  Losses are also highly leader roll dependent, a good leader can keep retreat losses rather small.  Again Comrade Dunderheadski is likely to first cost you half a division in the retreat and failing that 3/4 of the division because it routs and then take 6 weeks (about the record for me and that only because I changed the HQ of the units to someone with a morale 6 rating) to get it out of the rout.

(in reply to ComradeP)
Post #: 23
RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/4/2011 2:54:51 PM   
Rasputitsa


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Zhukov may have been a member of a future 'all star team', but whilst Southwestern front was fighting for it's life in the first days of their war, they received Directive No. 3 signed by Zhukov. This ordered the Front to launch a concentric attack, encircling German forces, closing 80 miles beyond the border, to be completed in no more than two days. Hardly an 'all star' command performance, totally unrealistic. OK, he was probably forced to sign it, but that is the quality of command orders received at that time.

Many units in Southwestern front were 50% short of officers, many enlisted men had little or no training, there was a lack of people to issue orders and a lack of men who could carry them out.

Command from Moscow was marginal and mainly counter productive and at Front level there was little coherent co-ordination. 8th Mech Corps marched and counter-marched nearly 400 miles, following conflicting orders, before finally coming to contact with the Germans.

These factors would have equally affected other Fronts.

This is not to boost the German side, but to recognise the immense difficulties that Russian forces had to overcome to slow the German advance and finally win through. It is these factors that make 1941/42 such a closely balanced part of the campaign and should be reflected in the game.

The forces of both sides evolved during the campaign and it should be possible to advise on game settings, which can be adjusted progressively, though a dateline, to show the changes (with a random aspect to avoid pre-empting expected changes).

Perhaps we can have scenario variations to give 'No 1937 Purge', 'Alternative Tank Doctrine', etc..

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 2/4/2011 7:09:07 PM >

(in reply to PMCN)
Post #: 24
RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/4/2011 3:09:28 PM   
Rasputitsa


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Paul McNeely
The problem then is again what I said.  If you stick in Team Soviet All-Star then you shift the chance of a good result significantly, and that sticks a rod in the spokes of the Germans plans.  Dunderheadski commanders with mech 2 and infantry 4, morale 3 and admin 4 aren't as likely to produce a net positive shift as are mech 5, infantry 6, morale 5 admin 6 guys after all.  Even if they suck compared to the Wehrmacht's officers that matters not so much, what matters is they are a whole different class compared to Comrade Dunderheadski.


It is not that the Russian commanders were dunderheads, although there were some of them who were. Units were completely unprepared for war, lacked equipment, training and personnel. Commanders had to move units and attack without any knowledge of what friendly flanking units were doing, or if they even existed. Recon. units had no transport, commanders advanced blind, not because they were incompetent, but because they had no choice.

Some Motorised divisions had no trucks, the men had to march carrying their heavy equipment on their backs, orders came as though these units could move at a motorised pace, which they could not achieve. Commanders of some tank units had to call a planned stop every 15 mins., during the march, to do maintenance on decrepit vehicles, to keep them running. Tank regiments had to stop regularly to allow their matching 'motorised' infantry components to catch up, until they became exhausted and could march no more.

I agree that this should be reflected in the game (or as a scenario option), it should be possible to show the variation during the campaign. It is not an either, or choice, we should all be able to get different variations that suit our historical, or more balanced tastes.


< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 2/4/2011 4:39:46 PM >

(in reply to PMCN)
Post #: 25
RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/4/2011 3:14:24 PM   
76mm


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I certainly haven't examined the combat mechanisms nearly as much as some of the other players, but really don't see this as the main issue tilting the game in favor of the Sovs (which I think the game is). As many others have pointed out, the Sovs are not hampered by their main problems in the early weeks, but the Germans are unavoidably hammered during the first winter. This must inevitably affect balance.

I'm not sure if this is a fix, but I was thinking that it would be interesting (but frustrating for the Russian player) if for the first couple turns (2-3?) there is some sort of randomized "command failure" mechanism which would deprive Sov units of some or all of their MP for that turn if they fail the necessary die rolls (or whatever). Part of the problem now is that Sov commanders have total control over every beat up, disorganized, poorly led rifle division, and therefore can orchestrate a much more orderly retreat than is realistic. The result is Sov units scooting back in organized lines, scooting from swamp to river line, etc. I think it would much more interesting and realistic if the Soviet commander has to consider "I can order that unit to move, but will it do so?". This penalty could be optional and could decrease from one week to the next.

Anyway, just a thought on how to address some of these leadership and commander issues.

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 26
RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/4/2011 5:47:39 PM   
Smirfy

 

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How many rifle divisions did Russia lose in 1941?

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Post #: 27
RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/4/2011 6:35:52 PM   
ComradeP

 

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Define "lose".

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Post #: 28
RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/4/2011 7:36:43 PM   
Smirfy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP

Define "lose".


Lost as in destroyed as in removed from OOB


Casaulties are a bit of a red herring, given that the currency for the game is AP, you need to know how many Rifle Divisions the Russians lost by December 1941. For example 43 Rifle Divisions were removed from the OOB at Kiev alone that is the equivelant of 14 Hexs with 3 division stacks in each, thats 430 AP that is mutiple weeks rebuilding new ones. Thats explains why 42 does not go well for the Axis. If the player is losing more divisions than historical there is something seriously wrong with the game if the Axis player is struggling.



< Message edited by Smirfy -- 2/4/2011 7:54:30 PM >

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Post #: 29
RE: Leader Effects in 41 - 2/4/2011 9:17:24 PM   
heliodorus04


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I am in complete agreement that there is a problem with game balance enabled by complete, unhindered human command and control over all elements of the Soviet force.

You have historical arrivals and withdrawls.
You have historical weather.
You have historical command structure changes throughout the war (Army Group South converting to A & B, Fronts & Military districts, etc.)

Why should you not have historical commander replacement restrictions?
I'm not suggesting that as a fix, I'm just trying to demonstrate a point.

The C&C freedom of Soviets changes the game a lot, from what I've seen so far.

(in reply to Smirfy)
Post #: 30
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