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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)?

 
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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/4/2011 11:31:21 PM   
alfonso

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Altaris

Just as follow up, got the next turn back, and indeed forts had gone up to lvl 2 from lvl 1 in just 1 turn.

This is around Vyzama, so I think it's out of range of any major urban area lending aid, I'd have to check the rules again on that.

This confirms that it's quite possible with 3 divisions in a hex to go from lvl 2 to lvl 3 in one turn (since the 0.33 mud multiplier basically makes lvl 1 -> 2 the same as 2 -> 3 in clear weather).

I'm majorly, majorly disappointed in this. Mud is the absolute worst time to build forts by modifiers, and yet here they've gone up to lvl 2 in just 2 turns. This would confirm, IMO, that the construction rates are way too fast. With a really solid build plan, Soviets are going to wreck complete havoc on German players with some experience behind them.


Do you think the super-forts will be able to stop Oleg's German summer41 Supermen?

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/4/2011 11:40:01 PM   
Zort

 

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I love Oleg's German supermen, I haven't found them yet as the german so I wish he would send me some.

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/5/2011 12:19:48 AM   
hfarrish

 

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As Zort's human opponent, I am actually ok with these changes. The only thing is that you can't attach engineers to divisions as the Soviets and you don't have corps, so I think it would have to be limited to HQs that don't have construction battalions or engineers. Also in favor of not having brigades fortify (except maybe in cities where they can threaten the locals with a bullet in the back if they don't haul their shovel out to the field).

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/5/2011 1:20:12 AM   
Mynok


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quote:

ORIGINAL: alfonso


quote:

ORIGINAL: Altaris

All I'm saying is there's something very wrong if the Soviet player can move into a hex and have it built up to lvl 1 forts that turn, during mud, when movement and fortification levels are at their lowest.

Let's take a very generous hypotheticial situation:

1) Let's say that this 3-stack of units has a total of 21 construction points (no idea if this is correct, again don't play Soviets, just ballparking, but I would think that's consistent with what I've seen of '41 Rifle Divs)



A "normal" rifle division in 1941 displays a "construction points" value of around 20-30. I don't know it this is the value you are using in your calculations, but it seems as if a stack of 3 units could have around 70-80 of those points.


Makes me ponder if maybe the issue might be the 'aggregation' of constructions points. 70-80 would build forts fast but lets think about keeping it on a unit basis. Rather than 70-80 building for the entire hex, each unit should be building for itself and only when ALL units in the hex reach a fort level does the hex fort level rise. Would this not be more realistic? Curious as to other's thoughts.


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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/5/2011 1:37:05 AM   
pat.casey

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mynok


quote:

ORIGINAL: alfonso


quote:

ORIGINAL: Altaris

All I'm saying is there's something very wrong if the Soviet player can move into a hex and have it built up to lvl 1 forts that turn, during mud, when movement and fortification levels are at their lowest.

Let's take a very generous hypotheticial situation:

1) Let's say that this 3-stack of units has a total of 21 construction points (no idea if this is correct, again don't play Soviets, just ballparking, but I would think that's consistent with what I've seen of '41 Rifle Divs)



A "normal" rifle division in 1941 displays a "construction points" value of around 20-30. I don't know it this is the value you are using in your calculations, but it seems as if a stack of 3 units could have around 70-80 of those points.


Makes me ponder if maybe the issue might be the 'aggregation' of constructions points. 70-80 would build forts fast but lets think about keeping it on a unit basis. Rather than 70-80 building for the entire hex, each unit should be building for itself and only when ALL units in the hex reach a fort level does the hex fort level rise. Would this not be more realistic? Curious as to other's thoughts.



I was actually thinking something similar Mynok.

If you have 3 divisions in the hex you need to build 3X as large a fortification infrastructure to protect them. If that's the case, then the fortification rate should probably scale with something like construction points/men in hex.

I suppose the other thing to think about is there's a difference between fortification strength and fortification size.

I could, for example, have a really well dug in regimental size position (fort level 4), but park 3 divisions in the hex in which case most of my forces wouldn't be in fortifications at all. That'd probably be the best model from a reaslism standpoint, but I suspect it'd be difficult to model in game.

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/5/2011 1:47:15 AM   
Mynok


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I don't think unit-based tracking would be too hard if designed in from the beginning, but it may very well be so at this point, requiring significant changes to data structures and code.

Plus there's the issue of changes in control to consider. What is lost when the units in forts are retreated? How much is still there if they move back, per the scenario specified originally?

Perhaps the easiest way to handle this is multiply construction costs by the number of units? Sure, one could enhance a units build rate with sappers and construction units and get it up to high level forts quickly. But it will still be just one unit. Of course, one must then define how additional units moving into the hex would alter the fort ratio, but I think that could be done without massive changes.



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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/5/2011 7:09:41 AM   
VictorCharlie

 

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Yes I agree there is something wrong with entrenchments and build rates.

In my 41-45 campaigns I started my 1942 (axis) offensive in May to find a sea (well 4-5 hexes deep) of level 4 and 3 defences. Yes it felt like I was playing Kursk with advances of 1 to 2 hexes the norm only to find more 2 to 3 level entrenchments spring up behind the lines as I went.

Now if you open the Operation Blue scenario, which I assume is based on historical research as to what the situation was like then on the ground, you find a front line of Lvl 1 and 2 entrenchments with units in the rear not entrenched at all.

I know I didn’t retreat much in my campaign so front line did not change as much as historically but still something is not working right.

I think the AI not being limited to the amount of APs (adimin points) it has allows it to build too many units to make these Maginot lines.

Yes some limit on 3 to 4 level needs be brought in as well.
Suggestions such as Zorts make sense.

Even using APs to construct lvl 3 and 4 to represent the real commitment of resources to build these type of defences.
Maybe even bringing in more levels (higher) to represent heavily entrenched locations. Kursk, Sevastopol and such.


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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/5/2011 9:04:17 AM   
Caranorn


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Just a few notes. As stated by a few others, I have no problem with level 1 and 2 fortifications appearing fast (one per turn for a reasonably good shaped division). Anything beyond that I think should require engineer capacities beyond the division's organic capacity. Simply because those higher fortification levels should mean more than a trench and foxhole system with minefields and preplanned fire lanes. No levels 3 and above should include some semi-permanent obstacles, use of preexisting structures as bunkers or even construction of log (not just a machine gun nest) or concrete bunkers etc. A lot of planning and building material, not just manual labour that can be whipped together rapidly. On the other hand, lower level fortifications as they are by nature temporary and purpouse built, should decay faster if unoccupied, while level 3 and higher fortifications should last longer (concrete blockhouses, dug in phone cables, well planned minefields, emplaced guns and machine guns (think Westwall or Atlantic Wall) multi direction defense etc.). Maybe bonuses to construction of fortifications in cities, urban (probably not town as they'd be too small to provide more than a strong anchor point) rough and mountain terrain (all have restricted avenues of advance than can be narrowed even further and possibilities for well prepared positions as well as abundant building material), on the other hand slower building of fortifications in swamp (defense in swamp should be naturally improved, but fortifying should be tougher as even the seemingly stable ground doesn't permit much digging unless you wish to sit there all day with wet feet)...

In general I've been a bit astonished at how fast units dig in in the game. While a turn indeed represents a week, I don't see how hastily fleeing soviet troops could first travel over a hundred miles on foot and then spend a few hours digging to end up in level 1 fortifications the following turn when the german armour tries to pursue. But that's about the only problem I have, that it tends to be a bit too fast (I haven't played any scenarios where the germans have to dig in quickly or where the germans lose massive ground and manage to dig in, so I'll just assume the problem exists for both sides)...


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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/5/2011 12:17:01 PM   
Altaris

 

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Been doing some further research and thinking on this. I reread the manual regarding population assisting fort building, I had thought that was only for light and heavy urban, but it is indeed for cities and towns as well. So that does play a factor in why they've gone up so fast.

It would be nice to see more limitations on how quickly forts can go up though. Right now, there's a hard limit of 50 net points (basically one full level) that a fort can go up to. I think it might be better if it was 50/next fort level. So 50 net points for lvl 1, 25 net points for lvl 2, 17.666 for lvl 3, 12.5 for lvl 4, 10 for lvl 5. In that way it would still be easy to get lvl 1 forts up with concentrated effort (that makes sense), and lvl 2 could build up fairly easily in 3 turns (that's reasonable too). It would be a bare minimum of 6 turns to go up from lvl 0 to lvl 3, 10 turns from 0 to 4, and 20 turns from 0 to 5. These gross amounts should be adjusted even further for mud and blizzard, to account for how difficult it is to build forts in this weather. From what I'm seeing with mud turns still having very high construction rates, there's no wonder why players are seeing the Soviets with an unending wave of lvl 3-4 forts after digging in through 2 mud seasons and the blizzard. It's still an issue even in the clear weather, but at least in clear it's possible to derail Soviet efforts to build up a hex and avoid the wave fort effect. That's not feasible in mud or blizzard, so all that free time gets converted into a crapload of spades.

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/5/2011 12:34:58 PM   
timmyab

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Altaris
I think it might be better if it was 50/next fort level. So 50 net points for lvl 1, 25 net points for lvl 2, 17.666 for lvl 3, 12.5 for lvl 4, 10 for lvl 5.

Not sure I understand you.Wouldn't this make it easier to build forts?

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/5/2011 12:54:00 PM   
Altaris

 

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No, right now you can get 50 net points max per turn on one hex. This is enough to go up 1 level at any fort level. What I'm proposing is that this net value be divided by the next for level up (so going from 0 to 1 is still the same as now, going from 1 to 2 has a hard cap of 25 (50/2) instead of 50, going from 2 to 3 has a hard cap of 17.66 (50/3) instead of 50, etc). This basically means having the hard cap on the number of points that can be accumulated in one hex go down as the fort level goes up.

As it stands now, with enough construction points, it's feasibly possible to go from lvl 4 to lvl 5 fort in 1 turn (though I doubt the construction points would be available for that). With my proposed system, it would take a minimum of 10 turns to go from lvl 4 to lvl 5. More importantly, it would take a bare minimum of 6 turns to go from 0 to 3 forts, whereas now it seems quite possible to do that in 3 turns.

Above all, I think this hard cap needs to be seriously nerfed in mud and blizzard. Having that huge span of time to build up loads of forts is what I think is killing games in 1942 (well that and the uber-blizzard).

< Message edited by Altaris -- 3/5/2011 12:56:49 PM >

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/5/2011 12:55:52 PM   
timmyab

 

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Ah, I see what you mean.
Yes I agree, it's more or less exactly what I was advocating earlier in this thread in terms of time taken to build the next fort level.
There are other things that could be done as well to improve the current situation.For instance leadership ratings (possibly the infantry rating?) could modify the maximum rate of fort building.This would also satisfy some concerns about Axis fort building later in the game.You could also put a limit on building level 3 and 4 forts.A fair few 3 levels allowed, but 4 levels strictly limited.

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/5/2011 4:11:15 PM   
pat.casey

 

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Another possible "fix" might be to cap the level of fortification that units can "self build" to at level 2.
To get to level 3 or 4 you'd have to use a specialized fortification engineer unit (sort of like the railroad repair units) to raise fort levels.
You could then add more of these units to the armies as the war progressed to simulate the generally higher entrenchment rates as time progressed.

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/5/2011 9:03:51 PM   
randallw

 

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Are some people in this thread unaware that support units ( sappers/engineers and construction ) assist with fort levels?

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/5/2011 9:09:04 PM   
2ndACR


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Nope, I know about it, but don't think I have ever seen them help, or is it behind the scenes? As in do they deploy like the rail repair guys on map or invisible.

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/5/2011 10:11:44 PM   
Panama


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From Soviet Order of Battle World War II, Volume IV, "Red Guards" Soviet Guards Rifle and Airborne Units 1941-1945:

"The Germans considered the Russian infantry to be masters at digging in, 'disappearing into the earth', as one writer put it. This was not due to any 'natural affinity' of the Russian for his dirt, but to a combination of training and equipment. Every Soviet rifle unit down to the battalion had it's own sapper or combat engineer unit, and even the smallest of these, a small platoon in the rifle battalion, had a wagon full of tools with it. While trained sappers worked at special tasks like setting up wire entanglements, clearing or emplacing mines, and building or digging major barriers, the regular riflemen could supplement their own entrenching tools with larger shovels, picks, axes and saws to dig and build all types of protective positions."

One example. In 68 manhours a 76mm Cannon position with 100 degree field of fire, crew and ammunition pits, all covered overhead.

"...within an hour a rifle company would be firmly dug in and in less than 12 hours an entire regiment and all of it's supporting weapons could be dug in, camouflaged, with overhead cover and cleared fields of fire."

Generalmajor Friedrich Von Mellenthin: "No artillery fire, no matter how violent and well concentrated, will wipe out a Russian posittion which has grown overnight"

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/6/2011 3:00:32 AM   
Razz1


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How about flipping the coin and looking at the other side?

Decrease the benefits of forts. Level 1 gets decreased by 50%, level 2 by 25% and level 3 by 10 %.

Just another perspective to look at.

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/6/2011 3:05:42 AM   
LiquidSky


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A turn is a week. How long does it take to build/lay wire minefields etc. Build trenches? Bunkers? I fear we may find out that the game is actually too slow at building them.

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/6/2011 3:14:28 AM   
pat.casey

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: LiquidSky

A turn is a week. How long does it take to build/lay wire minefields etc. Build trenches? Bunkers? I fear we may find out that the game is actually too slow at building them.


To lay down a serious defensive belt like those around Kursk, about 4 months and lots of dedicated engineering resources.

The germans spent about 4 months on the panther line (August -> January) before falling back on it and it was far from done.

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/6/2011 4:36:17 AM   
randallw

 

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The engineer/construction units helping with forting do it behind the scenes; they don't appear on map, so the only you know if they probably helped with a fort is to compare the fort level from one turn to the next.

I am not well read up on the Kursk preparations; I know there were lots of civs helping out, which is probably required if you want to build the world's longest AT ditch.

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/6/2011 2:21:01 PM   
Marquo


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"To lay down a serious defensive belt like those around Kursk, about 4 months and lots of dedicated engineering resources."

Yes - but it was 7 successive concentric belts of fortifications hundreds of kilometers long - and probably represents level a level 4 - 5 effort. And as you know, there were complex preplanned impassable anti-tank ditches funneling inot interlocking fields of AT fire, etc.; including a communcation network and centers. Some opine that the most important lend lease asset was rolls of telephone wire more than anything else.

Marquo

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/6/2011 2:44:27 PM   
pat.casey

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marquo

"To lay down a serious defensive belt like those around Kursk, about 4 months and lots of dedicated engineering resources."

Yes - but it was 7 successive concentric belts of fortifications hundreds of kilometers long - and probably represents level a level 4 - 5 effort. And as you know, there were complex preplanned impassable anti-tank ditches funneling inot interlocking fields of AT fire, etc.; including a communcation network and centers. Some opine that the most important lend lease asset was rolls of telephone wire more than anything else.

Marquo


Sure, it was a massive defensive zone.
What's it equate to in game terms? Linear level 4 fortifications with level 5 strongpoints at towns.
How long did it take in real life? 4 months.
How long does it take in the game? About 4 weeks, give or take.

Unless we want to postulate that Kursk was something so special as to not be modelled in-game?

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/6/2011 3:11:17 PM   
Altaris

 

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I've decided to take up a test game of HtH versus myself, with forts setting at 35% (roughly 1/3 of default settings). Going to see how this pans out. Since each fort level seems to increase by about a x3 multiplier, my theory is this should make forts roughly 1 level lower in most cases from what I'm seeing now. I think that would be about right. I keep thinking if these dang lvl 3 forts were only lvl 2, I'd probably be seeing more realistic results.

I doubt this is going to have any impact at all on lvl 1 forts, since from what I'm seeing I think the net 50 points at lvl 1 is being far exceeded, but I think should make it take a couple of turns to get to lvl 2, and probably around 4-5 turns of solid building to get to lvl 3.

Right now I'm running with both sides at 35%, maybe this is a mistake to modify on the German side, we'll see. However, I don't like the idea of Germans being able to do insta-fort building either. Fort building should require some effort, not be an after thought with beat up and retreated units that magically pops up lvl 2-3 forts in just a few short weeks.

< Message edited by Altaris -- 3/6/2011 3:12:09 PM >

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/6/2011 3:23:03 PM   
Panama


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Kursk
In the beginning of June, on the south side of the salient, in front of the 4th Pz Army, the Soviets moved their main line of defenses back about five or six miles to take advantage of terrain. They were no less fortified there than other places. As mentioned by others, these were rather 'super field fortifications' given the amount of time and people available. Not something anyone should consider 'normal'.

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/7/2011 10:10:15 PM   
bednarre

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Panama

From Soviet Order of Battle World War II, Volume IV, "Red Guards" Soviet Guards Rifle and Airborne Units 1941-1945:

"The Germans considered the Russian infantry to be masters at digging in, 'disappearing into the earth', as one writer put it. This was not due to any 'natural affinity' of the Russian for his dirt, but to a combination of training and equipment. Every Soviet rifle unit down to the battalion had it's own sapper or combat engineer unit, and even the smallest of these, a small platoon in the rifle battalion, had a wagon full of tools with it. While trained sappers worked at special tasks like setting up wire entanglements, clearing or emplacing mines, and building or digging major barriers, the regular riflemen could supplement their own entrenching tools with larger shovels, picks, axes and saws to dig and build all types of protective positions."

One example. In 68 manhours a 76mm Cannon position with 100 degree field of fire, crew and ammunition pits, all covered overhead.

"...within an hour a rifle company would be firmly dug in and in less than 12 hours an entire regiment and all of it's supporting weapons could be dug in, camouflaged, with overhead cover and cleared fields of fire."

Generalmajor Friedrich Von Mellenthin: "No artillery fire, no matter how violent and well concentrated, will wipe out a Russian posittion which has grown overnight"



It seems like there are questions about both the quality and quantity of fortifications construction required to reach a certain level. The level of the fortification applies to all of the units in the hex, 10 miles! Why not keep track of fortification numbers (quantity) and fortification levels (quality) . Fortifications can be partially destroyed with this approach. Also, it should take a substantially amount of time to build a solid row of level 3 fortifications in the hex (high number). Also, what is the relationship between historical fortification type and the game level ---
Level 1 : Trenches and foxholes?
Level 2 : Wooden bunkers and overhead cover?
Level 3 : Concrete bunkers?
Level 4 : Maginot Line?

Finally, its seems like significantly extra supplies should have to be stockpiled for level 2+ fortifications. Most of European Russia is not heavily forested.

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/7/2011 10:22:43 PM   
Mynok


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Tracking fortification by unit would be the ideal IMO. Might not be doable though.

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/8/2011 3:20:00 AM   
hfarrish

 

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It seems to me the ideal solution is still building off Zort's earlier comments, which would be to limit the construction of level 4 forts to areas around cities, to limit construction by brigades and perhaps to limit construction by depleted units and modify it by a leader's administrative skill (not sure if this has been suggested before, but it would seem to make sense). As a dedicated Soviet PBEM player I think its fair to limit the high end of construction - no way would there be a line of concrete bunkers from the Black Sea to Leningrad, but by the same token, as others have pointed out, the Soviets were quite good at digging fast - so 1-3 forts should be relatively attainable. Not like these can't be broken by a well planned German offensive.

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/8/2011 1:38:32 PM   
Adnan Meshuggi

 

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Russian army was quite good in digging in
But the defence wasn´t the way that nobody could break through. How should the germany otherwise had managed to break through the Stalin-Line, a well prepared bunker line?

I think, fortification should help the defender, but with a certain break-through-possibility.

One problem with fortification is, that you can build 30 or 40miles DEEP Fortification in fast time. I can´t remember any frontline in ww2 that had a wider defence belt. Only at kursk at two single points (knowing that the germans would attack here) were 30km deep. And - the germans broke through, not easily, but they broke through with lower losses as the russians.

So, maybe fortifications need more "numbers"?
Say, from 1 - 10?
10 is Maginot-Line-Style, 5 is deep trenches with concrete small bunkers?
Each number larger as 5 improve mine belts, barb wire, protection against artillery
on the other side, if you attack with enough engineers, this reduce the "above5"-bunkers by 3?, but only to 4 or larger?

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/8/2011 1:59:00 PM   
Panama


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Stalin Line had been mostly abandoned after advance into Poland in 1939. Much of the artillery had been taken and was still in storage waiting to be put into new fortifications along new border to the west. The bunkers were still at the Stalin Line but much was in bad shape. Some parts were manned when the Axis attacked but it was not a very good defense because of neglect. Also, Stalin Line was made to channel attacks rather than stop them when it was built.

I think Adnan has a good idea but there is no need for a Maginot Line level. No one has resources or time for that kind of fortification. The best you could get is several lines of field fortifications as at Kursk.

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RE: Do forts build too fast (particularly for Soviets)? - 3/8/2011 2:27:20 PM   
Adnan Meshuggi

 

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Hi,

the readings about the "breakthrough" of the stalin line tells a different story. In the cases it was manned, it was a hard but not impossible fighting

But i agree - you need no maginotline, just for sevastopol :)

I still like the idea that you can establish a defence line in a certain deep, but no "40m deep"-Fortress. Not with the limited resources (has anybody asked how these guys build all the trenches with barb wire? Where comes the concrete?

At kursk the russians could lay a lot mines. Normally, no division has 100.000 mines for the 40miles deep defence layer...
So not the level is the biggest problem, but the depth.

One idea (can it be done?) is, that the army can give priority for certain hexes or for an area... in this area you can build a deeper defence line (as one row) with a higher fortification as 2. All other hexes can only be level 1 or 2 or zero (maybe zero or 1 to make it even harder?)
This could help to avoid "Verdun at the eastern front". The player need to define the defence line, with priority. no line can be deeper as 2 hexes (similar to the biggest fortification layer at kursk), if you use troops behind, they can do some light dig-in (say, some artillery is better prepared, but honestly, if your gun can shoot 10 miles, nobody would dig in each gun so deep with 40 miles distance to the frontline. I bet, these guns would be in cover against air attacks, but nothing else. In no army existing

You also should define what kind of defence you want. a linked static line with one,two or three reservelines as backup (better, but take longer... it starts with the first line and the last line will be finished last. Also if you want 360 Degree Defence... you give the order and the computer do the rest.

So if you plan the Eastwall, but you have only limited engineer capability, you have a big problem - cause only 20% of the hexes has more as level1-defence. But if your heroes pay you the time (or both sides do not attack), you can dig and dig, you revice barb wire, mines, concrete, building material, and and and. If these defence systems are finished, they are really ugly (level 5-7)

So you can force the enemy to fight at another place and time (like the northern sector)

Oh - in winter (frozen surface) you should only reach level 1, only heavy engineering equipment should help to avoid it. So no russian "kursk is everywere defence-line" (or german).

(in reply to Panama)
Post #: 60
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