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What Ever Happened to Forced March

 
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What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/16/2011 4:23:20 PM   
marty_01

 

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Grigsby's original SPI boargame "War In the East" [the one with cardboard and paper :) ] used to have an excellent rule whereby German Infantry Divisions could force march in a given turn. I vaguely recall use of forced march option allowed the unit to double 2X its normal movement rate (or maybe it was 1.5X the normal movement rate). However, the catch was the unit had a chance of being reduced to a kampgruppe as a result of using the forced march option. I think it was 1/6 chance of being reduced to KG -- maybe it was a 1/3 chance (I don’t recall all the particulars anymore).

The use of forced marching -- particularly during the campaigns of the summer of 41 and summer of 42 had a fair bit historical precedence. So in that sense it was a "realistic" game option. I suppose I would argue the Red Army should have had the same option available to it.

But my question is why did this particular aspect of the original Grigsby's approach to the simulation get removed from the modern incarnation. In the original game this particular option did provide the German side with some additional (and arguably very important) operational and tactical level game options to consider and utilize. But exercising the option comes with a potential cost in terms of forced march effects on units. Given the amazing complexity and excellent diversity of the computerized incarnation of "War in the East" in terms of uber detailed casualty tracking, unit morale effects, fatigue, CV effects, etc etc, it just "feels" like the game could really sink its teeth into a more accurate representation of forced march effects. And giving German Infantry (and arguably the Soviet Infantry as well) a forced march option would give players additional planning and maneuver options.

I don't think forced marching is in any way crucial to the existing game, but it was kind of a cool option and arguable realistic option in the original cardboard and paper version of WiTE, and was curious why it didn't make it into this new vision of the game.
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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/16/2011 4:46:23 PM   
Mehring

 

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I wouldn't take the similarity in name to mean the two games is similar or identical. There's little in common really. If you want a modern incarnation of the SPI game, look up Decision Games, which has put War in Europe into PC.

The old WitE allowed up to 2 times movement allowance for 'forced march' infantry of any nationality provided the unit didn't enter enemy ZOC, and with a 1/6 chance of reduction to BG status. This WitE doesn't even have BGs, but it, like the PC WiE, has a form of attrition caused by movement- the more you move, the more your units become tired and their equipment can be damaged. Also, you can pay APs to temporarily motorise a unit. So the option is still available in different forms.

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/16/2011 4:51:07 PM   
Tarhunnas


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quote:

ORIGINAL: marty_01

I don't think forced marching is in any way crucial to the existing game, but it was kind of a cool option and arguable realistic option in the original cardboard and paper version of WiTE, and was curious why it didn't make it into this new vision of the game.


You can temporarily motorize infantry divisions, that has roughly the same effect.

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/16/2011 5:14:28 PM   
findmeifyoucan

 

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Actually it was 1/6 chance it got reduced to Kangruppe as I played that game extensively.

As pointed out before yes you can temporarily motorize your infantry but it costs you. They are two completely different games. As I enjoyed that SPI games extensively in my 20's I expect to enjoy this game extensively in my 50's. lol :-)

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/16/2011 5:34:36 PM   
Tarhunnas


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quote:

ORIGINAL: findmeifyoucan
As pointed out before yes you can temporarily motorize your infantry but it costs you. They are two completely different games. As I enjoyed that SPI games extensively in my 20's I expect to enjoy this game extensively in my 50's. lol :-)


LOL! Same here!

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/16/2011 5:46:37 PM   
findmeifyoucan

 

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I had also commented on the forced march comparison over a month ago in the forum just before I purchased this game but no one commented on it. I also commented on the fact that the Germans did have some limited amphibious capability and maintained a small navy in the Baltic Sea to keep the Russian navy in check but no one commented on that either. lol
In the SPI game "War in Europe" monster board game, the German's could invade by amphibious both Riga and that far northern Russian port just south of Helsinki on turn 1 plus transport a limited amount of German troops to Helsinki!

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/16/2011 6:02:52 PM   
marty_01

 

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Yeah -- I've used unit motorization once or twice and it's a nice game feature to have for sure. It provides some additional depth to a player's in-game options. And it has historical precedence so is also a "realistic" player option. However, temp-motorization is immensely expensive in terms of APs and truck use and truck damage. A full German Infantry division can cost upwards of 25-APs to motorize. Temporary motorization doesn't allow movement through enemy controlled hexes. I don’t think it allows movement through contested hexes either – although I don’t recall for sure on this latter bit. All of which limits player applications for temp-motorization. And to be clear I am not arguing any of these in-game limitations are good or bad for temp-motorization. I am simply elaborating upon the scale of the temp-motorization capability versuses allowing any infantry division to force march in a given turn (with associated consequences associated with a forced march capability – morale, fatigue, reduction of CV, No Deliberate attack option, or even no Deliberate and No Hasty Attack option or whatever).

In terms of enhancing a player’s operational maneuver options -- at least relative to how the forced march function was modeled within Grigsby’s original War in the East -- the limited ability to motorize an infantry division or possibly two in a given turn is not on the same scale as an all encompassing infantry forced march capability.



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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/16/2011 6:45:50 PM   
marty_01

 

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Modern-WiTE is indeed a different game. Yet after playing it a few times, I am becoming aware of a number of vaguely familiar aspects to New-WiTE -- the occasional flash of da-ja-vu -- at least for me. The original WiTE was really just another step in a series of games by Grigsby that were developed using the same overal game system (France 1940, Battle for Moscow, Battle of Leningrad, etc. etc.). A great game system. Each game in the series improving upon the last. But, at the same time maintaining interesting and successful aspects of previous games within the series.

I think the forced march option in the original WiTE was a nice option and am more curious as to why it was set adrift. Is it crucial to my fun time in playing Modern-WiTE – no. But, its worth talking about as I don’t think anyone will argue that the ability of infantry to enhance movement rates via forced marching would somehow be “unrealistic”.

I think the potential consequence of forced march within the original game felt rather abstracted -- but I liked very much that there were potential consequences to use of the option. A player had to weigh the pro’s and the cons of using forced march. What I see within this modern version of WiTE is a huge amount of behind the curtain detail. There is the ability of the designers of Modern-WiTE to more directly address consequences of forced march. Moreover, the original WiTE obviously did not include unit morale, or unit fatigue, nor was it tracking casualty rates at such a detailed level as modern-WiTE. Many of the intangible, but incredibly important factors that determine a given units combat power and maneuver capability are now being routinely modeled within computer simulations by various algorithms. Why not take advantage of the detail of this simulation to directly tackle those aspects of gaming that could not be tackled in the oldin' days with games like the original WiTE?

Anyway -- nuff said by me. Normally I just want to say my piece and be done with it in one post to a particualr thread topic. But I thought forced march option was such a nice -- and at the time of old-WiTE -- such a very unique feature in boardgaming -- that I felt a bit more then my typical distracted interest in the topic.

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/16/2011 6:47:21 PM   
Tarhunnas


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quote:

ORIGINAL: marty_01

In terms of enhancing a player’s operational maneuver options -- at least relative to how the forced march function was modeled within Grigsby’s original War in the East -- the limited ability to motorize an infantry division or possibly two in a given turn is not on the same scale as an all encompassing infantry forced march capability.



I would agree with that. I can take the truck loss, but the AP cost feels too high to me.

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/16/2011 7:50:43 PM   
Montbrun


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I believe War in the East was a Jim Dunnigan game...

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/16/2011 8:13:25 PM   
marty_01

 

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You're right...my bad -- removes foot from mouth. I've been associating the game title as a computerized revamp of the original board game by the same designer ever since I first heard of the game. I guess that would explain why forced march didnt carry over. Did Grigsby ever work for SPI or S&T?

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/16/2011 9:52:39 PM   
Panama


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quote:

ORIGINAL: findmeifyoucan

Actually it was 1/6 chance it got reduced to Kangruppe as I played that game extensively.

As pointed out before yes you can temporarily motorize your infantry but it costs you. They are two completely different games. As I enjoyed that SPI games extensively in my 20's I expect to enjoy this game extensively in my 50's. lol :-)


2x normal movement allowance. Rolling a one = KG. Fins and Security units can't force march. No over runs allowed.

Forgot. Not allowed to enter enemy ZOC.

< Message edited by Panama -- 3/16/2011 9:54:28 PM >


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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/16/2011 10:09:36 PM   
Angelo

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas


quote:

ORIGINAL: findmeifyoucan
As pointed out before yes you can temporarily motorize your infantry but it costs you. They are two completely different games. As I enjoyed that SPI games extensively in my 20's I expect to enjoy this game extensively in my 50's. lol :-)


LOL! Same here!


hehehe same here. Spend many a day and night, playing War in Europe in my 20's and most of SPI's games later as well.

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/16/2011 10:53:35 PM   
PeeDeeAitch


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If I remember right, one couldn't force march a security division (to have them keep up) and hope you got a "1" so they would kg into a 1-5 that could move faster and be rebuilt into a real division

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/16/2011 11:23:30 PM   
Aurelian

 

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I remember all those Soviet 1-4s who went poof if they failed.

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/17/2011 12:18:25 AM   
PeeDeeAitch


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4-4s were good (and even turned into battlegroups) but the 5-5 guards?  Heaven.  Two stacks of them could also have 3 10 strength artillery behind them and punish the Germans.

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/19/2011 6:03:51 PM   
findmeifyoucan

 

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Yes, I remember that game well (War in Europe by SPI). Blew away many simester's in college for that game. lol

No FOW in that game though so both sides new exactly where everything was. As the Germans I just loved to invade Turkey in the previous year and create a southern front for the Russian come turn of invasion through the Caucaus mountains!! Oh and of course take over all of Iran, Iraq, Suez and all of North Arfrica as I had a steady line of supply. No need to worry about Ampib transport points, hee, hee!! :-)

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/22/2011 8:58:53 AM   
sillyflower


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas


quote:

ORIGINAL: findmeifyoucan
As pointed out before yes you can temporarily motorize your infantry but it costs you. They are two completely different games. As I enjoyed that SPI games extensively in my 20's I expect to enjoy this game extensively in my 50's. lol :-)


LOL! Same here!


+1

A lot of us old fogeys around it seems.

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/22/2011 5:25:31 PM   
findmeifyoucan

 

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Yes, there are a bunch of us it seems. I sure did love those SS Panzer Divisions (13-10's)! The only one's that could overrun Russian 3's!!!! lol Hated the Russian Artillery as the German though. Nothing could stand up to them if you gave them time to setup. :-( Solution was retreat one hex per turn! :-)

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/22/2011 8:58:46 PM   
Zorch

 

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You might be interested in this: http://www.consimworld.com/tagged/featured
Every Friday they review an SPI game.

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/26/2011 3:42:55 AM   
Dietrich1941

 

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Look how many SPI people there are here! The solution for the Germans was building those mobile supply units and converting as many Infantry to 8-8 Pz Gren units. If you were doing production.

< Message edited by Dietrich1941 -- 3/26/2011 3:44:12 AM >

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/26/2011 7:23:49 AM   
buchand


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Followed Zorch's link to Comsim and pictures and talks of maps, counters, crt's etc took me back 40 years +. Do you think in 40 years tiem when youngsters are using virtual reality and embedded controllers etc they will go all gooey eyed looking at pictures of monitors and mouses [mice?] used for old fashioned wargames?

BTW all SPI monster games ruled and DNO was king!

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/30/2011 2:59:04 AM   
KGrob

 

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I like the idea of permitting infantry units to "force march" from one location to another. Marching is a big part of moving ground forces and marching fast is highly desired in some situations. A forced march is simply another option for ground movement as is moving infantry by truck, or rail, or by some other means.

As the O/P suggests, there should be a penalty however, perhaps higher attrition/loss of equipment or something similar.

I don't see the absence or presesnce of a forced march feature being a huge issue although it would be a nice addition IMO (few of the many features of this game are "huge issues" by themselves...but the totality of the features makes for an enjoyable game).

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/30/2011 3:00:26 AM   
KGrob

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: sillyflower


quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas


quote:

ORIGINAL: findmeifyoucan
As pointed out before yes you can temporarily motorize your infantry but it costs you. They are two completely different games. As I enjoyed that SPI games extensively in my 20's I expect to enjoy this game extensively in my 50's. lol :-)


LOL! Same here!


+1

A lot of us old fogeys around it seems.


Fifty? Bah! You guys are still wet behind the ears. :)

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/31/2011 3:33:55 PM   
marty_01

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: KGrob

I like the idea of permitting infantry units to "force march" from one location to another. Marching is a big part of moving ground forces and marching fast is highly desired in some situations. A forced march is simply another option for ground movement as is moving infantry by truck, or rail, or by some other means.

As the O/P suggests, there should be a penalty however, perhaps higher attrition/loss of equipment or something similar.

I don't see the absence or presesnce of a forced march feature being a huge issue although it would be a nice addition IMO (few of the many features of this game are "huge issues" by themselves...but the totality of the features makes for an enjoyable game).


You might find this snippet of interest. I scanned from one of David Glantz's works -- "The Initial Period of the War on the Eastern Front, 22 June -- August 1941". It's actually part of the Seminar Proceedings for the 4th Art of War Symposium and included in a paper written for the Symposium by Kenneth Macksey entitled: "The Smolensk Operation, 7 July - 7 August 1941". I highlighted the passage of interest in grey -- although there some additional context material that is of interest and included in the snippet.

http://img851.imageshack.us/f/germaninfantrymarchingr.jpg/

30-miles a day is about 48.3 kilometers/day. Close to 5-hexes a day in game terms. Assuming you maintained this rate for 5 days of the week, that would put an infantry divisions movement rate at about 24-hexes\turn. If this pace were maintained for 6-days of the weekly turn, it equates to an Infantry units movement rate being about 29-hexes\turn (etc.)

In-game movement rates for Axis Infantry Divisions early in the 1941 campaign are typically about 10 to 15 -- occasionally you see high morale units and Jaeger and Mountain divisions sporting a movement rate of 15 to 16. But these are not hexes\turn as I have indicated above. Moreover, an infantry division’s movement rate is halved when marching through enemy controlled or impending control hexes. In-game German infantry divisions in the crucial maneuver part of the 1941 campaign are really kind of hamstrung in terms of the amount of territory they can cover in a given turn -- at least when compared with a historical march rate of 48.3 kilometers/day. When moving through enemy controlled hexes and impending control a German Infantry unit is only covering about 50km/WEEK to 75Km/WEEK vs. the ~50Km/DAY cited in the Kenneth Macksey Paper.

Doubtless this is part of the reason we see German players complaining that that can't form proper pockets in game. The Axis mechanized units end up doing almost all of the work associated with pocket formation as well as trying to keep a pocket closed because Axis infantry is typically too far in the rear to provide additional oomph to pocket formation, maintaining pocket closure, and pocket destruction. At least this has been my game observations in head-to-head when the battle moves beyond the Polish-Russian frontier and into the hinterland.

Having said all this, and having done a bit of marching in the Army as well as a fair bit of hiking, I think it pretty safe to say that 48-kilometers a day is a lot of ground to cover on foot. Therefore I reckon the 48km/day has to be reflective of a short term forced march rate of movement. But I'd argue that being able to cover these sorts of distances in-game on a short term basis would put a rather different spin on a players in game capability and how they go about planning their big pushes.


< Message edited by marty_01 -- 3/31/2011 3:40:45 PM >

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/31/2011 4:48:15 PM   
Ridgeway

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: marty_01

quote:

ORIGINAL: KGrob

I like the idea of permitting infantry units to "force march" from one location to another. Marching is a big part of moving ground forces and marching fast is highly desired in some situations. A forced march is simply another option for ground movement as is moving infantry by truck, or rail, or by some other means.

As the O/P suggests, there should be a penalty however, perhaps higher attrition/loss of equipment or something similar.

I don't see the absence or presesnce of a forced march feature being a huge issue although it would be a nice addition IMO (few of the many features of this game are "huge issues" by themselves...but the totality of the features makes for an enjoyable game).


You might find this snippet of interest. I scanned from one of David Glantz's works -- "The Initial Period of the War on the Eastern Front, 22 June -- August 1941". It's actually part of the Seminar Proceedings for the 4th Art of War Symposium and included in a paper written for the Symposium by Kenneth Macksey entitled: "The Smolensk Operation, 7 July - 7 August 1941". I highlighted the passage of interest in grey -- although there some additional context material that is of interest and included in the snippet.

http://img851.imageshack.us/f/germaninfantrymarchingr.jpg/

30-miles a day is about 48.3 kilometers/day. Close to 5-hexes a day in game terms. Assuming you maintained this rate for 5 days of the week, that would put an infantry divisions movement rate at about 24-hexes\turn. If this pace were maintained for 6-days of the weekly turn, it equates to an Infantry units movement rate being about 29-hexes\turn (etc.)

In-game movement rates for Axis Infantry Divisions early in the 1941 campaign are typically about 10 to 15 -- occasionally you see high morale units and Jaeger and Mountain divisions sporting a movement rate of 15 to 16. But these are not hexes\turn as I have indicated above. Moreover, an infantry division’s movement rate is halved when marching through enemy controlled or impending control hexes. In-game German infantry divisions in the crucial maneuver part of the 1941 campaign are really kind of hamstrung in terms of the amount of territory they can cover in a given turn -- at least when compared with a historical march rate of 48.3 kilometers/day. When moving through enemy controlled hexes and impending control a German Infantry unit is only covering about 50km/WEEK to 75Km/WEEK vs. the ~50Km/DAY cited in the Kenneth Macksey Paper.

Doubtless this is part of the reason we see German players complaining that that can't form proper pockets in game. The Axis mechanized units end up doing almost all of the work associated with pocket formation as well as trying to keep a pocket closed because Axis infantry is typically too far in the rear to provide additional oomph to pocket formation, maintaining pocket closure, and pocket destruction. At least this has been my game observations in head-to-head when the battle moves beyond the Polish-Russian frontier and into the hinterland.

Having said all this, and having done a bit of marching in the Army as well as a fair bit of hiking, I think it pretty safe to say that 48-kilometers a day is a lot of ground to cover on foot. Therefore I reckon the 48km/day has to be reflective of a short term forced march rate of movement. But I'd argue that being able to cover these sorts of distances in-game on a short term basis would put a rather different spin on a players in game capability and how they go about planning their big pushes.



A major flaw in your analysis is that each hex equals 10 miles (not kms).

Moreover, I don't believe Macksey's figure of 30 mi/per day, except in very limited circumstances. First off, I don't think it is possible for men in full pack to march 30 miles per day for an extended period in the middle of a Russian July, especially when they are not marching from prepared position to prepared position. Second, even if the men could do it, they would not be moving as a combat ready force, because all of their logistics would be trailing far behind (as the article mentions). I actually think that the 16 mps that certain inf units get is pushing the envelope.

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/31/2011 5:13:38 PM   
KGrob

 

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Ya, I spent some time in the infantry when I was young (11B for the record). I carried a rifle and a pack and some beans and some bullets and we all shared in carrying things like crew served weapons, ammo for those weapons, and so on. I understand about the different paces for different situations...marching along a road is a lot different than going cross country.

We had a sort of "standard" march that we used to get from place to place...we moved some long distances...once we marched from Yakima Training Center to Fort Lewis Washington (Look that up on a map). But at times, we also moved more quickly for shorter periods of time.

I think adding the feature is doable. But, again, I don't see it as a big thing. It's very difficult for infantry to force march for long periods of time while carrying equipment. The attrition rate can be high.




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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 3/31/2011 6:37:40 PM   
marty_01

 

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ooohps . yup, the scale is miles not Km.

That would put the quoted Mackey figure -- in game terms -- at about 18-hexes per turn to 21-hexes per turn (180 to 210 miles per week) vs. the current in-game movement rates of for infantry fomrations of about 5 to 8-hexes per turn (50 to 80 miles per week) when marching through non-controlled hexes.

And to KGrob: Yup i know where Yakima is. I'm just down the road from Ft Lewis.

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 4/1/2011 2:28:27 AM   
marty_01

 

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quote:

US Army FM 21-18 (ARMY FIELD MANUAL 21-18), FOOT MARCHES

4-20. FORCED MARCHES

A normal foot march day is 8 hours, for a distance of 32 km at a rate of 4 kph. The maximum distances recommended for forced marches are: 56 km in 24 hours; 96 km in 48 hours; or 128 km in 72 hours. A forced march usually exceeds this distance by increasing the hours marched rather than by increasing the rate of march. However, sometimes the rate of march must be increased to adjust to the situation.
a. Although forced marches may impair the fighting effectiveness of a unit, urgent conditions on the battlefield could require them. Rest periods should be scheduled to avoid marching at the hottest time of day and to ensure the arrival of the unit in combat-ready condition. At this time, commanders should consider increasing the rate of march when soldiers are most rested.
b. Time for a forced march of 52 km (4 km less than the maximum recommended distance) should be scheduled as follows, assuming the march began at first light:


Assuming a three day forced march plus four days of marching at “normal” march rates puts the ground covered at the end of a week at:

128Km Forced March in three day + 4-days at 32km/day = 128 + (4x32) = 256km/week = ~153.6miles/Week.

The rate of Movement of a German Infantry Division in game when moving through Soviet Controlled or Contested Hexes is anywhere from 50 to 80miles/week. The in-game rates of movement of Infantry Divisions don’t look bad, until the enemy control or contested hex movement rate modifiers kick-in. I understand the game designers logic behind the increased movement costs for contested hexes. I just wonder if the costs are perhaps overly harsh?

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RE: What Ever Happened to Forced March - 4/1/2011 2:29:39 AM   
marty_01

 

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Some March Rate snippets from the American Civil War:

quote:

River boats, transports, and railroad trains were comparative luxuries to the average Yankee or Rebel soldier. Most of the time, he reached his objective on foot. The speed of marching infantry was controlled by the nature of the ground it crossed. On hard-topped Pennsylvania highways, troops could make 30 miles per day. Traveling under his own power, the infantry soldier was expected to average 16 to 20 miles per day under normal conditions, and be ready for battle when he got to his destination.

In crucial periods, troops hit the roads day after day with no protracted rest. During the Shenandoah Valley Campaign in 1862, Stonewall Jackson's "foot cavalry" marched the length of the valley five times in three months. In November, 1863, Sherman's men made 400 miles on foot and went into action the day after reaching their goal. Completely at the mercy of weather, Southern roads were often in miserable condition. Spring rains made rivers overflow their banks, flooding the already muddy highways.



< Message edited by marty_01 -- 4/1/2011 2:30:14 AM >

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