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Some interesting research - 3/23/2011 2:42:26 AM   
Klydon


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So I was doing some thinking the other day (and EPA air quality alerts immediately started going off).

One of the basic things that Russians are told is to try to have a unit next to German mech units. This is supposed to keep their fatigue up and also cause them to potentially attack a unit right next to them right off the bat.

So me being the curious person that I am, I fire up the Road to Leningrad scenario (I wanted to play with the Riga stuff anyway) and select human for both sides. I played 3 turns as the Germans and 2 as the Russians. Elements of 41st Panzer corps are close to Pskov. My two test units were 6 Panzer and 36 Motor. Both are part of 41st Panzer and I was careful to have both the same distance from the HQ.

The first thing I did was to note the fatigue, number of ready elements, and number of damaged elements in each division at the end of the German move. Then I did end turn and let the Russian turn process with no units next to the two units. I did this 10 times and logged all the results. While statistically speaking, 10 times isn't a lot, I think it should get the job done in most cases. After that, I went through and parked a Russian infantry division next to each. (What I should have done was to have both German divisions closer together so I could stack a division that would be next to both of them, but oh well). Both Russian divisions were approximately the same strength, etc. I then ran the end of the turn and noted results 10 times.

I have some more testing to do (like what happens if Russian units launch crazy attacks) and will get back to that at some point, but wanted to sure my findings.

For 6 Panzer, they ended the turn with 75 fatigue, 1017 elements ready, and 125 elements damaged.
With no unit next to them, they were 39 fatigue, 1042 elements ready, and 67 elements damaged.
With a unit next to them, they were 40 fatigue, 1013 elements ready, and 80 elements damaged.

For 36 Motor, they ended the turn with 66 fatigue, 1082 elements ready, and 51 elements damaged
With no unit next to them, they were 39 fatigue, 1108 elements ready, and 33 elements damaged
With a unit next to them, they were 46 fatigue, 1099 elements ready, and 44 elements damaged.

Note; the total number of elements does change, so if you are looking why the math "doesn't look right" when looking at elements ready and elements damaged added together under a given condition not being the same as ready and damaged added together under different conditions, that is why.

Conclusions I see from this is fatigue is likely a crap shoot as far as forcing it higher by having a unit next to the enemy. However, clearly there is a change in ready elements and elements damaged. This makes sense to me from the low level attrition that the rules mention.

I will be looking to do some more research with my test subjects, including looking to see if having more units next to them is a bigger help (would expect to see more damaged elements and fewer ready elements) and also what are the effects of doing a hasty attack and a deliberate attack, even at suicidal odds, may do.
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RE: Some interesting research - 3/23/2011 4:56:32 AM   
76mm


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Interesting. To me the increased levels of fatigue and attrition are rather marginal, and it seems to me like it might make more sense to place Sov units one hex away from German units, so that the Germans have to pay to move into ZOC before they can attack (rather than attacking right away if they are adjacent). Does that make any sense?

(in reply to Klydon)
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RE: Some interesting research - 3/23/2011 5:02:27 AM   
Klydon


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Actually it does. What I try to do as a Russian is to step next to the Axis spearheads to recovert the hexes back to me and then step back.

Part of the reason I am doing this research/experiment is to try to get a feel for what really happens under several conditions.

Now while there is not appear to be a huge advantage yet, I do think if a Russian can park a unit next to several German units, then it becomes worth it because you are essentially getting more benefit out of that one unit in terms of what the effects are on his units. It also tells me that pocketed units should try to wind up next to enemy units in some cases.

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RE: Some interesting research - 3/23/2011 6:26:45 AM   
randallw

 

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Morale is supposed to figure in fatigue too; maybe experience and also supplies.....not sure about that, the manual doesn't give hard formulas for a lot of stuff. 

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RE: Some interesting research - 3/23/2011 9:38:59 AM   
color

 

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Interesting study.

Fatigue generated by being next to enemy units does not seem to make much of a difference.

What I think is more interesting is the # ready & damaged units.
I think more statistical data is needed for any conclusion, but the data seems to hint that being next to the german unit means:
- more damaged elements are destroyed instead of repaired
- less elements are ready at the beginning of next turn (additional damage from low level combat by being next to enemy)

As a conclusion what you gain is
- A german unit with a slightly lesser CV value for next turn combats.
- A german unit with more damaged elements that can be destroyed when moving.

I would said that seems to merit a consideration to keep some kind of 'sacrifical' force next to enemy.

There are also some additional factors that we are not bringing into the equation which does impact it, and that is # of replacements received during logistics phase, which seem to wary. That makes it harder to extract any conclusion about the size of losses inflicted by being next to the unit.


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RE: Some interesting research - 3/23/2011 12:10:21 PM   
ComradeP

 

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I park units next to enemy spearheads more so that they have to pay MP's to remove it than because I expect it to weaken them.

Having an enemy ZOC on the hex might have an effect on supply that's more noticeable than the effect on ground elements. I haven't checked that personally.

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RE: Some interesting research - 3/23/2011 1:00:14 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP

I park units next to enemy spearheads more so that they have to pay MP's to remove it than because I expect it to weaken them.


This is what I don't understand...assuming you have one unit to park on or near a German unit, wouldn't you be better off parking it one hex away? It it is parked adjacent, the German unit attacks and presumably routs it, and continues on its merry way. If you park you unit one hex away, the German unit can either bypass it (costing lost of MP) or overrun it, but to do that it has to pay to enter the ZoC and then more MP to attack it.

So if the fatigue/attrition are not signficant, why park a unit on top of German units?

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RE: Some interesting research - 3/23/2011 1:10:21 PM   
karonagames


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I think it would depend if the defence was a "Delay" or "Depth" type. In delay I would probably go one hex back for the reasons you outline, but with depth, I would have more than one unit for him to fight through so I would smother him with as many ZOCs as possible.

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RE: Some interesting research - 3/23/2011 1:30:22 PM   
Klydon


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I didn't include it with my original post, but in reference to ComradeP's observation on supply, I did check it most turns and did not see a real difference in terms of supplies being affected by having a unit next to my test units or not. 

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RE: Some interesting research - 3/23/2011 1:37:44 PM   
Tarhunnas


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Interesting research. I wouldn't have the patience to do it myself, but your results are interesting. Please keep it up and do the other variants you mentioned and post the results!

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RE: Some interesting research - 3/23/2011 5:25:19 PM   
ComradeP

 

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quote:

This is what I don't understand...assuming you have one unit to park on or near a German unit, wouldn't you be better off parking it one hex away? It it is parked adjacent, the German unit attacks and presumably routs it, and continues on its merry way. If you park you unit one hex away, the German unit can either bypass it (costing lost of MP) or overrun it, but to do that it has to pay to enter the ZoC and then more MP to attack it.


Of course, it depends on the presence or lack thereof of enemy infantry and the available terrain. With infantry around and few available units, I just form a checkerboard. With just the mobile units to worry about, I place units next to the spearheads. The Germans pay minimal MP's for entering enemy hexes, but they still pay fairly substantial MP's for moving from ZOC to ZOC, so there's more or less a guarantee that one of the mobile units will spend MP's to remove it.

In terms of MP's, there's no difference between parking a unit next to an enemy mobile unit, with the enemy unit attacking it and then moving a hex, or placing a unit one hex away from the nearest enemy unit, with the enemy unit having to move a hex first and then attacking.

If you can place a unit (with a regular defence behind them) on both flanks of an enemy mobile unit, you have what comes down to a guarantee that they'll be attacked because otherwise the ZOC to ZOC costs would be quite substantial.

_____________________________

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RE: Some interesting research - 3/23/2011 5:43:48 PM   
Q-Ball


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I would be interested in tests around supplies. Specifically, does narrowing the supply corridor to the Panzer Spearheads have a significant impact?

Theoretically, this should mean supplies moving through ZOCs, and spending more MPs to do so, but probably the Spearheads will remain in supply (unless completely cut-off of course).

It would also help to predict supply levels at certain points. The first couple turns the Panzers seem to run-off at-start stocks, but starting Turn 3 the tanks run dry, and mobility becomes a problem.

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RE: Some interesting research - 4/3/2011 5:45:26 AM   
Klydon


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Sorry to have not posted some more tests sooner.

In this edition, our test subjects are subjected to a Russian infantry unit running up to them and launching a "suicidal" hasty attack. A unit is left next to our test subjects. The test subjects were not hit with the same infantry unit, but their base CV is fairly close and both have crappy commanders. Air support was turned off and did not play a role in this test. Each test was run 10 times each.

6 Panzer: average of 38 fatigue, 996 ready units, and 82 damaged units.

Some other notes that go along with this test. The odds varied greatly from one combat to the next with a low of 1-9 to a high of 1-331 with a average of 1-124. Moral for the unit remained at 88 for 8 of the 10 attacks and went to 90 in the other two. Starting CV for 6 Panzer was 107 and for the infantry unit attacking, 13.

36 Motor: average of 45 fatigue, 1089 ready units, and 44 damaged units. 

Odds were also all over for this one as well with a low of 1-25 a high of 1-266 with an average of 1-130. Moral for the unit remained at 84 in all 10 attacks. Starting CV for 36 Motor was 82 and the infantry unit attacking, 10.

One final note on this particular series of tests: On hand ammo for both 6th Panzer and 36 Motor took a big nose dive. For the motorized division, Ammo was down almost 100 (started at 400, went to 304). For the Panzer division, it went from around 540 to around 400. I checked on the difference between having a unit next to them or not to see if there was much difference in terms of ammo or not and there was not. (couple points at best).

Based on this, I would say outside of the ammo expenditure, there is minimal gain for trying something like this, especially from a fatigue standpoint of view. In some cases, it could also backfire on the Russians by actually raising the moral of the unit being attacked, making it so that movement costs in enemy territory actually go down or giving it a further cushion so it doesn't drop down to having it cost more per hex in enemy territory.

More studies to come.

(in reply to Q-Ball)
Post #: 13
RE: Some interesting research - 4/3/2011 6:04:03 PM   
Klydon


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This version deals with deliberate attacks against our test subjects. I had to change up my attackers since the one infantry division I was using for hasty attacks against the 6th Panzer was not able to make a deliberate attack. Instead, I took the opportunity to attack with some commissars toting pistols instead (NKVD regiment). Actually, this is a perfect test as the point of the test is to see what effects a deliberate attack has on an opponent, no matter the odds.

For 6 Panzer: average of 38 fatigue, 999 ready units and 88 damaged units.

Odds varied from 1-43 to 1-162600. Average odds were 1-2660. Base CV was different from the hasty attacks at 114 CV before modification. Moral changes were 8 times it stayed at 88, once to 87 and once to 90. Attacking NKVD regiment's base CV was 5.

For 36 Motor: average of 37 fatigue, 1086 ready units, and 50 damaged units.

I think my small sample size hurt here since I had two cases of having very low fatigue (talking in the teens) in the 10 tries the test was run. These fatigue numbers were among the lowest in any of the tests I ran, so I think there were some hot dice involved, but they are presented as part of the report.

Odds varied from 1-7 to 1-86 with an average of 1-24. (Lot of the adjusted odds were in the mid teens). Again, the CV was different from the hasty attack with a 75 base. The infantry division making the attack was a 21 base CV (same division was a 10 base for the hasty attack test). Moral never changed from 84 for all 10 tests.

Ammo expenditure was way up for both units, even compared to the hasty attacks. (Motor division was often at 250 compared to 304 for the hasty compared to 400 for no attacks while the panzer division went to 358 compared to 400 for the hasty test compared to 540 for no attacks).

My guess from all this is that attacking does not increase fatigue for the most part (even with the lower value for the motor division for the deliberate attack), but there is a small increase in damaged units from being next to a unit, to making a hasty attack to making a deliberate attack. Ammo consumption also went up obviously.

For giggles, I subjected the motor division to 3 different hasty attacks and 3 deliberate attacks to see what would happen with the ammo. (Only did this once). Ammo was down to around 165 or so and it looked like the division drew extra ammo from the HQ.

(in reply to Klydon)
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