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Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 1:59:21 AM   
Peltonx


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Again I am looking for a debate on the over powered WiTe russian rail system based on data, math and some historicail FACT and not Russian fanboyism. Just facts pro and con.

I know I know fact over fiction its boring but its in the best interests of the game.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Stoat

Possibly this book might provide some analysis of the relative capabilities of the Deutsche Reichsbahn vs. the Soviet rail system:
http://www.amazon.com/Most-Valuable-Asset-Reich-1933-1945/dp/0807825743/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1318623082&sr=8-2

In game terms, analysis of this or other resources might provide the basis of an argument for a change in the relative value of Axis to Soviet rail capacity.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Stoat

Cool, thanks for the book feedback! This feldgrau.com article is a not-too-long, accessible read with interesting commentary on the DR but and also has a few things to say directly comparing it to the Soviet rail network:

http://www.feldgrau.com/dreichsbahn.html

What it does say about the Soviet rail network:

1) the primitiveness of the Soviet interior
2) Only three important industrial or urban centers contained a dense network of rail lines; the Donets industrial region, Leningrad and Moscow. Moscow was in fact a key hub; cut off Moscow and the entire Soviet rail network would be seriously crippled
3) Signals and rail safety efforts were primitive when compared to German or western European standards
4) Only the Kharkhov to Moscow double track line was placed onto a proper bed. The rest of the soviet rail network was placed onto sandy beds, or the ties were simply tapped lightly into the existing ground. The lower the engineering standard of the railway bed, the lower the amount of weight which could traverse same
5) Many of the existing railroad bridges of European Russia were in fact temporary structures... of no value for the heavier trains
6) Soviet coal was not of optimal quality (sic) locomotives even by Soviet standards
7) only 20% of all of Germany's "winterized" locomotives were operationally available in late 1941... Conversely, Soviet (and ex-Imperial Russian) locomotives seemed to be in their natural element during the winter months
8) The best year for the German rail system was during the summer of 1943... despite an increase in Soviet partisan activities in central Russia, German train schedules were affected very little... attributed to the extensive network the Germans had built up in Russia
9) Since taking the advice of an American railway engineer in the mid 1800's, the rail gauge of Czarist Russia and ... the Soviet Union, has been in the wide gauge. The theory being that an attacker would encounter more operational and supply problems if he were forced to convert a wider gauge rail line to "his" gauge (back in the mid 1800's, it was assumed that Germany was going to be the aggressor)
10) The 1938 Soviet five-year plan called for the Soviet rail line system to be expanded to approximately 62.000 miles (100.000km). For the most part, the Soviets were able meet their construction goals
11) As of 01 January 1943, 22.000 miles (35.000km) of the Soviet rail network were under German control
12) Although the Germans were able to "capture" large quantities of Soviet rolling stock and railway construction materials, the captured items were for the most part substandard in quality or antiquated
13) poor Soviet construction standards... Soviet rails were almost always sitting only on a bed of sand covered occasionally with rocks... the vast majority of the Soviet rail ties were made of untreated pine... their weight capacity fell way below German railway norms (38kg/m for Soviet lines vs. 49kg/m in Germany)
14) Soviet rail ties were also placed further apart than American and German norms... This too added to a lower overall transportation capacity of the Soviet rail line
15) Because of the Soviet rail line construction technique, Soviet cargo and weight capacities were often reduced way below the official allowances
16) larger Soviet trains could cover larger distances before they needed to re-water and re-coal. German trains, required more frequent servicing
17) Soviet Union, railway personnel ... (were) skilled and dedicated... they also knew how to mess things up for the Germans. However, once the Germans occupied a region, many "Soviet" railway experts stepped forward and willingly helped the German cause (stoat note: ahh Hee Wees, is there anything they can't do?)

--

I have to say, after reading this article, I'm starting to wonder whether the in-game Soviet rail cap shouldn't be about 1/5th the united Axis rail cap rather than about 5x as it is! Given the numerous deficiencies and shortcomings of the Soviet rail network, it's amazing they were able to pick up their heavy industry, lock stock & barrel, as easily as GGWitE shows they were able to do!

Of course these limitations do not seem to have affected their ability to transport lighter loads, e.g. to smartly deploy rifle divisions fresh off the unceasing Bolshevik conveyor belt from Central Asia, and it must be acknowledge that their purported ability to offer reliable service throughout the winter (when the Germans could not) was a great advantage.


1. No one can dispute that HVY is 100% broke and needs to be fixed. This alone is an exploit that all Russian players are gaming. We know (AAR's) that russian players are exploiting the crap out this issue.
This is a fact none can refute.

2. I had seen the number of 40% of Russian production was destroyed or captured by the Germans. This article from the BBC claims that 66% was destoryed. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/how_the_allies_won_01.shtml
or if you really want some fun numbers buy and read this bad boy. http://www.jstor.org/pss/151494

Ok we look at both numbers I only look at the arm production in the areas of German advances and we will call it 50% captured.

Thats 114 arm pts and I am not including Leningrad so from 45 arm pts to 74 arm pts or 67 arm pts at 50% destoryed.

We will not bother counting HVY becuse it 100% broken, as the German you can never take out enough Hvy to get below resources. Total lack of thinking that out on someones part.

In all the current 1.05 AAR's does anyone know of anyone getting close to historical levels?

I can advance far faster then historical in the north, center and south
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2920420&mpage=2

I am at Stalino turn 7 and I still have only bagged 28 arm pts. The advance is so fast because of the general running to east tactics russians now employe. Because they are exploiting the over rated rail sytem and the fact that HVY means NOTHING.

The evacuation of factorys is much much faster then historical.

These are the plain old simple facts backed up by data.

Its amazing how many fish one can catch with one worm.

Pelton

< Message edited by Pelton -- 10/15/2011 10:23:59 PM >
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RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 4:59:25 AM   
Aurelian

 

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http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/railroad-3.htm

From July to November 1941, some 1.5 million carloads of freight were moved eastward. The railroads also carried troops and military matériel from rear areas to the front. All of the operations were accomplished under threatened or actual enemy fire.

The second phase extended throughout most of 1943, when the Red Army slowly advanced against strong German resistance. The railroads coped with increasing demands for transportation services as industrial plants increased production. In addition, the Red Army relied heavily on the railroads to move personnel and supplies for major operations. Thus, during the first three months of the Kursk campaign (March to July 1943), three major rail lines averaged about 2,800 cars with military cargo per day, reaching a daily peak of 3,249 in May. Moreover, as the Soviet forces regained territories, military and civilian railroad construction teams restored and rebuilt trackage destroyed by the retreating enemy.

In the third phase, from early 1944 to the end of the war in May 1945, the Red Army rapidly extended the front westward, causing the distances between production facilities (in the Ural Mountains and Siberia) and military consumers to grow accordingly, thereby further straining railroad resources. The Red Army's Belorussian offensive, which was launched on June 23, 1944, required, during its buildup phase, 440,000 freight cars, or 65 percent of Soviet rolling stock. In early 1945, the Red Army pursued German forces into neighboring countries, requiring the railroads to cope with different track widths, which went from 1,520-millimeter-gauge track to 1,435-millimeter-gauge track in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, and eventually in Germany itself.

Despite the effort made to haul men and matériel to the front and to provide at least some service to the civilian sector, as well as to restore operations in war-damaged areas, the Soviet Union managed to build 6,700 kilometers of new lines during the war years. The new lines tapped areas rich in the mineral resources that were required for the war effort or shortened the distances between important economic regions. Of the 52,400 kilometers of Soviet main track roadway damaged during the war, 48,800 kilometers were restored by May 1945. About 166,000 freight cars were destroyed, and the number of locomotives decreased by about 1,000, although almost 2,000 were furnished by the United States as part of an agreement authorized by its Lend-Lease Law.

Hardly overrated. So just how did they manage to evacuate industries, bring up troops/supplies/equipment/whatnot?

Just because Germany couldn't doesn't mean the Soviets couldn't.

Oh sure, a book on German railways. No bias there.

Haven't we gone beyond German only sources?

http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/logbrowse.pl?trx=vx&list=h-war&month=0401&week=d&msg=p5LZZsWc0D0OkLZApkUkgw&user=&pw=


The Soviets had the lightest rails in the world - about 20kg/m and the worst ballast - about 80% dirt. The US had the heaviest rails -55 kg/m - and the best ballast - mostly crashed rock - therefore US locomotives were both more powerful and heavier. The Soviets were building modified US locomotive designs that were lighter and had more axles. Those that they received under the Lend Lease were the real thing and even though they had planned to increase their rail weight standard it's doubtful that they had gone far toward that goal by 1945.
(IOWs, they built engines to suit their railnet, not a railnet to suit the engines.)


http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=150435

The measure of the train size was a number of axles, not a number of cars. The standart train IIRC consisted of 120 axles, so for two-axles cars it had 60 cars and for more heavy - less. Of course, the length also depended on railroad capacity. Typical militray train consisted of 40-50 railway cars- I've got an an overall statistics somewhere. Regarding the number of train needed to transport a unit: in summer 1941 the standart number of trains per a rifle division was 33. For mechanized units the range of dispersion was higher (evidently due to different number of tanks and other combat vehicles) but the typical numbers were 40-45 for a tank division, 50 for a mechanized, 10 for a mechanized corps HQ and corps units and 20 for a rifle corps HQ and corps units. It seems reasonable that for war-time divisions of lighter organization with less motor transport, less horses and less artillery the number of requisite trains was smaller. For example, on 14 December 1941 A. Vaslievsky issued a directive wich demanded based on previous experience to pack units transferred by railway more densely, and to reduce the number of trains per a rifle division to 16, and per a cavalry division to 9.

The directive is under the above post on that site.

(Hmmm, cutting down trains needed for a RD from 33 to 16..... More trains to do other things.)

< Message edited by Aurelian -- 10/15/2011 5:21:01 AM >

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RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 5:41:08 AM   
Klydon


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Something that is also skewing the rail cap is a result of a game mechanic more than anything else, but it does have a big effect on the rail cap.

When Russian units show up in 1941 for the most part, the units are shells that take very, very little rail cap to ship a pile of units around, so the Russians can ship an army's worth of divsions (say 12) for less than 100 a division, while it might take 1500 to ship one regular strength division. The following turn, these units that are so cheap to move around, suddenly grow in size as they fill out during the replacement phase if they are on refit. None of that uses rail cap. So what happens is the Russians can move around 12 divisional shells around for less than the amount of rail cap that it takes to move 1 regular strength division.

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RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 10:11:17 AM   
Mehring

 

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Bear in mind that the German rail system had been under funded through the 1930s as it competed with the rearmament program for steel and other materials. It was seriously run down by the war's beginning, and pressing captured rolling stock and locomotives into service for Germany only created transportation problems in the occupied territories, seriously hampering, for example, the supply of coal to industries.

The war stretched the German rail system beyond the limit. It simply was not the shining example of abundance and efficiency some might like to believe.

The Feldgrau article points to an important aspect of the Russian rail net that the WitE map and logistics currently overlooks- the differentiation between single and double track routes. As long as the two are treated equally, in game supply throughput and troop movement for both sides will never approximate what was historically possible. Logistics, logistics, logistics.

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RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 2:00:32 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mehring
Logistics, logistics, logistics.


"I don't know what the hell this 'logistics' is that Marshall is always talking about, but I want some of it" Admiral Ernest J. King

So let's see if I well understood. Pelton, you don't have any data that proves this rail thing is overrated but still, you have concluded "it is overrated". No hypothesis. Simply a conclusion. Now that's funny.

And by the way, that extract you pasted is not telling us how many divisions could be sent to the front. You haven't proven anything. Mere generalizations.

Finally, if the Soviets could transport much more troops than the Germans it is not because the rail thing is overrated. It's simply because a) the Soviets had tons of strategic reserves (which, economically and militarily speaking means they were way too strong, a DANGEROUS enemy ) and b) Germans did NOT (therefore their invasion was adventurism). You might want to ask Adolph why he started a war he would never win in the first place... Oh yes, "we have only to kick in the front door and the whole rotten Russian edifice will come tumbling" and blah blah blah.

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RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 2:26:55 PM   
Peltonx


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HVY means nothing therefor making the hole system of production and railing out factorys over rated by 30% atleast.

This can be seen by any open minded person as broken part of the game, which is need of some TLC from the devs.

Finding open minded poeple is kinda hard around here.

There are only a handfull of German players that stand a small chance of getting any thing close to historical in production destoried vs any good Russian player. This in it self is allot of data on the AARs proving my point. Because of the broken hvy production system its a boring easy for any Red player to evac factorys and run east.

Data read a few AARs.

I can advance far far faster then historical, yet I can't even come close to historical in production destoyed, because HVY means nothing.

Pelton


< Message edited by Pelton -- 10/15/2011 2:31:20 PM >

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RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 2:30:36 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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The good thing is we have the Stalingrad counter-offensive. Why good? Because it was planned in september. It started in november. Therefore the Soviets had 2 months to rail their strategic reserves...

They massed minimum 1 million men. Let's take a theoric 8.000 men division. That makes 125 theoric divisions. We are talking about 8 turns in the game therefore 15 divisions can be railed per turn... This is NOT a maximum. This simply describes what happened in that part of the front...

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RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 2:31:45 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Pelton
3) Signals and rail safety efforts were primitive when compared to German or western European standards


Goodness! I imagine that rail safety deficiencies kept Stalin awake nights, someone could get hurt out there!

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RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 2:36:59 PM   
Peltonx


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If you read the start of the thread which I can tell you have not because your talking about troop movemens by rail which is not over rated.

Again be open minded and atleast read the thread before comenting on something no one is agreuing about.

The point is about production thats being railed as over rated.

Go back and read the opening post, lol Factorys not men.

Ok off to work.


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RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 2:41:08 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Pelton
This can be seen by any open minded person as broken part of the game, which is need of some TLC from the devs.

Finding open minded poeple is kinda hard around here.


Pelton, I am an open minded person. As I see it, nobody is perfect (developers included). But if you think they got it wrong you should provide historical concrete data. And er, I'm afraid you haven't






Attachment (1)

< Message edited by TulliusDetritus -- 10/15/2011 2:50:50 PM >


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RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 2:43:14 PM   
KenchiSulla


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Pelton

Finding open minded poeple is kinda hard around here.



Pelton, you are not open minded. You are just trying to push the game where YOU think it should be... Don't try to blame others for one of your own shortcomings...

Now back on topic, I have not the slightest idea where the soviet railcap should lay. It is far to abstracted for that. I do believe the following change would benefit the game

-Replacements going to units should put a strain on rail cap. This obviously should be a percentage based on amount of troops added for convience sake.
-Axis should get the same penalty on rail capacity.
-Player is able to reserve a certain amount of railcapacity for the coming turn possibly handicapping refitting of units.



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RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 2:46:19 PM   
Mehring

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cannonfodder


quote:

ORIGINAL: Pelton

Finding open minded poeple is kinda hard around here.



Pelton, you are not open minded. You are just trying to push the game where YOU think it should be... Don't try to blame others for one of your own shortcomings...

Now back on topic, I have not the slightest idea where the soviet railcap should lay. It is far to abstracted for that. I do believe the following change would benefit the game

-Replacements going to units should put a strain on rail cap. This obviously should be a percentage based on amount of troops added for convience sake.
-Axis should get the same penalty on rail capacity.
-Player is able to reserve a certain amount of railcapacity for the coming turn possibly handicapping refitting of units.

Good suggestions, I think. I'd add that supply movements should also tax the rail system, also each line, should have a weekly throughput cap based on whether it's single or double track.

< Message edited by Mehring -- 10/15/2011 2:54:56 PM >


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RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 2:48:53 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Pelton

The point is about production thats being railed as over rated.

Go back and read the opening post, lol Factorys not men.

Ok off to work.




My bad. Well, that's easier then! It is a fact that the Soviets managed to evacuate their industry. I guess you are trying to say that YOUR buildup spam should be much more rewarded . I get it now

Clausewitz would have a good laugh though. For sure... "There are x armament points in y, z and t. Boys, make sure you bag these points so that the evil red hordes don't get to Berlin in may 1945. That's all you need to know about Barbarossa..."

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RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 2:55:11 PM   
ComradeP

 

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Pelton, you're a zealot only believing in your own cause, you're not open minded.

-

Currently, the supply system is rather basic, although more detail is currently being added to it/some of the abstraction is removed. There's still a lengthy list of problems that would need to be fixed before it could be called detailed.

One of the problems is the lack of roads, which both makes movement generic, but also causes most of the supply burden to rely on railways and some trucks. Realistically, railways should (as a percentage) carry more of the supply burden than regular roads in areas with limited infrastructure, but the game treats hexes of the same terrain type equally. There is a link between distance from railheads, truck usage and supplies, but it could be far more detailed.

A problem I, personally, have with the idea of making significant changes to the supply system is that the player would also need to have control over it to a certain extent, which would add (a lot) more micromanagement to the game.

The supply system will obviously be improved for future titles, as with WitE's supply system, WitW would never work as the Allies wouldn't face the kind of supply shortages they faced historically because they could use their air armada to supply many of their troops with a reasonable amount of supplies each turn and the Germans wouldn't feel the impact of Allied air strikes against rail lines because such a thing isn't possible in the current engine.

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RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 3:07:43 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Pelton
I know I know fact over fiction its boring but its in the best interests of the game.


Frankly, I have no idea about, and little interest in determning Sov freight tonnage figures, etc.

But since the Sovs did in fact evacuate very much of their industry despite rapid German advances, I'm struggling to understand why you think it is so unrealistic for them to do so in the game?

As far as I can tell, you are really complaining that panzer raiding (itself a rather gamey tactic) is not more effective than it already is. Maybe instead we should conclude that the Germans could not realistically expect to cripple Sov industry, so should not be able to do so in the game?

< Message edited by 76mm -- 10/15/2011 3:13:14 PM >

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RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 3:20:11 PM   
Mehring

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP



One of the problems is the lack of roads
At which temple are you worshipped?

quote:

A problem I, personally, have with the idea of making significant changes to the supply system is that the player would also need to have control over it to a certain extent, which would add (a lot) more micromanagement to the game.


Interresting point which I've thought over a bit. Personally, as long as I can believe in the judgements of game design and their execution, I like the game removing a lot of player control over whether player decisions are implemented or not.

Example. Say players have control over where their supplies are sent and stockpiled. An interface could be built like the OB screen (or the OB screen could even be adapted for this logistics function) where the player allocates has war materials/supplies by % to HQs. If you start with senior HQ the default might be an even distrbution to subordinate HQs or one based upon current need, which the player could override if he wanted.

As I see it, he would have to pay attention to the transport net (which could be highlighted from supply source to receiving HQ, to look out for throughput bottlenecks. Once established, the game would then try to deliver the supplies ordered but would not necessarily succeed. A report could be generated each turn, to indicate the success or not of the supply effort and the stockpiling of supplies at HQs.

Once established, the supply effort could repeat every turn until altered by the player, or changes on the ground made them impossible. I'd find this a fascinating sub-game to the battlefield and although inattention to this function could be devastating to a player, if the interface were done well, I really can't see it would add much time to the game turn. When you consider the time that could be saved by streamlining things like SU and air unit assignment, the net culd be a more interesting yet managable game.




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RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 3:29:56 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

Frankly, I have no idea about, and little interest in determning Sov freight tonnage figures, etc.


Trainspotting!

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RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 3:50:54 PM   
Omat


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Hello

A Person who says that he or she wants an "open minded" discussion about a subject but pose a question or topic (here the subject or headline) as an (incontrovertible) factum (here: „Over rated Russian rail system“) is in my experience unteachable or interested in other details or opinions.

And what means “Russian fanboyism”?
Sound like a good phrase to silence other which not share that statement “Over rated Russian rail system“. Because when you says or give facts which not confirm than it is “Russian fanboyism”.

Reminds me on phrases which are used in totalitarian countries. Especially Soviet union. Like the word “counter-revolution”. Everybody who has not the opinion of the government is a counter-revolutionist.

When I read threads of him I do not get overall picture of a person who does not objectively and neutral address issues.

Omat

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cannonfodder


Pelton, you are not open minded. You are just trying to push the game where YOU think it should be...


< Message edited by Omat -- 10/15/2011 3:51:13 PM >


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RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 4:21:44 PM   
Flaviusx


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If we wanted to be realistic about this, we would also want to reflect the inability of the German converted rail lines to maintain supply at the front -- which was not merely a function of how far advanced the railhead was. The traffic borne by these lines in 1941 wasn't enough to meet requirements. So units had to sit tight and accumulate supplies even if they were within reach of the railheads in game terms.

Just saying.

Do we really want to open up this can of worms? The game logistics are, if anything, extremely forgiving of the side on the offensive. (This will equally be true for the Sovs later on in the war.)

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RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 4:28:51 PM   
Brandle

 

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This is the best thread ever. A crushing wave of information was fended off by concentric counter attacks of information. The whole thing devolved into little pockets of information that grappled for days.

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RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 4:34:53 PM   
wosung

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

If we wanted to be realistic about this, we would also want to reflect the inability of the German converted rail lines to maintain supply at the front -- which was not merely a function of how far advanced the railhead was. The traffic borne by these lines in 1941 wasn't enough to meet requirements. So units had to sit tight and accumulate supplies even if they were within reach of the railheads in game terms.

Just saying.

Do we really want to open up this can of worms? The game logistics are, if anything, extremely forgiving of the side on the offensive. (This will equally be true for the Sovs later on in the war.)



This.
Plus, RR bridge building over major rivers is to fast in WitE. This, again goes for both sides.

Regards

(in reply to Flaviusx)
Post #: 21
RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 4:35:29 PM   
wosung

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

If we wanted to be realistic about this, we would also want to reflect the inability of the German converted rail lines to maintain supply at the front -- which was not merely a function of how far advanced the railhead was. The traffic borne by these lines in 1941 wasn't enough to meet requirements. So units had to sit tight and accumulate supplies even if they were within reach of the railheads in game terms.

Just saying.

Do we really want to open up this can of worms? The game logistics are, if anything, extremely forgiving of the side on the offensive. (This will equally be true for the Sovs later on in the war.)



This.
Plus, RR bridge building over major rivers is to fast in WitE. This, again goes for both sides.

Regards

(in reply to Flaviusx)
Post #: 22
RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 4:43:41 PM   
Mehring

 

Posts: 2029
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quote:

A Person who says that he or she wants an "open minded" discussion about a subject but pose a question or topic (here the subject or headline) as an (incontrovertible) factum (here: „Over rated Russian rail system“) is in my experience unteachable or interested in other details or opinions.

And what means “Russian fanboyism”?
Sound like a good phrase to silence other which not share that statement “Over rated Russian rail system“. Because when you says or give facts which not confirm than it is “Russian fanboyism”.

Reminds me on phrases which are used in totalitarian countries. Especially Soviet union. Like the word “counter-revolution”. Everybody who has not the opinion of the government is a counter-revolutionist.


So the appeal to open mindedness conceals a closed mind? What if the ubiquitous condemnation of counterrevolution concealed.... counterrevolution?

Yes Flaviousx, let the can of worms be opened!

_____________________________

“The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.”
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Post #: 23
RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 5:04:58 PM   
Aurelian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Pelton

The point is about production thats being railed as over rated.


Based on what?

Certainly not on historical record.

(in reply to Peltonx)
Post #: 24
RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 5:11:33 PM   
Aurelian

 

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I can see it now. A new requirement of WiTE.

Ownership of Railroad Tycoon is required.

(in reply to Aurelian)
Post #: 25
RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 5:53:45 PM   
Stoat


Posts: 37
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From: Toronto, Canada
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Whoo, wake up late to find we've got a bit of a convo-sation going on this one! In the words of the immortal song,

"'Cause we got a great big convo'
Rockin' through the night
Yeah, we got a great big convo',
Ain't she a beautiful sight?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrdQnJR7tDw

Good times. Thanks to Pelton for promoting my musings to the bigtime & getting the ball rolling, & sorry again for taking his AAR off-topic.

Anyhoo, sittin' here drinkin' me coffee, yet again watching Pelton get gang-tackled by nine guys. Provided a few good lulz as always, & in particular props to Brandle - bazinga! Felt a bit giddy to have provoked such an overwhelming response (err, counterattack?) but know in fact it was the towering persona of Pelton that did so, not me.

The whole circus strikes me as archetypally representative of the Ostfront: one sick n' tired but still proudly defiant Landser, a veteran of countless campaigns, manning a vast problem space (err, frontage) alone, beset upon all sides by a Thick Brown Line, marching forward with arms linked, hurtling forth lusty salvos of "Urras" in his general direction.

Well, I hate to see a fellow getting mobbed before brunch (dang but you guys are up n' at it right early!), so even if my aim is not as true as his, & my words are not backed by the weight of many battles, as his are, at least let me stand with my Stammgenosse, feed his MG-42, & provide a bit of moral support.

I'm happy to do so, because I feel it is quite reasonable to advocate for game balance, and it is a good thing to work, even to struggle, to make the Best Wargame in the History of Mankind even better, rather than a base & dastardly thing.

Without trying to abstract the broad philosophical differences between this gun crew and, erm, the "Loyal Opposition"... wait a minute (quick head count)... oh, I guess _we're_ the "Loyal Opposition"... rats! Wutevz. Anyway, without going for the Grand Unified Theory at this juncture, to summarise the points since my last, there was some good info provided on the Soviet rail system (& thanks for taking the trouble to do this, interesting & appreciated), many trout-slaps o' Pelton upside the head (again, appreciated & some good lulz), but what I saw none of was any real comparison of Axis to Soviet rail capacity.

Now, I've failed to do this myself & have only asked the question, "is it right"? Hard to put a number on it - we should be clear that even if we have good numbers on capacity, the game only represents Rail Cap as certain uses of the rail net (namely the movement of formed units & of factories) and abstracts away all other very significant uses. Because of this, putting a fair number on rail caps must be very much more an art than a science.

I think what we can do is ask questions like, "when where the two rail nets stressed", "when did one or the other fail to perform adequately", and "do the current rail caps of the two sides model this reasonably well"? As to whether it is worthwhile to discuss rail cap, certainly those who are not interested in doing so need not. It may not be worthwhile discussing game changes that are so far-reaching, and so difficult to implement, that they never will be. But rail cap is something that has a significant impact on the early game, those Golden Weeks of which so strongly impact all that is to follow, and it is something that can be changed easily, by changing numerical values.

So, glad to see we're up n' at it, & away we go.

_____________________________

GGWitE = GröKAZ ("Greatest Wargame of All Time") - thx to GG, Company & Community for continuing to make it even better!

(in reply to Mehring)
Post #: 26
RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 6:05:51 PM   
heliodorus04


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Game Design: That's what I claim to understand. I'm not a historian.

I think what Pelton is drawing attention to is an oversight of game design in the context of what Soviet-side players know that Stalin and Stavka did not.

Now, before I get into what I see in terms of gameplay balance issues, I want to ask the War in the Pacific players how that title handled the sensitive subject that there's nothing the Japanese could have done historically that remotely kept them in contention with the United States (let alone China, the UK, etc.). I may not be a historian, but I think it's a foregone conclusion that all but the most contrarian temperament accepts: the Japanese had no chance at knocking the US out of the Pacific theater, ever.

Somehow people really enjoy playing the Japanese despite this, so what gameplay decisions were made that, despite their deviations from "HISTORY!" make the game an enjoyable endeavor for people who play the Empire of Japan.

Now on to gameplay in WitE:

The problem with the evacuation of rail is not in and of itself that Soviet rail capacity is too high, or necessarily that stuff costs too little to move. The problem is that hindsight shows Soviet players that all they need to worry about moving are the armament point factories.

(I've heard theory-craft that maybe letting all that heavy will have a negative consequence later, and we shall see, but I trust Soviet players who are now saying that Armament Points are the only imperative when in doubt).

Pelton has rightly (IMO) pointed out this problem with the production aspect of the game.

This is a problem with the game because if you reach a game situation where, no matter how well the Axis player plays, he's not able to unbalance the Red Army enough to slow its rate of growth (and that growth must be slowed such that in 1942-43, Soviet strength is not enough to start Bagration-like offensives before 1944), then you end up with German players who aren't enjoying the game because despite their best efforts (and Pelton has some great efforts out there), their achievements have no appreciable effect at obtaining them the 1945 victory.

I don't know if we're at the point where the production choke is so easily managed by the Soviet that it's pointless to play Germany, but if it reaches a point where it's pointless to play Germany, the only people left here will be the die-hards.

If GAMEPLAY is not well-balanced (I did not say 'easily' or 'equally') then one side does not have access to equal fun potential that the other side has; a game where both sides do not have equal fun potential is a game that many people are going to abandon.

There comes a point in game design where you have to be flexible with some history so that challenge and excitement remain in the game.

My attitude toward Pelton's entreaty is that he's identifying where challenge and excitement is too constricted around the Soviet production system. I don't think his proposed solutions are workable in this context, but I do see the need to make this part of the game more challenging and exciting in the game.

The game has already encoded gameplay changes geared toward adding challenge, including:
Not being able to put units in static in 1941 (arbitrary, no real basis in history, but good for the game)

Forts assuaging German blizzard casualties (limited basis in history, but not true to the general history of 1941, yet no restrictions in game to doing this theater-wide)

SEC brigades having an auto-disband check function added

These are little gameplay changes that were added to limit the ability to exploit things that PLAYERS know, but historical commanders would have thought were insane.

Right now in WitE, Soviet Players know the armaments chokepoint issue and are exploiting it. Whether their exploitation rises to the level that there's little to nothing (outside of insane raids and HQ buildup abuse) the German player can do to put a constraint on the Soviet production (i.e., the rate of growth of the Soviet army) remains in some doubt until sufficient data are gathered.

If it turns out to be the case that well-managed Soviet play means no constrictions regarding production (whether via armaments or heavy industry), will anyone think that it needs to be addressed?

< Message edited by heliodorus04 -- 10/15/2011 6:27:48 PM >


_____________________________

Spring 2018-Playing: Demyansk Shield: Frozen Fortress; Advanced Squad Leader,
Reading: Bonhoeffer
Rulebooks: ASL (always ASL), Holland'44, Demyansk Shield: Frozen Fortress

(in reply to Aurelian)
Post #: 27
RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 6:25:01 PM   
ComradeP

 

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Whether you feel the Soviets should face serious restrictions depend on whether you view the Soviet Union as, mostly, Eastern Europe+a large chunk of European Russia, or if you view it as the Soviet Union in its entirety.

Whether you feel the Axis logistics are overrated or underrated probably depends on whether you see the problems the logistics historically faced as organisational problems or actual problems of insufficient logistics.

Both sides face difficult problems, and we've seen in the last 10 months that fixing on thing is likely to break something else or at least screw up a particular balance.

With the removal of the odds modifier, we're seeing that players that did suffer serious losses as the Soviets are less capable of launching counterattacks in 1942-1943, which is good. The Soviet OOB numbers can still balloon in size, but German numbers can also increase rather seriously due to Hiwi's, at least until the maximum Hiwi percentages in support/labour squads are reached (this should be kept in mind: there's only room for an X amount of Hiwi's in the game, regardless of how many you have).

Logistics in the game are heavily abstracted, so you could ask for more detail, but for starters (to borrow an earlier statement) this isn't Railroad Tycoon (or 18 Wheels of Steel, for that matter) so there's both a limit to the amount of detail that can be added now, or can be added in general.

Also: we can't estimate or accurately predict what would've happened to Soviet morale or production if X or Y would've happened, we can only guestimate. It is impossible to have a factual discussion about whether X or Y would've done Z to the Axis or Soviet logistics for the rest of the war.

_____________________________

SSG tester
WitE Alpha tester
Panzer Corps Beta tester
Unity of Command scenario designer

(in reply to heliodorus04)
Post #: 28
RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 6:25:33 PM   
KenchiSulla


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Base production of arms, vehicles and supplies on swiftness of advance in 1941 and be done with it...

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AKA Cannonfodder

"It happened, therefore it can happen again: this is the core of what we have to say. It can happen, and it can happen everywhere.”
¯ Primo Levi, writer, holocaust survivo

(in reply to heliodorus04)
Post #: 29
RE: Over rated Russian rail system. - 10/15/2011 6:32:54 PM   
KenchiSulla


Posts: 2824
Joined: 10/22/2008
From: the Netherlands
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quote:

ORIGINAL: heliodorus04

Game Design: That's what I claim to understand. I'm not a historian.

I think what Pelton is drawing attention to is an oversight of game design in the context of what Soviet-side players know that Stalin and Stavka did not.

Now, before I get into what I see in terms of gameplay balance issues, I want to ask the War in the Pacific players how that title handled the sensitive subject that there's nothing the Japanese could have done historically that remotely kept them in contention with the United States (let alone China, the UK, etc.). I may not be a historian, but I think it's a foregone conclusion that all but the most contrarian temperament accepts: the Japanese had no chance at knocking the US out of the Pacific theater, ever.

Somehow people really enjoy playing the Japanese despite this, so what gameplay decisions were made that, despite their deviations from "HISTORY!" make the game an enjoyable endeavor for people who play the Empire of Japan.


There is not a single gameplay mechanic that will safe a good Japanese player from defeat vs an average Allied player.. the player has some lattitude to play with (hindsight, managing forms of production and pilot training programs) but ultimately cannot decide to build more carriers no matter the resources available to him..

In my opinion this should not be any different for WitE..

_____________________________

AKA Cannonfodder

"It happened, therefore it can happen again: this is the core of what we have to say. It can happen, and it can happen everywhere.”
¯ Primo Levi, writer, holocaust survivo

(in reply to heliodorus04)
Post #: 30
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