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Armored trains – an overlooked path to victory?

 
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Armored trains – an overlooked path to victory? - 12/23/2012 7:39:01 AM   
ulver

 

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Armored trains – an overlooked path to victory?

I’ve been wondering about the design decision behind armored trains and what they are supposed to represent. In reading AAR’s people seem to overlook what a fantastic unit it is.

No not for offensive combat – they suck at that, for static defense I mean. I know it sounds counterintuitive but that is what I use them for with amazing success, garrisoning cities and any part of static front containing railways.
The reason is of course the extremely low maintenance cost. They only cost 1 to maintain and are extremely cheap in manpower to build as well. So, much cheaper to maintain then even a garrison and much better defense factors – it just seem such a no-brainer to build heaps of them for holding quiet sectors with.

I realize the drawback include an inability to counterattack (unless enemy happens to occupy a railroad) and eventual obsolesce as infantry benefits from technology advances (although armored trains are an excellent reason for every nation that can build them have one research lab to the tank branch.)

Even so I routinely saving 10+ build point pr turn in maintenance by using them as static garrisons and wonder why no one else are doing it. Am I missing something?




In this example I save 5 BP pr turn on the Western front if we assume the alternative is using garrisons and the line is actually stronger defensively. Am I a military genius or overlooking some obvious fatal drawback?

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< Message edited by ulver -- 12/23/2012 7:49:39 AM >
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RE: Armored trains – an overlooked path to victory? - 12/23/2012 8:21:14 AM   
JJKettunen


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Unless there were fleets of armoured trains actually used in WWI, I'd say the whole unit is quite questionable.

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RE: Armored trains – an overlooked path to victory? - 12/23/2012 8:34:04 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Keke

Unless there were fleets of armoured trains actually used in WWI, I'd say the whole unit is quite questionable.
warspite1

Agreed. Something for the developers to look at perhaps?

Mind you, well done to ulver for really getting to the heart of the economics of the game

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RE: Armored trains – an overlooked path to victory? - 12/23/2012 10:44:13 AM   
Myrddraal

 

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quote:

eventual obsolesce

This is one of the key things about armoured trains. They're supposed to be a decent early war unit but without an upgrade path.

It looks very dodgy in your game, with several armoured trains holding the line. I'm watching your game with interest, if this tactic actually pays off, we'll have to do something to stop that exploit.

Perhaps an option would be to make it so armoured trains don't benefit from entrenchment - that way they'd still be decent units on mobile fronts, but not so good in the slightly gamey situation you're using them in.

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RE: Armored trains – an overlooked path to victory? - 12/23/2012 11:15:52 AM   
JJKettunen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Myrddraal
Perhaps an option would be to make it so armoured trains don't benefit from entrenchment - that way they'd still be decent units on mobile fronts, but not so good in the slightly gamey situation you're using them in.


Sounds a good quick solution to me.


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Jyri Kettunen

The eternal privilege of those who never act themselves: to interrogate, be dissatisfied, find fault.

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RE: Armored trains – an overlooked path to victory? - 12/23/2012 11:29:02 AM   
ulver

 

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I should warn you that I am a bit of an exploiter (of game mechanisms)

I our first game I disbanded the royal navy and used the proceeds to build a strategic bomber balloon fleet that had War spite’s Ruhr reduced to rubble by 1915. The navel fix help a lot but you should still look into placing limitation on strategic bombardment. My suggestion: The more damaged a city already is the less effect strategic bombardment has. That way your airship can easily reduce a city by 1-3 production but you don’t get to wipe out the Ruhr or Vienna by airship bombardment. In my other PBM game as the Entente I didn’t disband my fleet but absent house rules for strategic bombing fleet the Central powers have lost every city within range of French/Italian/British bombers down to 0 production points from air attacks It would make a great “Sky Captain and the world of tomorrow” type pulp action alternative-history-fantasy series but I doubt it would have worked that well in reality.

As regards armored trains I think my strategy has already worked – I have saved a fortune in every game I played. I would suggest a non-gamy alternative. That garrisons can be converted on-map to “Static garrisons” The effect is that upkeep is reduced to 1 but the unit can no longer move or attack. It can be converted back but that takes a turn. It would simulate reducing supply, cutting down on training, stripping mobility assets etc….

Would add another level of strategy.

Have you considered making the fog of war more opaque? So that you can only tell the status and strength of enemy units when you attack – either by land or air bombardment. Perhaps make air artillery coordination a factor so artillery is more effective against units that have been attacked (and revealed) by air units simulating the effects of air rec? Making it so we don’t always know the strength of the defender would make for more expensive pointless bloody assaults as happened historically.

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RE: Armored trains – an overlooked path to victory? - 12/23/2012 5:38:28 PM   
Bossy573


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I'll admit knowing very little about armored trains in WWI, but they seem out of scale in this game. MHO is they should be done away with completely, or perhaps merge them into an engineer unit of some sort.

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