From: Cologne, Germany
First off, nice analyzis there, Phoenix.
Along with a few other users, I have been pointing out (since COTA), that such high numbers of supply vehicle losses, or losses of means of supplies in general, where the player has at least ONE clear and safe approach route for re-supplies, are not realistic.
Dave's quick-fix sounds very interesting, but does not fully take into account historical supply handling of the US Army (and most likely of the British Army as well).
While the British Army employed Machine Gun Bns to lay down long range interdiction fire on enemy supply routes (at ranges of up to 4000 meters), which turned out to be devastating for the Germans during Operation Varsity, for example, and while the Western Allies put up a massive effort on aerial recon, myriads of tactical air strikes and bombings to interdict German supply efforts, the Germans used small planes (Fieseler Storch), elevated observation posts, recon scout tanks and vehicles and matrix maps to be able to lay down artillery interdiction fire on the enemy.
As outlined in the Logistics and Marches sections of the "US Armored Force Field Manual" (I quoted details here: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3358681&mpage=1&key=%EF%BF%BD%29,#3359948 ), supply elements were to be escorted and alt supply routes were to be identified.
ORIGINAL: Armored Force Field Manual
Trains usually do not accompany the combat elements when combat is imminent but are held in rear areas under protection of its organic weapons. When trains accompany the columns they may follow without distance if protection is essential or they may advance by bounds. (2) Because of enemy reaction and weather conditions, supply routes may be different from the routes of advance of the combat elements. Alternate routes for trains are selected when possible."
Marches of armored elements were to be executed at night, according to the Field Manual: "Night marches will be used frequently when secrecy or surprise is desired and to avoid long range interdicting fires."
Most likely, in heavily contested areas and in situations displayed by Phoenix' screenshots, supply efforts would have been made at night, as well, if interdicting or direct fire could have hampered/reached supply vehicles even across rivers.
I totally agree that they should stop throwing away the transports like this if the route is too dangerous.
I would much rather no supply got through, and I had to send a relieving force through, or pull back to the depot, to get back in supply, than what happens now, which is for them to run out of Jeeps, and in short order the entire 1st Para Corps becomes useless for the rest of the scenario.
In order to make rendering of supply efforts historically more accurate and realistic, the player should have an option (a button) ...
- a) to halt all supply efforts for all selected units. The user could then re-enable re-supplies during the night, for example, in order to maintain a proper pool of supply vehicles. An enhancement would be a "Night only" button, which restricts the supply train to perform re-supply efforts at night only.
- b) 1) Another solution would be the implementation of a routine that would assess the risk level (and number of potential losses), and then halt re-supply efforts automatically, once the losses reached a certain level.
2) An enhancement of this approach would involve threshold buttons (like the losses/aggro settings) for the supply, where the player can set the level of acceptable supply train losses himself: Low - Medium/moderate - High.
Historically, the G-4 of a given unit would have evaluated the supply situation, and - if supply routes would have been contested/attacked/interdicted - would have taken countermeasures to rectify the supply situation.
Historically, several options were employed: strengthening escort forces, diverting combat forces to secure the approaches of the supply trains, suppressing enemy interdicting forces/fire by air or ground/artillery forces, or even halt all re-supplies on the ground and (if feasable) restrict re-supply efforts to air drops.
Again I think supply mechanic has crossed the boundary and went in a detailed direction..however I think this causes problems because it hasn't gone detailed enough.
That may be true. The supply system tries to pump in as many supplies as possible, no matter the costs, at least, which is neither historical, nor realistic.
A solution could be to render supply units as well (say as counters 1/4 or 1/8 of the size of a combat unit. This would give the game a whole new level of realism, as - historically - the operational commander (and not just a unit's G-4) had to cater for a proper supply system as well.
Rommel, for example, did not really care for supply planning and left the job to his subordinates, who were partially overstrained, as decisions in the supply department are also operational and "policy" decisions that have to be made by the operational commander.
Such solution would also open up a whole new bag of realism, where the player can actually see enemy supply trains and plan interdiction raids on supply routes.
On top of that, if the user wouldn't just have air strikes at his disposal, but also recon missions over and behind the front lines, the user could perform realistic and historically correct missions to bombard enemy supply bases (air strikes, artillery strikes), send raid forces to eliminate such bases, or to destroy and cut off the aforementioned supply vehicles. Individual units could also be sent to intercept/capture enemy supply vehicles and either add their cargo and vehicles to their stocks or destroy them.
While some may think that it would add to the need of micromanagement and cpu load, I am convinced that today's multi-core CPUs can handle it easily. The rendered supply units would be controlled by the AI (on "auto-cruise" and avoidance route settings), they would have light escort elements, and the user would be able to halt or redirect them, if necessary.
< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 9/7/2013 8:49:27 AM >
General Anthony McAuliffe
December 22nd, 1944
"I've always felt that the AA (Alied Assault engine) had the potential to be [....] big."
8th of August, 2006