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Why don't the Germans take many losses in combat?

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Why don't the Germans take many losses in combat? - 3/3/2014 11:40:33 PM   


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Rookie question here. Playing the Soviets, I can badly maul Hungarian, Italian, or Rumanian units. But no victory against a German unit really accomplishes very much in the way of casualties, no matter how one-sided the battle is. For example, consider this:

Sure I knocked the Germans out of their nice level 3 fort, but they hardly took any casualties at all. The net effect of all this Soviet firepower is really not very impressive. Just not much bang for the buck. Does it get any better?

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RE: Why don't the Germans take many losses in combat? - 3/4/2014 1:41:49 AM   

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It does not get better. In some ways it gets worse...
Because the game combat resolution mechanics generates losses mainly from retreats and not from combat. There is little loss from the assault (absurd, agreed).

Also you are in the 41-42 time period of the game where the Soviets are not provided any method of fielding any combat worthy troops (because this game's design for that period is also completely absurd and flawed). This necessitates the Soviet to evacuate and abandon west Russia, avoiding combat where possible (also historically absurd).

The only thing you can do is hold your nose and retreat through the ridiculous 41-42 period and attempt to survive until 43, when you can assemble enough Corp level units to attack. This will still be a difficult proposition because the combat system favors the side with the higher morale. From 43 to 45, the game is supposed to reduce the German national morale base which would slowly increase the Russian relative national morale level. That rule apparently is bugged, as well, and not working.

Unfortunately, we will have to wait for WITE 2.0.

< Message edited by GamesaurusRex -- 3/4/2014 2:45:57 AM >

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RE: Why don't the Germans take many losses in combat? - 3/4/2014 2:44:22 AM   


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For clarity, in case anyone is interested, that attack was by 6 corps -- 2 rifle, 3 cavalry, 1 tank -- all guards, along with as much of an air attack as I can reasonably muster. My offensive strategy is simple brute force: assemble everyone I've got in the area and throw them into the attack. Note also that the German division did retreat, so its losses include those due to retreat and are still very light in my opinion.

Edit: hmmm, I just tried two more attacks, same turn, same area of the front, with similar odds (about 100-110K of my guys) and the results were much better -- approximately 17% and 12% enemy casualties as opposed to the measly 7% above. Maybe the high level fort protects against losses but not against retreat. Or maybe the attack I showed above was a lucky fluke for the Germans. Or maybe I don't know what I'm talking about.

< Message edited by jwolf -- 3/4/2014 3:58:48 AM >

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RE: Why don't the Germans take many losses in combat? - 3/4/2014 3:01:54 AM   

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Looks kinda accurate for July 42. Tank Corps wasn't much yet. Cavalry Corps have very little punch. You have only one artillery unit. Against a dug in German 42 infantry division. That 28 to 1 is very stupidly misleading. It's raw numbers. Doesn't mean much. Next time use more artillery. You did manage to push them back.

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RE: Why don't the Germans take many losses in combat? - 3/4/2014 3:09:21 AM   


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My understanding is that when a 'retreat' is called for, damaged elements in the unit make a roll against either experience or morale to avoid being more damaged (ie destroyed). I actually think this works well, the German army shows its very large advantage at the tactical level. Remember that disengaging while under pressure is probably the most difficult maneuver to carry out. What this mechanic shows is that overmatched units with high morale/experience can displace to the rear and still maintain cohesion. There are different types of retreats, from 'fall back and regroup' to 'run away!'

I also wonder if very high odds work a bit against the attacker. seeing that kind of red horde coming over the horizon, I would guess most defenders wouldn't stick around long. I am not sure what ends the ranged portion of resolution....

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RE: Why don't the Germans take many losses in combat? - 3/4/2014 5:50:32 AM   

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Yes, experience and morale matters when determining how many elements are lost during retreat, this gives advantage to the Germans (when the Soviets get strong in 43+ they usually don't have to retreat anymore). What is interesting is that retreat loss modifier from high odds is disabled (there was one, but it is turned off), so retreat losses are not dependant on whether you won 2:1 or 10:1.

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RE: Why don't the Germans take many losses in combat? - 3/4/2014 7:41:49 AM   


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Just to be clear, the loss ratio is actually massive in your favour. You lost 651 out of 114.494 men, that's 0,56%, 4 out of 1494 guns, that's 0,26% and 21 out of 233 tanks, that's 9%. In contrast the single German division lost 727 men, doesn't sound like very much, until you consider that it amounts to 6,9% of the German division's men, 10 times your ratio. Additionally 26 out of 147 guns were lost, 17,7% of the division's stock. And once German morale drops and the Soviet one increases the losses spike even more in your favour. Just fire up the 1943 or 1944 scenario and do a successful attack against one of the weaker German divisions. You'll discover that they'll lose 10, sometimes even 20% of their men while you lose something like 1% at best.

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RE: Why don't the Germans take many losses in combat? - 3/4/2014 12:56:36 PM   


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SigUp:  I definitely agree that the Soviets suffered very light losses in what presumably would have been a bloody, difficult assault in real life.  That's consistent with the overall theme of WITE in which attackers' losses seem to be too light.  So I'm not complaining about that part.  It just seemed to me that the German division got off rather lightly but the comments about how retreat losses are computed explained that pretty well.  Very interesting.  And I suppose that explains why it is so easy to cream a Rumanian division with cripplingly high casualties.  Or, for that matter, the fate of many Russian divisions in the opening blitz of summer 41.

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RE: Why don't the Germans take many losses in combat? - 3/4/2014 1:20:02 PM   

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don't claim to understand the triggers but its clear that morale plays a large role in retreat. A decent morale German unit will sometimes even not rout if it has to go back into a hex already fully stacked. On the other hand, I have seen outright routs from Rumanians if you hit them hard enough when you'd expect a retreat.

Its a neat way to represent organic cohesion and experience, as above up to 44, even battered, the German units had far more capacity to retain some sort of order than anything else in action in the war. The Soviets did (& of course they could) tended to rotate out of the line to allow units to recover.

SigUp is right about even losses being in your favour in the end. An indirect gain is it much harder to pull out German divisions to refit so they find it harder to replace their losses - even if the manpower is there. With the Soviets you just need to set up a sequence of move to rear (even just one hex), refit, move back in, which is why with the 18 CP armies I like to give each 3 hexes of frontage (at the most) when they are still mostly based around rifle divisions.


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RE: Why don't the Germans take many losses in combat? - 3/4/2014 2:36:51 PM   


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If you look at this you see what people don't want to accept. The russian's pay a cost for the 1:1 becomes 2:1 rule, they have a hardwired higher loss rate during an assault. You had 10:1 in men and guns and 233 tanks supporting an assault on a single, admittedly well entrenched division. In the real world that attack ends only one way. In the game if you had watched the attack what you would have seen is that the germans lost only 100-200 men and a few guns during the attack itself. It is hightly likely that what happened was an artillary duel followed by defensive fire (quite intense in this case) and then some fire by your lead elements. Then "something" happens, my feeling is it a morale check. The Germans failed it, the attack itself ends and they retreat. Your losses were from the defenders firing at you, their losses were largely from the retreat. It isn't as described in the manual where all units fire on both sides and then odds are calculated. The defender only takes some fire in the final assault phase and if "something happens" bugs out. I've seen that happen when the unit was fired on 1 time, admittedly this was some decidedly weak jäger regiment but regardless it bugged out the very first time it was shot at. This means the attacker has to suffer the full defensive fire while the defender suffers only the artillary duel, and the advancing fire (which in 41 the russians are not very capable of...better now with the higher morale levels meaning higher experience), and then only so much of the final fire as is needed to trigger the "something" then they suffer the retreat losses.

It is absolutely normal what you see. I attacked a security regiment with 1 tank division, 1 cavalry division, and 2 rifle divisions. The losses to me during that attack were equal to the losses the regiment suffered after the retreat; before that the losses were 3:1 in the favor of the security troops. I know damn well that not all my units attacked them as I was watching at high resolution and I never saw a tank weapon or a cavalry weapon fire before they retreated.

For the Russian's any attack you mount will cost you more men then the Germans, it means attacks that fail are devestating. Under the original rules for the blizard I stopped my attacks early because my losses were exceeding the Germans at that point. I've seen attacks on a Romanian division by 5 Russian divisions suffer even casualties or only slightly in favor of the Russians after accounting for retreat. I've attacked a cut off for 3 weeks in a blizard Panzer division with 12 Divisions and Brigades and the losses were even or somewhat in the German's favor...after being isolated for 2 weeks for crying out loud. I lost 3 tank brigades worth of tanks when hitting the remenants of the Romanian Pz division (eventually routing it) just because it got reinfoced by a flak battalion. Admittedly one time I saw an exhausted overextended German Motorized Division hit 3 dug in rifle divisions and it was painful to watch them get decimated. But it was the two failed assaults in the blizard I'll never forget, in real life there would have been a killing ground a mile across where battalion after battalion walked to their doom. It was heart wrenching to see the troops getting mowed down by machine gun and mortar fire. The Germans held under 2 assaults (this and another stubborn unit prevented me from accomplishing my intial encirclment) and this under the orginal blizard rules.

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