MechFO, I have long preferred to tie NM to player influenced actions rather than arbitrarily dates. I agree that German NM should be tied to losses instead of dates as the decline of the German capability was driven by attrition. Having a driver for the Soviets is a bit stickier as their increasing capabilities came from learning from painful mistakes and the evolution of their doctrine. My theory is that as Soviet losses climb, so should their proficiency as making mistakes and failure is a critical part of learning and therefore, a key ingredient for improvement in performance. A Soviet Army that is focused on avoiding combat in 1941 with low losses should not see an automatic NM increase. The Soviet player should be encouraged to attack and we are seeing in the Alpha of WitE 2 that attacking Soviets are enacting a far greater toll on German forces in 1941.
To me, there is no skin in the game with the player because the victory objectives are purely player driven. There is no higher authority directing strategic objectives and therefore, no pressure or consequences for these strategic goals. The games play out like a giant sandbox without a lot of realistic constraints as both Germans and Soviets are free to abandon large swathes of territory with no real consequence. My dream WitE addition would be a Supreme Leader strategic objective assignment system. At a minimum, each Spring (say March), each Supreme Leader assigns a strategic objective to the northern, central and southern sector and could be a combination of attack and defend for a large city in each sector. Each player has no idea what the other player's objectives are and could lead to some interesting operational situations. Success and failure to achieve these goals would have concrete benefits and punishments. What those impacts are would be debatable but I think it would drive a much more dynamic and realistic game.
ORIGINAL: el hefe
National Morale is not just unit morale and the wording of the term doesn't explain it's impact. NM includes numerous factors such as base quality of troops and officers, efficiency of training programs as well as evolving doctrine.
I'm aware of that, which is why losses suffered IMO should be a prime modifier in any NM system, but I think assigning it to some geographical locations could still be used as a trailing indicator of general proficiency, while at the same time giving these locations such tangible benefits that both sides would do their very best to hang on to them as long as possible. Of course NM points shouldn't be scattered all over the map, or this the only modifier, but one of several.
Political considerations/morale etc considerations means a fight would be necessary to take f.e. Stalingrad. If it were taken, this is an indication the Soviets are deteriorating in relative quality since under no circumstances would it be ceded without them being overwhelmed. Remember, our perceptions of the 2 sides quality is heavily dependent on their success, and the currency of success is territorial gain and there is a reason both sides decided to duke it out there instead of another arbitrary geographical location, somewhere in the steps.
We would think less of a Wehrmacht that barely managed to take Kiev instead of standing in front of Moscow. More of one that is sitting in Stalingrad in 44 instead of running in the Ukraine. Of course, many influences, are being subsumed into this, but that's just how NM works.
The current NM already goes in this direction, except it is tied to arbitrary dates, and the values derived from our perception of how "good" they were. But those values are derived from where those frontlines were and how they moved.
The big advantage of having a geographical influence is also that we know who was where when, which, together with the date system, gives a certain baseline on what values should be assigned where. Ideally losses would be a further modifier which adds a further consideration that players must consider.
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