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The Fatal flaw in WitE

 
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The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 8:48:49 AM   
Hermann

 

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This is probably the greatest game system I've ever encountered, For flexibility, gameplay, graphics, ease of learning the list goes on... Excellent game beyond comparison.
However the game has one fatal flaw. For some reason the designers just don't seem to understand the difficulties involved in moving great masses of troops along an axis of advance and the critical role this played in the Russian campaign. A road, a bridge, a rail line all share one common quality: There is a finite limit to the number of troops that can cross a certain point in space. This is rapidly becoming an exploit. For the new buyer that invests a small fortune into this great game expecting a historical experience this can be a rude awakening. A divisional column can occupy 20 miles miles of road. Each division requires a logistics train, this in the german army was for the most part horse driven for the duration and for the Russian went from from horse to truck as Studebaker started stocking them up to the tune of half a million trucks. Russian roads were primitive and the movement of large bodies of troops along a single route was pretty much impossible. Raus and his 6th Panzer driving thru the swamps in AGN. Eicke's Totenkopf stuck in the Mud outside Kiev. The logjam at the Dnepr bridges. All have a great impact. Thers a growing group of players that have mastered the art of grouping 2 panzerkorps in the north at Leningrad and 2 more in the south pretty much ignoring the center. they simply pocket the massively outgunned soviets over and over until there are no more defenders then walk the map. The reason this wasn't done historically is that they couldn't concentrate that much force on a single line of advance. Until this issue is resolved the games going to continue to decline steadily as more and more players learn to use this demi-exploit and use it to crush new players till there aren't any left. This is a computer game designed and updated by some of the brightest minds in the industry you've got to learn the differences in main and secondary, single and double track rail lines, Dirt, gravel and paved road surfaces and the basic load capacity of a hex. Simply said until hexes are given a max load per turn the games going to continue to decline in playability
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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 8:59:56 AM   
SigUp

 

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Sounds too complex to program and the system requirement for calculating all this for that gigantic number of hexes will be very high. Just abstract it by ramping up logistics similar to what's the case with WitW. If you can't supply all those units on a single axis adequately and have them running around at half CV then nobody will bother with forming those super-blobs. Problem solved.

(in reply to Hermann)
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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 9:01:33 AM   
morvael


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IGoYouGo models will never be perfect to represent reality. It's something disturbing in moving one side while the other sits and does nothing. This is especially visible if turn represents a long time and movement ranges are high. However your problem can be solved in such engine, and I think WitW (and thus WitE 2.0) already has partial solution in combat generating extra MP cost to cross a hex. I see no problem with extending this so that moving units would generate extra MP cost to cross a hex for units moving through the same hex. This should be tied to unit load cost and number of trucks. The only problem I see is that it would require changing MP model not to use integer numbers in a low range (8-16 for a foot unit) and switch either to big integers or decimal precision numbers. Sometimes it's hard to justify an increase from 1 MP to 2 MP (100% increase), on the other hand no increase at all is not realistic as well. It's better to be able to say move would cost 1.25 or 1.50 MP. It's certainly doable, but that's not my call in case of WitE 2.0.

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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 10:03:48 AM   
Hermann

 

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its very simple to design and implement within the context of the game. There are Units already present. Theres a high command unit. Army Groups are an Administrative HQ that relies on a system of depots. These Depots supply the Armies. The Army is also an Administrative HQ But actually contains Supply dumps - this is already modeled into the game system. Heres where the designers went wrong. A corps is a command and control HQ absolutely out of the administrative network. Supply flows directly from Army to division. All one needs to do is to provide limits on capacity for the dumps. For example if the AGN supply dump has a historical capacity of 5 days supply for 30 divisions and each division has roughly 3 days supply on hand the numbers flow. as the dumps are depleted they are refilled by the army group. By placing limits on the army groups you can mirror supply problems. For example when AGC tried to supply 3 panzergroups during the Moscow offensive they failed miserably.

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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 10:06:59 AM   
Hermann

 

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By limting the distance supply can be moved from depot to depot and controlling the number of Depots you prevent massing of huge forces at any one point.

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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 10:15:46 AM   
morvael


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This I believe is solved by the new logistical model in WitW, and indirectly it will prevent massing a lot of troops in a single area, so you don't have to worry about that issue. Yes, supply model in WitE 1.0 is lacking a few crucial elements, like limited throughput of rail lines.

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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 12:48:19 PM   
richter53


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Good points. I figured WITE incorporated the delays you mention by holding up unit movement or reducing movement for crossing rivers.
The examples of movement you gave were especially acute in retreat too. Maybe worse, with retreating units being under constant fire and bombardment. I never thought about beginning the Axis turn with 3-4 PZA attacking north and 1 & 2 PZA attacking in south. However, I have transferred 1 PZA to the center to fight with 2 & 3 PZA in center. I'm banking that other players won't read your post so I can incorporate your "demi-exploit" strategy against them. However, I will try it against the AI before I commit to it, but I could see where it would have a great impact on the game. It seems though a skilled defensive Russian player could apply a "demi-defense' strategy to delay Axis momentum.

_____________________________

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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 4:20:33 PM   
HardLuckYetAgain


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Yes, War in the West has combat delayed movement (section 14.1.5(plus best darn Game Manual ever for a game!!!!)). Highly suggest to all that if don't have War in the West to pick it up since a great deal of incorporation will be the implemented into the new WitE 2.0 (my guess and reading the forums).

Personally what gets me is the stacking of a hex. I can put 3 regiments in a hex or 3 Corps..... Or shouldn't you have something like, "total for a hex is 6 stacking points and each counter is weighed per size of unit. Thus a regiment could be .5 point, division 2, etc.". Not to mention that HQ's should stack for free. I don't know all of the programming idiosyncrasies but always made me scratch my head on the stacking rules of the game. :)
quote:

ORIGINAL: morvael

This I believe is solved by the new logistical model in WitW, and indirectly it will prevent massing a lot of troops in a single area, so you don't have to worry about that issue. Yes, supply model in WitE 1.0 is lacking a few crucial elements, like limited throughput of rail lines.


(in reply to morvael)
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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 7:33:12 PM   
Hermann

 

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That's true to a point Richter. Heres the deal. Start with the Lvov Pocket that takes out 30% of the Russian southern front. By bringing down most of Pzgrp 2 you close the pocket at Kowel and take out the majority of Russian troops in that region. That's roughly 20% more, now the Russian has lost 50% of his troops before turn 1 ( delay taking the pows by surrounding them with regiments and weak security and minore troops means the Russians wont get em back for 4 turns more ) then send the tanks south to take out the Russian defenses along the Romanian front in turn 2. Due to morale restrictions Russian movement is limited turn and they simply cant get away that's another 25% so by the end of turn 2 they've lost 75% of their troops. They have to try to delay the Dnepr crossings now with a force of approximately 25% of strength. A handy HQ buildup at the end of turn 2 and anything west of the river is pocketed. that leaves the Russians about 10% of their starting troops to attempt to defend the river - Up and over by turn 4. You rush Kharkov to take out the facts by bumping the city then turn south for stalino - the Russians stuck with the choice of bringing forward half trained troops to be pocketed - 6 or 8 divisions every turn add up till theres no longer a defense. its a a mathematical certainty. a line of infantry along the upper Dnepr can slowly advance as the rusians move troops to the threatened flank. leave a corps at Vitebsk. Same situation in AGN. A series of pockets to reduce the front - theres nothing in june 41 that can stand up to or run from 2 panzer armies at close quarters and a delay to fort the Leningrad defenses fails. remember the goal is to pocket not take ground don't get greedy just 6 or 8 at a time.its inevetible. the new air rules make bombing the Leningrad ports a certainty. Building AA units on the port wont stop it and regardless of any defensive effort Leningrad can no longer be held. too easy to put em out of supply by air now. Move the majority of the agn armor south thru velikye luki now it the centers turn - theyre so weak after defending the wings you can pocket the whole Smolensk group - send a corps south to gomel and the fronts broken. Its mathematical. Key here is trying to limit the ability of the german player ( at least during the intial invasion turns ) to transfer forces in this manner. the germans spent years building infrastructure and dumps to support the initial advance at basic needs and even this effort was barely sufficient - supply broke down almost immediately. Also add the fact that german units used a massive variant of civilian and captured transpot that broke down constantly and simply couldn't be repaired. Rail lines were maxed out sending the basic supply requirements forward so rail transport during the initial invasion at those levels would've maxed the system and attrition would've totally disorganized the units. it was well into the Russian war before transport was stabilized. Look at the disastrous operation Buffalo as an example.
When you have a game that's so tilted in the german favor during the initial 3 turns its an exploit to take advantage of that to move overwhelming force against a comatose enemy. The games becoming a classic example of date rape. Remember these games are a huge investment in time and energy and both players need to enjoy it to make it successful. when major playeability issues like this pop up they need to be addressed.Each panzer group was attached to an army during the intial invasion and drew supply from the Army in question moving it to another army for supply purposes without paying a prohibitive command point cost is ridiculous. Massive supply penalties that effectively disrupt units transferred in this manner and huge command costs to make the transfers difficult in the first turns would balance things or at least make it so only 1 panzer group per turn could be transferred allowing the Russians a chance to defend one or another area.

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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 7:42:13 PM   
Hermann

 

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No criticism of you or your play style - enjoyed our game immensely and would love to play you again Ive never been beat so badly in my life and it was great. I had to quit when it was hopeless.. Great game and the post wasn't about you. the strategy can be beat if its caught in time - you got me unawares I think if hadn't screwed up and hit send instead of save mid october I could've played it out. those 40 divisions crushed me and it cost me Voronezh and all my sturmoviks. Took the entire winter to get my army up to 60% and losing 50 divisions in 2 turns first thing in march was just to much to bear. good work, brilliant play.

(in reply to HardLuckYetAgain)
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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 7:45:59 PM   
Hermann

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hermann

No criticism of you or your play style - enjoyed our game immensely and would love to play you again Ive never been beat so badly in my life and it was great. I had to quit when it was hopeless.. Great game and the post wasn't about you. the strategy can be beat if its caught in time - you got me unawares I think if hadn't screwed up and hit send instead of save mid october I could've played it out. those 40 divisions crushed me and it cost me Voronezh and all my sturmoviks. Took the entire winter to get my army up to 60% and losing 50 divisions in 2 turns first thing in march was just to much to bear. good work, brilliant play.


Lost 200 divisions Moscow, Leningrad, Voronezh, the entire Donbas before November 41. Rostov and 20 divisions before the blizzard. Couldn't attack cus my new army was at 30% during the blizzard and 50 more divisions immediately after the blizzard. yipe.

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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 7:52:58 PM   
Hermann

 

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Now another interesting add would be the defenses against overwhelming numbers - im all for, reduced casualties im all for it. but I feel that a group of 10000 fighting 100000 even if successful. should pay a supply cost that's equal to the attacking force. it would slow the enemy down and give the Russians a reason to attack more frequently an unsuccessful attack should at least delay an enemy and supply consumption is the answer.

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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 8:16:34 PM   
charlie0311

 

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Hi Hermann,

I have shared your "joy", really agony, a few times.

At present there is a test game going with all the latest. Sov is the very best, he can introduce himself, or somebody else, Pelton maybe when he comes back. Axis player is one of the original alpha testers, does Lvov "max" super max really, takes out 16th army as well as the other more routine stuff.

You have defined well the sov problems, I think there is an answer.

Tell now, or more fun to figure it out yourself??

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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 8:21:25 PM   
No idea

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: morvael

This I believe is solved by the new logistical model in WitW, and indirectly it will prevent massing a lot of troops in a single area, so you don't have to worry about that issue. Yes, supply model in WitE 1.0 is lacking a few crucial elements, like limited throughput of rail lines.


Yes. throughput is a concept that should have made it into WITE. Another should be some kind of supply cost per hex that supplies must travel to a given unit, although this at least made it into the game in an indirect way (the farther your troops from the supply point the more trucks you will have to "pay" to supply that unit.

(in reply to morvael)
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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 8:28:34 PM   
RedLancer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: No idea


quote:

ORIGINAL: morvael

This I believe is solved by the new logistical model in WitW, and indirectly it will prevent massing a lot of troops in a single area, so you don't have to worry about that issue. Yes, supply model in WitE 1.0 is lacking a few crucial elements, like limited throughput of rail lines.


Yes. throughput is a concept that should have made it into WITE. Another should be some kind of supply cost per hex that supplies must travel to a given unit, although this at least made it into the game in an indirect way (the farther your troops from the supply point the more trucks you will have to "pay" to supply that unit.



I'm pretty sure that the reason it wasn't added was the ability of computers to handle the calculations. By WitW systems were powerful enough but Pavel has already streamlined the logistics code further to speed things up.

_____________________________

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WitE & WitW Dev

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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 8:28:59 PM   
No idea

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: HardLuckYetAgain

Yes, War in the West has combat delayed movement (section 14.1.5(plus best darn Game Manual ever for a game!!!!)). Highly suggest to all that if don't have War in the West to pick it up since a great deal of incorporation will be the implemented into the new WitE 2.0 (my guess and reading the forums).

Personally what gets me is the stacking of a hex. I can put 3 regiments in a hex or 3 Corps..... Or shouldn't you have something like, "total for a hex is 6 stacking points and each counter is weighed per size of unit. Thus a regiment could be .5 point, division 2, etc.". Not to mention that HQ's should stack for free. I don't know all of the programming idiosyncrasies but always made me scratch my head on the stacking rules of the game. :)
quote:

ORIGINAL: morvael

This I believe is solved by the new logistical model in WitW, and indirectly it will prevent massing a lot of troops in a single area, so you don't have to worry about that issue. Yes, supply model in WitE 1.0 is lacking a few crucial elements, like limited throughput of rail lines.


I agree the stacking limits are completely ridiculous as they exist now, but either you leave them as they are now or you should rethink all the cv values. The only way for soviets to get an edge is massing corps. If soviet player cant mass more troops per hex than the german player then there would be nothing he can do.

(in reply to HardLuckYetAgain)
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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 9:12:37 PM   
Hermann

 

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I just figured out the problem. In June 1941 Panzergruppes were just that. They functioned as command and control Headquarters just like corps and were reliant on armies for supply. It was in 1942 they were reorganized as armies and functioned as administrative units responsible for their own supply - That's why theres such a huge imbalance in the opening turns of WiTe. Panzergruppes in WiTe are treated as Armies and this gives the Germans a huge advantage in moving them about. Linking them to Armies forces them to draw supply from armies meaning they cant jump around the map. That's something the designers MUST address

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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 9:16:44 PM   
morvael


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I think only one Panzergruppe was nominally under an army, others were under army groups. But what were the realities of resupply I don't know. There was only one Grosstransportraum per Army Group (and 1-2 rail lines) so all armies and panzer groups had to share one pipeline.

< Message edited by morvael -- 2/23/2016 9:17:05 PM >

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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 9:22:48 PM   
RedLancer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hermann

I just figured out the problem. In June 1941 Panzergruppes were just that. They functioned as command and control Headquarters just like corps and were reliant on armies for supply. It was in 1942 they were reorganized as armies and functioned as administrative units responsible for their own supply - That's why theres such a huge imbalance in the opening turns of WiTe. Panzergruppes in WiTe are treated as Armies and this gives the Germans a huge advantage in moving them about. Linking them to Armies forces them to draw supply from armies meaning they cant jump around the map. That's something the designers MUST address


It has been - logistic supply in WitE2.0 (and WitW) flows through depots and not HQs. Depot capacity is governed by railyard size. All supply movement to depots and units is tracked in tons.

_____________________________

John
WitE2 Asst Producer
WitE & WitW Dev

(in reply to Hermann)
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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 10:19:37 PM   
SigUp

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hermann

I just figured out the problem. In June 1941 Panzergruppes were just that. They functioned as command and control Headquarters just like corps and were reliant on armies for supply. It was in 1942 they were reorganized as armies and functioned as administrative units responsible for their own supply - That's why theres such a huge imbalance in the opening turns of WiTe. Panzergruppes in WiTe are treated as Armies and this gives the Germans a huge advantage in moving them about. Linking them to Armies forces them to draw supply from armies meaning they cant jump around the map. That's something the designers MUST address

That's not correct. Only Panzergruppe 2 and 3 were subordinated to armies at the beginning of Barbarossa (under 4th and 9th Army) to enable better coordination for the border battles. After they penetrated into the rear they were released and operated directly under the army group. In July 1941 there was an attempt to unify the command of those two Panzergruppen again under command of von Kluge's 4th Army for the Smolensk battle, however, that attempt was quickly dropped as it proved to be too much to handle.

Panzergruppe 2 was redesignated to 2. Panzerarmee on 6th October 1941, with Panzergruppe 1 following up on 25th October. And on 1st January the remaining two Panzergruppen were redesignated armies. There was no reorganisation like in your claim.

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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 10:37:03 PM   
Hermann

 

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Yes but did you check into the function of the panzergruppes ? And yes they were ALL attached to armies. The attachment was twofold. The army group gave orders. But the Army provided supply - remember the panzergroup had no independent logistical organization

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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 10:39:04 PM   
Hermann

 

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My point here is that there are 4 logistic headquarters in Wite that provide a massive advantage to the german that simply don't exist. The panzergroups were attached to the armies admistratively for the supply umbilical not for command and control like the corps. Corps add even more imbalance by being allotted depot status for HQ buildup etc... corps were not part of the supply chain.

< Message edited by Hermann -- 2/23/2016 10:43:36 PM >

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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 10:43:42 PM   
No idea

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hermann

I just figured out the problem. In June 1941 Panzergruppes were just that. They functioned as command and control Headquarters just like corps and were reliant on armies for supply. It was in 1942 they were reorganized as armies and functioned as administrative units responsible for their own supply - That's why theres such a huge imbalance in the opening turns of WiTe. Panzergruppes in WiTe are treated as Armies and this gives the Germans a huge advantage in moving them about. Linking them to Armies forces them to draw supply from armies meaning they cant jump around the map. That's something the designers MUST address


Panzergruppes were called Panzerarmees in October 1941. It was the Panzerkorps name the one that was introduced in 1942, March, to be more precise. Before they were just called like any other Armeekorps but with "mot." (Indicating motorised).

Organically speaking the change from panzergruppes to panzerarmees was more aesthetic than anything else, as the panzergruppes already worked as independent armies, although they were formally attached to one. Renaming them as Panzerarmees simply was a way of recognizing the coming of age of Panzergruppes.

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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/23/2016 11:03:08 PM   
Hermann

 

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youre totally wrong the change was dramatic remember that to supply 150,000 men you need an enormous logistic organization - the panzergroups simply piggybacked armies. look at all the oobs available. they didn't have depots. simply command and control. the panzer armies DID have the entire logistic networks - that was mainly due to limited rail lines and a shortage of motor vehicles and drivers. Slaving the panzergroups to the armies logistically is huge and an excellent way to break the imbalance. easy to code in and test.

< Message edited by Hermann -- 2/23/2016 11:05:29 PM >

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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/24/2016 12:19:15 AM   
SigUp

 

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If you have sources to back up your claim, then show them, I'd be very interested. But frankly, Panzergruppen did possess their Nachschubführer organisations with supply columns, parks etc. etc. Here's an example of the service troop organisation of Panzergruppe 3 on 22nd June 1941:

http://www.niehorster.org/011_germany/41-oob/ag-mitte/army_pz3_support.html

They were far from simple corps-like c&c structures. Otherwise, how could they have led operations like the ones by Panzergruppe 1/2 in August-September 1941 when they were all over the place? Also, everywhere the restructuring of Panzergruppe into Panzerarmee is talked about as redesignation. And frankly, it's logical, how could they have - as you claim - added an enourmous organisation on the fly while in the midst of big combat operations? Remember, Panzergruppen 1/2 were redesignated armies in October 41, the other two on 1st January 1942.


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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/24/2016 1:22:18 AM   
Hermann

 

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My information comes from multiple sources. The Reichs greatest resource vol.1 and 2, the german army Handbook, Germany at war vols IV, VIa and VIb for instance. The Panzergroups had transport units. Yes because its the responsibility of the panzergroup or the corps to TRANSPORT its own supplies from army dumps to the divisional dumps or railheads. That's why the corps was formed consolidating transport to feed multiple divisions rather than than having the divisions provide transport clear back to army. the division was required to move it from the Railhead to its units, so the sequence goes factory/acceptance depot/ OKW strategic depot/Army depot/Railhead.

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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/24/2016 8:23:53 AM   
No idea

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: SigUp


And frankly, it's logical, how could they have - as you claim - added an enourmous organisation on the fly while in the midst of big combat operations? Remember, Panzergruppen 1/2 were redesignated armies in October 41, the other two on 1st January 1942.




This alone should tell that Panzergruppes were already operating as armies, with all or most of the armies functions and support.

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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/24/2016 3:08:00 PM   
swkuh

 

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An interesting discussion, but hardly a "fatal flaw."

How Panzer Groups vs. Armies are organized & equipped may not have affected how supply was actually distributed. Believe total supply and transportation is most important but should be distributed to priority units, as is now somewhat possible (TOE settings.) Not perfect, but hardly "fatal."

If there's a fatal flaw it might be micro-management.

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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/24/2016 3:53:13 PM   
Wuffer

 

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I have no clue how the Germans solved their (huge) supply problems, but they did it mostly and often as good as it gets.
In other words, they were handselected, highly trained pro's with not only combat xp of the great war, but also in conquering Poland, France and the Balkan. It was their fourth 'campaign'...

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RE: The Fatal flaw in WitE - 2/24/2016 4:07:28 PM   
morvael


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Except they didn't. They didn't solve them, they learned to cope with what they had, and achieved as much as was possible with those supply constrains. Much more could have been achieved if there would be no limits on fuel, supply, ammunition, and spare parts deliveries (even more with the ability to maintain units at original strength, but for that there was not enough equipment, men and horses at home).

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