To me WitE is an extremely unique movement and combat system. As a comparison, we can Go back to the days of AH Stalingrad and with fixed ZOC's and determining odds. One simply lined the counters up and computed the best odds making 1-6 Soak off attacks to achieve the coveted 3-1 assured victory. WitE has fluid ZOC's and attack is an option not mandatory for entering a ZOC. WitE is also unique in that one can assume some sort of assuredness of "2-1" only to be surprised by the results.
I am a total newbie to this game. Rather than posting from a position of knowledge -- I am posting from my observations inviting those that have played the game to comment on findings.
The combat sequence below with my thoughts:
1. Initiate battle (see section 5.3.1 regarding use of movement mode (F1) to attack)
-- What is interesting is that is a total choice. One huge difference as compared to other wargames is that the object is initially not to get a "defender eliminated," avoiding an "exchange," or worse an "attacker eliminated" but to move the defender from an objective. Failure is simply the result of "Defender Held". The objective is usually a point for armor to penetrate but can be a key river crossing, or urban objective. There are those in this forum that emphasize the lack of dead Germans or Russians from a combat result, but there are multiple subtleties that I see far more interesting. For one, this game follows the typical GG firepower as a separate entity from CV. Firepower does stuff on the tactical level -- CV determines if reserves will participate and who finally holds the target hex. I contend it is not the number killed and disabled shown on the predominate battle screen that determines the victor -- but it's the number disrupted that determines the final results . Want to move defenders from a hex you have to disrupt enough so the final CV is 2:1, and this comes from understanding intricate details in the battle sequence and firepower.
2. Determine fortification defense modifier from terrain and fortification level (15.3)
I think This rule is the lifeblood of the Soviet Union. Forts MULTIPLY defensive indices.
"The combat value of each defending unit is modified by multiplying the CV by one plus the total fortification
defense modifier, which is the sum of the terrain modifier and the fort level" (15.3) So build up Leningrad to fort level 3 and Leningrad 1+8+3 has a multiplier of 12! Plus a forts have an additional nuance:
"To better simulate the ability to pre-register fire locations, he effectiveness of artillery fire
is related to the fort level of the hex containing the firing artillery. The higher the fort level,
the more effective artillery in that hex will be in combat. Due to their ability to participate
in multiple battles, artillery support units attached to headquarters units do not receive any
benefit from fort levels when committed to combat, so this benefit is limited to artillery combat
units as well as artillery support units directly attached to fortified units"
It SEEMS that art attached to units in fort level 3 begins the stage where the above becomes very noticeable ..
The other terrain modifier of interest are minor and major rivers .. 50% of the attacking Infantry and up to 66% of armor can be disrupted and this happens before reserve commitment ... (Remember disruption prevents a unit from participating in firepower or CV)
So if a target hex is limited to being attacked from a few hexes maybe only one hexside .. how can one cross a river or break a fortified position?
3. Commit support units (15.4)
In my opinion the SU is key to moving a defender from a position or keeping a position. Each side has a wide variety of SU's. From a German perspective I can attach up to 3 SU per division and an HQ can contribute up to 6 SU's. I can attack with Bicycle Battalions, Pioneer rangers, Jgd Pz, Stu III, Flam Pz, ...
4. Calculate Combat Values (CV) and odds ratio for reserve commitment (15.5)
5. Commit reserve units (Defender first, then Attacker) (15.5)
The details for reserves is very interesting to me:
First there are MP restrictions and a die(MP's). So the maximum away for attacking is 3 hexes which equates to some number higher and a check .. so the MP's remaining has to be higher than the MP's to move to the battle hex.. and pass a die roll .. then pass the leader initiative check to finally determine if the hex is figuratively overstacked ... the defender has a 6 hex range ... Thus not only does one have to move next to a unit to have combat but one has to think about a defender that has not moved .. and can bring to bare reserve units changing both firepower and CV in the battle hex.
Better yet .. hopefully that reserve unit brings along additional SU's ..An HQ unit 6 more SU's
Once a unit is committed there are less chances more will join the fray ..
"22.214.171.124. RESERVE COMMITMENT LIMITATIONS DUE TO UNIT SIZE
Corps sized combat units are less likely to be committed offensively as they add one to the
leader initiative roll. Brigades and Regiments are more likely to be committed as they subtract
one from the leader initiative roll. In addition, as units in reserve mode from one side are
committed to a battle, the chance of further commitments to the battle decline, based on the
size of the combat units that have already been committed as follows:
Division = 9
Brigade = 5
Regiment = 3
Using the above values, as additional units attempt to be committed, they check to see if
Die(18) is greater than the value of units already committed. If not, the unit is not committed.
6. Calculate initial CV’s and odds ratio (15.6.2)"
So .. the question is ... are regiments stacked in reserve a better choice than say a single corps with three SU's? Say a Russian divisio passes initiative and has the range and MP's . it is 50% to contribute to the battle ..
Thus bombing units within reserve range and increasing fatigue is something to do to address this possibility ..
7. Conduct battle:
A. Air Mission sub-phase (16.0)
The below phases deserve a posting of their own and will comment later .. but airpower policy dictates who shows up ..
1. Phasing player Air Group units committed for ground support [mission]
2. Non-phasing player Air Group units committed for air intercept
3. Air to Air combat
4. (Ground to Air (AA) and Air to Ground combat
This I believe airpower can be the most decisive platforms for determining who moves and who stays. Especially with the latest patch emphasizing dive bombers and de-emphasizing tactical aircraft. If you follow a German attack on combat reporting level '7' and watch Stukas .. you will see high disruptions per Stuka attack. These are squads or guns that will not participate in the combat phase. Bring in 8 or so groups and this is a decisive edge. A river crossing of close initial CV becomes a 5:1 rout ..The tactical aircraft and level bombers also disrupt .. just not as dramatic ..
To defend against IL-2's I put AA in my PzXX and HQ units ..(With the new nerfing I am not sure this is needed anymore?)
Now that the masses are disrupted with a few kills and watching on level 7 ...
B. Ground Combat sub-phase (15.6.1)
This is abstract but a very important detail to understand. The attacker is set at a range and "moves" closer with devices engaging at specified ranges with finally infantry engaging. It is not always intuitive to see what shoots at what. The "useless" bicycle SU can use up the AT guns at range saving the armor for close in work. A MG bn can engage an AT. I have seen MG bn engage Artillery. Infantry vs, Infantry a Stg bn will engage outside of Infantry range and take free shots. From my perspective there is "Roshambo" rock-paper-scissors" interaction between the devices engages with Each Support Unit offering some special advantage countered by some other type of SU.
5. Calculate final CV and odds ratio (15.8)
Remember disrupted devices and squads do not contribute, and thus is quite possible to kill very few things but have a very high disruption level. The factors that either move a defender or have the defender hold the hex ..
6. Determine Winner and Loser (15.8)
A. If Defender lost, determine retreat result (15.9)
"When a unit retreats or displaces, it suffers retreat attrition, which can result in some of its
ground elements becoming damaged, destroyed or captured. The extent of retreat attrition
is based on the unit’s current morale and the experience and fatigue of the unit’s ground
This is why I believe why bombing units with tactical aircraft before the actual battle might be worth it .. disruption is converted into fatigue .. so yes disruption from previous unit air attacks is resolved .. but the unit starts at a higher fatigue level .. plus I THINK disruption from the actual combat is converted into fatigue before this phase .. thus this is where the "KILLS" come .. not shooting things with 88's but in the retreat phase with highly fatigued, low morale and experienced units being pushed out of a hex .. add rout and shattered as pluses to this algorithm
NOTE: Germans start with higher morale and thus appear less affected by this rule than Russians? I can say I got a lower morale unit smacked by Russkies with "borked" (I am being sarcastic) results ..
»» Could be retreat, rout and displacement move (15.10), shatter, or surrender
»» retreat attrition (15.11)
Ok I kept some of the outline in place on purpose to invite comments .. or just add to my diatribe ...
< Message edited by Crackaces -- 11/29/2017 5:29:28 PM >
"What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so"