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Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 9/20/2018 6:48:59 AM   
bcgames


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Finding the right ground scale for a battalion-level game depends on the area of operation. Does the battle occur in the jungle or in the desert...or somewhere in between? In our case--the steppes of the USSR in 1942. My original thought was that 1600 meters per hex (half of Desert War scale) might address player concerns with the number of units per hex/stacking/map-crowding. The Eastern Front can get REAL crowded.

Looking at an actual historical situation on the Eastern Front reveals the need for a different ground scale. To replicate actual attack frontages, 500 meters per battalion is realistic; 1000+ meters per battalion in defense is realistic. Sooo...I think the ground scale of choice right now is 1000 meters per hex with a maximum stacking of two battalion (or their equivalents).

This image shows what I mean. Each hex = 1000m with a stacking limit of one battalion and one company...not enough per hex to allow for historical densities. This is a work in progress...another evolution towards attaining the goal of "about right".




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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 10/3/2018 2:47:00 AM   
bcgames


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Eastern Front: Describe YOUR Campaign Experience

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4538419&mpage=1�

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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 11/28/2018 1:45:33 AM   
bcgames


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We are at 1 kilometer per hex right now in the East Front game development...that's 1.6 hexes per mile. Desert War was ~ .31 hexes per mile (2 miles/3.2 kilometers per hex). At 1-kilometer per hex, stacks are still too high given the typical troop concentrations on the Eastern Front.

So...What if the scale was 500 meters per hex? Would you still want to play the game? At 500 meters per hex--we have definitely left the operational world of World War II. But stacking levels of one or two units (one battalion + one company) per hex is achievable, addresses historical norms and meets user preferences. But...making the map bigger to reduce stacking means decreasing the hex scale below 1 kilometer per hex--which creeps into direct fire range questions. In addition, is "Grand Tactical" instead of operational-level OK? There ain't no operational campaign in a Grand Tactical game.

I can justify going down to 500 meters per hex without incorporating any "direct fire" rules. 500 meters was about the average range for effective tank engagements in WWII; 500 meters is also about the maximum range for effective infantry engagements. Hitting anything using a rifle at that range requires a very skilled marksman--suppression is the cost to enter a zone of control. Close assault: sub-machine guns, grenades, satchel charges, flame-throwers...are engagements under 100 meters. Machine-guns? A modern 7.62mm machine-gun can reach out to 900 meters before tracer burnout...probably a smidge less in WWII--that's max range. But it is also prudent to hold-fire and conceal machine gun locations until the riflemen open fire...else the enemy sees where the MGs are and takes them out with concentrated mortar or artillery fire.

But...Is "Grand Tactical" what players want? Or is operational level the preferred way ahead? For the Russian Front--at Grand Tactical Level you can have battalions as the typical ground unit; however, an Operational Level campaign requires regiments or divisions to do justice to the subject.

What say you?

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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 11/29/2018 3:49:30 AM   
bcgames


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I've just finished playing an Eastern Front scenario at 1 kilometer per hex and have to say the scale STINKS. 1 kilometer per hex is "lost in the woods" of an operational no-where. Going down to 500 meters per hex will result in a bigger NOWHERE with no better reason. Wandering aboout...but I do know what the operational-level is. More to follow...

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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 11/29/2018 3:59:44 AM   
bcgames


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Alles klar? A Soviet corps vs two Axis regiments. This is the typical map size and the opposing forces at 1km per hex. Is this the experience you want next game?




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< Message edited by bcgames -- 11/29/2018 4:00:33 AM >


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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 11/29/2018 11:25:53 PM   
Deathtreader


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bcgames

Alles klar? A Soviet corps vs two Axis regiments. This is the typical map size and the opposing forces at 1km per hex. Is this the experience you want next game?



After reading this I'm not sure anymore. Looks kind of like WW1.... is there any reason not to consider 1500 or even 2000 meters per hex?
Or maybe go up to regiment level instead of battalion?
Or perhaps a (partial) combination of both?

Lots to think about here...…..

Rob.















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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 11/30/2018 11:37:31 AM   
bcgames


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deathtreader
Looks kind of like WW1.... is there any reason not to consider 1500 or even 2000 meters per hex?
Or maybe go up to regiment level instead of battalion?
Or perhaps a (partial) combination of both?

Current plan is to test regimental level at the original Desert War scale of two miles per hex (3200 meters).


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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 12/1/2018 3:33:44 AM   
bcgames


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Here's a comparison of the same scenario battle area using different hex and unit scales. Image on the left is battalion scale at 1000 meters per hex. Image on the right is regimental scale at 3200 meters per hex. Given the high unit densities found on the Eastern Front, employing regimental-sized units will allow the game to explore the operational level while minimizing unitus maximus clickitum.




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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 12/1/2018 3:38:10 PM   
jack54


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It's not even close in IMHO... 3.2 Kilometers/Regiments.



< Message edited by jack54 -- 12/1/2018 3:39:40 PM >


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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 12/2/2018 1:32:25 AM   
bcgames


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I think below 2500 meters per hex, the regimental system starts to get dicey. At 2000 meters per hex, the German regiments in this scenario can't cover two of the five hexes with zones of control (the historical units covered a 10km front). At 1500 meters per hex, the problem gets worse. The ZOCs of these units will cover three hexes (4500 meters) leaving 5,500 meters uncovered (3.6 hexes). To do the historical job, the regiments would have to break down into battalions...which means more units on the map that are not regiments (regimental HQ, artillery, AT, AA, combat engineer, etc.)...which is against the idea of fewer units, smaller stacks, and operational level. I think 2500 meters is the "All-in" for a regimental system.

Regimental System Parameters
* 2500 meters per hex
* Regimental level means all units in-game are regiments/brigades except the following:

- Machine-gun Battalions (Corps/Army; not divisional)
- Assault gun Battalions
- Bridging Engineers Companies (Corps/Army; not divisional)
- Assault Engineers Battalions (Corps/Army; not divisional)
- Antiaircraft Battalions (Corps/Army; not divisional)
- Antitank Battalion (Corps/Army; not divisional)

* The combat power of all divisional assets (artillery, combat engineers, antiaircraft, antitank, reconnaissance, etc.) is totaled, split up and rolled into the two or three regiments/brigades that comprise a division.
* Players assign Supplies by the Corps (Germans) and Army (Soviets)...there are no division or regiment HQs units in the regimental system.
* Organizational counter colors will be assigned by corps/army with divisional counter names.
* There are no platoon-sized units: limited company-sized units (bridge engineers).
* There are no ground reconnaissance units unless they are corps or army asset. Reconnaissance capability (strength and range) of regiments is increased.
* There will be 3-turns per day (2 day/1 night). The operational level needs more days per week to develop as opposed to turns per day at the tactical level. Night capable units are introduced.
* Movement Factors are increased to allow for the ground scale change:

- Infantry - 10
- Cavalry - 12
- Motorized/Mech/Armor - 18
- Air Assets will represent air groups (not squadrons).

We are nearly decided. Alpha testing will school us the answer.

< Message edited by bcgames -- 12/6/2018 1:04:10 PM >


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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 12/3/2018 10:40:48 PM   
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It seems to me that the scale should conform to the specific scenario scope. If it is the whole operation Uranus, then 2500 m per hex. If it is Operation Winter Storm, which is a smaller snapshot of the map, then a 1,000m per hex may be appropriate. Is it possible to have both a 2,500m per hex map, a 1,000m per hex map, and possibly a 500m per hex map for scenarios inside the city of Stalingrad? Because the East Front is so much more gigantic in geographic scale then the Desert Front, it may require up to 3 map scales for specific scenarios.

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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 12/4/2018 2:14:02 AM   
bcgames


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Our experience with Desert War players is that a smaller, shorter, simpler set of scenarios with a campaign is better. On the other hand, the editor can handle all three of the scales you mention. 2500 meters per hex is the current pivot pin.

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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 12/4/2018 2:35:22 AM   
bcgames


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OBTW, I'm not ditching the idea of 500 meter or 1000 meter hexes or battalion-centric games. That's the level that I (and my ALPHA testers) like best...it just isn't working on the Eastern Front. Meaningful operational things only happen on the Russian Front if they involve an army or two. Battalion-sized units (or less) should be fun with Operations Market/Garden, Wacht Am Rhein, Norway, Sicily, Salerno, Crete,...and Modern...Korea 1950-51, NATO 80-85, Arab-Israeli Wars, etc. Smaller, shorter, simpler with a campaign.

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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 8/8/2019 1:54:32 AM   
bcgames


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I just learned about this boardgame system (Overlord/The Killing Ground) by New England Games. This is the ground scale we are using in our Stalingrad game:

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/7138/killing-ground

Overlord/The Killing Ground looks pretty good. Anybody have any experience with it? What are your thoughts?
The games are sold out but the next game--is right up my alley.

Jaws of Victory: Battle of the Cherkassy-Korsun Pocket http://www.carpatina.com/nes/jov_homepage.html

My first Gary Grigsby War in the East scenario was about the Cherkassy Pocket. Good times...

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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 8/19/2019 4:36:59 PM   
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I would like as small a hex size as possible. A game centred around Stalingrad where the city takes up hardly any hexes kind of defeats the premise of the battle in my opinion. I'd like the city to be able to be broken down into three seperate parts. That means a good two or even three hexes each for the Factories, then for centre with Mamav Kurgen and the main city central shopping district with the Unimag Building and pavlovs house etc, then finally the southern end starting with the Grain Elevator and the rest of the city. So that's min of around six upto nine hexes to make it feel right and to give a different feel to each part of the battle for the city. I say around 1.5 miles per hex, max 2 miles.

< Message edited by wodin -- 8/19/2019 4:39:22 PM >


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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 8/19/2019 11:14:11 PM   
bcgames


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Thanks for the feed back.

2500 meters per hex supports the entire campaign - from the issuance of Fuehrer Directive 45 to the fall of the Stalingrad Pocket. The battle for the city will be addressed using a scale that best supports the city fight narrative while minimizing the tedium of time and the size of stacks.

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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 8/20/2019 5:30:10 PM   
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Cool, that sort of fits into my preference.

How many hexes will the city take up then? As I said would be great if different parts of the city where more difficult to crack as in real life. The factories being the most difficult of all. The southern city the easiest the center should feel at first anyway shifting from one side to the other or at least the game is able to portray that.

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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 8/21/2019 2:16:21 AM   
bcgames


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin
...How many hexes will the city take up then?...

To be determined based on testing results of three different ground scales (400, 500, & 600 meters per hex). At 400 meters per hex, the dimensions of Stalingrad from Spartakovka in the north to Beketovka is the south is ~79 hexes long by 16 hexes wide (at the widest point).


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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 12/29/2019 1:09:57 AM   
bcgames


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Christmas Vacation is over. Back to work. Tile-based map for Stalingrad @ 500meters per hex is done. Working on the image-based map from this tile map...




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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 12/29/2019 2:01:32 AM   
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Starting the process with a little background action...





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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 12/30/2019 12:56:05 AM   
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Any chance, in the city of Stalingrad, to have units from both sides fighting within the same hex for the posession of that hex? That would reflect what happened historically: small units infiltrating enemy controlled areas. For instance, at some point a company of German pioneers got to the Volga shore behind Red Barricades before being repulsed by the Russians. There were also back and forth fights within the Assembly buildings that lasted days.

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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 12/30/2019 2:35:37 AM   
bcgames


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Interesting idea. Very unlikely at this point. We're at ALPHA so we are not introducing any new code/capabilities to the Stalingrad engine. Any new ideas will be looked at for possible inclusion in Monty's Front 1944.

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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 12/30/2019 5:00:43 AM   
bcgames


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Work in progress...Stalingrad@500m




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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 12/31/2019 3:46:38 AM   
bcgames


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Here we go. A few more tweaks...add the location name labels and we're ready for some scenarios creating I think.




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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 12/31/2019 3:48:49 AM   
bcgames


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...Stalingrad @ 500-meters per hex that is...

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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 1/15/2020 2:07:21 AM   
bcgames


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Stalingrad @ 500m/hex does not immerse into the period; it's a generic, WWI-like slog. I prefer a WWII-like slog. How to get there? Why to go there? Dunno. Maybe stick to 2500m per hex. It works.

What say you?

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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 1/16/2020 12:36:03 AM   
Deathtreader


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bcgames

Stalingrad @ 500m/hex does not immerse into the period; it's a generic, WWI-like slog. I prefer a WWII-like slog. How to get there? Why to go there? Dunno. Maybe stick to 2500m per hex. It works.

What say you?


That is because it is a WW1 like slog, but it could be an opportunity for the small unique units to shine. Engineers, maybe commando on map units, infiltration capable units etc.

Rob.

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So we're at war with the Russkies eh?? I suppose we really ought to invade or something. (Lonnnng pause while studying the map)
Hmmmm... big place ain't it??
- Sir Harry Flashman (1854)

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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 1/17/2020 2:45:38 AM   
bcgames


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deathtreader
That is because it is a WW1 like slog,...

WWI success is measured in meters. The city scale for the Stalingrad city fight needs to provide that same level of "feel of success". 500m per hex doesn't do that.


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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 5/22/2021 10:33:24 PM   
StasSche

 

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This dilemma was discussed in regards of JTS games: when Panzer Battles appeared (company/squad level, 250m hex, 30 minutes per turn), many people suggested to make a Stalingrad title with emphasis on the battle inside the city. At the end, the JTS team after some testing decided that the only scale that works for such urban battles is Squad battles (section/team level, 40m hex, 5 minutes per turn).

Therefore, I believe that your decision to divide the battle in two titles is right... But just keep in mind that the makers of the Flashpoint Campaign mentioned that after the Southern Storm (game to be published in 2021) they are going to start working on WW2 title. So, you should consider if you want to compete with them on the same scale of WEGO (platoon/company, the hex side for WW2 title is unknown as most likely it will be reduced in comparison to FPC)

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RE: Eastern Front: Finding the Right Ground Scale... - 5/23/2021 2:54:57 PM   
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Bcgames, hi,
Tremendous to hear from the Matrix round robin video that Eastern Front is going to happen from BC games. Could not be better 😊.

When it comes to scale, I go with you and your alpha testers in thinking that for wargames “operations…” works best at the lower end of its true scale. The classic 1000m or 1500m per hex with battalions as the main manoeuvre units. That way you can play the smaller scenarios of following the fortunes of one plus division or even scale all the way up. Because it is PC based you can Save the game to finish over longer periods.

The critical thing is that all three, units, map scale and turn time are in sync.

I am now going to slightly highjack the thread just to point out the perennial problem with PC operational games of the Eastern Front. But each to their own of course 😉. This is just my very prejudiced view :).

A disclaimer. I confess it is so long since I played Desert War, I forget whether training quality/skills on the one hand and morale on the other are one setting or modelled separately. If they are already separate settings, do not bother to read on and please accept my apologies.

To illustrate the problem, the great Panzer Campaigns series use one setting for both Experience/Training Quality and Motivation/Morale. When games are set on the western front there is no or rarely a problem. The two will often coexist. So, most of the time a unit modelled as having high experience and tactical qualities will also have high morale.
This was not the case on the Eastern Front. There many Soviet units, but not all, that had low skills but still incredibly high morale in terms of stubbornness and staying power. This problem can make modelling the Eastern Front using Panzer Campaigns a nightmare. i.e. cant really be done to the top quality. You get weird distortions when you try to fix it.
Hoping troop skills and morale will be able to be set separately.

Hugely looking forward to your game.
All the best,
Kip.

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