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Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase

 
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Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/26/2019 11:07:37 PM   
Shadrach


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Now firstly, I know how to avoid Retreat Before Combat, to choose plan battle instead of just clicking into the hex. But sometimes even with this, enemy units will often just retreat again and again, even into my territory, and I'd need to collect several units just to contain this single enemy.

I was thinking, to avoid this, are there any rules with regard to the "front line" and retreating into it? At some level, it feels unrealistic - the frontline at this scale could be thought to be an abstraction to some degree. There would always be 'units' behind the front, even if not mainline units. In real-life a unit would never consider retreating into enemy territory, it would be much more likely to just surrender.

I think the game should make it much harder for an enemy unit to retreat into player-owned territory. It would avoid the "wild goose chase" effect of spending round after round chasing some stragglers, it does get annoying and adds to the feeling of playing against a computer.

The game models the frontline but it appears to not really be used for anything much?

Of course, the option to retreat into player territory should always be there, but it should come at a very high cost in men, i.e. surrendering broken-up stragglers, abandoned vehicles, as well as a high chance the unit will evaporate completely.

Case in point; where would this heavily reduced assault gun unit retreat? One PAK, a couple of half-tracks and a handful Stugs?




< Message edited by Shadrach -- 3/26/2019 11:21:32 PM >
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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/27/2019 2:11:07 PM   
mussey


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I understand what you mean, no other wargame I've played before has this retreat quality.

PS: I love the solid gold for a selected unit. Were did you get that graphic from? You can really see the selected unit. Are the others in that formation equally easy to see?






Attachment (1)

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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/27/2019 2:44:45 PM   
larryfulkerson

 

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Attached here below are the normal zoom level PNG files for the better observable cursors for the selected unit ( Brass ) and the sibling units ( Steel ). I made these bad boys for me so I could find the f...king units easier.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by larryfulkerson -- 3/27/2019 2:45:47 PM >


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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/27/2019 3:03:43 PM   
mussey


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Thanks Larry!

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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/27/2019 6:19:58 PM   
Shadrach


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Actually the ones I have are hexagonal, and red for selected, yellow(gold) for formation. I think I got them from the Telu or Silvain mods, not sure.

Attaching them here :)


Attachment (1)

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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/27/2019 6:30:06 PM   
Cabido

 

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Wild goose chase. I hadn't heard this expression applied to it yet, but it is a perfect description. I think that, at the point a unit begins to retreat randomly around (in enemy territory), it should evaporate, since its internal cohesion is gone. It's ZOC effect on movement (and trail of time stamps) make things worse, but that has been discussed in an earlier post and some solutions have been presented.

Apart from the fact that it is boring to chase these units around. If people understand otherwise, at least make it more predictable. Most units in this situation would choose, if possible, favorable terrain. Also:

"When checking for retreats before combat, a
Flanking Check is made, which is based on the
quantity of “active defender” equipment in the
defending and attacking units relative the Scenario
Map scale. If the defender has less than the amount
of equipment necessary to fully cover his frontage
in the Scenario Scale, the Attacker has more
equipment, and the Attacker passes a Unit Quality
Check, the chance for a retreat before combat is
increased by a random fraction between one and[...]"

If flanking maybe part of the rationale for it, an attacking unit should be able to direct the direction of the flanking movement in such a way as at induce encirclement. This would be difficult to model, but making things more predictable would kind of compensate. As it is, it is just a random chase, with a random path of time stamps. Ok, one could say it will go towards the nearest HQ and supply source, but when in enemy territory, it's difficult to track that from a player perspective. It would be even more difficult from the unit commander's perspective. One solution could be to take the direction of the greatest density of friendly units divided by the distance, when the direction of its own HQ is blocked, using the most favorable terrain, since commanders must know, more or less, the direction of their front. This is just brainstorming. I haven't considered all implications.

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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/27/2019 8:58:06 PM   
joey


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I, too, find the wild goose chase to be an issue. I really can't find much logic in having a defender randomly retreat into enemy held territory. I personally would have thought the front line would have some meaning or bearing on this, but from playing this game for quite a while now, I have found no real influence of a front line on the retreating behavior. I have seen units retreat four to five times into enemy held territory during this wild goose chase retreating behavior. Is anything possible to fix/improve this, or would it require too much recoding of the software?

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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/28/2019 2:36:21 AM   
rhinobones

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: joey

I have seen units retreat four to five times into enemy held territory during this wild goose chase retreating behavior.


In the earlier TOAW versions, and I presume TOAW IV, the thing to do was target artillery on the potential enemy RBC unit before an attack. The artillery attack prevented the enemy unit from doing RBC. Result is that the unit under attack could not retreat before combat and instead needed to repel a ground assault.

The gamey tactic was to target enemy units with artillery (just to make them stay in place) then schedule ground attacks on the enemy units. After assigning the attack units the artillery could be re-direct to more lucrative targets.

Bottom line is, a false artillery attack pinned a unit under attack. The attacked unit would have otherwise RBC. Gamey.

I have heard from others that (bombarded by artillery such as in TOAW) can prevent a unit from escaping attack . . . I find that rather impassible.

Regard, RhinoBones


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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/28/2019 3:17:56 AM   
larryfulkerson

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: rhinobones


quote:

ORIGINAL: joey

I have seen units retreat four to five times into enemy held territory during this wild goose chase retreating behavior.


In the earlier TOAW versions, and I presume TOAW IV, the thing to do was target artillery on the potential enemy RBC unit before an attack. The artillery attack prevented the enemy unit from doing RBC. Result is that the unit under attack could not retreat before combat and instead needed to repel a ground assault.

The gamey tactic was to target enemy units with artillery (just to make them stay in place) then schedule ground attacks on the enemy units. After assigning the attack units the artillery could be re-direct to more lucrative targets.

Bottom line is, a false artillery attack pinned a unit under attack. The attacked unit would have otherwise RBC. Gamey.

I have heard from others that (bombarded by artillery such as in TOAW) can prevent a unit from escaping attack . . . I find that rather impassible.

Regard, RhinoBones


Thanks a lot for that tip my friend. I'll have to use that from now on.

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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/28/2019 4:18:23 AM   
mussey


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shadrach

Actually the ones I have are hexagonal, and red for selected, yellow(gold) for formation. I think I got them from the Telu or Silvain mods, not sure.

Attaching them here :)



Excellent, thanks!!!

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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/28/2019 7:09:56 AM   
cpt flam


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sorry to tell you that don't work anymore.
I tried it myself, assigning art for an attack and during movement RBC occured.
Otherwise, you can note your art as support and then prepare an attack. This will work.

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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/28/2019 11:29:02 AM   
StuccoFresco

 

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Another way to minimize the goose chase is allowing max 1 RBC per turn to any unit, 2 if it's a particularily mobile unit. That way there is still the chance to get away from an attacker, but if the enemy gives proper chase and catches up, the retreating unit "gives up".

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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/28/2019 1:03:35 PM   
Shadrach


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quote:

ORIGINAL: StuccoFresco
Another way to minimize the goose chase is allowing max 1 RBC per turn to any unit, 2 if it's a particularily mobile unit. That way there is still the chance to get away from an attacker, but if the enemy gives proper chase and catches up, the retreating unit "gives up".


I'm guessing this is something that needs to be set by the scenario designer?

quote:

ORIGINAL: rhinobones
In the earlier TOAW versions, and I presume TOAW IV, the thing to do was target artillery on the potential enemy RBC unit before an attack. The artillery attack prevented the enemy unit from doing RBC. Result is that the unit under attack could not retreat before combat and instead needed to repel a ground assault.


Well, not sure about earlier versions, but you can avoid RBC by just pressing 'P' over the hex to use the Combat Planner, and not right-clicking. You don't need to use an arty attack to "lock" it in place first. However, this won't stop the unit from simply retreating quickly in battle without losses. My example screenshot above shows a planned battle, the unit just retreated without taking any losses.

But -- the main issue here is that it's too easy for units to retreat into enemy territory without any penalties, not really how to avoid RBC, which is not that hard.

If the unit was defined as "partisans", then it could be understandable, but these are just line units, and you can't really "melt into the earth" with a bunch of assault guns...

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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/28/2019 1:11:41 PM   
sPzAbt653


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quote:

My example screenshot above shows a planned battle, the unit just retreated without taking any losses.

This might be a problem, can you post a repeatable save so that we can have a look?

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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/28/2019 1:56:21 PM   
Shadrach


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Sure - I only have the turn saved after the attack above so not sure how helpful it will be.

The unit in question is the assguns at 24,17.
I think a problem was I attacked with the infantry "Queens Own Rifles", and the Stugs able to retreat without losses. I took quite a bit of damage too - Germans had a lot of arty in support, as did I.

Now in this save I get different results depending on which unit I use, the TD's to the SE, the Rifles to NW. or the Hussars to SW. Doing just a right-click the unit will RBC no matter who I use, but planning an attack I lose if I just use infantry. So I can't reproduce the exact battle I did above, because it was at the end of the last turn (13).

Attaching both end 13 and start 14.



Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Shadrach -- 3/28/2019 1:58:33 PM >

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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/29/2019 6:19:43 PM   
Omnius


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The smart way to avoid the RBC wild goose chase is to move other friendly units next to a potential RBC to channel or surround the potential RBC unit. Perhaps someday TOAW will better model Zones of Control blocking retreat into enemy territory. A much needed fix that hopefully Norm will get to one day.

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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/30/2019 2:59:29 AM   
sPzAbt653


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Thanks for posting the saves, it allows us to see exactly what is going on and then we can have a linear discussion

One of the points being discussed here is that units retreating thru enemy territory suffer no losses and will continue retreating. This is true, if no resistance is met. Of course, if such unit(s) are cut off at the beginning of their turn, they lose equipment from lack of supply, so unit(s) in this situation won't last forever. That is not what the talk here is about. However, as some others have said, I agree that if you don't want units to retreat deep into enemy territory, then you need to not chase them. Either surround them or attack them with proper force.

I've played several runs with the save files you sent and I don't really see a problem other than the German StuG Unit got into that position in the first place. This could have been avoided. But even with this StuG in a sore position for the Allied player, proper planning can get rid of it with minimal disruption. Two more units could move up and easily surround it.

Outlined below, three attacks on the StuG, the first by the SPAT Archer's resulting in an RBC and a few losses to the StuG, the second by the Tank Bn [which seemed like overkill but hey, it is some UK Shermans against the 21.Pz Div!] with the same result, and finally the Infantry Bn came up from behind and put an end to it all.

StuG's and Halftracks mucking about the rear areas until properly knocked for a six




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by sPzAbt653 -- 3/30/2019 3:01:57 AM >

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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/30/2019 12:13:34 PM   
Shadrach


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Thanks for looking at the saves, appreciated
First of all the situation was only meant as an example of a general concept, not as a specific problem needing to be solved. I didn't really think it was anything like a "bug" in the system - unless you could find something like that.

I just took the closest I could get to an example in my current game. When I tried myself I was usually able to kill it off during the same turn with a bit of trial and error.

So it's not a bug per se - just something I (and others apparently) think might need looking into, to avoid these sometimes long-winded chases of small units who manage to retreat the "wrong" direction. Yes, the player should take precautions to avoid this not happening, but sometimes it does.

I just think the game should penalise units doing this much more: Crossing the front line during retreat should lead to large losses in men and equipment, nearly to the point the unit will simply evaporate by itself much quicker than it does now.

Of course, to be fair, this would also apply to the player's units, and would inevitably lead the player to be more careful to avoid their own units retreating into enemy territory and be lost very quickly.


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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/30/2019 1:36:02 PM   
Cabido

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: sPzAbt653

Thanks for posting the saves, it allows us to see exactly what is going on and then we can have a linear discussion

One of the points being discussed here is that units retreating thru enemy territory suffer no losses and will continue retreating. This is true, if no resistance is met. Of course, if such unit(s) are cut off at the beginning of their turn, they lose equipment from lack of supply, so unit(s) in this situation won't last forever. That is not what the talk here is about. However, as some others have said, I agree that if you don't want units to retreat deep into enemy territory, then you need to not chase them. Either surround them or attack them with proper force.

I've played several runs with the save files you sent and I don't really see a problem other than the German StuG Unit got into that position in the first place. This could have been avoided. But even with this StuG in a sore position for the Allied player, proper planning can get rid of it with minimal disruption. Two more units could move up and easily surround it.

Outlined below, three attacks on the StuG, the first by the SPAT Archer's resulting in an RBC and a few losses to the StuG, the second by the Tank Bn [which seemed like overkill but hey, it is some UK Shermans against the 21.Pz Div!] with the same result, and finally the Infantry Bn came up from behind and put an end to it all.

StuG's and Halftracks mucking about the rear areas until properly knocked for a six





The problem is that we are dealing with an hex like pattern. Here, the 3,1 unit occupies only a small part of the hex. Both 10,7 and 10,2 would be able to enter the hex and surround it, by detaching troops to block exit paths. I think that in such situations, in which the retreated unit (by RBC) is flanked, it should evaporate immediately. This would,additionally, deal with the game limitation of only allowing division of units by 3 and having to surround the unit through, sometimes, costly terrain, with which it wouldn't have to deal, since the surrounding would be executed inside the enemy hex. The 25,7 tank unit would easily surround and kill the 3,1; it wouldn't chase it around. Using the game mechanics and preventing RBC, if we subdivide it by three and force evaporation on retreated (RBC) flanked units, one single larger unit would be able to deal with it.

Perhaps a rule that a flanked unit retreating before combat will evaporate unless retreating to a friendly hex, or an hex containing a friendly unit.

One can say that a unit retreating before combat is avoiding the larger unit, so it would be far away in the hex. That may be true, but a flanked unit would have a hard time doing it.

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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/30/2019 3:20:19 PM   
sPzAbt653


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quote:

The 25,7 tank unit would easily surround and kill the 3,1; it wouldn't chase it around.

I think you are making a lot of assumptions that won't apply to every situation in every scenario. Read Hans von Luck's account of retreating from the Russians, that will sober you right up! And what of the Western Desert? You want units to evaporate because they are not retreating toward a friendly line ? And what of the 88's at Cagny in Operation Goodwood [the scenario seen in the above screenshots]? They didn't retreat but were completely cutoff and just about single handedly ruined the British attack. Four of them.

The only 'solution' needed is for the player to handle it properly.

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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/30/2019 3:56:14 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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I don't see any need for any of this. Why should an empty hex have any effect just because an enemy unit passed through it some unknown time in the past? Remember that TOAW already has disengagement attacks that retreaters must endure if triggered.

Think if you are chasing a motorized unit with a foot unit (not an uncommon mistake by players). Why would you not expect the motorized unit to escape? This is especially true if the retreater is armored and the pursuer has little AT.

If, on the other hand, the retreater is mostly non-armored, then there is a trick you can use: Get as much artillery setup within range (they don't even have to be cooperative). Then, if a disengagement attack is triggered, the artillery will be added to the attack.

Another factor is that the effect of rear-area elements doesn't have to be abstracted. As I've done in many of my scenarios, they can be physically modeled - making enemy moves into the rear more realistically impacted.

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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/30/2019 5:14:58 PM   
Cabido

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: sPzAbt653

quote:

The 25,7 tank unit would easily surround and kill the 3,1; it wouldn't chase it around.

I think you are making a lot of assumptions that won't apply to every situation in every scenario. Read Hans von Luck's account of retreating from the Russians, that will sober you right up! And what of the Western Desert? You want units to evaporate because they are not retreating toward a friendly line ? And what of the 88's at Cagny in Operation Goodwood [the scenario seen in the above screenshots]? They didn't retreat but were completely cutoff and just about single handedly ruined the British attack. Four of them.

The only 'solution' needed is for the player to handle it properly.


There is a misunderstanding here. But first, it's important to notice that things don't have to apply to every situation in every scenario. Average should be the guide. The exception should be handled by work around (by handling the situation properly, from a game's standpoint). Well, but going to the point, I never said a unit should evaporate for retreating toward enemy territory; I said it should evaporate if flanked and retreating (if it is subject to RBC), since the enemy would be able to block their passage. Its as simple as that. It has nothing to do with resistance. A small unit able to resist on the spot will be modeled by the combat engine as a unit that didn't retreat and was able to hold even with very unfavorable odds. That may happen. Units should be able to retreat at will toward enemy line if they have a free path, but I don't think this is a free path, for instance:

.......10,4
........2,1
....10,4...10,4

In my opinion, this unit is completely encircled. If TOAW allowed subdivision by 6, we would have:

.........5,2
....5,2..2,1..5,2
....5,2..5,2..5,2

It should be able to resist, depending on deployment and terrain? Yes. But in the first configuration, I think it shouldn't be able to snake around. I know it can get be target to a disengagement attack, but I have seen such units snake around in a lot of situations (just too frequent).

But if we had:

.......10,4
........2,1..4,2
....10,4...10,4

The 4,2 being a friendly unit, the 2,1 would be able to retreat.

The six unit rule is not only artificial, in my opinion, but also boring. If a single unit, subdivided in six, would be able to cover the frontage, the 3 point configuration should be enough.

quote:


I don't see any need for any of this. Why should an empty hex have any effect just because an enemy unit passed through it some unknown time in the past? Remember that TOAW already has disengagement attacks that retreaters must endure if triggered.


It has on motion, doesn't it?
But here, the reason would be simply that going toward a friendly unit, a unit would have support to cover retreat path. The best solution, in my opinion would be to have a friendly unit in the hex. Notice that when I present a suggestion, it doesn't mean I have a close minded approach to it. A forum must be (and is frequently) a place for brainstorming. I agree that the enemy territory flag isn't the best criteria.

quote:


Think if you are chasing a motorized unit with a foot unit (not an uncommon mistake by players). Why would you not expect the motorized unit to escape? This is especially true if the retreater is armored and the pursuer has little AT.


I agree, but the inverse is much more bizarre. A motorized unit chasing a foot unit around. Then make movement capacity play a bigger role.

quote:


If, on the other hand, the retreater is mostly non-armored, then there is a trick you can use: Get as much artillery setup within range (they don't even have to be cooperative). Then, if a disengagement attack is triggered, the artillery will be added to the attack.


Nice as a work around.

quote:


Another factor is that the effect of rear-area elements doesn't have to be abstracted. As I've done in many of my scenarios, they can be physically modeled - making enemy moves into the rear more realistically impacted.


It seems you are one of the most able to deal with this system. I would suggest you create a manual for designers with all the tips and modeling techniques, since most of the scenarios aren't created by people that master every aspect of the game engine and we have to deal with it's idiosyncrasies when playing. I think that TOAW is a great game, but it depends a lot on the designer. To mitigate undesirable effects when we see they happen a lot in most scenarios would, IMHO, be the way to go.

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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/30/2019 6:34:50 PM   
cathar1244

 

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(general comment) I doubt many units would retreat toward the enemy IRL. Unless there was a coordinated attempt to relieve them, it is much more likely they would abandon their heavy gear and attempt to exfiltrate the area in order to return to friendly lines. And even those actions are seldom hugely successful. Getting out of situations like the one presented at the beginning of this thread calls for superb proficiency and iron discipline, much more than that required for normal movement or even holding a defensive line.

Cheers

< Message edited by cathar1244 -- 3/30/2019 6:36:07 PM >

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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/30/2019 6:59:38 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cabido

The best solution, in my opinion would be to have a friendly unit in the hex.


Huh?

quote:

I agree, but the inverse is much more bizarre. A motorized unit chasing a foot unit around. Then make movement capacity play a bigger role.


That's already taken into account in triggering disengagement attacks. See 10.4.10.

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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/30/2019 7:05:55 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: cathar1244

(general comment) I doubt many units would retreat toward the enemy IRL.


A retreat is an adverse combat result. The victor may dictate the direction of retreat by penetration of the battle area. (Don't think of the hex as something monolithic - it's actually a huge tactical battlefield).

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RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/30/2019 7:35:58 PM   
Cabido

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cabido

The best solution, in my opinion would be to have a friendly unit in the hex.


Huh?


The example was given above with visual aid, but I reproduce it below:

.......10,4
........2,1..4,2
....10,4...10,4

4,2 gives support to 2,1 retreat.

quote:


quote:

I agree, but the inverse is much more bizarre. A motorized unit chasing a foot unit around. Then make movement capacity play a bigger role.


That's already taken into account in triggering disengagement attacks. See 10.4.10.


Not enough to prevent a goose chase from a foot unit by a motorized unit.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay
quote:


ORIGINAL: cathar1244

(general comment) I doubt many units would retreat toward the enemy IRL.


A retreat is an adverse combat result. The victor may dictate the direction of retreat by penetration of the battle area. (Don't think of the hex as something monolithic - it's actually a huge tactical battlefield).


Not an RBC.
You touched exactly the point I have considered above, when I said that units shouldn't have to cover all the surrounding hexes in order to encircle. When flanked, both units would be able to enter this "huge tactical battlefield" and "dictate directions". If coming from three directions as pictured in my preceding, the retreating unit would be completely blocked. (I reproduce it here)
.......10,4
........2,1
....10,4...10,4



(in reply to Curtis Lemay)
Post #: 26
RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 3/31/2019 3:17:14 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 11458
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cabido

The example was given above with visual aid, but I reproduce it below:

.......10,4
........2,1..4,2
....10,4...10,4

4,2 gives support to 2,1 retreat.


It sounded like you expected the game to provide such a unit.

quote:

Not enough to prevent a goose chase from a foot unit by a motorized unit.


There are other factors involved, such as recon levels. And some big units can take a lot of killing - even if disengagement attacks are triggered. But if you're going to claim there is a problem with triggering disengagement attacks, you're going to have to back it up with rigorous test evidence.

quote:

Not an RBC.


Yes, if it triggers a disengagement attack.

quote:

You touched exactly the point I have considered above, when I said that units shouldn't have to cover all the surrounding hexes in order to encircle. When flanked, both units would be able to enter this "huge tactical battlefield" and "dictate directions". If coming from three directions as pictured in my preceding, the retreating unit would be completely blocked. (I reproduce it here)
.......10,4
........2,1
....10,4...10,4


I'm pretty sure that lack of enough equipment to cover the hex by the defender will impact disengagement attack chances (treated as flanked). But I gather that you want this to be guaranteed, not a probability. I don't like that word in regards to combat.

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(in reply to Cabido)
Post #: 27
RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 4/2/2019 1:59:24 PM   
Cabido

 

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One unit has 50 panzers (1) that will face 10 squads on foot (2) in the open. The hex is 5km in size and the turn a full day. It should be easy to these panzers to encircle the squads in their own hex which, as has been said, is a large battlefield. They are in the open (arid terrain may have some cover). It should be an easy game to encircle and an easy game to eliminate if squads don’t take cover and move through the open.

We first explore RBC. In figure 3, the panzers enter the infantry hex and the squads go around in a nice dribble. In figure 4, the panzers chase the foot soldiers that keep one step ahead, after a 10km chase through the open. In figure 5, they enter hills and rocky terrain, which finally stops the panzers after a 20km chase, most of it on open terrain following foot soldiers. The day is over.

Were those panzers in an escort role pace, while the soldiers marched in front of them? Could these soldiers cover 10 km in the open and 10km over rocky terrain being harassed by panzers without any kind of cover, since they were moving? Wouldn’t these panzers encircle and contain these squads unless they dispersed completely (and perhaps even then) losing all unity and cohesion?

In some tests, the panzers could eliminate the unit after 10 or 15 km. Even so...

It’s true that the infantry may find cover even in arid terrain and try to resist tanks without infantry support, but then they would have to stay in place. As I said earlier, I’m not analyzing the capacity of infantry to resist an attack on prepared position by tanks or the effectiveness of tanks against such a position, but the dynamics of encirclement and pursuit in such situations.




Attachment (1)

(in reply to Curtis Lemay)
Post #: 28
RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 4/2/2019 2:00:11 PM   
Cabido

 

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Well, I tried then to treat it as an hex based game, with all it’s logic based on this arbitrary unit, the hex. Instead of treating the infantry hex as the battlefield, and it’s relative equipment density as the main variable, I treated the focal hex with all hexes around will be the battlefield, with seven different parts. This panzer unit should be able to encircle this tiny foot infantry unit in open terrain. So, I set for it.

We have two serious problems then: we can only divide a unit by 3 and we must deal with enemy ZOC. As shown in the picture, we must disengage, go around ZOC and enter ZOC again. It takes 9 MP from 15 MP, which in game terms means approximately 14 hours to go around this tiny unit. Since we only can divide it by 3, We establish a pyramid like shape, which in my opinion, based on the difference of force and mobility, should be considered already an encirclement. But it isn’t. After more than half a day maneuver, when the northern unit advances, the squads just flow like water through the gaps that, in real life, would be easily closed by the flanking units (figure 4), considered their greater mobility and favorable terrain. And the goose chase begins, since, after 14 hours, there is no more MPs to go around the infantry unit using an hex based logic.

Oh, but there isn’t enough equipment to guarantee an hermetic encirclement, one could say. Well, I divided the panzer unit in two different units in the scenario editor, with exactly half the equipment of the original unit each. This way, I would be able to get 6 units from the “in game” division, but exactly the same force relation between the two opposing units. You can see the result in figure 8. The infantry unit is ALWAYS encircled and eliminated. It takes still too long, because of the tiny infantry unit ZOC, but at least we don’t have to chase it around.

So, no matter the difference in force of both units, we would always have to call a second unit just to get six sub units and close the hex based gaps. If we had octagons, instead of hexagons, we would have to have 8 sub units, independently of equipment density and mobility.

To be honest, when using planned combat (preventing RBC), we get better results, even with the 3 units encirclement, but the infantry unit can still escape most of the time. The difference is that using planned combat, instead of forcing RBC, we can kill it (them, when it divides) more easily afterwards. The losses are greater, since all three sub-units take part in combat. But, again, as said earlier, the point here isn’t on the losses, but on the dynamics of encirclement and pursuit.

The necessity to occupy the 6 hexes for encirclement is artificial, since most of the combat should take place (in case of very low density units like this, at least) in the infantry unit’s hex, which, in this particular case, would be easily encircled. But, in this example, even if it wasn’t the case of treating the infantry hex as the exclusive battlefield area, the tanks would easily move to close the gaps against foot infantry.

If the game logic is completely hex based, the units should, at least be able to divide by six (the magic number for encirclement) and ZOC of tiny units (relatively, of course) eliminated. But a more realistic approach would be to verify if the relative mobility would allow a unit to pass through a gap between two enemy units without having it’s path blocked (terrain could be a factor by it’s influence in mobility and relative strength of units). If there is a supporting friendly unit in this gap (the unit Curtis though I wished the game should supply?), the retreat should be easier.

In relation to RBC, units with lower mobility should be eliminated more easily. The influence of mobility in disengagement attacks isn’t enough.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Cabido -- 4/2/2019 2:01:40 PM >

(in reply to Cabido)
Post #: 29
RE: Avoiding the Retreating Wild Goose Chase - 4/2/2019 2:08:41 PM   
Lobster


Posts: 3149
Joined: 8/8/2013
From: Third rock from the Sun.
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Cabido
Well, I tried then to treat it as an hex based game, with all it’s logic based on this arbitrary unit, the hex.


Editorial ensues:
I am continually perplexed by the number of people on this forum who dislike this game so much yet here they are playing it. If you don't like the hexes because they are 'arbitrary', then design something like command ops 2 or just play that game. This game is now and will forever be hex based. So complaining about that is pointless and borders on trolling. TOAW plays well in most instances but will never be an exact simulation of real life combat. For that you should probably join an armed forces that is actually fighting someplace on the planet. I could also spend endless hours complaining about some things that can be changed and I probably have. The key phrase is 'can be changed'. But I will never whine about something that can and never will be changed like TOAW being hex based.

Let me add: Sometimes RBC can be irritating yes. Especially if you don't plan for it. Other times it can be an advantage and allows units to move much deeper into enemy territory than would otherwise be possible. Good and bad. Well whadayaknow.




< Message edited by Lobster -- 4/2/2019 2:24:01 PM >


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