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Is destroying allied units worth it

 
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Is destroying allied units worth it - 10/30/2019 1:18:29 PM   
von Runstedt


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From the start, let me say that I don't care about VPs, they only have a tertiary interest for me.

As such, without taking VPs into account, is it really all that worthwhile to destroy allied units?

For context, I'm playing the 4th supreme command scenario and it is currently the winter of 1943-44. The Allies launched a major landing in the sole of the Italian boot without doing a landing at Salerno. I had been busily setting up 2 defensive lines prior to this: one south of Rome near where the Gustav Line was historically and another south of Foggia along a river and including Naples. I rushed my forces to the Foggia line and held that point against the initial allied attacks. I then realized that the terrain in this area was actually ideal ground to launch a counterstroke to try to defeat the allied landing in a crushing and decisive fashion. As such, I maintained my southern line in the hillier area east of Naples while abandoning the flat area along the river south of Foggia, hugging the hills going north from this line and with a small force just south of my second line to contain the allied advance at the edge of their range. The allied Ai jumped at this opportunity and advanced a large force into this trap and, luckily for me, left a single US airborne division to hold the vital hinge of their advancing forces. On my turn I then attacked this airborne division with my available armor and mechanized reserves and succeeded in cutting off the allied forces. Over the next 4 weeks I destroyed these allied units, totaling 300k troops (mostly British and commonwealth)~3k artillery and ~2k tanks. I thought this would be a significant setback for the allies but there seem to be just as many allied forces in Italy as there were before, the allied OoB shows little in the way of decrease in either men or material (and I went back a few turns and set the allies to human and check their reinforcements tab and there were not substantial reinforcements to explain the discrepancy between the losses and little change in the OoB view) and, to top it all off, I noticed that divisions I had just destroyed 1-2 weeks prior were already back in the line opposite me, seemingly already brought back up to strength. Although I only suffered about 20k casualties and maybe 300 tanks, I did lose the fortifications I had built along this line and trying to hold it against determined allied attacks to try to relieve the surrounded forces did wear down my armored reserves. So while I might have hurt the allies more by surrounding these forces, I find myself in more or less the same position I was in before this effort but about 20k troops and 300 tanks weaker than I was before and with my forward defense line now untenable where before I might have been able to continue holding it comfortably for months with the same or fewer casualties.

I know that this game is likely beyond the point where many significant gameplay changes are being made but I just think that the western allies units should either be perma-destroyed (like the Soviet units in WITE) or frozen for a couple weeks (like the Germans in WITE if I'm recalling that correctly). Otherwise, from a non-vps based perspective, there doesnt seem to be much tactical or strategic value to making conscious efforts to destroy allied units when a strategic defensive would likely ultimately be more cost effective in the long term.

On a final and unrelated note, I noticed that allied units don't seem to surrender? According to the battle reports its says that they "retreated" and also they don't seem to suffer total losses, i.e. a 45k stack might only be shown as suffering 30k casualties when the stack is annihilated along with guns and tanks that go unaccounted for in the reported losses.
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RE: Is destroying allied units worth it - 10/30/2019 6:00:26 PM   
Joel Billings


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The units have to be isolated in order to be destroyed totally instead of routing away (even routing over water). Were these units isolated?

I'm surprised that units are back withing 1-2 weeks. These sound like routed units that recovered as opposed to surrendered/destroyed units that have to be rebuilt from nothing. Rebuilding the units usually takes some time. IIRC, destroyed units return frozen for 5 weeks or so so I really would not expect them to show up fighting withing 1-2 weeks.

Feel free to attach a save or better a few saves over a few turns so I can check out what happened. You can email them to 2by3@2by3games.com if that's easier.

_____________________________

All understanding comes after the fact.
-- Soren Kierkegaard

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RE: Is destroying allied units worth it - 10/30/2019 7:09:08 PM   
von Runstedt


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Here you can see that the Allied units were cut off. They are out of supply and they do not have access to a port




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RE: Is destroying allied units worth it - 10/30/2019 7:10:41 PM   
von Runstedt


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Here you can see the units that were destroyed 3 turns prior




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RE: Is destroying allied units worth it - 10/30/2019 7:11:47 PM   
von Runstedt


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Below are those same destroyed units




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RE: Is destroying allied units worth it - 10/30/2019 7:12:23 PM   
von Runstedt


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cont




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RE: Is destroying allied units worth it - 10/30/2019 7:12:56 PM   
von Runstedt


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cont




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RE: Is destroying allied units worth it - 10/30/2019 7:14:15 PM   
von Runstedt


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And here 2 turns prior and you can see more destroyed units that appear in the past screen shots




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RE: Is destroying allied units worth it - 10/30/2019 7:29:18 PM   
von Runstedt


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I sent some saves to the email address you mentioned, I hope they help

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RE: Is destroying allied units worth it - 10/30/2019 10:23:47 PM   
Joel Billings


Posts: 28567
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From: Santa Rosa, CA
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Thanks for the saves. I can see the unite destroyed rebuilt in England to 75% TOE on the turn after they are destroyed. The AI can warp move units around within certain parameters, so the units are being sent back to Italy immediately. They are using up manpower to rebuild them and they do have a manpower issue later in the war, so this will help you in the long run. Also, the units come back with weaker morale and experience so they will need some time to get back to where they were.

I thought units were frozen for 5 turns when they are destroyed, but we may have removed that rule.

As for the number of men destroyed, I was only able to recreate a small discrepancy. The only time there should be a large discrepancy is if support units from HQs are fighting in a battle and they are not actually destroyed. The HQs and support units are allowed to warp out of a pocket (taking damage), but I don't see any of those in your case. Ultimately, you should kill or capture roughly what you see in the pocket. Again, I saw a discrepancy in the number killed versus in the battle, but in the losses screen recent battle casualties the value was higher and actually greater than what was in the hex. I think we have some bad accounting going on somewhere. I did see the units had no men left after the battle when they got placed on the map. The rollover of the battle reports listed 3400 men, 3 guns and 1 AFV escaped, and sure enough the British and Indian pools increased by 3400 men. So these are the men that managed to break out and that would explain most of the lower losses that I saw (all but about 1k). So I think you are probably destroying most of the men and it will hurt the Allies in the long run. The AI does cheat and get those units back into service 1-2 months faster than a human player would, but it needs all the help it can get.

_____________________________

All understanding comes after the fact.
-- Soren Kierkegaard

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RE: Is destroying allied units worth it - 10/31/2019 4:55:51 AM   
von Runstedt


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Ok and I figured as much, I would just like to have been able to turn this initial attack into a major counter attack to defeat the allied landings but I guess I will have to settle for attracting even more allied units to the area.

I wasn't sure what manpower the allies had available at this time but based on the OoB tab it dint look like the allies were having much difficulty replacing them until towards the end of the pocket since even after losing 200k neither the Americans nor the British looked like they had been set back all that much by the losses and as I said, it was a bit disconcerting seeing the destroyed units all back at the front again especially since the point of the attack was to weaken the allies in preparation . If its a longer term concern for the allies that will be helpful then at least.

Despite how long I've played this game and WITE I still don't really know how to use all the info screens to find out the more minute casualties info so I appreciate you checking that.

One last thing I would say though, why does it list the allied units as "retreated" when they are destroyed. Of the surrounded units, only the Italian motorized unit was listed as having surrendered

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RE: Is destroying allied units worth it - 10/31/2019 4:28:28 PM   
Joel Billings


Posts: 28567
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I can't say for sure on the retreat vs surrender. Perhaps they were retreated and then during the retreat attrition calculation they hit the surrender threshold. Ideally they should say surrender, but if they are isolated, they will surrender even if it just says retreated.

_____________________________

All understanding comes after the fact.
-- Soren Kierkegaard

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Post #: 12
RE: Is destroying allied units worth it - 11/1/2019 11:14:15 AM   
von Runstedt


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I guess ultimately you were right. The allies for some reason decided to use some of the British divisions that had been mauled in Italy and hadn't been fully refitted yet in the first wave of their invasion of France with the result that this will probably be the easiest Normandy ever. One attack didnt even make it ashore




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RE: Is destroying allied units worth it - 11/1/2019 11:15:22 AM   
von Runstedt


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one group did make it ashore but lost so many troops that they lost all their combat power and surrendered soon after




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RE: Is destroying allied units worth it - 11/1/2019 11:17:18 AM   
von Runstedt


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One thing that didnt quite make sense though was the 101st Airborne was counterattacked on their landing but they werent listed as surrendered, how does that work exactly?




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RE: Is destroying allied units worth it - 11/1/2019 5:41:07 PM   
Joel Billings


Posts: 28567
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From: Santa Rosa, CA
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I don't remember, are they still on the map. I can't remember if they get to retreat to an adjacent hex or if they are destroyed.

See, there are benefits from destroying Allied units. Sounds like you've got the hang of the game. We always advise that once a player understands the game, they give the AI a boost if it is playing the attacking side. It's much harder for the AI to attack than to defend.

_____________________________

All understanding comes after the fact.
-- Soren Kierkegaard

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Post #: 16
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