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Blockade Feedback - 12/14/2019 2:29:45 AM   
Peter Hugo

 

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Finished playing first scenario as Allies, and achieved minor victory in July 1916 when German NM dropped to zero mainly because of enforcing the British blockade. I recall this being an issue with SC WWI Classic, where the impact of the blockade on NM seemed too strong. Historically, the blockade started a few days into the war and gradually expanded over the next several years, whereby over 30,000 merchant ships were checked by the British and contraband removed, while it is estimated that less than 1,000 ships got through unchecked. The blockade wound down to much lower levels once the USA entered the war in April 1917 since it was the single largest source of contraband. After that, not much neutral shipping remained for the Central Powers to benefit from. In addition to the British patrol of the North Sea and Atlantic sea lanes, the French maintained a blockade against Austria-Hungary in the Mediterranean. Throughout the entire time, the German navy sortied in strength to challenge the blockade only twice, and remained in port for most of the war, yet the German army did not give up until November 1918. However, in the game the blockade seems overly effective and has Germany on its knees in 1916. Recommend reducing the impact on German NM and adding blockade hexes in the Mediterranean that impact Austria-Hungary's NM. Also thought about removing the blockade hexes once the USA enters the war since very little neutral shipping remained to blockade after that, and then just have a reasonable decrease to NM every turn the USA is at war.
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RE: Blockade Feedback - 12/14/2019 10:39:43 AM   
ivanov


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To be honest I've never seen the German NM to drop so quickly. Normally the NM drop due to the blockade, is offset by the territorial conquest of German armies. For example in my games, by the end of 1915, the German NM usually oscillates around 90%.

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RE: Blockade Feedback - 12/14/2019 11:27:13 AM   
Xsillione

 

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Not made clear test, but the blockade cost around 500-1000 NM for Germany if done to great extent, which is not much, but that alone would start to cause trouble in 50 turns and surrender before turn 100 (probably around 60-70), add the natural cost of warfare (500+ nm per turn easily) and some naval success (the german fleet worth 10K NM at least, if you do it well with the vast UK fleet, you won't lose much or even anything, so that is easily 5K NM lost or more), and some smaller loss like Metz (even in a suicide offensive), and Germany out of the war in turn 20-30, maybe even faster if AH or Ottoman failed too. And even the Russian can take Konigsberg and a few other objective if they push hard.

In my full run with Germany, they never went below 90%, but Ottomans surrendered and AH was well below 50%. In the Entente run (early '15 at the moment) AH already below 50%, and Germany also closing to that point, with some luck Germany can surrender before '16.

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RE: Blockade Feedback - 12/14/2019 4:54:50 PM   
Peter Hugo

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Xsillione

In my full run with Germany, they never went below 90%, but Ottomans surrendered and AH was well below 50%. In the Entente run (early '15 at the moment) AH already below 50%, and Germany also closing to that point, with some luck Germany can surrender before '16.


Does that mean in your game you weren't going full throttle using the blockade? After one year in my game, German NM was below 50%, they were in Belgium and N France and hadn't taken Warsaw, but Russia was making inroads towards Konigsberg. during the final year they finally sortied to break up the blockade but lost half their battle fleet. In the meantime they lost Brussels, never took Warsaw, but lost Konigsberg in June 1916. In addition, since the AI gets tons of free troops, even though they still had about 60 ground units left, they had lost over 100. It seemed that enforcing the blockade with maximum effort for over a year made the difference, otherwise their NM wouldn't have dropped to zero by July 1916, and the war would've continued. But since historical Germany might have also crashed and burned by 1916 given these same battlefield and naval losses along with the blockade, I'll probably attempt a scenario where the Allies simply "hold the line" for as long as possible and maximize the blockade to see if something similar results in 1916 or not. I'd also like to try blockade hexes added in the Med for A-H and Turkey, so they have an incentive to use their fleets. My game ended with German NM at zero, A-H at 47% and Turkey at $70%.

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RE: Blockade Feedback - 12/14/2019 8:56:32 PM   
The Land

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Peter Hugo


quote:

ORIGINAL: Xsillione

In my full run with Germany, they never went below 90%, but Ottomans surrendered and AH was well below 50%. In the Entente run (early '15 at the moment) AH already below 50%, and Germany also closing to that point, with some luck Germany can surrender before '16.


Does that mean in your game you weren't going full throttle using the blockade? After one year in my game, German NM was below 50%, they were in Belgium and N France and hadn't taken Warsaw, but Russia was making inroads towards Konigsberg. during the final year they finally sortied to break up the blockade but lost half their battle fleet. In the meantime they lost Brussels, never took Warsaw, but lost Konigsberg in June 1916. In addition, since the AI gets tons of free troops, even though they still had about 60 ground units left, they had lost over 100. It seemed that enforcing the blockade with maximum effort for over a year made the difference, otherwise their NM wouldn't have dropped to zero by July 1916, and the war would've continued. But since historical Germany might have also crashed and burned by 1916 given these same battlefield and naval losses along with the blockade, I'll probably attempt a scenario where the Allies simply "hold the line" for as long as possible and maximize the blockade to see if something similar results in 1916 or not. I'd also like to try blockade hexes added in the Med for A-H and Turkey, so they have an incentive to use their fleets. My game ended with German NM at zero, A-H at 47% and Turkey at $70%.


NM is also affected by combat losses. Any time you lose a strength point you lose NM equal to 1/10 of the purchase value of the unit.

So if the Germans hypothetically lost 100 Corps without repairing any of them that would cost them 22,500 National Morale (more if upgraded). If they repaired any of them, then they would have lost even more morale. (though I'm guessing your 100 figure includes A-H and the Ottomans).

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RE: Blockade Feedback - 12/14/2019 11:32:35 PM   
Peter Hugo

 

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Attached Detailed Losses for July 1916.




Attachment (1)

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RE: Blockade Feedback - 12/15/2019 7:41:39 AM   
The Land

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Peter Hugo

Attached Detailed Losses for July 1916.


Yes that'll be the reason why German NM fell so low! To lose 76 Corps it's probably take 150 Corps-worth of damage (since repairs are more common than counter eliminations), which is 3/4 of Germany's National Morale. Then there are the naval losses, which probably add up to 10-15%. Then the blockade will be responsible for the rest.

If you're a strong player of the WW2 games this is not that difficult to achieve, you will instinctively have far better positioning and attack selection than the AI does and will achieve these off-the-scale losses ratios, with corresponding NM-knockouts because National Morale is so low across the board.

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RE: Blockade Feedback - 12/15/2019 9:06:23 AM   
Yogol

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: The Land


quote:

ORIGINAL: Peter Hugo

Attached Detailed Losses for July 1916.

Yes that'll be the reason why German NM fell so low! To lose 76 Corps it's probably take 150 Corps-worth of damage (since repairs are more common than counter eliminations), which is 3/4 of Germany's National Morale. Then there are the naval losses, which probably add up to 10-15%. Then the blockade will be responsible for the rest.


Yes, I agree, that many battle losses will lower the morale a lot, much more than the blockade.

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RE: Blockade Feedback - 12/16/2019 3:27:44 PM   
BillRunacre

 

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Hi

Just to clarify, is this playing against the Central Powers AI at normal difficulty settings?

Only I would like to be sure of the exact circumstances before considering changing anything.

Thanks

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RE: Blockade Feedback - 12/16/2019 6:02:23 PM   
Sugar

 

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My impression is the same so far, german NM seems to be too low compared to the other CPs and the enemy: Sept. 17, Russia out, Egypt and Mesopotamia conquered, no huge territorial losses in East Prussia except for Gumbinen a few turns, Holland delivering consistantly, 12 units around Warsaw, no major progress above Belgium into France, highest difficulty lvl.

NM: Germany 60, AH 144!, Ottomans 82, France 50, GB 69, Italy 105. Germany conquered Serbia, Greece, Egypt, Belgium, Warsaw, Brest-Litowsk, Minsk, Vilna, Kovno and Riga. AHs NM went up after occupying Galicia and after Serbia surrendered.

[image][URL=http://www.bild.me][/URL][/image]

At least some losses on players side, but they can't be very decisive, and AH lost the oilfields and Tarnopol for half a year.

Forgot to mention: Germany declared war against the US a year ago.

< Message edited by Sugar -- 12/16/2019 6:03:49 PM >

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RE: Blockade Feedback - 12/16/2019 6:40:36 PM   
BillRunacre

 

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Using Unrestricted Naval Warfare is the way to boost German National Morale, as doing so will boost it by 75 points per turn per area of unrestricted hexes where German naval units are operating. These areas have different designs to signify them, and therefore German NM could be boosted by 300 NM points a turn by this.

It will trigger the US to mobilize, but it can be stopped before the US reaches too high a mobilization level. It's best for Germany to pull back from actual hostilities with the USA, as a US war entrance will hit German NM by 2,000 points.

In terms of NM losses via unit casualties, the graphs showing the NM values of losses should give a clearer picture, rather than of units destroyed as all casualties impact on NM, whether or not the unit is destroyed.

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RE: Blockade Feedback - 12/16/2019 10:14:59 PM   
Peter Hugo

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BillRunacre

Hi

Just to clarify, is this playing against the Central Powers AI at normal difficulty settings?

Only I would like to be sure of the exact circumstances before considering changing anything.

Thanks


Bill,
Generic default settings used since it was my first game as Allies and wanted to set a benchmark for my play results. Upon further consideration of the comments received I am not sure the impact of the blockade needs fixing yet, especially given the huge losses the Germans took, and must add that they only used Unrestricted Submarine Warfare for a few turns before they surrendered in late July 1916. I have begun a second game with higher experience and MPPs for the CP to see how soon they surrender, but I started another thread about the oddity that seems to keep occurring on the Eastern Front (see Massive German deployment to Galicia). Thanks as always!

Peter

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RE: Blockade Feedback - 12/16/2019 10:45:01 PM   
Sugar

 

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quote:

In terms of NM losses via unit casualties, the graphs showing the NM values of losses should give a clearer picture


I see, the losses are indeed significant.

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RE: Blockade Feedback - 1/11/2020 5:27:33 PM   
Peter Hugo

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BillRunacre

Using Unrestricted Naval Warfare is the way to boost German National Morale, as doing so will boost it by 75 points per turn per area of unrestricted hexes where German naval units are operating. These areas have different designs to signify them, and therefore German NM could be boosted by 300 NM points a turn by this.

It will trigger the US to mobilize, but it can be stopped before the US reaches too high a mobilization level. It's best for Germany to pull back from actual hostilities with the USA, as a US war entrance will hit German NM by 2,000 points.

In terms of NM losses via unit casualties, the graphs showing the NM values of losses should give a clearer picture, rather than of units destroyed as all casualties impact on NM, whether or not the unit is destroyed.


Bill, I completed several games to test my blockade hypothesis that it may be too harsh. My first game was as Allies on default settings and enforced full blockade as much as possible, and then played a second game without enforcing the blockade at all. In the first game, the German NM hit zero in July 1916 and they surrendered, they had taken 37,410 MPPs in losses. In the second game at July 1916 the German NM is 28% and they have taken 34,116 MPPs in losses. Total Allied losses were 34,253 MPPs and 30,660 MPPs respectively. Unfortunately, in the first game, the Germans hardly used USW, but in second game they used it more. The 28% difference could mostly be related to the blockade, but could also be partially explained by the degree of use of USW and total MPPs lost by Germany and the Allies. Assuming 20% is due to the blockade, does that seem like an unreasonable amount by mid 1916 with more years of war left? It seems if the AI is playing the CP, and the Allies enforce the blockade, then the AI should be made to use USW or it will likely face defeat before 1917.

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RE: Blockade Feedback - 1/11/2020 6:25:16 PM   
majpalmer

 

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Playing as CP. I never lost anywhere near that many corps! And the Russians lost scores!

I do not attack unless: 1) it's an objective that will either gain my morale points, or cost the enemy morale points; I can eliminate a unit, or the exchange ratio favors me by 3/1 or more.

After advancing and knocking out Luxembourg and Belgium, I usually go over to the strategic defensive in the West and along the Serbian front and start pounding the Russians. The Austrians will lose enough stuff on the Eastern Front. There's no point in losing more against the Serbs. Early on, I use my U-boats, mostly, against the Russian convoys. I try to take Warsaw by the end of 1915. I do my best to cost the Russians more MPPs than they get each turn. You an check that using the graph function. If you can destroy Russians MPPs at a ratio of better than 2/1 (2 losses for every 1 MPP gained), they will eventually give way. Once you get some upgraded artillery, take the fortresses all the way to Brest-Litovsk.

Once the Austrians get artillery, I destroy the Serbs (usually late 1915 or early 1916).

Once I get upgraded artillery in the West, I focus on hexes that can be attacked on three sides. If you destroy a unit in a two-sided hex attack, if you advance your going to get hit from four sides. With a three-sided attack, you can usually move a fresh unit into the vacated hex using 1-3 APs and entrench in prep for the counter attack. I'll also go after spots that are NM point targets, like Verdun.

At sea, I concentrate most of my surface navy against the Russians. Leave bait ships, like light cruisers where they will be spotted. Lay minefields. Try to get the Russians to sortie. And then destroy them. Its a good idea to keep one U-Boat in the Baltic for scouting.

I also research the naval upgrade and and try to improve the quality quality of all my ships.

It's suicide, in my opinion, to challenge the British once the Americans enter the war. Their ships come over right away.

The trick is to delay American entry as long as possible (diplomacy and NO unrestricted submarine warfare) and knock out Russia as early as possible. That will provide you with a window of opportunity to challenge the British in the North Sea. Use subs, Zeppelins, and MTBs for reconnaissance. Bring out your entire fleet and start picking off the British. It's tough, and dangerous, if you lose more ships than the Brits. But if they lose more their morale will sink and the blockade will be broken.

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RE: Blockade Feedback - 1/12/2020 2:11:54 PM   
BillRunacre

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Peter Hugo


quote:

ORIGINAL: BillRunacre

Using Unrestricted Naval Warfare is the way to boost German National Morale, as doing so will boost it by 75 points per turn per area of unrestricted hexes where German naval units are operating. These areas have different designs to signify them, and therefore German NM could be boosted by 300 NM points a turn by this.

It will trigger the US to mobilize, but it can be stopped before the US reaches too high a mobilization level. It's best for Germany to pull back from actual hostilities with the USA, as a US war entrance will hit German NM by 2,000 points.

In terms of NM losses via unit casualties, the graphs showing the NM values of losses should give a clearer picture, rather than of units destroyed as all casualties impact on NM, whether or not the unit is destroyed.


Bill, I completed several games to test my blockade hypothesis that it may be too harsh. My first game was as Allies on default settings and enforced full blockade as much as possible, and then played a second game without enforcing the blockade at all. In the first game, the German NM hit zero in July 1916 and they surrendered, they had taken 37,410 MPPs in losses. In the second game at July 1916 the German NM is 28% and they have taken 34,116 MPPs in losses. Total Allied losses were 34,253 MPPs and 30,660 MPPs respectively. Unfortunately, in the first game, the Germans hardly used USW, but in second game they used it more. The 28% difference could mostly be related to the blockade, but could also be partially explained by the degree of use of USW and total MPPs lost by Germany and the Allies. Assuming 20% is due to the blockade, does that seem like an unreasonable amount by mid 1916 with more years of war left? It seems if the AI is playing the CP, and the Allies enforce the blockade, then the AI should be made to use USW or it will likely face defeat before 1917.


Thanks for the feedback. The actual impact of both the blockade and unrestricted naval warfare is exactly the same as in our original WWI releases, though as I noticed during beta testing, that doesn't necessarily mean that the National Morale starting values can remain the same.

One big change however was that for the original releases the AI received large National Morale bonuses at the start of the game, the exact bonus varying with the difficulty level, whereas this approach wasn't adopted here.

Instead, much more subtle and gradual bonuses are received, and it may be that they aren't enough. I'll give this some thought.


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