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Blizzard - 2/16/2020 7:20:23 PM   
tyronec


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Have just had my first turn in this game playing Soviets during Blizzard.

Am kind of shocked by how it works.
There are no air attacks in Blizzard. The whole game works around air attacks to make it possible to win ground battles, unless you have overwhelming odds. So even with the Soviet bonuses, can just about get some attacks in with 3 tank corps against one German division. Otherwise no chance at all.
So there is no Blizzard Soviet offensive ! How daft is that... Has this never come up before ???

I know from playing Axis during the blizzard that manage your troops right and use the rail network properly to keep supplies up and they had no problems, but that was against a very weak Soviet army. Had not realised that against any Soviet force no matter how strong, a solid line of Infantry Corps is impregnable.
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RE: Blizzard - 2/16/2020 7:31:03 PM   
PanzerMike


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I am no weather expert, but I reckon even in winter flying air missions on many days is very well possible. Cold weather, but clear skies. Sure, when it is snowing or blizzard everything largely comes to a standstill, but freezing cold should be no problem (provided the right oil and lubricants are used in harsh winter conditions). A turn is two weeks, did blizzard conditions stay on for that long, or were there clear in between days as well. They are not modeled for blizzard right now.

Maybe the winter weather is too restrictive, preventing the winterized Soviets from doing counteroffensives, like the one around Moscow in 1941. If I understand the manual correctly, even winterized countries suffer the 35/50 percent penalty in combat, they do not suffer from reduced effectiveness recovery though.

Have not played the Soviets enough to really have a solid feel for this.

< Message edited by PanzerMike -- 2/16/2020 7:41:44 PM >

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RE: Blizzard - 2/16/2020 7:57:55 PM   
tyronec


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I have no issue as to whether you let planes fly during the blizzard or not. That's a fine tuning decision for a game such as this and you are taking an view on how effective they are.

But no effective ground attack ???

Maybe the game balance works out fine, you can attack during snow turns when the air can fly.
The more I play the more I think that as a game Warplan is great fun BUT if you are looking for historical play then it falls over.

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RE: Blizzard - 2/16/2020 8:09:17 PM   
Michael T


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I made the point long long ago that Soviet Winter Offensive was lame. The designer seems to have a view that that is ok. But not WWII as I know it. It's something else. But still fun.

< Message edited by Michael T -- 2/16/2020 8:26:58 PM >


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RE: Blizzard - 2/16/2020 8:45:57 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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The reason why the winter attacks worked well is because the Germans weren't prepare and overextended.

If the German player doesn't stop in October and keeps attacking they will get their asses handed to them.

But with hindsight German players know better so they prepare. Never had a game since the 1980s that I have had the winter affect me. And it is unfair just to slam the Germans with casualties.

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RE: Blizzard - 2/16/2020 9:37:10 PM   
Michael T


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Alvaro, you must play different games and read different books than I do.

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RE: Blizzard - 2/16/2020 11:19:43 PM   
Michael T


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Here some random ideas to reflect the difficulties German Armies faced in Russian Winter of 1941 regardless of whether they stopped in October or not. They were still deep in Russia regardless.

Due to lack of winter clothing – frostbite – higher attrition losses (perhaps a random chance each unit to lose a strength point every turn during blizzard)

Due to a lack of transport (trucks breaking down) and difficulties with primitive transport routes in severe weather (bad roads) – lower supply levels (perhaps make the supply a max of 6 rather than 9)

Due to a lack of transport and difficulties with primitive transport routes in severe weather – lower replacement levels (perhaps a max of 1 strength replaced each turn per unit)

Due to the Germans being confined to villages\towns (they could not resist effectively in the open during blizzard) they should have a reduced zoc (perhaps reduce the zoc entry cost to 1 or zero for Soviets moving up to or infiltrating German lines)

Due to a general breakdown in the entire logistical system and the general mechanical problems faced in very cold weather reduce German Mech units to 5 MP and INF to 3 MP.

These are not original ideas. They already exist in a multitude of wargames and are in alignment with the actual history of the War in Russia 1941/42.


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RE: Blizzard - 2/16/2020 11:58:30 PM   
Michael T


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quote:

Warplan is great fun BUT if you are looking for historical play then it falls over


Could not agree more. I wish it were more historically aligned. But it's not, and I suspect there are just as many who are happy with it the way it is as those who are not. So I play it as it is a fun wargame with enough depth to keep me interested.

However my ideal strategic level and historically accurate WWII *PC* game is still to be published. I live in hope a programmer or a team of programmers can deliver that one day.

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RE: Blizzard - 2/17/2020 2:05:41 AM   
AlvaroSousa


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What do you think is the perfect historical wargame? This way I understand the definition.

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RE: Blizzard - 2/17/2020 3:04:20 AM   
Michael T


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One that takes in to account important/significant historical, technical, political and geographic facts in a consistent and sensible manner.

For example having a weather mechanic that does not freeze rivers in the area defined as *Arctic* is odd to my thinking, considering what I have read and what I have experienced in wargaming on this subject.

I think this is what some players are finding hard to understand about WarPlan. Some aspects are very nice and deliver a realistic result. Yet other aspects seem very odd. In relation to the perceived lack of advantage for the Soviets in Winter fighting the lack of rivers freezing is a direct factor in that perception. The Germans should not enjoy the defensive benefits of unfrozen rivers deep in Russia during winter. I can't recall any serious game on the subject where rivers do not freeze over. This is a perfect example of the kind of inconsistencies I allude to above. You have a map that is divided in to many weather zones, with numerous types of weather, with varying degrees of influence on military operations, even too include ports freezing up. Yet one of the most basic rules encountered (rivers freezing) in even simpler designs is not included.

< Message edited by Michael T -- 2/17/2020 3:06:34 AM >


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RE: Blizzard - 2/17/2020 11:23:25 AM   
battlevonwar


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Yeah historically the Germans ran themselves into Typhoon way too late with mud/cold/then frigid temperatures. :: shrugs :: But we know to stop pre-Frost, dig in, supply our troops! Had the Germans done it then it wouldn't have been as bad. So historically actually in that way the game is accurate! Famous counter offensives the Russians ran was on a depleted force. If the Germans push themselves to the brink you could theoretically do it with the bonus.

No air in blizzards, no amphibious invasions or air either in Heavy Rain. Or big penalties in bad weather... really effects the outcome of games!





< Message edited by battlevonwar -- 2/17/2020 11:24:09 AM >

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RE: Blizzard - 2/17/2020 12:37:10 PM   
Cohen_slith

 

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By how I experience Soviet Winter, the point is that Germans do not recover Efficiency but lose it over time instead. In any Winter.
Soviets have to take the losses, attack, and attack and attack - over multiple turns. The german defeder gets softened up over time - and whilst Soviets recover both strength and efficiency, the german unit can only recovery in strenght but still drop in efficiency.

What I feel is the problem is for the Soviets to survive adequately when Germany can attack in March or April instead of June.

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RE: Blizzard - 2/17/2020 2:07:33 PM   
tyronec


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quote:

By how I experience Soviet Winter, the point is that Germans do not recover Efficiency but lose it over time instead. In any Winter.
Soviets have to take the losses, attack, and attack and attack - over multiple turns. The german defeder gets softened up over time - and whilst Soviets recover both strength and efficiency, the german unit can only recovery in strenght but still drop in efficiency.

My experience playing Axis with careful deployment of your units, using rail lines and a few winterised units, is that there is no threat from being softened up. If the Soviets attempt to wear you down with repeated attacks then they will suffer far more.
The worst time for the Soviets to major attack is during Blizzard. Save it for Snow and Clear turns.

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RE: Blizzard - 2/17/2020 4:23:40 PM   
Meteor2


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Michael T

Here some random ideas to reflect the difficulties German Armies faced in Russian Winter of 1941 regardless of whether they stopped in October or not. They were still deep in Russia regardless.

Due to lack of winter clothing – frostbite – higher attrition losses (perhaps a random chance each unit to lose a strength point every turn during blizzard)

Due to a lack of transport (trucks breaking down) and difficulties with primitive transport routes in severe weather (bad roads) – lower supply levels (perhaps make the supply a max of 6 rather than 9)

Due to a lack of transport and difficulties with primitive transport routes in severe weather – lower replacement levels (perhaps a max of 1 strength replaced each turn per unit)

Due to the Germans being confined to villages\towns (they could not resist effectively in the open during blizzard) they should have a reduced zoc (perhaps reduce the zoc entry cost to 1 or zero for Soviets moving up to or infiltrating German lines)

Due to a general breakdown in the entire logistical system and the general mechanical problems faced in very cold weather reduce German Mech units to 5 MP and INF to 3 MP.

These are not original ideas. They already exist in a multitude of wargames and are in alignment with the actual history of the War in Russia 1941/42.



+ 1
Some good ideas. For an army, nearly without winter equiment for their men, the conditions in Russia have to have a servere impact.
From all I have read about this, it is, even for soldiers today, hard to believe the hardships of that winter IMHO.

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RE: Blizzard - 2/17/2020 5:14:09 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alvaro Sousa
The reason why the winter attacks worked well is because the Germans weren't prepare and overextended...
But with hindsight German players know better so they prepare...


IMHO, the point is the Germans historically failed to prepare and it shouldn't need a tech to do so. Obviously every player with 20/20 hindsight would prepare if given an option. But there's also that element of history many players on both sides expect to deal with, and many games have a Russian Winter rule that works pretty well (TRC, Russian Front, Third Reich, etc.).

It's not so much that either side should need a winterization tech. I think that's gamey, and a waste of a tech slot. Germans should simply suffer a penalty during first winter, with perhaps a game variant for better preparation to avoid the penalty and maybe a variant for a second severe winter. It's not complicated.

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RE: Blizzard - 2/17/2020 6:19:28 PM   
Ormand


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I'm going to chime in here a bit. Alvaro has a point and you will have to ask what you want from WarPlan. Is it a WWII simulator with options to try different things or is it to recreate history?

The Germans were unprepared for the first winter largely because they heavily overextended themselves with the one last push to take Moscow in Oct-Nov (Typhoon). This offensive exhausted the troops and left them very vulnerable. There were dissenting voices in the high command that wanted to pause and regroup. If so, they likely would have issued winter equipment. The logistics system was probably an either or: either supply the offensive or refit the troops. Ironically, the cold weather in November actually helped the Germans despite the lack of winter equipment; the freezing ground allowed motorized movement again.

But why did the Germans make the last push, or for that matter, why did the attack the USSR? They thought that they could deliver a knockout blow and win. But, that can't happen in WarPlan. You don't have an incentive to capture Leningrad and Moscow early on in the hopes of destroying the Soviet political system. The only incentive to attack the USSR is that if you don't, they will attack in 1942, and it will be worse for you. It is hard to tell if the Germans captured both Leningrad and Moscow and held onto it what would have happened. I would somehow build in an incentive for the Germans that would push them to try for victory in the east.

As for history, if you clamor for a winter penalty, shouldn't the Germans also have a penalty for retreating? Time after time, the top guy refused to allow units in danger of encirclement to breakout. Sometimes, local commanders disobeyed, but the delay was costly, and often they were sacked afterwards. I suspect that most German players will pull back and work to save the troops. Ironically, these stand and fight to the death orders might have actually saved the Germans in the first winter. To some degree, the Soviets weren't that good yet and had trouble following up on their successes. They just had an opponent that was staggering from exhaustion and bad planning from being overextended. They also had the good fortune of having Japan attack the U.S. and not them.

One question is whether to penalize a player for trying something different or to force them to slavishly follow the mistakes of history.

Perhaps one solution would be to have snow and blizzard to amplify loss in effectiveness. For example, if it is 90+, little effect, but as the unit drops to 50% a larger effect.

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RE: Blizzard - 2/17/2020 7:03:02 PM   
tyronec


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quote:

I'm going to chime in here a bit. Alvaro has a point and you will have to ask what you want from WarPlan. Is it a WWII simulator with options to try different things or is it to recreate history?

The Germans were unprepared for the first winter largely because they heavily overextended themselves with the one last push to take Moscow in Oct-Nov (Typhoon). This offensive exhausted the troops and left them very vulnerable. There were dissenting voices in the high command that wanted to pause and regroup. If so, they likely would have issued winter equipment. The logistics system was probably an either or: either supply the offensive or refit the troops. Ironically, the cold weather in November actually helped the Germans despite the lack of winter equipment; the freezing ground allowed motorized movement again.

But why did the Germans make the last push, or for that matter, why did the attack the USSR? They thought that they could deliver a knockout blow and win. But, that can't happen in WarPlan. You don't have an incentive to capture Leningrad and Moscow early on in the hopes of destroying the Soviet political system. The only incentive to attack the USSR is that if you don't, they will attack in 1942, and it will be worse for you. It is hard to tell if the Germans captured both Leningrad and Moscow and held onto it what would have happened. I would somehow build in an incentive for the Germans that would push them to try for victory in the east.

As for history, if you clamor for a winter penalty, shouldn't the Germans also have a penalty for retreating? Time after time, the top guy refused to allow units in danger of encirclement to breakout. Sometimes, local commanders disobeyed, but the delay was costly, and often they were sacked afterwards. I suspect that most German players will pull back and work to save the troops. Ironically, these stand and fight to the death orders might have actually saved the Germans in the first winter. To some degree, the Soviets weren't that good yet and had trouble following up on their successes. They just had an opponent that was staggering from exhaustion and bad planning from being overextended. They also had the good fortune of having Japan attack the U.S. and not them.

One question is whether to penalize a player for trying something different or to force them to slavishly follow the mistakes of history.

Perhaps one solution would be to have snow and blizzard to amplify loss in effectiveness. For example, if it is 90+, little effect, but as the unit drops to 50% a larger effect.

My original post was about Blizzard attacks, not specific to '41.
The Soviets launched multiple winter offensives in every year of the war, several of them did some serious damage. To the best of my knowledge none of them were halted because of bad weather.
In Warplan you can attack during Snow turns OK. However against a competent Axis player you are not going to accomplish anything much by attacking during Blizzard.
In fact in my present game Blizzard turns are a bonus for Axis, giving them a rest from Soviet offensives.

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RE: Blizzard - 2/17/2020 9:10:40 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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Tyronec's post on his slaughter brought up some points. I am strongly considering doing the following changes.

Weather - No clear turns in Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb in the appropriate northern weather zones. I think this will make the game easier to balance and prevent blow outs early in a game ruining it or late in a game.

Winter Combat specialization - I was looking at the code and the specialty lacks. I did the math on it and I am very likely going to change it from +30% to +100% bonus which makes attacking in snow a bonus and in blizzard the same as clear.

Rivers - In blizzard freezing them so they don't have a defense. This would only affect the Arctic.

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RE: Blizzard - 2/17/2020 9:19:31 PM   
Michael T


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Good, steps in the right direction.

I would also look at making the Siberians come in with existing winter specialization. They were all winterized and trained for winter combat. Perhaps a few more units added to the Siberians.

On the weather, removing clear in winter months is good. But perhaps add a bit more clear % in the summer. So more clear in summer and less in winter.

< Message edited by Michael T -- 2/17/2020 9:22:35 PM >


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RE: Blizzard - 2/17/2020 10:01:16 PM   
ago1000


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Snow and blizzard reduce effectiveness recovered by 20% and 40%, respectively for non winterized countries. Maybe these values can be revisited.

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RE: Blizzard - 2/17/2020 11:36:56 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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It's 10% and 20% corrected in the manual edits.

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RE: Blizzard - 2/18/2020 2:00:55 AM   
ago1000


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Thanks Alvaro.
I think I get what your saying in an earlier post. In Blizzard conditions, non winterized units get a penalty and decrease in efficiency. So if you are removing clear weather which increases efficiency, it should follow that the Axis will suffer greater efficiency loses during the winter months in Russia which will effect their performance.


< Message edited by ago1000 -- 2/18/2020 2:32:48 AM >


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RE: Blizzard - 2/18/2020 1:43:02 PM   
LiquidSky


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I'm in the middle of the winter 41/42 with my Russians. Where-ever I have 3 units on 1 German, I attack 5 times. It usually starts bad, but ramps up a bit. Over all I lose a bit more then double what the Germans do. Last turn I inflicted 40 losses, and lost 96 myself.

It also gets easier, as the German unit doesnt get much stronger, and so I am able to do better the next turn.

I also notice that I am not getting any stockpile...it is all going to replacements. And the US is lending 50ish points along with the UK (another 50ish).

Hmm...I wonder if those replacements are coming in at a better experience then the unit? Do they come in at 50%? So it could be my units are also getting stronger because of the attacking

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RE: Blizzard - 2/18/2020 1:57:40 PM   
tyronec


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quote:

I'm in the middle of the winter 41/42 with my Russians. Where-ever I have 3 units on 1 German, I attack 5 times. It usually starts bad, but ramps up a bit. Over all I lose a bit more then double what the Germans do. Last turn I inflicted 40 losses, and lost 96 myself.

It also gets easier, as the German unit doesnt get much stronger, and so I am able to do better the next turn.

I also notice that I am not getting any stockpile...it is all going to replacements. And the US is lending 50ish points along with the UK (another 50ish).

Hmm...I wonder if those replacements are coming in at a better experience then the unit? Do they come in at 50%? So it could be my units are also getting stronger because of the attacking

Axis need to plan their winter to stop that happening. So no corner attacks with 3 units against 1 unless there is good terrain (or put a winterised or Panzer unit there). Against a straight line Soviets can't do much.

Yes, Soviets gain a lot of experience after combats. Axis need to make them pay heavily for it.

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