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RE: T20 - back to normal

 
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RE: T20 - back to normal - 4/3/2020 8:15:26 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Saturn V

...

Another ordnance consideration is that I'm not sure how well the game recreates is certain bomb types being more effective against certain types of targets, or at least being more commonly used against certain types of targets. 100-lb GP and 20-lb fragmentation bombs, for example, were frequently used against enemy airfields, with the former potholing runways and the latter damaging aircraft in the open.

...


Specific to this, there are some fit to mission rules. The main one is that a rocket load out for GA/GS will do more damage to a moving target. But the key aspect is:

quote:

When attacking ground targets each weapon system is rated for its effect (Eff), accuracy (Acc), blast radius (Blast), anti-soft (ASoft) target efficiency, anti-armor (AArm) target efficiency, target penetration (Pen) efficiency, and High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) efficiency..

Effect is an overall measure of the impact of the weapon and a higher value indicates more explosive impact. The values are related to the amount of high explosive in the bomb or other weapon system. Accuracy reflects the chance to hit a target and the lower the value the more likely this is to happen while the blast radius indicates the area it can impact (so an inaccurate large bomb may still do substantial damage).


That is from the draft WiTE2 rules but the same conditions apply in WiTW, just less clearly stated.

How they intersect is complex but fairly logical (for the most part) in practice, if you are hitting a hard or well dug in target, you want a big bomb. So a raid on U-boats is best done with a large payload.

Others are easy to interpret, the axis WGr A2A rocket will destroy its target IF it hits as it has an accuracy of 1 compared to 30+ for most aircraft machine guns. By contrast most of the A2G rockets in the game have an accuracy of 8.

But that leaves a lot of grey areas such as airfield bombing. The key there is to cause damage which lowers the % of the airfield in use (&/or destroys planes). I tend to think 500-1000lb does best as a compromise here.

The closest I can find in the database to the others you mention are 100lb bombs, the best of these has a blast range of 22 and a soft attack of 528. I'm not sure it will do much real damage.

But the modelling of plane types and weapon systems has simplifications. I don't find the game systems reward too much specialisation and more types would probably just lead to either more micro-management or more mis-matches?

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Post #: 61
T23 - making sacrifices to get some rain - 4/3/2020 11:15:40 AM   
loki100


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T23 – 4 December 1943

Forecast was wrong, heavy rain in Italy, snow over the Reich.

8 AAF attacked Bremen and Kassel. RAF at night over the Ruhr. My night fighters were more useful than usual.

Oddly a bit disappointed to lose the VP for N Italy, but it does free up some units.



Situation behind Allied lines



Weather should swap back to light rains next turn.

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RE: T20 - back to normal - 4/3/2020 10:07:33 PM   
bomccarthy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Saturn V


quote:

ORIGINAL: bomccarthy

The danger is the Allied players will shift their strategic bombers to ground unit bombing only, first in Italy and then in NW Europe.


Well, in real life using the heavy bombers in tactical attacks frequently didn't turn out well, with damage sometimes being done to their own side's units. In attacks against an enemy front line unit, perhaps there ought to be a chance of 'friendly fire' hitting any adjacent friendly unit.



The main problem I foresee arises from the game mechanics - there is an older AAR where the Allied player used his heavy bombers almost exclusively for carpet bombing ground units, repeatedly blowing holes in the Axis defensive lines in France. The game mechanics enabling this are not going to change much without a wholesale and unfeasible revision of the code, so the idea is to come up with some sort of realistic workaround; i.e., admin or political points paid for "going outside the doctrine" (if that is feasible within the game mechanics).

Ideally, we would be able to have different subtypes of aircraft within the same unit (P-47D-15 with P-47D-22 and D-25); however, the game code can't accommodate it. Thus, I would hate to have even greater granularity in subtypes, creating more artificial shortages within air groups.

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RE: T20 - back to normal - 4/4/2020 7:28:31 AM   
EddyBear81

 

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I don't see the issue with carpet bombing units with heavy bombers. It has been done historically (ok, not on a large scale), and I'm not even sure this is a winning strategy compared to bombing transport targets or industrial centers (for example, bombing MAN may kill more "soldiers" than bombing the front because it limits replenishment of pools).

OK, it helps when the german players turns the front into WW1 style trench warfare : heavily fortified hexes in "clear" terrain (mostly north-east France). Had it been the case in WW2, there would perhaps have been a "doctrine change" to break the deadlock of trench warfare with large bombers raids.
And then it's up to the german player to adapt : commit more AA resources to the front (and even LW planes, yes), adopt a more mobile defense, focusing on rough/city/forest.

And let's not forget that bombing units does not mean sending a B-17 crushing the foxhole 50m ahead : I like to interpret it as bombing rear area troop concentration, C&C centers, local depots, etc. For me, this is OK-ish from a historical point of view, so I tend to accept it in game.

The one critic towards air power I have is that air losses are almost without consequence to the Allied player : AFAIK, the manpower losses do not translate into VP losses, and it's a big flaw in my opinion.

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RE: T20 - back to normal - 4/4/2020 7:37:04 AM   
loki100


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I'm relaxed about the unit bombing mission. its probably a bit too powerful but it is fairly essential for say a major river crossing or against a well fortified clear hex. Since most of what you do is disruption I tend to regard it as a very focussed interdiction mission, crudely C&C/logistics get knocked about, which undermines the actual front line troops.

If there is decent AA present then the bombers take a lot of damage and while they are doing that they are not knocking out production/gaining VP/messing with rail lines.

I fully agree with the wider comment that air losses are a free good for the allies but the game is balanced around that so not sure in the current framework there is much of a solution?

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Post #: 65
T24 - keeping some Canadians at a distance - 4/4/2020 7:38:44 AM   
loki100


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T24 – 11 December 1943

Allies moving into contact in Italy.

BC over the Ruhr and the U-boats around Bremen.

8 AAF suspiciously quiet apart from a small raid on Emden.

Resulting VP chart.



Decided to risk reminding the Allies that I still have some offensive capability. So massive air attack on a couple of exposed Canadian armoured divisions.

Cost me quite a lot but even the bombers knocked out some tanks.



More air losses in the actual attack.

Probably not really worth it.



Still at least I 'won' the turn – if we only look at losses.



Situation in Italy



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Post #: 66
T25 - lets beat up the French? - 4/5/2020 11:48:35 AM   
loki100


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T25 – 18 December 1943

Allies being cautious on the ground in Italy.

Bomber Command and Tactical Air start on the v-weapon sites in France. BC carries out a limited raid over the Ruhr. 8 AAF tried to knock out U-Boat and v-weapon production over the Baltic. One batch of unescorted B-17s were caught by my fighters and took heavy losses.

No real impact on the VP chart.



Weather next turn of cold over most of NW Europe, heavy rain in Italy.

Decide to take a gamble. The Allied bombers over France were unescorted so I move 50% of 2 Jagd to protect some of the sites around Amiens (0 hex wide so they have to be directly attacked) – might just catch the allies out.

Gradually starting to sort out my French deployment – I'm pessimistic about being able to do much so its really a matter of force preservation and trying to disrupt any allied timetable.

In Italy, another raid on a tempting target.



Maybe I can recapture Rome?



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RE: T25 - lets beat up the French? - 4/7/2020 1:00:57 AM   
GloriousRuse

 

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A VP Comparison: 1943

Loki is going to be possibly be unavailable for a touch due to the dreaded real world, but we did have a short e-mail chat about our relative VPs and how it got there by the end of '43. Spoiler, I use the T26 VP chart from the most recent game.

So, as '43 comes to a close I have 212 VPs compared to the 112 VPs Loki had. Self flattery aside, how did we get that 100 points?

Was it bombing? By a slim majority. 55 VP

About half of the difference in our scores comes from VP bombing. Namely, I picked up 247 points versus Loki's 192. Our U-boat points, when T27 processes, will be one point apart. Which means the other 55 VPs came from hitting VP targets and some daylight raids.

What is interesting here s that neither of us really ever blew out the bombing score. I think my high point was 15 a turn, but it settled into the 13 range by late fall as I started to shift a focus to military production. In contrast, Loki built steadily into the 13 range. Both of us had a mass U-boat repair near the end of the year that diverted missions, and both of us had to spend time prepping the V-Weapons for '44.

The difference is less the final level of destruction as it is the phasing. Loki hit AFVs and trucks very early, slowing his growth to the double digit bombing VPs. In contrast, I aimed very deliberately to get there to cover Rome if things went wrong. The difference paid off in the late summer to early fall period, where I was putting up scores 3-4 points higher a turn than our first game, which then slid into the same range as Loki's points by late '43. Even when I shifted to AFVs, the residual damage kept paying out points. Given I think his technical proficiency actually delivered more bombs for more "hit target %" results, this is a testimony to the value of getting the points in early. Particularly as the bombing scores drop much faster than the city point.

Was it losses? Partially. 27 VP

Despite a positive looking early start, the Rome landings were intensely painful. I ended with -178 loss VPs for '43 compared to Loki's -205. Both include the negative start position. Which highlights two things: one, because losses are a one time penalty, sudden shocking events are actually less dramatic than continuous operational costs. In short, it's better to lose a division all at once and then win then lose 30,000 men cracking a line slowly over 20 small attacks. Two, because losses stay absolute while rewards drop significantly, you are forgiven for a lot more errors in '43 than any other time in the game. The combination incentivizes boldness on the WAs part.

Also interesting is that our total casualties are about even; the points come from who suffered them. Loki's preference for CW assault troops in every major attack was more costly than three American divisions being rendered ineffective.

Surely then it was cities? Pretty close to bombing. 42 VP

No surprises here. Having Rome in November is a clincher when it comes to city points. What is unique is that when you compare it versus the bombing campaign. A sequencing decision on bomb targets in '43 was worth more than taking Rome 7 months early.

Now, my first reaction was to go "woah - strat air is OP." But this is short sighted. Strat air gets chopped to 1/3 it's value as of early '44. It is a one time mass packet that then depreciates quickly and requires constant air effort to maintain for ever smaller gains.

In contrast, cities are at 2/3 value as of early '44 and 1/2 their value by late '44. And once you have them, barring hideous error, you keep them for free. Rome and the follow up alone will probably be the equivalent of my entire new '44 bombing VP/turn score for a bit.

That's more than 100. Yes it is. Partisans/garrison. -24 VP

All told, Loki really knocked it out of the park with garrisons. This is an indicator of his superior mechanics, yes, but also of the fact that he has mostly preserved the heer other than the opening phases of '43. He has lost 70k less troops than I had by this point in the war, which means he is not desperately scraping the continent for anything he can find. This is also why there is a solid row of fresh armor and FJs sitting on the Arno. This has come from avoiding pockets during the withdrawal north - I've gotten a few paltry infantry regiments - and less commitment to die in place defenses.


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Post #: 68
T26 - crashing into France - 4/7/2020 5:17:14 AM   
loki100


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T26 – 25 December 1943

No ground attacks in Italy – allies seem to be content to move up to the Arno.

On the other hand, a lot of air action.



Day raids by Bomber Command over the Ruhr. 8 AAF seemed to be after the v-weapon production around Hannover.

Last time the v-weapon raids in NE France were unescorted, this time FC seemed to be expecting some response.

Air defence of Bethune was a disaster but at Amiens caught out 2 Tactical Air on a lot of un(der) escorted missions.

Looks like cold over most of Europe next turn, light rain in Italy.

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Post #: 69
T27 - I am sooo looking forward to 1944 - 4/8/2020 7:46:30 AM   
loki100


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T27 – 1 January 1944

In Italy, Allies tried to take Rimini but the FJ division held them off.

Some bombing of v-weapon launch sites. BC doing its usual day missions, this time around Dusseldorf and Hannover. 8 AAF over the v-weapon sites on the Baltic, my fighters opted to completely ignore this as they did around Ulm-Augsburg.

Final 1943 set of VP:



Situation in Italy



Clearly I am going to have to substantively weaken that front line but its easier for me to disengage and redeploy by rail than it is for the allies to sail off. So I should get some warnings as to when I can start to pull out the better formations.

Current OOB.



Next turn is clear over the Reich, light rain in Italy. I think I am getting worse weather (from the axis perspective) than last time, can only hope it balances out at some stage.

Few comments on 1943, GR has already mentioned most of this.

By my standards this is not too bad in Italy – I've managed to lose more units for a worse position in previous games. Main thing is I still think a Corsica defense is viable but you clearly need to properly cover every port.

I really do not agree with the use of BC for day bombing. Going back to the earlier discussions, I think if an Allied player wants to do this they should pay the admin cost of sacking Harris. Its pretty cheap and there are good enough replacements but it reflects one part of the constraints.

More generally this trick effectively removes the German NF from the game (they are useless by day), everyone now knows how to use FC to dominate the Ruhr and its a massive gain in terms of bombing VP.

Most of the +50 bombing VP compared to our last game can be traced to this (and less attnetion to tanks and trucks).

Other than that, u-boat VP are much the same (53/56) as loss VP is a lot closer than I expected (205/178) which surprises me as I thought I'd been a lot more careless in this respect. Worth remembering how much of the allied losses come from simply being in contact (attrition).

Still that plus the extra bombing VP accounts for 80 of the 100 extra VP that GR has managed to gain.

Given what will happen between now and the main France landings, its inevitable this is heading at least for a minor allied victory.

I'm busy setting up in France to try something out. I have no illusions of stopping the allies or even gaining the beachhead VP so I want to see if its possible to really muck up their breakout.

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T28 - Waiting for Godot - 4/9/2020 8:53:48 AM   
loki100


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T28 – 8 January 1944

Allies attacked Rimini again, held despite heavy losses and a lot of supporting naval gunfire.

For a change, committed the RSI Italian air units to an AS and they inflicted some losses.

Limited BC day efforts over the Ruhr, 8 AAF at Magdeburg.

Looks like this turn's snowfall will persist into next week – I tend to find this results in very poor bombing outcomes and a lot of operational damage.

Unless the situation in Italy really shifts during the winter, my guess is this pattern of VP is going to be repeated till say April when the bombing weather starts to consistently improve.



So as usual with a German AAR, really nothing to say at this stage. Since I suspect a lot of allied naval movement over the next month have set up a few things that might pay off – depends on how incautious they are.

Reasonably happy with my deployment in France. As ever I won't be once the allies have landed but that is a different issue.

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T29 - a chance for a winter holiday? - 4/10/2020 2:12:06 PM   
loki100


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T29 - 15 January 1944

Italian RSI formations perform as well as usual.



Limited bombing in Northern Europe, 8 AAF around Magdeburg and British hitting v-weapon launch sites.

Allied VP gain a fairly predictable +7.

Most of my moves are to prepare for the next round of departures and for the March 44 garrison demands.

Urgent enquiries are launched into how the army managed to lose 672 men in the circumstances.



Keeping an eye on these numbers – not for the value as such but more that any increase is probably a clue that allied units are leaving Italy.



Especially as my recon suggests a lot less in reserve behind the Allied front line.



And really just for information – air losses



Weather for next turn looks like the same mix of snowfall in N Europe and heavy rains over Italy.

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T30 - moving around - 4/11/2020 10:35:49 AM   
loki100


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T30 – 22 January 1944

Both sides stare at each other in Italy, Kesselring mulls over the recent orders to rescue the Pope.

VP score up to +11.

BC usual day stuff over the Ruhr, 8 AAF hits Magdeburg.

+40 cargo ships, not enough to indicate any real movements.



Noticed the allies are bombing the French population.



So quick to write but spent about 2 hours on redeployments and future allocations.

Weather next turn looks like cold in NW Europe, heavy rain in Italy.

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RE: T30 - moving around - 4/11/2020 3:12:39 PM   
John B.


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Not how you lost 672 men, but how 3 allies superheros managed to take out 672 men and 6 guns before they were taken down! :)

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RE: T30 - moving around - 4/11/2020 5:21:16 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: John B.

Not how you lost 672 men, but how 3 allies superheros managed to take out 672 men and 6 guns before they were taken down! :)


indeed

was trying to gloss over that this was as bad as 8 August 1918 for the Wehrmacht (aka the 'Black Day of the German Army')

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Post #: 75
T31 - excitement in Livorno - 4/13/2020 7:12:44 AM   
loki100


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T31 – 29 January 1944

+9 VP, total of 246 (at least I got -3 for garrisons ... really this is the only value I can directly influence at the moment).

Only Allied bombing in NW Europe was the v-weapon sites and some recon over Normandy.



However, exciting things happened in Livorno. Which was bombed 60 times.

Pictures of the one destroyed Allied tank are being sent to Berlin for validation (especially as it may have been a Crusader III).

I'm particularly impressed by the performance of the 412 Ost infantry battalion.



All that eased by some very strange climactic conditions over the current front line.



Weather systems for next turn, looks like no Strategic bombing but Italy may well be clear – or in heavy rain?



No sign of any Allied redeployments as they lost 0 troop ships and around 40 cargo ships (so really just normal attrition).

Given the massive change to the front line in Italy – heres a situation map



One good thing of having completed most of the mobilisation is I now have a few spare admin pts. So some focus on putting more factories onto priority repair – at a time when the demands on the Allied airforces start to expand (as, of course, does the allied airforce).

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RE: T31 - excitement in Livorno - 4/13/2020 11:23:14 AM   
John B.


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Don't mock the mighty ost battalions! We're playing MMP's Beyond the Rhine in my FTF wargaming group (or will be when the quarantine lifts) and my ost battalions have surprised the British on a number of occasions. :)

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RE: T31 - excitement in Livorno - 4/13/2020 11:56:56 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: John B.

Don't mock the mighty ost battalions! We're playing MMP's Beyond the Rhine in my FTF wargaming group (or will be when the quarantine lifts) and my ost battalions have surprised the British on a number of occasions. :)


ahem, while the 634 remembered they are far safer fighting the British rather than the Soviets the 412 clearly decided it was time to declare global peace. To assist on their re-education they will be on a train to Gomel as soon as I can manage it

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RE: T31 - excitement in Livorno - 4/13/2020 12:26:51 PM   
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RE: T31 - excitement in Livorno - 4/13/2020 2:37:30 PM   
Scona


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What is your opinion about Allied landings on the eastern side of the Adriatic based on the your previous game? Is there a house rule about this being done?

It would seem that the German forces might be stretched thin in a game using fixed east front deployment, but would have more options to deal with this under a free east front deployment.

Also there simply might not be anything really worth a major Allied commitment in this most of this area.

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RE: T31 - excitement in Livorno - 4/13/2020 3:05:59 PM   
loki100


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There are several problems. One is the narrows between Italy and Albania have quite high default interdiction (#2 or #3) so you either take the losses or allocate my airpower just to address that problem. There is another similar problem area up around Venice.

The other is you can get out of range of your own fighters.

Here it depends a bit on phasing and where you land - and what you want to do.

In a MP game, you can't go Sicily-Adriatic but then most allied players will put in a repurposed landing to Calabria. Even so, if you are low down in Calabria you can't get Spitfires etc over landings near Bari.

In our games I did a fairly conventional Adriatic landing around Bari. I was basically hoping that GR would give me a tank battle in the open terrain of S Italy rather than preserve his Pzrs for the mountains. In this game he did a pragmatic (well chosen) landing next to Tarentum.

I think this links into the reality that the Italy game runs in phases. Post Sicily, the Germans will seal off Calabria, you do a landing to shake them loose, they then retreat to a line from Naples along the Bifano. You then land near Rome to shake them out of this.

There is a trade off, go further north and the shake out can be more dramatic, go too far north and you can get into trouble with lack of aircover. In this game, I think GR got a bit greedy at Rome and went too far north - but its a fine judgement.

This can go wrong for the German player if you are not aware of the risks. Certainly with the EF off, and the hard wired withdrawals, you simply can't fight two major operations at the same time. Try that and you can lose a lot to encirclements. The Allied player can have some problems if they badly plan their landings (here is where the Bari etc landing can go wrong) not so much in the risk of failure as taking heavy losses due to contested sea zones. The other allied mistake is being too cautious (you can see this in Xhoel's excellent AAR and I did it in a long buried very early AAR - there are other examples).

You basically need two pressure points and the threat (even if never used) of something else.

The other useful Adriatic naval mission is an end-run with a brigade. Quick to generate and repurpose and can catch out an unwary German player - or make a wary one even more cautious.

More generally, in itself the Adriatic is not VP rich and I think in the early analysis of the game was rather under-appreciated. Its actually quite rewarding even if you basically just use ground forces. There are choke points but to use them means the Germans have to commit some good troops. The Allies can have decent infantry on both coasts and switch their armour with some ease. The reward is a constant threat of turning west to meet up with a Med landing giving a pocket.

I certainly wouldn't create a rule about landings in the Adriatic. All the options have trade-offs and it seems fair that it is in play. The only place I would never even think of targetting a landing is Anzio - hard to think of a worse placed option if you tried (Salerno is not too bad if all you want to do is to break out into S Italy).

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RE: T31 - excitement in Livorno - 4/13/2020 7:32:13 PM   
GloriousRuse

 

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Airpower is really the defining need of MP landings in my opinion. A competent German player can place more and more pain on Allied landings the further North and East they go, while allied airbases are thin on the ground near the north Adriatic. By the time you’re where we are now, the Germans literally have 270 degrees of bases surrounding the north Adriatic, all with short ranges. In contrast, the WA have to split limited basing in north Italy - especially on the east coast - between:

1. Fighters to kill German bombers so he doesn’t just sit there sinking everything.

2. Patrol aircraft to open the sea lanes and some fighters to make sure they don’t die.

3. Ground attack aircraft to enable the breakthrough and cover the landings.

You can get around some of it by repurposing the 15th Air Force, but the reality is that it would be a more even air battle than you probably want at the same time you’re withdrawing TFs to England for the big show. It’s certainly tempting and possible, but the potential for losses is high.

Finally, unless you wait until early-mid ‘44, you won’t have much of an exploitation echelon. By now you’re staring at pretty even odds along a lot of the front, and designated breakout sectors are going to need a good chunk to actually ever link up. Plus, it’s about five weeks to get a unit to England, and another three to refit it to invasion readiness. Landings are month+ operations, so anything committed isn’t making it to D-Day.

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T32 - leaning on Pisa - 4/14/2020 8:00:27 AM   
loki100


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T32 – 5 February 1944

So more drama in Italy – as Pisa leans under pressure but doesn't actually crumble.





Fortunately for GR his corps commander had more sense than the supreme commander ... if either of those had actually advanced to close combat I'd be gleefully counting the resulting VP.[1]

Over NW Europe, weather was better than expected (or worse – depends on your point of view). 8 AAF attacked around Hannover, BC by day over the Ruhr and against launch pads in France.

VP situation, my last re-organisation pays off a little in terms of Partisan VP.



Trying things out (aka being bored being on the defensive), so put together an odd GA mission, very low altitude which should avoid both allied fighters and most flak apart from over the target. The target is a French division in clear terrain.



Or, in other words, a waste of time.



Looks like heavy rain over NW Europe next turn but clear in Italy.

Allied troop ship losses still 85, Cargo up to 1100.

[1] We had an email discussion over why this stopped so quickly. My guess is that the cv was 1-2 and that after both his pre-attack airstrikes and the in-attack GS and longer ranged artillery. So the next phase is going to a fairly straight exchange of fire with the advantage very much on my side (terrain + forts), even if the Allies win (& that would need a massive swap over of non-disrupted combat elements) they are going to pay a high price.

In WiTE2, with a typical Soviet commander (in this if I recall its the initiative value that matters), that attack would have gone in and generated a lot of losses.

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T33 - Pisa shudders but holds - 4/15/2020 8:25:13 AM   
loki100


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T33 – 12 February 1944

Another go at Pisa, I'd swapped the defenders around a bit.



Overall in Italy, I'm still working on the principle that I can redeploy to France quicker than the allies can.

Heavy rain over NW Europe so no strategic bombing.

This, plus recent moves and allocating more admin to repairs is bringing the loss of VP under some control. But I can't see this ending anywhere but an allied minor victory with the chance of a major win if things go wrong.



Post-recon, hard to draw too many conclusions about what the allies are up to. Piombino not being a major port its not really a good disembarkation option.

Cargo ship losses up 26 to 1126 (and one lost troop ship so they have now lost 86) so that doesn't help much either in terms of interpreting what is going on.



Most of their turn losses can be traced to the Pisa battle, the rest may indicate some losses at sea.



Looks like cold/snowfall next week.

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T34 - Pity about the rest of the line - 4/15/2020 8:12:38 PM   
loki100


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T34 – 19 February 1944

Oh well, at least its not Pisa





In the air 8 AAF around Hannover and the v-weapons at Nordhausen, usual BC daylight raids over the Ruhr (I've not changed my view about doing this), elements of BC and 8AAF seem to be very interested in my transport network.

Maybe we see a March invasion?

VP score unremarkable, given the extent that the partisan score can vary even with the same garrison levels.



Lot of US units around Bristol.



Italy, small adjustment after the Allied gains.

Seems there are some naval moves as troop ship losses up 4 to 90 and cargo up 27 to 1153. I assume the cargo losses are a sort of baseline attrition for moving supply around.



Ground losses






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T35 - Spying on Bristol - 4/16/2020 11:31:21 AM   
loki100


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T35 – 26 February 1944

Situation in Italy goes from bad to worse.



8 AAF attacked Magdeburg, what seems to have been an AS over the Baltic and the usual unrealistic BC day raid over the Ruhr [1].

Other than that, a lot of port bombing in the Pas de Calais.

As usual, I seem to have misjudged generating a defensive AS over N Italy, as my fighters ran into unexpected allied air cover.

Nothing much to say about the VP chart at +6.

So decided on a gamble in Italy. Repeated the low level GA mission from a few turns back and chucked all the armour at the base of the Allied salient.

This paid off with losses and a surprising rout.



Doubt it will hold, whether the Allies can turn this against me badly will depend on how much fresh formations they have left. They will break through – have little doubt about that.



Rather enjoying running pointless recon missions over the UK.



Well that should help with the VP score, also allies lost 4 troop ships and 30 cargo ships.



At least most of my air losses were RSI formations.



Unfortunately it looks like clear skies over most of Europe next turn – this would have been a good time for some heavy rain in Italy.

[1] You can assume my view on this hasn't changed, till I start to see Mustangs running close escort.

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RE: T35 - Spying on Bristol - 4/16/2020 4:49:27 PM   
EddyBear81

 

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I guess my question about BC daylight raids will be rather naive : why don't you send a big bad defensive AS directive above the Ruhr if they are unescorted ? That should teach them.

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RE: T35 - Spying on Bristol - 4/16/2020 5:34:04 PM   
loki100


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because all an Allied player has to do is to sit FC in an AS over the Ruhr, which is feasible as it has no other task. Any resulting A2A will at very best exchange planes and that is a short route to the early destruction of the Luftwaffe.

Add on the extra bombing accuracy = more VP.

The problem is that BC only did the most specialist of day light raids up to the Summer of 1944. At that stage they did more as they could piggy back behind 8 AAF's interdiction. They could also have made better use of their own Mustangs as opposed to using them in GS in Italy for some reason.

Even then, their day light operations were less effective than 8 AAF as they stuck to their bomber stream tactic as opposed to 8 AAF's box tactic. This was almost inevitable as they had spent 4 years training around that design of a mission.

The other missing bit is the British were afraid of German bombing so only slowly released FC for offensive missions, again post D-Day is the key step here as after that only minimal formations were kept back to deal with the v-weapons and the few final German raids (the last was in April 45).

There are a few other bits. In the game the British NF are actually quite decent day fighters but the German NF are sitting ducks, so in effect doing this removes all the German NF and preserves the value of the Allied NF (the US Black Widows make very good long range day escorts).

So its ahistoric, has no downsides and there is no response. So I really don't like it. There are plenty of other totally valid ahistoric options in the game, 4E bombers doing regular GA for eg, that I have no objections to. There is a clear trade off of asset allocation, there is a cost and, given the usual German limitations, there are even responses.

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RE: T35 - Spying on Bristol - 4/16/2020 8:33:03 PM   
bomccarthy


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I have only played as WA against the AI, so I don't know how effective it would be for the Luftwaffe to run nuisance bombing raids on England - either very high level raids (at 30k+ ft or very low level raids at 1k ft). It might cause a human WA player to retain some FC units for defense-only.

One problem with the game post-D-Day is that V-1 raids are not represented. These caused FC to keep its fastest fighters in England for months after the invasion.

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RE: T35 - Spying on Bristol - 4/16/2020 8:48:53 PM   
GloriousRuse

 

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Since the daylight bombing discussion is developing, I figured I would take a look at the decision cycle that got there, as it is one of those ones that treads the line between ahistoric/freedom and historical/enforced method.

Step 0: There is no need to defend England. Now part of this is 20/20 hindsight, and that part is forgivable. After all, with 20/20 hindsight on "the flow of the game" many less historical decisions can be made in any game. The other part is that there is no mechanical incentive.

Step 0A: If there was a need to defend England - say reverse bombing points of a sort- it would certainly require the German bomber force actually attack England in '43. Which would take away those same bombers from being the dreaded fleet killer of the Italian shores - an ahistorical use of that asset; yes, there were items like the air raid on Bari, but never utter devastation as the entire fury of the western KGs arrived as a hammer. How many players would choose to fly into the maw of FC for a few VPs as opposed to preserve their best landing defense tool? We don't know, because there isn't the option.

But if they did go for the historic answer, it would pull bombers and fighters forward into the Ruhr, France, etc. Which would trigger battles far forward of where most German players want them. So - the question becomes "at what point do we force history?" After all, we could lock BC into night for '43 and prevent FC from being aggressive by simply taking away most of the German bomber fleet and preventing redeployment of fighters east and calling it a historical trade. In essence, the decision to make this unavailable as an option drives the rest of the decision cycle.

Step 1: The allies want to kill the LW, and not needing to defend England by the pre-made decision, send very aggressive fighters out. Also an ahistoric decision, but one we're ok with.

Step 2: The Germans want to save the LW. So they pull back to east Germany. Also ahistorical for the political leadership.

Now this is worth looking at, because this is conventional wisdom and not a given. You could make a very reasonable argument that one of the German player's biggest strategic decisions is "when, where, and how do I spend the LW?" A look at VP analysis says that the '43 air war is often the biggest single chunk of VPs the WA get all game. Massively so. While the price of defending West Germany and the Ruhr is indeed going to be the LW getting battered, you might conclude that the LW exists to be sacrificed on an altar sometime and there are whole lot of VPs riding up front - is it better to have extra fighters shooting down planes in '44, or slow/damage the VP deadliest portion of the allied air war? I'm not convinced this is a given. You would have to adjust tactics - massed air ambushes on planned turns, not just eave the Ruhr on auto and see what happens - but it might be viable.

Step 3: The allies, seeing their are no day fighters, jump to daylight raids for increased damage and to avoid night fighters.

Step 4: The germans are re-presented with the issue of step 2. Admitteedly, there is one other decision they could make besides "defend forward" and that would be "scrap the NFs early and use the proceeds to fight." Which admittedly is a decision with a much longer loop than the WA, who merely would then have to tick "night" again while bombing.




< Message edited by GloriousRuse -- 4/16/2020 8:50:13 PM >

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