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New AAR v1.04 Main Front Campaign

 
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New AAR v1.04 Main Front Campaign - 4/5/2020 5:11:06 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2865
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: online
I have stared a new AAR using the 'Main Front' campaign, playing as Axis against the Allied AI. I have posted selected turns to show the initial build-up to the main part of the campaign, with more to follow as real life and time permits.

https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4789344

_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon
Post #: 1
RE: New AAR v1.04 Main Front Campaign - 4/10/2020 11:12:47 AM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2865
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: online
Learned when playing this AAR :

Combat Hits Prediction

This is a feature which I have only just discovered and AFAIK is undocumented and not in the Manual.

The image below is a composite of different stages of a combat, with the smaller insert becoming available after you have selected a unit(s) to attack.

If, having ordered an attack, you go back and click again on the stack now containing your attacking unit(s) and the enemy defenders, you get a friendly unit information panel again (insert centre), but now with the addition of the expected Hits the enemy will suffer and the expected Hits that your unit(s) will suffer.

When you have more than one unit engaged, by clicking on any of them in the battle stack, it will show the prediction for the combined attack.

If you do not like the prediction, then you can use the 'Cancel' control and the attack will be cancelled and your unit(s) will return to the original hex, now being available for other orders. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of assessing whether, or not, to attack.

I need to run more tests, but it seems to be a prediction and the actual battle results can be different. (EDIT) It is only a prediction and can sometimes be wildly wrong, but often within a point, or two, of the actual results.

I never noticed this before because I had not had cause to re-click the attacking hex, so you never stop learning.






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< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 4/10/2020 12:28:25 PM >


_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 2
RE: New AAR v1.04 Main Front Campaign - 4/11/2020 7:24:29 AM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2865
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: online
Playing this AAR as Axis, the most difficult process to handle has been the Fuel / Combat Supply priority slider control.

The image shows the 'Supply and Fuel Status' panel (accessible with a control button in the top screen panel), as this appears in the first turn of the game, with priority strongly towards Fuel, at 80%.

This may be correct, as in the first few turns there is likely to be a lot of unit movement, as you set up your defence and move units into place. However, as soon as the combat starts, there is never going to be enough 'Combat Supply'. You can choose not to move so much and save fuel, but you cannot choose not to be attacked and try and use less combat supply.

As you play you can watch the Fuel indicator (bottom main map screen info panel) wind down, as you allocate your unit movement actions. Similarly the Combat Supply indicator, in the same info bar, rapidly heads towards (0), as you try and keep your units combat supplied.

Air operations do not seem to be included in this fuel allocation system and not sure if that should be an issue, as Axis air operations were heavily dependent on the availability of fuel. However, since Axis air gets wiped out, as soon as you try and fly any missions, it is not too relevant in this game.

The Allied player has the initiative and could wait a few turns, from time to time, to allow the Fuel and Combat Supply pools to fill with a surplus, but the Axis player is in a hassle immediately and continually, in a balancing act over these resources. The Axis player doesn't get to call a halt to allow resources to build.

None of this is intended as criticism of the game, just acknowledging the different experience as the Axis player, but that is how it was for the Axis side, not just a battle with the enemy, but also a constant battle for resources.

In this context, 'Combat Supply' only serves the units' need to move and fight, a separate general supply feature (food, etc.) operates automatically across the map from supply sources and is shown as a supply value, for each hex, in a supply map overlay, accessible with another button in the map screen top bar.

The added problem for the Axis player, which the Allied side doesn't have to worry about, is that some of this scarce supply capacity is used to purchase Fortification points. These points can then be used to allow units of your choice to fortify the hexes that they occupy. All well and good, but is does add another drain on your already short supply pool.

Also in this panel you can see how much Fuel and Supply is coming into the theatre from outside, which you cannot control, you can only adjust the priority between Fuel and Supply. Also, you can see how much of each you are consuming every turn, watching how much consumption exceeds supply, as it inevitably will.

However you set the slider as Axis, you will very quickly be short of Fuel, or Combat Supply and probably both, but as the need for Combat Supply increases, when you come into contact with the enemy, the slider will need to come back towards Combat Supply at 50% / 50%, or further.

There is a delay in the effect of changes you make in the slider setting, before that change works though to the actual readings of Fuel and Combat Supply, by which time the strategic reason that caused you to make that change has probably passed and a new setting would have been better but ….. War is Hell !




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 4/11/2020 7:51:21 AM >


_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 3
RE: New AAR v1.04 Main Front Campaign - 4/17/2020 11:36:21 AM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2865
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: online
The Italian mountain terrain is key to the Italian Campaign, as although the Axis forces had little airpower left, they did often hold the high ground, which gave them a large advantage in observation.

The Allies, advancing against Axis mountain defence lines, were exposed in the flat valley floors, where any movement, or preparations, could be observed and artillery, or mortar, fire quickly and destructively brought down.

Especially in winter weather, the Allies had to move over often muddy, mined ground to cross swollen fast moving rivers, which had to be bridged under observed fire. Nothing could happen quickly and mostly under the plain sight of the defenders.

The first image is Monte Lungo, which was a key Axis observation position against the Allied attacks on San Pietro, December 1943, and dominating the surrounding valley terrain.

The second image shows a German paratrooper overlooking the terrain in the CASSINO area, where nothing much could move without being seen.

Third image is part of an Axis fortified line, with a tank turret mounted, as a defence position, in open mountain terrain, with little, or no, cover for any attacker. However, this type of fortification cannot be created in the equivalent of a game turn, as the game is now configured and should take several turns to complete, with the current game procedure more like digging-in.

Mountain terrain is very significant in the game, as the hex terrain stack limit only allow units accumulating up to stack value (5) to be deployed in a mountain hex, limiting the size of any attack. The attacker is forced into the historical tactics of progressively wearing down a mountain defence.

I am finding the game very true to the historical circumstances experienced by both sides and looking forward to seeing how this works from an Axis perspective, the deeper into the mountains the scenario develops.




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< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 4/17/2020 3:37:04 PM >


_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 4
RE: New AAR v1.04 Main Front Campaign - 4/18/2020 4:23:50 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2865
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: online
Confronting the issue of 'combat supply' and 'fuel', as the AAR moves into January 1944 and the Axis (me) is quickly running out of both, so what has happened ?

Manual extracts : 'PFE cannot be played well without understanding how fuel and supply affect play.'

Well that is becoming painfully obvious !

Next : 'The German player receives 20 capacity for Verona and 12 for Rome.
In addition, as long as it’s 1943, the German player receives an additional 10. On turn 10, the German side receives a special one-time allotment of 300 fuel in addition to any other fuel points they are to receive.'


So it's now 1944 and I've lost the 1943 additional allowance.

Next : 'Germans they draw supply from cities such as Rome, Naples, Florence and Verona.
Its important for players with limited fuel supplies to keep an eye on consumption to make sure they don’t run out at a critical moment and don’t waste fuel unnecessarily.'


Hmmmmm !


Looking more deeply into supply and movement and another Manual extract : 'What (general hex) supply does affect is both the total amount of movement points available and the fuel cost of moving a unit.'

What this means is that when the supply level in a particular hexes is reduced it needs more fuel to move though that hex. The rationale is that as you move away from the supply source, it costs more and more fuel to actually deliver supplies and fuel. The supply trucks are burning up your fuel.

Example : Hex at 16% to 39% general supply, one movement point expended costs x2.0 fuel points.

You can see the general supply level for hexes under your control, by selecting the 'Supply Overlay' from the top map screen buttons.

I realised that units from the North were making better progress on a route via ROME, on the West coast, as opposed to units routeing down the East coast. Only when I looked at the 'Supply Overlay' did I see why :




All the way down the East coast there are reductions in hex supply levels for supply coming from FLORENCE, ROME and NAPLES, reducing to supply level 38% at ANCONA and again at TERMOLI (off screen), which increases fuel usage in those areas, causing the extra fuel burn on the East coast route, should have checked, but to late now the fuels gone..

I don't think this explains all the fuel burn problems, as there are strategic implications which need another post.

For instance, there doesn't seem to be a difference between mechanised (PZ and MOT) fuel cost and infantry (INF) usage for each hex movement. Except that mechanised units are moving further and therefore burning more fuel, but infantry units are not burning less fuel per mile/km, as you might expect.

German infantry units were still using a lot of horse-drawn transport and the fuel usage should be much lower than mechanised units.

So still learning and like an onion this game keeps revealing deeper and deeper levels of detail.



Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 4/18/2020 7:19:16 PM >


_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 5
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