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All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> The Operational Art of War IV >> How to progress through a turn Page: [1]
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How to progress through a turn - 5/15/2020 2:43:39 PM   


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Hello Fellow Grognards,

How do you guys progress through a turn in TOAW3/TOAW4?

For example I'm currently playing the Global Conflict 1988 Europe-Middle East as a hotseat match against myself (consider it chess with more steps)in TOAW3 and the way I handle my turn is as followed:

1. Progress through the turn, moving units, digging in, attacking units (without combat) etc.
2. Everytime there is a battle, I write down every unit that are going to attack, I write down which hex it is attacking and at which combat round is it starting, so to remember future attacks, when the appropriate combat round has been reached. I usually use excel, as shown in the file uploaded. I also write down supporting attacks and have a notes section, if there's something special I should know. I do this for ship combat as well as for air attacks (airfield attacks etc)

The reason why I'm doing this, is that without writing down everything, I don't feel like having an overview of the situation especially in a scenario like Global Conflict 1988. When using the combat planner, and pressing the previous combat/next combat buttions it doesn't seem to scroll through every possible combats and going through all the units in each combat round in order to see if something can be moved, seems really tedious.

The reason why I'm asking is inspiration or suggestions on how to progress through a turn? For example, a lot of you are playing Fire in the East and other monster scenarios and I could imagine that finding the way between an easy progress of a turn whilst still keeping tabs on all your units and maximising their performance is important in those scenarios.

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RE: How to progress through a turn - 5/15/2020 4:11:24 PM   

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I have not played TOAWIII, but I played ACoW and now I'm learning TOAWIV.

I'm not sure if my "techniques" will be helpful to you or not, but at least they might give you some ideas about how they might inspire your game.

I'll use FitE1 as my example (my game w/ GeneralJCL, me as the Soviets) ... we are around move #130, sometime in September 1942 and the Soviets are driving toward Pskov, while the Germans are driving on Sevastapol and Stalino to Stalingrad southern front. The Central Front is now in more or less "trench warfare" with very litle progress for either side, except that I have established some bridgeheads just west of Smolensk, and the city of Vitebsk is in my sights. So that's a current overview: complete AAR is in the AAR forums.

So, strategically, I already know what I want / need to do: keep attacking toward Pskov; keep trying to liberate Vitebsk; and reinforce the defenses in the South.

Here is where my "procedure" begins, with every turn: an "Engineering" check across the entire board, which will refresh my memory of map details, dictate what Engineers need to do (repair bridges, move to rivers for transport help where needed) and also help me identify any problem areas, disorganized units, initial attack planning, etc. --)

So, first engineering thing to do: DISEMBARK ALL "ENTRAINED" Units, using the "." period key, which locates the map onto an entrained unit. Press "." again on that unit, and it disembarks. Usually, I just use the drop down menu, "disembark entire stack" and if there is another in visual range, I disembark them, then it is "." again to locate any other entrained units. When pressing "." does not locate a train, I know all units are disembarked. Time spent: five minutes.

Now it is time for bridge building etc.

My technique for this stage of engineering is explained partly in the post #10 in this link

I don't have the FitE1 move in front of me at the moment, but when I get that, I will go into this step with more detail, because it is during this stage that I start planning combats, digging in disorganized units that I see, Etc., and then the "air check" phase, the "reinforcement" phase, and finally the "post-round 1 combat phase". I think TOAWIV has some tools for reports and map navigation that TOAWIII lacked, so some of my procedures might need to be "tweaked" for use in TOAWIII.

Anyway, great question! I hope I can give you some ideas later today.

(in reply to PincerDK)
Post #: 2
RE: How to progress through a turn - 5/15/2020 4:43:44 PM   
Curtis Lemay

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Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
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I always recommend my old AAR here:

It's a good primer on round management - the most valuable skill in TOAW. It's a little dated, but still applicable.


My TOAW web site:

Bob Cross's TOAW Site

(in reply to Hellen_slith)
Post #: 3
RE: How to progress through a turn - 5/15/2020 4:54:14 PM   

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Nice! I haven't seen that AAR. I see that it is in the TOAWIII forums, so that is why I missed that one.

Here is a link to the main page of the old TOAWIII forums, you can find some good stuff in there (although many of the AARs lack the original screen shots....)

Anyway, in this TOAWIV "technique" I use: continuing on my engineering phase, here is a screenshot from an Russo-German War solo game I'm playing. Here, I try to show that WHILE I AM DOING my "bridge checks", I also look around the immediate vicinity for any "targets of opportunity" ... in this sector, I've now (1) attempted repair of two bridges (2) set up some attacks of opportunity.

Time to check on the next engineer (or motor engineer) using that OOB Sort Trick I described in the other "." thread

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< Message edited by Hellen_slith -- 5/15/2020 4:56:08 PM >

(in reply to Curtis Lemay)
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RE: How to progress through a turn - 5/15/2020 5:38:07 PM   

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Now that I've gone through the OOB and checked up on all my engineers and set up some "opportunity" attacks, I'm ready to put on my "CIVIL DEFENSE" Hat, and I'm going to go through the entire ORBAT and look at my anti-air defense shield.

I bring up the OOB list, I sort the list A to Z, and am going to go through and look at my AA units and their immediate vicinity. After I click on that first unit and "do my thing" there, I'm going to go back to OOB, sort it again, and click the next AA unit to be checked. There are about 25 total AA units to check, but this procedure will take me about 30 minutes tops. As with the Engineer check, I will also scout the immediate vicinity in each case for "opportunity" attacks etc., or units needing entrenchment (especially "disorganized" units). After this step, I will proceed to the Air Superiority check and move air assets.

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(in reply to Hellen_slith)
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RE: How to progress through a turn - 5/15/2020 7:08:47 PM   

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So, there is not much to do w/ AA in this example, as I already did this some moves ago ....
except that I found a unit thereby, the NW Front 11th AA, gold-bricking around Baku and drinking Vodka,
or somewhere they should not be gold bricking at ....
and so I have moved this unit to a rail hex, to be entrained to the NW Front (where they belong).
I'm not going to note this w/ my pencil and paper, b/c I will find them again on my NEXT turn, the next time I
run my "Civil Defense" check.

Civil Defense check, completed. Time to look at reinforcements, recombine stragglers, etc. That is my next step,
after Civil Defense check. Time to complete this phase: 15 minutes.

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(in reply to Hellen_slith)
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RE: How to progress through a turn - 5/15/2020 7:47:32 PM   

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Civil Defense check, COMPLETE! Now, it is time to gather up stragglers and recombine them into effective fighting units.
Again, I am going to use the OOB / ORBAT report to navigate the map and units.

I bring up ORBAT and scroll to the BOTTOM of the report.
That is where stragglers etc. will be noted in this phase.

Note, in the below, the status of that sub-divided Engineer unit. They are all on the same hex, so let's recombine them
if possible, and then learn how to find the next unit that needs re-combine to enhance their effectiveness in this war.
Press the unit label, then press "5" on the keyboard and we'll go that 1st of the third, examine that unit's status,
and recombine if possible. This process of recombining will take me another 30 minutes or so:

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(in reply to Hellen_slith)
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RE: How to progress through a turn - 5/15/2020 8:24:41 PM   

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In the below, I have navigated to the 10th Engineers that are fractured,
noted disorganization in that one unit (which prevents recombine at the moment)
and noted (mentally) that Kharkov needs some rail or closer reinforcement.

I then return to the ORBAT, look for more units to recombine, repeat process.
While doing this, I still look for "targets of opportunity" and set up those Round 1 battles that I think look promising. Let's check air force after this (n.b. all of these steps that I am trying to describe,
can be done in any order ... but I suggest the "disembarking" to start with, then the
engineering / reinforcements / recombine phase. Once you get through these "preliminary" steps,
that is when you want to look with a more tactical eye at specific fronts to attack.
Remember, this is an OPERATIONAL game. Not strategic, not tactical, but squarely in between.

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(in reply to Hellen_slith)
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RE: How to progress through a turn - 5/15/2020 9:41:21 PM   

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Having completed my engineering etc. checks,
It is now time to play some anti-air in this scene using my air-to-ground units.

In this stage, first I do (from the menu) View ... Air Briefing

That tells me an ESTIMATE of air status (caveat: that is NEVER correct, b/c Air wants to blow their horn.)
Anyway, in this go (RGW) Soviet AS status is pegged at 40:33 .... time to plan airfield attacks.

This is where I turn Weather=ON on the map (by toggling "W" key)
and examining weather styled map,

I see now TWO Nazi air bases just waiting for attack.
Skies are clear, commence bombing runs.
I now assign some serious pain (closest three or four units) and aim them at those airfields.

From knowledge of this game, I know that I want to assign American Marauders,
and some Brits who were activated via declaration of war v. Iran/Turkey.

I will use ORBAT similarly, sorting unit names, to find those American and Brit bomber groups.
I will provide them chalk to scratch onto payloads, "Heil Hitler! Here's one for you, ya ShickleGrouper!"

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(in reply to Hellen_slith)
Post #: 9
RE: How to progress through a turn - 5/15/2020 10:18:26 PM   

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All right then, let's pretend that I've scrolled all around the map with "Weather ON" place names "OFF" etc. (so as to make the map scroll faster) and set my airfield attacks. Now, I'm ready to examine the front line trenches, make moves there, and resolve round 1 combat.

Weather OFF again (W key) so as to make map scroll faster on my potato.

Back to geography: put your left hand down on the table (palm down) and look at your fingers.
From left to right:
PINKY is Murmansk
RING is Leningrad
BIRD is Moscow
INDEX is Bryansk / Kiev / Kursk
THUMB is Odessa / South / Stalingrad

With that geography lesson, stategically, in this game I know that:
Murmansk has fallen. Chop it off.
Leningrad holds, but needs more Babushka reinforce for its Eastern Sector
Moscow is MIGHTY MIGHTY, driving on Pskov / Vitebsk / ultimately Minsk
Bryansk needs reinforce;
South needs much reinforce.

Already now, just looking at my fingers, I know what I need to do.
Next, I will show how I handle the 12,000 RAIL POINTS that are pending to be used by Soviets.
Before we resolve round one combat. We are still moving.
Thank you for you patience and for reading!

Again, I would like to stress that all of these steps in my "procedure" are
just suggestions, you will find different ways of using these tips,
probably better than mine. They are provided for your edification and enjoyment.
Have a great gaming day!!

(in reply to Hellen_slith)
Post #: 10
RE: How to progress through a turn - 5/15/2020 10:49:36 PM   

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Okay, well, that is about all I can do today. When I start my FitE1 turn this weekend against Gen.JCL, I will illustrate what I do w/ Soviet Railroad transportation points---that is the next step in my procedural after setting the airfield attacks as above. Basically, I will rail an Army forward from the replacement / reinforcement area, and schedule them for battle / "into the lines" on my following move after they disembark on the next turn.

Have a great evening!

(in reply to Hellen_slith)
Post #: 11
RE: How to progress through a turn - 5/17/2020 12:38:11 AM   

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Okay, I have a new move in hand from the kind General, and I will continue this treatise shortly, at phase "Air Combat"
circa September 1942.
Thank you for your kind patience!

(in reply to Hellen_slith)
Post #: 12
RE: How to progress through a turn - 5/17/2020 1:08:30 AM   

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Okay, well, I lost that message, but I wanted to show something I do when previous steps have been done,
this is from my game w/ Gen. JCL in FitE1.

I press "A" to bring up air report, and then sort by location.
I am looking for air assets in Urals / Siberia to move west, but I do not find any.
Let's move on to Round 1:Initial Combat next after this, next report tomorrow (need to to think on Gen JCL move...

PS: I was looking in that sort, to find units with +250 or so location on the "Y" axis.
The few I found were in the Deep Crimean area. I am leaving them be for now.

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(in reply to Hellen_slith)
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