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A question on map size and location names - 10/14/2020 5:07:19 AM   
Simon Edmonds

 

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G'day. This is one for the boffins. Currently the map limit is 700 by 700 with 4000 place names. Is this limitation a result of memory constraints or are there other limitations?
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RE: A question on map size and location names - 10/14/2020 11:26:07 AM   
Lobster


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TOAW was originally written in the day when memory and hard disks had limited space. So the data size for elements was hard coded instead of being made dynamic. The upper limit for both map sizes and place names was much less at one time.

Some other walls you may run up against are the number of different equipment types allowed in a unit and the number of units allowed in a formation. Both highly irritating sometimes.

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RE: A question on map size and location names - 10/14/2020 4:54:50 PM   
golden delicious


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I'd say if you have a map that's 700x700 you're going to be seriously limited by the player's ability to handle it. I'm currently playing a largeish scenario (perhaps 200x200) and offhand I'd say there are 11-12 distinct sectors I need to check each turn and indeed each combat round, and this is quite enough. If you have a 700x700 map and you're actually using most of that space then I would expect there to be dozens of sectors which would need to be reviewed each turn. The odds of you forgetting one of them- and your opponent then exploiting the error accordingly- rises considerably and the scenario stops being fun to play.

With the new limits in TOAW IV the human factor is going to stop you far more often than the system. The two which Lobster cited might be more relevant- but you do have to ask yourself whether XXVI Corps really needs those 4 37mm AA Guns to be counted separately or if you can just add them to the 20mm AA Guns already in the unit.

< Message edited by golden delicious -- 10/14/2020 4:57:14 PM >


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RE: A question on map size and location names - 10/16/2020 12:09:49 AM   
Simon Edmonds

 

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G'day Golden. I must confess I am a fan of the big ones. FitE is my favorite. After I was left unsatisfied with numerous war games in my early years I purchased The Europa set and never looked back. In the earlier days I used to play a game called War in Europe. It didn't make the cut for TOAW4. Now that I am retired and have an indecent amount of time on my hands I would like to try to do a remake of it. I had thought of doing it at 5km hence my question of getting a larger map. I guess 10km will have to do.

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RE: A question on map size and location names - 10/16/2020 12:23:44 AM   
Zovs


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Hey Simon, I have already created a WIE scenario fir TOAW 4, I am still tweaking it. TOAW has limits on what you can do, like no political game or production game. It’s done but need to do some minor tweaks and replay test it. May need some help there I’d your interested .

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RE: A question on map size and location names - 10/16/2020 2:15:10 AM   
Simon Edmonds

 

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Hey Zovs. I will definitely look forward to it. What scale is it?

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RE: A question on map size and location names - 10/16/2020 9:12:26 AM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zovs

Hey Simon, I have already created a WIE scenario fir TOAW 4, I am still tweaking it. TOAW has limits on what you can do, like no political game or production game.


That's what the event engine is for....

Alternatively, with "Trusted PBEM" you can break the game up into strategic turns and have a GM make edits to the scenario for these bits. Something I've done in the past but it's a bit of a big job.

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RE: A question on map size and location names - 10/16/2020 12:36:02 PM   
Zovs


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Simon Edmonds

Hey Zovs. I will definitely look forward to it. What scale is it?



Simon,

Here is part of the briefing:


War In Europe
1939-1945

DESIGNER: Don Lazov
VERSION: 3.0
7/2/2019

SITUATION
Dates: September 1939 to June 1945
Location: Europe
Map scale: 25km per hex
Time scale: Full week turns
Unit scale: Division/Brigade/Regiment
Length: 301 turns


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Post #: 8
RE: A question on map size and location names - 10/16/2020 1:10:31 PM   
Zovs


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quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious

quote:

ORIGINAL: Zovs

Hey Simon, I have already created a WIE scenario fir TOAW 4, I am still tweaking it. TOAW has limits on what you can do, like no political game or production game.


That's what the event engine is for....

Alternatively, with "Trusted PBEM" you can break the game up into strategic turns and have a GM make edits to the scenario for these bits. Something I've done in the past but it's a bit of a big job.


Yes, agreed, however...

NOTE: TLR for some...sorry...


I overcame these somewhat (I have been playing TOAW since 1998, when TalonSoft first produced it, and have created but not really released any of my scenarios to the general public) by using the event engine. Currently there are 171 events, besides the normal setting up of things like weather, recon levels, any 1st turn surprise attacks for either side and the surrendering and removing of 'conquered nations' and the enactment of partisans. Lastly for the two theater options I had to hard wire and create both an Allied and Axis Spain and Turkey and the declaration of war by either the Allied or Axis would remove the exclusion zones and place the Allied or Axis Spanish or Turkish armies in place. Plus for 'production' besides using the replacement editor and the engine, I created replacement units and formations to reflect that, such as the SS upgrades for example. Due to the TOAW engine, I had to make some 'work-arounds' or 'kludges' to make it all work.

For example, to simulate the limitations of both the board war game (SPI War in Europe) and the game engine TOAW (not really a limitation per se, but in the use of formations, etc.) I created generic formations and generic units. What this means is I created for example the German infantry units per Niehorster's TOE's for the German Wave units and then grouped them into formations of 9 divisions each and (originally) named them Army 1, Army 2, etc. (later I went back and to add color for emersion I named every formation as best I could on its nationality's language, so for the Germans I used 1. Armee, for the Poles I used Armia, or the the French 1-5 ARMEE FRANCAIS and added sundredy units into each army, the British are listed as 1 CW Army, etc.) and for the Germans I created 37 Armies, that comes out to 333 German Infantry Divisions, then I did the same for the Security (Sicherheit Armee) units but that one formation has 12 security units (per SPI), and then created Static Army (to represent SPI's static (5)1 divisions) and called these Festung Armee and gave the 12 of those, then the 1. Gebrigs Armee with 1-9 Gebrigs Divisions, then for the Motorized Armee (1-9 Mot.Divisions) and then for the Panzer Armee 1-4 (each with 9 Panzer Divisions and thus ending in 36 Panzer Divisions all built with TOE's based of Niehorsters TOE's but for each year, i.e. 1939, 1940, 1941, etc. and then for the German (as well as the Allies) I had limitations with the number of slots in each division, so I only have 24 slots to work with and had to make some room for improvement, so I'd start it off with say 72 Pz I or whatever, and then add 56 PzIVh but zero them out, and then in the replacement editor I set the PzIVh production to whatever it was historically and those units would be filled in later and at the same time stop producing Pz I's etc.

NOTE: a lot of the text is lifted from my scenario briefing notes.

Note due to the limitations of the TOAW engine with only 2 exclusion zones I had to create the following theater options, one for each side:

THEATER OPTIONS
Allied Theater Options:
UK Declares War on Spain and Turkey

Axis Theater Options:
Initiate Operation Barbarossa
Axis Declares War on Spain and Turkey

Ideally, it would be great and much easier if I had at least 4 exclusion zones to work with, but in it's current state, this works out.

I also set these as well:

SCENARIO NOTES/RULES
The AAA Lethality Level is: 150
The Naval Attrition Diver is: 100
The Mud Rules Scalar is: 75

And these 'special rules':

Activation Notes:

Germany:
6 through 11 Armee's are all Static until turn 27 (March 2nd, 1940) to simulate the 'Phony War'.

Italy:
All Italian ground, air and naval units are frozen until turn 40 (June 1st, 1940).

Finland units are frozen until turn 14 (Dec. 1st, 1939).

Hungary units are frozen until turn 97 (July 5th, 1941).

Romania units are frozen until turn 97 (July 5th, 1941).

Bulgaria units are frozen until turn 79 (March 1st, 1941).

French ground units are frozen until 27 (March 2nd, 1940) to simulate the 'Phony War'.
The French Air and Naval Forces are frozen until turn 19 (January 5th, 1940).

CW (British) units are frozen as follows:
1st CW Army: turn 10 (November 3rd, 1939).
2nd CW Army: turn 10 (November 3rd, 1939).
CW Suez Army: turn 40 (June 1st, 1940).

The following forces are put into Garrison at start:
Belgium (Belgish)
Netherlands (Nederlande)
Yugoslavia (Jugoslavenska)
Greece (Ellinikos Strato)
Norway (Norsk)
Luxembourg
Denmark

Soviet Union:
Almost all the ground units are frozen until turn 100 and the VVS is frozen until turn 97. This is to simulate the shock effects and command breakdown.

To simulate Fall Gelb, the Axis gets an automatic Shock of 125% on turn 36 (May 4th, 1940) to turn 41 (June 8th, 1940) where it adjusts down to 115% and then on turn 63 (Nov. 9th, 1940) the shock effects wear off for the French Campaign.

To simulate Operation Compass, the Allied player receives a Shock bonus of 110% on turn 67 (Dec. 7th, 1940) which levels off on turn 79 (March 1st, 1941).

To simulate the effects of Rommel in NA, the Axis receive a Shock bonus of 130% on turn 81 (March 15, 1941) through turn 89 (May 10th, 1941).

When the Axis initiates Operation Barbarossa, they receive the following:
Axis ZOC costs for the first 4 turns is set to 70%
Allied ZOC costs are set to 150% for six turns.

Lastly are my 'house rules':

HOUSE RULES
While I hate having to use house rules, none-the-less TOAW does have limits.

The Western Allies (CW and France), may not move into Neutral countries until attacked and freed from Garrison by the Axis Powers.

Also due to the TOAW engine limitations, do not set any air unit to Interdiction until after all forces have been activated (once the Soviet Union has been invaded). The TOAW engine will repeatedly attack any other sides units regardless of the historical setup (i.e. minor neutrals or those I set to static stance). This is a limitation of the TOAW engine and likewise a needed house rule. For PO play the Axis PO will attack neutrals and those units in static mode and eventually they will become activated for the Allies. Likewise the Allied PO will attack Italian, Hungarian or Romanian units which will active those units. In either case its up to the human player to not abuse this rule even though the PO will violate this rule.


and more...

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Post #: 9
RE: A question on map size and location names - 10/16/2020 1:28:51 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zovs

For example, to simulate the limitations of both the board war game (SPI War in Europe)...


Is that the goal here? To recreate this particular boardgame in TOAW? Is that where these things like a given shock bonus on a given turn come from? Otherwise they seem quite arbitrary.

< Message edited by golden delicious -- 10/16/2020 1:29:31 PM >


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Post #: 10
RE: A question on map size and location names - 10/16/2020 3:03:39 PM   
Zovs


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Yes, for me it is twofold, to a) recreate (as best I can) the board game and also to explore that said board game's base parameters (that said game) in the TOAW engine.

It seems to work quite well, not perfect but its a great scenario so far and recreates the feel of the combat and decisions in TOAW for what I am attempting to pull off.

Not quite sure what you mean about the arbitrary portion.

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RE: A question on map size and location names - 10/17/2020 5:30:57 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zovs

Not quite sure what you mean about the arbitrary portion.


Let's take Operation Compass. What was it about 7th December 1940 that made the Allies 10% better that week than the week before?

For a simulation, one wants not to replicate the results but the conditions of a campaign. So you figure out what was wrong with the Italian army in Libya and what the British had that made it possible for them to so decisively defeat them. Do this right and you can stage Operation Compass when you're ready- or if you're not ready you never can. You won't be arbitrarily giving the Allies an advantage on the whole map, but rather giving them a specific advantage in a specific area.

However if you're copying a boardgame, presumably this rule (or its equivalent) comes from the boardgame.

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Post #: 12
RE: A question on map size and location names - 10/17/2020 9:43:46 PM   
Zovs


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Good points to ponder.

The only solution I can think of is to give each side a Theater Option at various historical times and then allow the player to decide. I have some of those in place. But your post sparks me to revisit the events and add in the missing options to invoke those conditions.

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Post #: 13
RE: A question on map size and location names - 10/18/2020 5:14:35 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zovs

Good points to ponder.

The only solution I can think of is to give each side a Theater Option at various historical times and then allow the player to decide. I have some of those in place. But your post sparks me to revisit the events and add in the missing options to invoke those conditions.


That's an improvement to be sure- but you're still giving one side an arbitrary boost irrespective of what's actually happening.

Take France. Here, your Germans just get 25% bigger for the duration of the campaign. Well, what if the German player decides that, since he can crush the French anyway, he'll rest his panzertruppen and save the replacements for Russia? If this were history, the French would cope very well thankyou with a 1918 style offensive, probably be beaten in due course anyway but certainly not handed the single greatest military upset in the history of western civilisation. As it is, the Germans get their Blitzkrieg bonus whether they Blitzkrieg or not.

One could look at paralysing various French formations in place. The French were certainly committed to plunging into the low countries, so you could have French and British units already in place and frozen until after the Germans have had their invasion turn (assuming this is week long turns). Then the panzers are at the channel and it's up to the Allied player to figure out how to get out of the mess they're in. Depending on your opinion on the capabilities of the French high command, you'd need to consider whether the (rather substantial) French forces on the frontier further south would also need to be frozen.

< Message edited by golden delicious -- 10/18/2020 5:18:16 PM >


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Post #: 14
RE: A question on map size and location names - 10/18/2020 6:29:35 PM   
Zovs


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Currently I have both the French and CW frozen for most of 1939 and most of the French well into May/June of 1940. I release various CW formations over time from 39-40. I’ll have think upon setting up some theater options for both sides perhaps similar to making offensive chits, not sure yet.

It’s weekly turns and I have only play tested it into 1941. Will need more testing.

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Post #: 15
RE: A question on map size and location names - 10/18/2020 6:39:53 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zovs

Will need more testing.


Unfortunately, this is always true. A good TOAW scenario is a work of art- and works of art are never finished.

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Post #: 16
RE: A question on map size and location names - 10/20/2020 2:29:17 AM   
Simon Edmonds

 

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quote:

Let's take Operation Compass. What was it about 7th December 1940 that made the Allies 10% better that week than the week before?

I think that the allies had finally amassed enough ammunition and supplies to place their units on "attack supply" level.

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Post #: 17
RE: A question on map size and location names - 10/20/2020 10:10:27 AM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Simon Edmonds

quote:

Let's take Operation Compass. What was it about 7th December 1940 that made the Allies 10% better that week than the week before?

I think that the allies had finally amassed enough ammunition and supplies to place their units on "attack supply" level.


From what I can gather, the date for Compass was a product of how long it took to realise that the Italians weren't about to launch their own attack on Egypt, and maybe they would be vulnerable to a local counterattack- with an option retained to exploit any openings that emerged.

However if it's supply that you think is the issue- well then the Commonwealth units in Middle East Command can start on low unit supply and rise gradually. Certainly the idea that overnight on 7th December all Allied units (bearing in mind this is a global effect, not a local one) become 10% stronger is absurd, and is a mechanism designed to make sure the player does exactly as he's told, rather than coming up with his own ideas of how the war should play out.

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RE: A question on map size and location names - 10/20/2020 3:55:33 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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Nothing wrong with modeling the impact of surprise via shock.

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Post #: 19
RE: A question on map size and location names - 10/20/2020 6:29:19 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

Nothing wrong with modeling the impact of surprise via shock.


Sure- at the start of a scenario, where you know the other guy is going to be in a position to be surprised, and in a situation where the surprise covers the whole map. As an aside, it's also better as a negative effect to the defender, so that their units freeze (as units do when surprised) rather than as a bonus for the attacker.

Here, the shock hits on turn 67. At this point all bets are off as to where the scenario is at. Has France actually been knocked out? Did the Germans go ahead and invade the UK? Are there still Allied troops in Norway? Are the Italians fighting Greece?

If any of these fronts are active, they'll be hit by shock.

Then there's the contention that the Italians were defeated in Operation Compass because of surprise. The Italians had advanced to these positions less than two months previously and had spent those two months setting up to defend them- they were, at least notionally, preparing for a British attack.

I would suggest that the reason for the Italian defeat in Operation Compass was that the Italian army in Libya in 1940 was a complete mess for reasons too numerous to list, to the point that the units of 10th Army had almost no combat value whatsoever. "Surprise" is insufficient reason to explain why it was decisively routed in a matter of days and annihilated in a few weeks by a force which it outnumbered more than four to one.

< Message edited by golden delicious -- 10/20/2020 6:30:09 PM >


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Post #: 20
RE: A question on map size and location names - 10/20/2020 7:42:47 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious

quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

Nothing wrong with modeling the impact of surprise via shock.


Sure- at the start of a scenario, where you know the other guy is going to be in a position to be surprised, and in a situation where the surprise covers the whole map. As an aside, it's also better as a negative effect to the defender, so that their units freeze (as units do when surprised) rather than as a bonus for the attacker.


Or if there is a cease fire, followed by a theater option to open fire.

quote:

Here, the shock hits on turn 67. At this point all bets are off as to where the scenario is at. Has France actually been knocked out? Did the Germans go ahead and invade the UK? Are there still Allied troops in Norway? Are the Italians fighting Greece?

If any of these fronts are active, they'll be hit by shock.


Agreed on that. You can't do it on a Europe-wide topic - yet.

quote:

Then there's the contention that the Italians were defeated in Operation Compass because of surprise. The Italians had advanced to these positions less than two months previously and had spent those two months setting up to defend them- they were, at least notionally, preparing for a British attack.

I would suggest that the reason for the Italian defeat in Operation Compass was that the Italian army in Libya in 1940 was a complete mess for reasons too numerous to list, to the point that the units of 10th Army had almost no combat value whatsoever. "Surprise" is insufficient reason to explain why it was decisively routed in a matter of days and annihilated in a few weeks by a force which it outnumbered more than four to one.


Right: They had advanced to those positions - over CW opposition. Tough to do if they have no combat value.

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Post #: 21
RE: A question on map size and location names - 10/21/2020 11:49:20 AM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

Or if there is a cease fire, followed by a theater option to open fire.


Perhaps- it would depend on the situation. Trouble is one cannot, as the designer, know what the situation will be on a given turn.

quote:

Agreed on that. You can't do it on a Europe-wide topic - yet.


If you're talking about future enhancements to shock, one would want it on a formation or perhaps an icon colour basis. For example, if it's late May 1940 one would want the BEF to be able to engage in fairly fluid and decisive movements once it detached itself from the French High Command, but for the French units themselves to be much more inflexible and prone to falling into reorganisation.

Then, too, if one is playing a "War in Europe" scenario, a shock penalty for Soviet units would be one option (although not the only one), but this shouldn't affect any ongoing fighting by other Allied troops.

quote:

Right: They had advanced to those positions - over CW opposition. Tough to do if they have no combat value.


My understanding is that the Western Desert Force made no attempt to hold the frontier, but only engaged in harassing actions to slow the advance and dismantle the road (on the assumption that it would proceed to the Delta). The supposed need to repair the coast road was one of the reasons Graziani gave for halting at Sidi Barrani, less than a third of the way to the main British position at Matruh. There was very little serious fighting but what there was cost the Italians ten times the casualties taken by the British.

I think that at the time war plans were made, the decision not to hold at the frontier made sense, as the strength and effectiveness of the Italian forces in Libya could not be known. In hindsight its doubtful if the Italians could have prevailed against WDF if a stand actually had been made, but likely the result would have been less decisive as the Italians would have had the initiative and could dictate when the battle started- and could call it off if it proved disastrous for them.

< Message edited by golden delicious -- 10/21/2020 11:52:26 AM >


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Post #: 22
RE: A question on map size and location names - 10/21/2020 8:59:57 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious

Perhaps- it would depend on the situation. Trouble is one cannot, as the designer, know what the situation will be on a given turn.


A theater option leaves it up to the player.

quote:

If you're talking about future enhancements to shock, one would want it on a formation or perhaps an icon colour basis. For example, if it's late May 1940 one would want the BEF to be able to engage in fairly fluid and decisive movements once it detached itself from the French High Command, but for the French units themselves to be much more inflexible and prone to falling into reorganisation.

Then, too, if one is playing a "War in Europe" scenario, a shock penalty for Soviet units would be one option (although not the only one), but this shouldn't affect any ongoing fighting by other Allied troops.


One suggestion was to have the ability to divvy the map up into sections, each with its own parameters.

quote:

My understanding is that the Western Desert Force made no attempt to hold the frontier, but only engaged in harassing actions to slow the advance and dismantle the road (on the assumption that it would proceed to the Delta). The supposed need to repair the coast road was one of the reasons Graziani gave for halting at Sidi Barrani, less than a third of the way to the main British position at Matruh. There was very little serious fighting but what there was cost the Italians ten times the casualties taken by the British.

I think that at the time war plans were made, the decision not to hold at the frontier made sense, as the strength and effectiveness of the Italian forces in Libya could not be known. In hindsight its doubtful if the Italians could have prevailed against WDF if a stand actually had been made, but likely the result would have been less decisive as the Italians would have had the initiative and could dictate when the battle started- and could call it off if it proved disastrous for them.


That's all supposition, of course. The only fact we know is that they advanced. And it discounts the noose they put themselves in, coupled with their very poor deployments, that allowed the surprise of the raid to catch them infiltrated from every direction and cutoff from supply.

This is sort of like using the very poor performance of the French and British back in France in 1940 to argue that they should have no combat value. But, that would, similarly, discount the impact of the German thrust through the Ardennes had, coupled with the impact of Blitzkrieg in general.

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My TOAW web site:

Bob Cross's TOAW Site

(in reply to golden delicious)
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