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The Inequality of Unit Types

 
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The Inequality of Unit Types - 1/11/2021 4:09:55 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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There have been several posts, both recent and old, where some one has complained about one nation or another (or all nations) building more of a particular unit type than historical. Before I started even playing the game I believe there was a complaint that the Axis were building too many air units. So air units were nerfed so that only the first attacking bomber can destroy strength points. Than there was a complaint that the British Strategic bomber was doing too much damage to the German industry early in the game. So it was taken away (and I believe strategic bombing was nerfed as well, but I am unsure of this). Later we had the complaint that the British and Americans were able to build too many armour too quickly. So the sub Rules were changed so that U-Boats are now harder to destroy, thus forcing the UK and US to devote early game resources to escorts and MS.

But the problem isn't that any particular nation has too much production but that the game allows a player to use his production as he wishes. There is no need to "retool" the industry (with the exception of naval units that require shipyards). So if a particular type of unit is found to be "overpowered" than everyone is going to concentrate production on that type of unit. At the moment armour and mechanized units seem to be the flavour of choice. So personally I don't think that the UK or US production was too high and I fear that forcing them to use almost all of their production on MS and escorts may turn out to be a mistake. The reason the UK and US had 10+ armour units in 1942 wasn't because they had too much production, but because they used that production (especially the US) to build nothing but amour and mechs. They don't build strategic bombers or destroyers because they are not cost effective and certainly don't build nearly as many ground attack air units as historical [If you load the 44 scenario you'll see that the Force size of both the US and UK's air forces is about the same as their land forces]. I have seen the same thing with the Germans and Italians concentrating on armour and mech and not building any new air units and very little, if any, infantry. In a game I am playing now the Axis had 20 armour and mech units for a 41 Barbarossa. To counter this certain Russian players are talking about scrapping a large chunk of the Russian air force.

I understand that it is very difficult with a game like this to get the right balance between all the different unit types and production costs. So my hat is off to Alvaro for doing as well as he has. But at the moment I believe that clearly some unit types are superior to others based on their respective costs. With respect to land and air units:

1. Armour and Mechanized: You get your best bang for your buck with these. Germany, the UK and the US will each probably want to build 10 to 15 of these by 43 or 44 (if the game goes that long). For the Russians it will depend on how many they lose. I understand that Alvaro will be reducing the effectiveness of late War armour, but the game is probably over one way or the other by 42 anyway.
2. Infantry: Absolutely necessary for the Allies in the beginning to stem the tide. The Germans and Italians need them for garrison duty.
3. Ground Attack Air Groups: Each side (Axis or Allies) only needs about 4 to 8 of these in total. So the Germans should build 2 to 4 (since they start with 2) and the Allies may want to build 4 to 8.
4. Fighters (of one variety or another): each of the Germans, British and US might build 1 to 3 of these.
5. Medium Bombers: Does anyone build these? If so, for which nation and why?
6. Strategic Bombers: Not worth the cost. AA will shoot these down in droves. Lets say a strategic bomber scores 2 hits on German industry while taking 1 hit of damage (I think this is less than average). The 2 hits will cost the Germans (assuming a production multiple of 1.5) 3 production until it is repaired. But repairing the SB costs at least 5 production (probably more depending on the SBs advancement). This doesn't even include the initial cost of the SB. You would be far better off buying an armour.

The net effect of the above is that in my gaming experience very little production for any side is "wasted" on building air units. Almost all production is funneled into ground units.

So how can this be fixed. I think nerfing armour and mechanized a little bit helps; though I would like to see it nerfed a little bit right from the beginning. Just reduce some of its starting numbers and then leave the advancements as is. But what really needs to happen is that air units need to be buffed. I like the idea that only the first air unit can destroy a strength point, but subsequent attacks should, imho, cause far more effectiveness loss than they currently are. Assuming clear weather, clear terrain, an entrenchment level of 1 and that the attacking air units are ground attack with good efficiency and effectiveness, it should only take 3 or 4 attacks to reduce the defending units to 50% effectiveness from what it had prior to the bombing. This will help the Germans out a lot in France (even if their armour is nerfed a bit) and will also help the Allies get a foothold in Europe (am I the only one who finds this to be a problem?). It will also help balance what I think is an inequality between ground (especially armour/mech) and air units.

Strategic bombers should also be made more effective. I understand that the intention is that the Allies can afford to waste some production if it causes the Axis to lose some (even if less). But at the moment the discrepancy is just too much. Also AA should be made less effective. It is just too deadly.

< Message edited by Harrybanana -- 1/11/2021 4:12:28 AM >
Post #: 1
RE: The Inequality of Unit Types - 1/11/2021 12:07:33 PM   
sillyflower


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I've never spent any points buying (or researching) UK strategic bombers. I do buy more CAS and medium bombers though in order to hammer key defence positions. 20 attacks on even the strongest defending unit makes it easy prey to attack by ground units Tac bombers have the extra range which is essential and (I think) they have better defence so suffer fewer losses.

I do research US strategic bombing from the start, to keep that option open. Massed B17s and B24s with escort fighters can obliterate the german fighters as well as industry - both very valuable gains. My advice is to buy if game is likely to be long, but ignore if you hope for a quick win for the good guys.

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RE: The Inequality of Unit Types - 1/11/2021 12:32:42 PM   
Nirosi

 

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Hi all,

I do not know about the mechs etc. (but it makes one think), however from what I have seen strategic bombers can be quite useful in a longer game (even more so if escorted as mentioned it the previous message). As far as builds go, to force AA damage on the bombers, Germany must put at least 5 AA in (almost) every production center/oil center in Germany and even some in Western Europe to do the 5 vs 3 ratio in damage. The built ratio will not also be 5 vs 3, but it should not be " that " far depending on how many bombers the Allies build.

And for the damage, 5 vs 3 (damage to the bombers vs Axis PP) it seem to me to be " ok " cost effective. At this rate, the Allies should win the game (will extra armors be even better? Maybe, but I am not sure as they cannot do damage before a landing in Africa or Europe). Also, the industry damage is cumulative. 2 is 2, but 4 is actualy... 6 when you count the repair rate (and 6 is 12 if not mistaken). From what I have seen (but my sample might be too small), Germany must inflict at least twice as much damage as it gets to have a shot at winning, so 5 s 3 for Allies (and probably better when counting repair rate) is not bad.

Also, for strategic bombers, I noticed they can cause havoc on an unprepared… Italy... So on top of PPs, it creates headaches for the Axis. And if your opponent does not sleep well at night, it should help you win the game...

< Message edited by Nirosi -- 1/11/2021 12:40:02 PM >

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RE: The Inequality of Unit Types - 1/11/2021 3:24:20 PM   
baloo7777


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I am not a very experienced PBEM'er, so my question is:
1. Does oil use limit any of the choices for the Axis to build armor/mech units or how many air units to build?
2. Does oil affect the Allies at all, and is it only in the early war years that it has limits for the Commonwealth?
3. In Hot Seat games I've bombed the Axis with Strategic Bombers, taken moderate to heavy losses in the air from AA (no escorts/interceptors), and see very little change in the German/Italian next turn PP's. Is this just the vagaries of luck or WAD?
4. Is it the caliber of the opponents you play that led to your observations above? Is creating mostly mech/armor units what the majority of Allied players do?
These threads and observations/discussions are very useful and appreciated.



















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RE: The Inequality of Unit Types - 1/11/2021 4:05:33 PM   
sillyflower


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Oil use is a constraint on the axis; there are several AARs and threads attesting to that.
As to allies, the short answer is none which is why Alvaro has upped the usage of oil for allied troops, but I'm not sure if that is in .091 or for the current beta. I don't use beta's.

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Post: I am always fearful that when I put this game down on the table and people see the box-art they will think I am some kind of neo-Nazi

Reply: They already know you're a gamer. What other shame can possibly compare?

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Post #: 5
RE: The Inequality of Unit Types - 1/11/2021 4:49:13 PM   
Jeff_Ahl

 

Posts: 95
Joined: 10/10/2018
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nirosi

Hi all,

I do not know about the mechs etc. (but it makes one think), however from what I have seen strategic bombers can be quite useful in a longer game (even more so if escorted as mentioned it the previous message). As far as builds go, to force AA damage on the bombers, Germany must put at least 5 AA in (almost) every production center/oil center in Germany and even some in Western Europe to do the 5 vs 3 ratio in damage. The built ratio will not also be 5 vs 3, but it should not be " that " far depending on how many bombers the Allies build.

And for the damage, 5 vs 3 (damage to the bombers vs Axis PP) it seem to me to be " ok " cost effective. At this rate, the Allies should win the game (will extra armors be even better? Maybe, but I am not sure as they cannot do damage before a landing in Africa or Europe). Also, the industry damage is cumulative. 2 is 2, but 4 is actualy... 6 when you count the repair rate (and 6 is 12 if not mistaken). From what I have seen (but my sample might be too small), Germany must inflict at least twice as much damage as it gets to have a shot at winning, so 5 s 3 for Allies (and probably better when counting repair rate) is not bad.

Also, for strategic bombers, I noticed they can cause havoc on an unprepared… Italy... So on top of PPs, it creates headaches for the Axis. And if your opponent does not sleep well at night, it should help you win the game...


+1

Almost always build steategic bombers with both UK and US. Taking out the syntetic oil in Germany is also a awfaul hit to Axis war efforts.

(in reply to Nirosi)
Post #: 6
RE: The Inequality of Unit Types - 1/11/2021 6:58:57 PM   
AlvaroSousa


Posts: 7472
Joined: 7/29/2013
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quote:

ORIGINAL: baloo7777

I am not a very experienced PBEM'er, so my question is:
1. Does oil use limit any of the choices for the Axis to build armor/mech units or how many air units to build?
2. Does oil affect the Allies at all, and is it only in the early war years that it has limits for the Commonwealth?
3. In Hot Seat games I've bombed the Axis with Strategic Bombers, taken moderate to heavy losses in the air from AA (no escorts/interceptors), and see very little change in the German/Italian next turn PP's. Is this just the vagaries of luck or WAD?
4. Is it the caliber of the opponents you play that led to your observations above? Is creating mostly mech/armor units what the majority of Allied players do?
These threads and observations/discussions are very useful and appreciated.



#1 Yes you have to build a balanced force and be aware of using oil. You can't attack all the time everywhere. You will get a feel for it.
#2 It does as the UK can't have fleets out all the time everywhere. They have to be careful when using oil earlier in the war. Later in the war with the USA in it becomes basically a non-factor as it should be.
#3 Strat bombing hits PPs in their stockpile and some factory damage. It is meant as a sustained campaign of exchanging attrition. The Allies have to factor in how much effort to put into it and the Axis on how much effort to defend vs it. There is no absolute solution because the optimal solution depends on your opponent's actions.
#4 can't answer this one.


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Post #: 7
RE: The Inequality of Unit Types - 1/11/2021 11:55:25 PM   
Harrybanana

 

Posts: 2372
Joined: 11/27/2004
From: Canada
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quote:

ORIGINAL: sillyflower

I've never spent any points buying (or researching) UK strategic bombers. I do buy more CAS and medium bombers though in order to hammer key defence positions. 20 attacks on even the strongest defending unit makes it easy prey to attack by ground units Tac bombers have the extra range which is essential and (I think) they have better defence so suffer fewer losses.


But do you think it should take 20 attacks (ie 10 bombers using both attacks) to pound this single stronghold into submission? I find that most enemy strongholds (for example Leningrad) are also loaded with AA, so such bombing attacks can be suicidal (see my complaint about AA being too strong). I just reduce enemy strongholds with the 2 or 3 air units I do have and than make multiple ground attacks. Ground attacks seem to have a far greater effect on enemy strength than air attacks anyway.

You are correct that TAC bomber have greater range and strength, but they also cost more so each hit they take is more expensive to replace. In any event, the Germans, Russians, and even Italians start with as many TAC bombers as they will probably need for the extra range. For the Americans and British, the Ground Attack aircraft have a range of 8 so they have less need for TAC bombers.

I do eventually produce 2 or 3 ground attack air units for each of the UK, US and USSR. Certainly far fewer than historical. On the other hand I produce far more than the historical number of armour and mechanized for the UK and US. I think all the good players do.

quote:

I do research US strategic bombing from the start, to keep that option open. Massed B17s and B24s with escort fighters can obliterate the german fighters as well as industry - both very valuable gains. My advice is to buy if game is likely to be long, but ignore if you hope for a quick win for the good guys.


I have only played one game as the Axis where my Allies opponent built lots of Strategic bombers. He did cripple my German industry (at great cost to himself); but his lack of UK and US ground units did him in. And it was a long game.

But even if Strategic bombing does great damage to the Axis, don't you think you could do even more damage with the same amount of armour? If I have a choice in 1943 between having 6 strategic bombers and 6 armour or 0 strategic bombers and 12 armour I will take the 12 armour every time. If I have those 12 armour ashore in mainland Europe in 43 then I will not need to worry about a long game; the War will be over in 44. The only exception is if Russia is still on the defensive; but if that is the case it doesn't matter what the Western Allies built.

By the way, my Dad was in bomber command. So I would love to be able to build a fleet of Strategic Bombers to do him proud, but my experience is that I get far more bang for my buck with armour.




< Message edited by Harrybanana -- 1/12/2021 12:23:53 AM >

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RE: The Inequality of Unit Types - 1/12/2021 12:18:45 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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Reading all the above posts it would seem that a lot of people are of the opinion that air units are equal to ground units in terms of bang for your buck. I strongly disagree with this. I think most of the elite players do as well as I seldom see them building very many additional air units; certainly when compared to the additional number of land units they build.

But the majority have spoken, so I will just have to let this one go.

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Post #: 9
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