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RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2

 
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RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/1/2021 11:43:35 AM   
Bavre

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chernobyl

Ha I thought this attack on Montenegro was powerful but I didn't realize I would be breaking the game so badly. I got the idea from Dazo who suggested attacking Cetinje early. Taking his suggestion seriously, I thought I wonder if it's possible to just force a capture of the city immediately no matter what the Serbs do and I tested and bam it works really well and there's no way to stop it. But it's also possible players were doing this attack before I posted about it. I'm just the one who mentioned it.

I'm not necessarily against deleting rail lines. How much of the railroad do you propose to delete exactly? Just the last connection to Cetinje, or the whole Dalmatian rail line?


Oh boy, what have we done And right before the tournament ...

(in reply to Chernobyl)
Post #: 181
RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/1/2021 1:44:01 PM   
Hubert Cater

 

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Hi Bavre,

If further changes are needed they will take effect before the 1914 campaign is played in the tournament. Right now the 1914 campaign is slotted to be the 3rd campaign played so there is still plenty of time.

Hubert

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Post #: 182
RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/3/2021 4:48:55 AM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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Montenegro Gambit Test 2 is up and running: Turn 1 both sides. Bavre (Central Powers) vs OldCrowBalthazor (Entente)

Let the mayhem begin!




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(in reply to Hubert Cater)
Post #: 183
RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/3/2021 7:49:25 AM   
Espejo


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Looking foward what you find. My first expereince with it is absolueltly devasting. If Germany doesnt attack Belgium and attacks Montegro, kicking them out its very hard for the Rusians to do antything "useful quickly. Worse Bulgaria joins quickly allowing the support of troops for the Otoman empire to bring forcesin quickly.

I hope Hubert finds a good soultion otherwise this will be the standard opening for the CP players.

(in reply to OldCrowBalthazor)
Post #: 184
RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/3/2021 8:03:51 AM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Espejo

Looking foward what you find. My first expereince with it is absolueltly devasting. If Germany doesnt attack Belgium and attacks Montegro, kicking them out its very hard for the Rusians to do antything "useful quickly. Worse Bulgaria joins quickly allowing the support of troops for the Otoman empire to bring forcesin quickly.

I hope Hubert finds a good soultion otherwise this will be the standard opening for the CP players.


Yeah...its going to be interesting! Btw Espejo, thanks for supporting the Bosnia RR snip idea. It will actually make that area a whole lot more interesting...and if the CP want to send a big German army down there and take out Montenegro...that's fine! Just not on turn 2.

(in reply to Espejo)
Post #: 185
RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/3/2021 9:15:44 AM   
Dazo


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About other alternatives for MTN using what we already have:

- put starting MTN detachment in Pec adjacent to the one in Cetinje either on the road between Cetinje and Pec
(ZoC would prevent AH corps from occupying the mountain near Cetinje or ambush it if it moves on it in one go but the 7 steps detachment wouldn't do much damage to a 10 steps corps on a mountain...)
(mountain hex would be occupied anyway and that wouldn't prevent Germans from doing their thing so not a real solution)

- or on the mountain hex north of it (the one usually occupied by that AH corps at start). This one was already in the thread I think.
(that would delay CP for some turns as AH corps wouldn't be able to occupy the mountain hex, putting 2 CP units adjacent to Cetinje)
(front would be narrow and it would be more difficult for CP to rotate units in front of Cetinje to get 4-5 attacks on it in one turn)
(CP would have to get rid of the detachment on the mountain first which is possible but need some time and ressources)
That's the one I favor since it'll also "simulate" how you need to take that Mount Lovcen OCW was kind enough to show us in pictures .

- put the MTN Sanjak corps in Cetinje instead of a detachment and make the detachment arrives later using the event for the Sanjak corps
(CP shouldn't be able to kill it without artillery if entrenched and at full strength even without HQ support but that's a bit extreme)

< Message edited by Dazo -- 3/3/2021 9:16:46 AM >

(in reply to OldCrowBalthazor)
Post #: 186
RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/3/2021 9:56:55 AM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: OldCrowBalthazor

Highlighted is the hex north of Cetinje. (1st of two images)





Dazo...yeah I suggested placing a detachment entrenched in the hex north of Cetinje earlier...putting that Sanjak corp in Cetinje and having the other detachment come in the instead of Sanjak corp like you suggest seems like a great idea.

The RR thing is a last ditch attempt of an idea because game engine change proposals or chit selling prohibitions would have huge implications.

Anything to stop the turn 2 surrender of Montenegro will work...and from reading what the devs have said on this thread it seems that they want to isolate this particular problem in a way that won't affect other things in the wider game.

I like the M-Gambit..but the CP should have to earn it with time spent, not just with money spent for a fast result.

(in reply to OldCrowBalthazor)
Post #: 187
RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/3/2021 8:20:30 PM   
hottegetthoff

 

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Making the rail go to Ragusa, and not connect Cetinje-Ragusa seems like easiest least punishing fix for CP. Similar ideas were discussed in this or other threads i think.

(in reply to OldCrowBalthazor)
Post #: 188
RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/4/2021 7:40:05 AM   
stockwellpete

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: hottegetthoff

Making the rail go to Ragusa, and not connect Cetinje-Ragusa seems like easiest least punishing fix for CP. Similar ideas were discussed in this or other threads i think.



And make that hex between Cetinje and Ragusa a mountain hex, rather than the hill hex it is now. In that way Cetinje becomes harder to access, which it should be.

And I don't think there was a railway line between Cetinje and Pec either.

< Message edited by stockwellpete -- 3/4/2021 7:41:09 AM >

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Post #: 189
RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/4/2021 7:43:50 AM   
mdsmall

 

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There has been a very long list of possible fixes for this Gambit proposed in this epic thread. The list includes:

- deleting the railroad from Sarajevo through Ragusa to Centinje and replacing it with a road;
- making both Cetinje and the hex north of it (184,99) High Mountain terrain;
- making Centinje a fortified town;
- increasing the initial strength of the Cetinje Detachment from 7 to 10;
- having the Old Serbia Detachment mobilize on hex 184,99 instead of Pec;
- bringing forward the arrival date of the 10 strength Sanjak Corps to August 8 from August 25, so it can be placed to defend Cetinje;
- bringing forward DE423 so General Jankovic can deploy in Montenegro on August 8 and help defend Cetinje;
- allowing the Serb General Putnik to command Montenegrin units, like any other Major HQ;
- adding a second capital to Montenegro in Pec, so that it does not surrender when Cetinje falls;
- increasing the odds that Montenegrin units outside their country can fight on as Free Units when Montenegro surrenders;
- bringing forward the Albanian civil war DE so Albania joins the Entente before Montenegro surrenders;
- adding a second destination port for the convoy from France so that supplies can still reach Serbia if Cetinje falls;

These are all good ideas and some combination of them would definitely help make the Montenegro Gambit either most costly for the Central Powers and/or less damaging for Serbia, and thus less of a game-killer move in the opening month of the war.

But in my view, there are two larger issues which need to be acknowledged before we get over-invested in any of these small fixes.

1) the fact that Montenegro is a separate minor from Serbia, with its own mobilization schedule, reinforcements, commanders, decision events and surrender effects is a major strategic liability for Serbia - which is already by far the weakest major in the game. The autonomy of Montenegro just divides Serbia's forces into two different armies with two different generals and two different capitals to protect. Add the fact that Montenegro occupies only five hexes, so the Central Powers can easily cut-off Centinje from Pec and surround Cetinje, making it impossible for the Sanjak Corps to deploy anywhere.

2) Serbia itself is too damn weak to defend itself if the Central Powers decide to take it out in 1914. It starts with four under-strength corps on a line behind its exposed capital, plus an under-strength HQ. If the Central Powers send 10 corps or more to attack Serbia in the opening couple of turns - whether or not they use the "gambit" to take-out Montenegro - Serbia will start to collapse quickly, accelerating the arrival of Bulgaria. After that a series of other Balkan dominos fall into place for the Central Powers. This seems to be a far more rewarding opening strategy for the Central Powers than slugging it out over Belgium and northern France against the Entente's two strongest majors.

In theory the Entente can send a couple of French or even British corps into Albania to aid Serbia, once Albania joins the Entente. But unless Serbia can defend itself for the first few turns until these reinforcement arrive, this is throwing away good units in a hopeless fight. When 1915 arrives, new possibilities open up for the Entente to use the base in Lemnos, win over Greece as an ally, perhaps launch a Gallipoli-style invasion to distract the Ottomans. But all of these strategies require having Serbia still in the game as a major with at least one capital under its control to serve as the anchor for the Entente's land supply lines in the Balkans. Otherwise, the British or French are at best occupying a beachhead somewhere facing the full weight of the Central Powers that have a rail line running from Berlin to Medina.

So, you can choose your specific fix to slow down or halt the Montenegro Gambit. But from what I can see, unless Serbia is a given a greater capacity to defend itself, it is not going to make much difference to the trajectory of the game if the CP player decides to focus on them in August 1914.

What can be done to strengthen Serbia? That should be a new thread. But my preferred place to start would be to give Serbia the option to take over the armed forces of Montenegro at the outbreak of war and cease to treat it as an independent minor, with all its own rigidities and vulnerabilities. That would at least allow Serbia to pool the forces it does command at the outset of the war and use them to maximum effect.

< Message edited by mdsmall -- 3/4/2021 2:24:04 PM >

(in reply to hottegetthoff)
Post #: 190
RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/4/2021 8:56:36 AM   
stockwellpete

 

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I did raise the question about treating Serbia and Montenegro as one nation on Page 3 of this thread, but Bill said that he wanted separate representation for Montenegro. I can understand the sentiment, but the reality was that Serbia and Montenegro were moving towards unification prior to the outbreak of war. Obviously the ruling class in Montenegro, including the monarchy, saw a better future being part of a "greater" Serbia, rather than being a very small country on their own with very limited resources. And it seems that during the war, Serbian generals were in charge of Montenegrin units at the operational level, with the Montenegrin king and crown prince as nominal figureheads of those units. I am not really sure that the Sanjak Corps works as a Montenegrin unit either because it was actually a mixed Serbian/Montenegrin unit. So, I think Michael's suggestion doesn't do much, if any, damage to the history of this region and may offer a good way out of this particular problem.

For my own part, I am continuing to test the limits of the "physicalities" in places like Montenegro, the Trento and the Caucasus. Increasing the movement penalty by +1 to 3 for mountain hexes (making them the same as "high mountains" in vanilla), changing the hex between Cetinje and Ragusa to Mountain and removing the Dalmatian railway altogether (as it could not transport very large number of soldiers) solves the issue as far as I am concerned. The Germans can still attack Cetinje in 1914 if they want to, but not on Turn 2.

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Post #: 191
RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/4/2021 10:59:10 AM   
Espejo


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Problem is that you can rail in overwhelming forces quickly in the first round if you sell tech research. There are to many exploits you can otherwise make happen. Overwheling suddnely Serbia before first move. Cut Poland from Ruisa, take out Montenegro.

At the moment I tend persoanlly to cut railroad at Sarajevo. Money back from selling tech limited to 20% instead of 50% to discourage these kind of gambits. If you strengthen now Serbia enough to withstand these gamey tactics they are as well undefeatable without them.

(in reply to stockwellpete)
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RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/4/2021 6:54:12 PM   
Tanaka


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Espejo

Problem is that you can rail in overwhelming forces quickly in the first round if you sell tech research. There are to many exploits you can otherwise make happen. Overwheling suddnely Serbia before first move. Cut Poland from Ruisa, take out Montenegro.

At the moment I tend persoanlly to cut railroad at Sarajevo. Money back from selling tech limited to 20% instead of 50% to discourage these kind of gambits. If you strengthen now Serbia enough to withstand these gamey tactics they are as well undefeatable without them.


Agreed. Tech selling is what causes most of these bam boom bop moves in the series.

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RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/4/2021 7:56:31 PM   
hottegetthoff

 

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I feel like some changes are an overshot, because Serbia being easily killed when focused is not a bad thing, changes should focus on making it only a little bit fairer than it is. But its kind of like France falling in a WW2 game. I think that balkans need some adjustments, but mostly to Greece, which is a separate topic. Serbs could get later be incorporated on Corfu into the Macedonian Front. But its topic for another discussion.

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Post #: 194
RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/6/2021 12:04:16 AM   
Chernobyl

 

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Yeah I do want to point out that if Serbia dies early the Entente is actually quite fine in the long term. Serbia collapsing and running to the Uskub mountains before winter 1914/15 and ultimately surrendering around June 1915 was how MP games NORMALLY go for me, even before I found out that you can snipe Cetinje. This by no means defeats the Entente. They have tons of long term advantages.

Killing Montenegro fast only ACCELERATES this process somewhat, depending on rolls and whether Serbia times their retreats properly. Compared to the default situation, where Serbia is collapsing rather early anyhow, the turn 2 Montenegro assassination's primary benefit to the Centrals is they can quickly afford to rail some units out of Serbia, and don't have to keep German units down there for long. I know some players play MP games where Serbia survives into 1916, but I am pretty sure they are playing wrong. In fact, if Serbia somehow survived to its historical date (October 1915), I would say that's a gigantic WIN for the Entente. It severely delays economic/military assistance to the Ottomans and stretches the Centrals in Europe. Basically I disagree that Serbia dying in the first half of 1915 is doom and gloom for the Entente. I think it's more like business as usual.

One thing I would like to see is more opportunities for Serbian units to escape to Albania (shipped off to safety) or Greece even if they lose their last capital. As it is they really have nowhere to run in 1915. Supply in Albania is bad and crossing over the Greek border isn't possible, so their units typically all die. It would be cool for some Serbian units to actually run away and survive some of the time.

< Message edited by Chernobyl -- 3/6/2021 12:09:02 AM >

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RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/11/2021 5:11:09 PM   
Chernobyl

 

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Why exactly does snipping the rail between Ragusa and Cetinje change things at all? I cut the rail line and I can still rail a German corps right next to Cetinje on turn one. I was easily able to take Cetinje immediately even without the rail connection. It's really the road, not the rail, in that tile which makes defending Cetinje impossible.

< Message edited by Chernobyl -- 3/11/2021 5:19:36 PM >

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Post #: 196
RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/11/2021 5:25:05 PM   
stockwellpete

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chernobyl

Why exactly does snipping the rail between Ragusa and Cetinje change things at all? I cut the rail line and I can still rail a German corps right next to Cetinje on turn one. I was easily able to take Cetinje immediately even without the rail connection. It's really the road, not the rail, in that tile which makes defending Cetinje impossible.


You really need to take the whole Dalmatian railway system out between Cetinje and Sarajevo/Split. OCB found out that it was a "Bosnian gauge" railway for the most part that would have been incapable of dealing with large troop movements.

(in reply to Chernobyl)
Post #: 197
RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/11/2021 5:32:12 PM   
mdsmall

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chernobyl

One thing I would like to see is more opportunities for Serbian units to escape to Albania (shipped off to safety) or Greece even if they lose their last capital. As it is they really have nowhere to run in 1915. Supply in Albania is bad and crossing over the Greek border isn't possible, so their units typically all die. It would be cool for some Serbian units to actually run away and survive some of the time.



I agree with this idea. I was very surprised when I first played the 1917 campaign to see that Serbia had lost their entire country but still had a a couple of corps in exile in northern Greece and a capital (I think) on Corfu. I will let the historians explain more about what actually happened, so we can think about ways of enabling that within the 1914 campaign. In the same vein, I would welcome hottegethoff's idea of more discussion of a Macedonian front in 1915 and beyond that involves new options for Greece.


(in reply to Chernobyl)
Post #: 198
RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/11/2021 5:34:29 PM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: stockwellpete


quote:

ORIGINAL: Chernobyl

Why exactly does snipping the rail between Ragusa and Cetinje change things at all? I cut the rail line and I can still rail a German corps right next to Cetinje on turn one. I was easily able to take Cetinje immediately even without the rail connection. It's really the road, not the rail, in that tile which makes defending Cetinje impossible.


You really need to take the whole Dalmatian railway system out between Cetinje and Sarajevo/Split. OCB found out that it was a "Bosnian gauge" railway for the most part that would have been incapable of dealing with large troop movements.


The RR Line (Nerenta Line) from Sarajevo to Ragusa (Dubrovnik) and the Dalmatian Line were narrow gauge...also called the 'Bosnian Gauge'.





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RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/11/2021 5:40:49 PM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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On the Narenta RR Line...there were 3 types of small engines that were used on different parts. One type was used to negotiate a extremely curvy section south of Mostar. Another one was used as a puller for a steep grade pass up and then down into Ragusa. Theres no way this RR line could be considered as a main line as featured on the SC-WW1 map..nor even WW2...

Image is of the JDZ-176 locomotive....the one they had to swap for the curvy, winding, torturous segment that wound along the Narenta River so has not to derail.





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< Message edited by OldCrowBalthazor -- 3/11/2021 5:43:25 PM >

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RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/11/2021 5:44:14 PM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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This image is of the JDZ-189 Locomotive. It was used to pull the train up and over the pass above Ragusa (Dubrovnic). It was incapable of utilizing the winding segment of the Narenta Line...it would derail. The other locomotives couldn't pull a laden train up the grade.

Note the size of the engineer and coalbox. These locomotives were quite small.




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< Message edited by OldCrowBalthazor -- 3/11/2021 5:48:35 PM >

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RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/11/2021 7:21:28 PM   
stockwellpete

 

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The trouble with "operating" at the moment is that it is more like some sort of futuristic sci-fi teleportation (as in Star Trek). I have been trialling in my mod the idea that operating has to begin and end on a railway line and that seems OK. It would be possible for me to add some variables as house rules with regards to the different type of terrain hexes adjacent to the railway line in question, linked to whether it was during a 7 day turn or a longer turn. Then, another problem is that currently there is unlimited rail movement (provided there are railway lines, of course) whether you are in highly industrialised countries like France or Germany, or in less developed areas like the Dalmatian coast or parts of Russia and Turkey.

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RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/11/2021 9:49:22 PM   
Chernobyl

 

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Operationally moving units is quite powerful, despite costing MPP.
**Pet gripe #2 is how arty retains its shell count when you railroad-move it, which is far superior to force march which resets the shell count

It would be cool if strategic move was only allowed on railed hexes to railed hexes (no adjacent dropoffs).

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Post #: 203
RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/11/2021 10:09:16 PM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chernobyl

Operationally moving units is quite powerful, despite costing MPP.
**Pet gripe #2 is how arty retains its shell count when you railroad-move it, which is far superior to force march which resets the shell count

It would be cool if strategic move was only allowed on railed hexes to railed hexes (no adjacent dropoffs).


Stockwellpete has proposed this....and it has merit.

(in reply to Chernobyl)
Post #: 204
RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/12/2021 5:41:08 AM   
stockwellpete

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: OldCrowBalthazor


quote:

ORIGINAL: Chernobyl

Operationally moving units is quite powerful, despite costing MPP.
**Pet gripe #2 is how arty retains its shell count when you railroad-move it, which is far superior to force march which resets the shell count

It would be cool if strategic move was only allowed on railed hexes to railed hexes (no adjacent dropoffs).


Stockwellpete has proposed this....and it has merit.


I am sure restricting operational movement in this way would help quite a bit with some of the unbalancing effects of these early game gambits as well.

(in reply to OldCrowBalthazor)
Post #: 205
RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/13/2021 9:16:49 AM   
stockwellpete

 

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OCB, can you find any evidence at all on your maps for a railway line between Cetinje and Pec during WW1? I am not sure if there has ever been a railway line between the two towns, but there may have been at some point. The game has one, so if Cetinje falls the Central Powers can currently "operate" units right into the heart of Serbia by that route.

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RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/13/2021 11:08:17 PM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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There was no RR in Montenegro from Cetinje to Pec in WW1. There was on from Bar (near the coast) to Podrigca and on to Serbia via Novi-Bazar, but its was also a narrow gauge railroad that had to surmount a 40% grade! This railroad's gauge was also different then the Bosnian Gauge. A spur to Cetinje was planned but didn't get built because of lack of funding and the onset of WW1.

Here's a link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_transport_in_Montenegro

btw..working on getting contemporary (for the time) RR maps and other data for Serbia and Montenegro. Finding that seems to give better evidence then using later representations of things of the past.

< Message edited by OldCrowBalthazor -- 3/14/2021 3:56:01 AM >

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RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/14/2021 12:37:06 AM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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So..there is no railway that connected Cetinje to Pec, though with the scale of SC-WW1, you could argue it does in an abstract fashion. This is done all the time with wargame design and other geographic representations. However, this railroad was also narrow gauge. It was designed by Italian engineers, and built by Austria-Hungary prior to WW1.

One interesting location the engineers had to deal with was designing and building the Mala Rijeka Most RR bridge, which when completed, was the highest railway bridge at the time. Even now, this bridge over the deep gorge is ranked at 15th highest RR bridge (2021).

Imagine trying to detrain a corp there. :)






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< Message edited by OldCrowBalthazor -- 3/14/2021 12:49:44 AM >

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RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/14/2021 11:23:01 PM   
stockwellpete

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: OldCrowBalthazor

There was no RR in Montenegro from Cetinje to Pec in WW1. There was on from Bar (near the coast) to Podrigca and on to Serbia via Novi-Bazar, but its was also a narrow gauge railroad that had to surmount a 40% grade! This railroad's gauge was also different then the Bosnian Gauge. A spur to Cetinje was planned but didn't get built because of lack of funding and the onset of WW1.

Here's a link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_transport_in_Montenegro

btw..working on getting contemporary (for the time) RR maps and other data for Serbia and Montenegro. Finding that seems to give better evidence then using later representations of things of the past.


Interesting stuff. I recently picked up AGEOD's "To End All Wars" in a sale and I looked at their campaign map this evening. They have a railway line between Split-Mostar-Sarajevo, but nothing in Montenegro at all. The nearest railway line is the Nish to Skopje line in Serbia.

(in reply to OldCrowBalthazor)
Post #: 209
RE: Eliminating Montenegro on turn 2 - 3/15/2021 12:07:37 AM   
Chernobyl

 

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To End All Wars has the best intro music

(in reply to stockwellpete)
Post #: 210
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