From: The Duchy of Cornwall, nr England
This assessment of the current ruleset being used by WITE2 to recreate the impact the winter of 1941/42 is based on having played 2 games against the AI, one multiplayer server game and an evaluation of the AARs that have been published that have gone through the first winter turns.
It is also based on the fact that I was a tester for WITE1 and most of my testing time was spent trying to get the game to simulate the effects of the first winter. Those who remember the initial launch of WITE1 will remember that the first winter rules were the first to receive changes, and it took a long time before the rules matched the general population’s playing ability and players learned to survive and come out of the winter in good enough condition to undertake a 1942 offensive. You can see all my posts in the WITE1 forums including the Field marshal Noob AAR and the survival guide I wrote.
The current WITE2 ruleset and AI programming has made it extremely hard for players to achieve anything like historical results.
The screenshot shows the historical benchmark that WITE2 has to replicate:
From December to March the Axis was pushed back about 120miles (12hexes) from Kalinnin/Moscow Front, 30-80 miles (3-8hexes) in the Tula/Livny area, 50miles in the Tihkvin area and from Rostov back to Mius river; about 40 miles or 4 hexes . Overall I calculated this to be approximately 600 hexes were retaken and this was the benchmark I used for my tests. It should be noted that historically no offensives took place or territory recaptured along the Orel/Kursk/Kharkhov/Maruipol Front during the whole period December to March.
So historically the most territory was regained in areas where the current ruleset makes it harder to regain territory, and the least territory was regained in areas where the ruleset makes it easiest to regain territory.
In WITE1 it was impossible to recreate the historical levels of recapture on the Orel/Kursk/Kharkhov axis, but a compromise pattern of play emerged whereby the Axis would attempt to build a defence line 6-8hexes east of the cities, get pushed back 6-8 hexes from December to February, then use the fact that the Axis turned back into supermen on the 1st of March and could recapture 3-4 hexes so the front line could get to a rough approximation of where the 1942 offensive jumped off from. This compromise, but non-historical pattern of play then became the standard for WITE1.
The WITE2 ruleset makes this pattern impossible to replicate, especially when playing against the AI, mainly because the Logistics and CV penalties applied to the Axis now last until the end of March so there is no opportunity to push back, particularly in the South.
The entrenchment rules, capping maximum entrenchment at level 1 when not in contact with enemy units has already become an exploit used by human players. This prevents players getting the much needed logistic and damage prevention benefits of Level 2 fortifications (See the panzers vs the bear AAR).
The new weather rules can extend the pain even further if April does not turn into mud as it did without fail in WITE1. I had 2 turns of snow for the first 2 turns of April.
One of the biggest issues I had with WITE1 was the use of asymmetrical rules that affected one side and not both sides equally, the best/worst example being the infamous 1:1 combat win for the soviets. WITE2 continues the pattern: I had originally felt that using the logistics and increased damage rules were the best way of of modelling the asymmetrical impact the first winter had on the Axis and Soviets historically, until the undocumented CV modifier was announced. Why do the axis suddenly fight ⅓ as well as the soviets on top of having their CV modified by logistics and damaged elements?
The biggest problem is the attack capacity of the AI. CarlKay58 has reported the same 90+ attacks in his AAR that I experienced, turn after turn with about 50/50 hold/loss results. At this rate of success it can push the Axis back at the historical rates in the Moscow/Kallinin front, in the South I think most players will not be able to stop the AI pushing past the cities of Orel Kursk and Kharkhov with minimal opportunity to recover.
Against human opponents I believe that the Axis can disrupt the Soviets enough so that they may not be able to muster as many attacks as the AI, but they will be attacking more lvl1 fortifications than the AI if they abuse the entrenchment rules. They will still get the extra 4-6 turns of attacking in March/April instead of losing territory as per WITE1. Human players can also use cavalry and mechanised units to isolate and destroy Axis units. The AI rarely achieves this. Historically no axis units were lost in pockets during the soviet winter offensive. The CV penalty rule gives the Axis little chance of breaking any pocket.
I do have a proposal using existing game mechanics that I believe will produce a more accurate recreation of the impact of the First Winter
Suggested Rule changes:
Remove the undocumented CV penalty.
Allow a fort level cap of 2 for units not in contact with the enemy.
Proposed New Rule/mechanic.
SOVIET WINTER OFFENSIVE 1941
As the soviets had limited logistics and command ability for the period December 1941-March 1942, the Soviets may designate a limited number of fronts for offensive operations (use the HQ Assault function but not the same rules).
All units assigned to the front may attack.
A penalty will be applied if the Front’s cc is exceeded. (Pro-rata?)
The “Assault” front will receive logistics/CV and MP bonuses to reflect their better winterisation and winter fighting experience compared to the Axis (10-20%? - that’s what testing is for)
Transfers between Fronts will either be disallowed or cost APs to prevent units being transferred for free to circumvent the cap on attacks.
Historically the Soviet's maximum attack frontage was 370-400 miles. This is approximately ⅓ of the front. (There are 120 hexes from Leningrad to Rostov), so this would mean on average 2-3 fronts should be designated as “assault fronts”, so I would suggest 4 Fronts for December, 3 for January and 2 for February and March.
Non-Assault Fronts can still move but not attack.
As the AI does not use Fronts or have any semblance of organisation it needs to have its attack capacity capped to a level that better reflects historical attack frontages. I would suggest 40 + D10 for December, 30 + D10 for January and 20 +D10 for February and March. Possibly apply triggers hexes to the AI so that it will not attack on the Orel/Kursk/Kharkhov Front until it has moved past Rhzev, for example.
Thank you for your kind attention.
The First Winter Rules for WITE2 are worse than WITE1’s were, but there may be a historically realistic fix.
< Message edited by karonagames -- 4/26/2021 4:08:47 PM >
It's only a Game