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Encircling, unit supply level and "full cost" buyback

 
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Encircling, unit supply level and "full cost"... - 5/17/2021 11:30:08 PM   
Chernobyl

 

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Does encircling a unit ("cut off" from friendly territory and/or access to primary/secondary supply) actually do anything immediately in terms of whether the unit must be bought back at "full cost" or not?

What I mean is, say you move units to encircle/surround/cut off an enemy unit, and then you destroy it during that same turn. Does it have increased buyback cost (no discount), or do you need to WAIT an extra turn and then destroy the unit when it has less than 5 supply (obviously you need to hold the line and keep it out of supply)?

I am wondering if for this reason it's advantageous to sometimes wait an extra turn to destroy enemy units, even if your attack ratio is something amazing like 0:5.
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RE: Encircling, unit supply level and "full cost&q... - 5/18/2021 12:54:18 AM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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I think you have to wait the one turn. I believe the supply check occurs at the end of the next opponents (AI or person) turn. At least, it seems that way when I have pulled encirclements in the past and the opponent somehow kept the supply in that hex at 5 or above.

So I guess, sometimes its just best to whack the offending enemy unit, if there are pressing things happening, and at other times..letting it wither on the vine.(and making the destroyed unit full price to rebuild.)

< Message edited by OldCrowBalthazor -- 5/18/2021 12:55:28 AM >

(in reply to Chernobyl)
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RE: Encircling, unit supply level and "full cost&q... - 5/18/2021 11:35:05 AM   
BillRunacre

 

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Supply won't update in the same turn, so what I do is cut them off in turn one and destroy them in turn two!

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(in reply to OldCrowBalthazor)
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RE: Encircling, unit supply level and "full cost&q... - 5/20/2021 4:25:23 PM   
Bavre

 

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Just a little addon in that matter:
Cutting off a unit also does not immediately sever its HQ connection. You also have to keep it isolated for 1 turn for this bonus to go away.
As it seems the only instant effect you can get by encirceling is the negation of the town/city defensive bonus. But for this to trigger you have to occupy all eligible hexes around the town with your units, just cutting off the town is not enough. I have tested it a bit and it seems to work vs everything up to and including fortified towns, but not vs fortresses.

(in reply to BillRunacre)
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RE: Encircling, unit supply level and "full cost&q... - 5/21/2021 12:19:59 AM   
Chernobyl

 

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I will throw in my 2c and comment that a unit which has been pocketed should really not be bought back at a discount. That unit will effectively be completely wiped out (anyone who isn't dead will surrender, not retreat). Ideally the game would check to see if the unit is either out of supply OR pocketed before determining whether it can be bought back for a discount.

(in reply to Bavre)
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RE: Encircling, unit supply level and "full cost&q... - 5/21/2021 4:57:37 PM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chernobyl

I will throw in my 2c and comment that a unit which has been pocketed should really not be bought back at a discount. That unit will effectively be completely wiped out (anyone who isn't dead will surrender, not retreat). Ideally the game would check to see if the unit is either out of supply OR pocketed before determining whether it can be bought back for a discount.


My 3c here. So, by pocketed, by what criteria would you propose? This is an interesting idea btw, but there are myriad ways a unit (units) could be or not be 'pocketed' I would suppose. This is something I've thought about also.

(in reply to Chernobyl)
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RE: Encircling, unit supply level and "full cost&q... - 5/22/2021 2:15:26 AM   
Chernobyl

 

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The definition of "pocketed" - Well, perhaps it could be any land unit that dies that cannot trace back a physical path to a primary supply and/or port? Not sure exactly what counts as "making it back to your own lines" - should it include "secondary supply" or capitals? You definitely don't need a road or rail and I would say even mountains are okay, ocean tiles do not count, and lakes might be tricky (lake Ladoga during the wintertime supplying St Pete)

To elaborate on my basic feeling, part of the status quo - that units which get surrouded/pocketed don't IMMEDIATELY lose their supply status - that part does feel just fine to me. They have enough food and ammunition to last for a least a short duration (the remainder of your turn). Typically we are talking about a unit which has 5+ supply status but is projected to fall to a lower supply number due to getting cut off (refresher: anything less than 5 that dies pays full price, anything 5+ gets a discount). But such units that are truly surrounded should IMMEDIATELY BE INELIGIBLE for discount rebuy/reformation status. If your unit gets pocketed and destroyed then those guys are typically losing 100% of their men to dead wounded and prisoners along with 100% of their equipment. Yes there were circumstances where pockets were not airtight and troops escaped through the holes, but that's just a higher level of detail, not an explanation for the current game behavior: you surround and then destroy enemy units and somehow your opponent can reform them at discount prices. It's unintuitive and it feels like waiting to destroy enemy units for economic reasons (which I definitely will do when it occurs) is more "gamey" and less "fun".

All that being said, this isn't a terrible gripe of mine. There are multiple quirks to the game mechanics like this one and the 1) "immediately attack after moving to preserve a movement point" trick/finesse, 2) infinite safe experience for naval units from repeatedly bombarding a coastal town or Entente raiding the Norway convoy line, 3) etc. etc.... that I tolerate and still enjoy this game plenty :)

And I'm pretty sure the answer to this topic is "it's hardcoded into the base game" so it ain't gonna get changed.

< Message edited by Chernobyl -- 5/22/2021 2:23:36 AM >

(in reply to OldCrowBalthazor)
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RE: Encircling, unit supply level and "full cost&q... - 5/22/2021 2:37:04 AM   
ThisEndUp

 

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quote:

Yes there were circumstances where pockets were not airtight and troops escaped through the holes, but that's just a higher level of detail, not an excuse for the current game behavior: you surround and then destroy enemy units and somehow your opponent can reform them at discount prices.


In GB's WitE, I believe that's the same justification they use when units that are surrounded on the current turn, aren't considered surrounded until the next. Apparently it was quite common for pockets in the eastern front to be rather porous due to the large spaces involved. Units could even retreat through hexes that were flipped on the current turn, and a smaller movement penalty is still applied to your units when trying to move through hexes that just flipped.

From a gameplay perspective, I believe it's meant to give the opposing player a turn's time to react; a necessary feature in a IGOUGO system. Letting the opponent do so much damage without allowing you to react doesn't make for fun gameplay.

(in reply to Chernobyl)
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RE: Encircling, unit supply level and "full cost&q... - 5/22/2021 3:00:07 AM   
Chernobyl

 

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I thought about that, but then I thought if I ever let a unit get surrounded at all it's already a grevious error on my part.

But in any case the status quo - does it really give you that "time to react" you refer to? Because say your unit is being pocketed during your opponent's turn. It suffers zero negative combat penalties during your opponent's turn. It defends perfectly well enough during that time even while cut off from friendly supply. But then during YOUR turn it typically begins quite weakened due to low supply etc. So the status quo doesn't really give that unit a chance to "react"; you can't really 'fight your way out' of a pocket because your unit becomes severely weakened at the beginning of your turn. You don't really get a "response" - well from outside the pocket you do, but not really and effective response from inside the pocket. Even if you manage to successfully "unpocket" a unit, it often winds up getting destroyed soon after due to it being so weak from low supply. A pocketed unit will take a supply hit at the beginning of its turn automatically even if your opponent doesn't leave units guarding the blocked supply route! It takes this (usually severe) hit to combat effectiveness regardless of how "quickly" you rescued the guy.

In other words, the game is treating any unit which ever gets pocketed as having been out of supply for a substantial enough time that the unit runs out of guns and butter (sometimes even takes damage due to low supply). You don't really get to react before the unit is weakened from supply shortages; the effect is only delayed from half a turn regardless of whether it remains pocketed or was relieved as quickly and effortlessly as possible.

So it seems this game treats those units as truly pocketed/surrounded, just the timing is weird.

(in reply to ThisEndUp)
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RE: Encircling, unit supply level and "full cost&q... - 5/22/2021 3:38:54 AM   
ThisEndUp

 

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Combat effectiveness does take a hit, but you do get a chance to 'rescue' the unit from permanent destruction.

On turn 1, your opponent surrounds your unit. On turn 2, you destroy or force the surrounding units to retreat, then pull your exposed unit back a hex. Even if the unit is relatively easily destroyed on turn 3, you have still saved it from permanent destruction since it is now in supply and can be bought back at a discount. Of course, this assumes you can have reserves to break the pocket from the outside in the first place. You are still punished since the unit was destroyed fairly easily on turn 3 due to the much lower readiness from spending a turn out of supply, but it's not too severe a punishment.

(in reply to Chernobyl)
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RE: Encircling, unit supply level and "full cost&q... - 5/23/2021 7:28:58 PM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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These are great and detailed answers to my simple question, what 'constitutes a pocket' in regards to SC titles.

Yeah, in a lot of the ancient and venerable board wargames, (Avalon Hill, SPI, etc), even with out detailed supply rules, units that couldn't trace a route except through a zone of control to a capital or maybe another significant town etc, would be judged 'isolated', and a time mechanism would kick into place before they were eliminated. In some games, this route could take the most insane path regardless if there was a supply mechanism or not.

Now this could provoke grognards to argue why this could be so. One pretty good argument I heard was that there is a psychological impact on the forces that were cut off, not just supply considerations.

Anyway, much food for thought and reparte on this subject.

(in reply to ThisEndUp)
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