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Is supplying extravagent manoeuvres too easy?

 
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Is supplying extravagent manoeuvres too easy? - 3/23/2005 5:40:19 PM   
Delphinium

 

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Looking at the AAR's of the gold release, one issue that worries me about the "realism" factor is the ability to perform grand strategic manouvres with ease.

The first case was a Japanese sweep up the trans-siberian railroad. The japanese notoriously struggled to keep logistics going on campaigns, so how they could blitz along the TSR is a bit bewildering.

The other was an AAR where the Germans captured the Caucasus and then performed a huge right hook to come out behind Moscow to the South East of the Soviet capital. Hmmm, methinks not, the rail infrastructure would never be sorted out in the short term and as for motor transport supply.

Whilst I like having a sandbox to play in, in appealing to the Harry Turtledove fanboys, do us historic buffs get left in the cold



< Message edited by Delphinium -- 3/23/2005 5:46:29 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: Is supplying extravagent manoeuvres too easy? - 3/23/2005 6:13:24 PM   
Paul Vebber


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It depends on what your priorities are? Also how much "supply help" you use. Most of the AARs have used "default" supply and transport levels. In most cases with "advanced supply" an area can support "40" as a transport level. IT cost 10 supply points to "fix the rail network" in each area, so in most cases players have left the rail network a shamble in other places to fix it where they need it.

In a game at this scale and scope, the question is perhaps not "do you represent the trouble the Japanese had with supply realistically", but "with a different set of priorities, could Japan have deveoted more of its resources to supply and avoided the issue". The assuption is that teh palyer has his hand on the "Strategic tiller" to a greater extent than a BHWaW or WiF scope game that is more about "given the strategic situation and plan they had historically - can you do better", rather than "what strategic direction would you take teh country in - logisitically, developmentally AND mnuever strategy wise?

At that level its very diffiuclt to say whether someting was "unrealistic" or not, if you invite teh player to make significant deviations from "what really was planned".

The issue of Japan has a good solution in simply modding the US entry criteria so they can't send everything they have deep into Russia with impunity. For those who doubt the overall feasiblity, there is discussion about adding an option to charge 2 SP for land unitscrossing a double area boundary. Together the two might be overkill. We will see what comes in the first patch...

With a game like this with so many "strategic variables" it is going to take a lot of games, and a lot of discussion to decide if tweaks need to be made, or if combinations of DRMs, supply help and transport mods "fix" the issues. My feeling is it will be some time before that whole "decision space" is fully explored, given all the variables...





< Message edited by Paul Vebber -- 3/23/2005 6:17:53 PM >

(in reply to Delphinium)
Post #: 2
RE: Is supplying extravagent manoeuvres too easy? - 3/23/2005 10:33:54 PM   
Joel Billings


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Let me tell you that the movement from Rostov/Grozny to Kazan took meticulous forethought and planning, and then near perfect execution (as he pats himself on the back). It was not easy. I had to preposition units the turn before, including transports in the Black Sea and fully repairing all rail lines in southern Russia. That sucked up supplies (that had to be railed in). If the Soviets had been able to get at my transport in the Black Sea with any airpower, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. Part of my strategy was to build up fighter strength and make sure it wasn’t possible to lose the transport. I was also up against an army of mostly militia, which made life easier. The Luftwaffe was pre-positioned to support the move to Kazan. Basically once Stalingrad was taken by infantry/artillery (there was weak opposition), it was simply a matter of sending the Luftwaffe and armor north. Now all of this took a ton of supplies. I then had to decide whether I wanted to send in more supplies to repair the rail in Stalingrad and Kazan, or send in more troops. I choose the supplies. At the end of the turn I had used 100% of my rail capacity and I was unable to rail in any additional troops to assist the Panzers (I was able to send in a few supplies in case they are cut off). I even used the capability to tell each unit where it should get it’s supply from (an advanced technique that takes a few extra mouse clicks) in order to get the most out of my rail capacity. This entire strategy would be an incredibly risky move if the Russian army had much left to attack with, but it’s a mostly militia army that is lacking in supplies due to the beating it’s been taking for the past year (there's still some risk in it). If things weren’t going so well, the Germans would be spending a lot of supplies rebuilding rail lines that would be damaged again if hit by a Russian counterattack. I’ve been doing this at the expense of repairing resources which normally I’d be doing. The resource shortage will not hit me for another 6-12 months, and I saw an opportunity to go for the knockout now.

In GGWaW, the best strategies are those that react and respond to opportunities that present themselves. You have to put yourself in position to take advantage of them if they come along, but you never know for sure exactly when or what the opportunity will be (that’s why PBEM games are so much fun, every opponent plays differently and every situation is different due to the luck factor that is just enough to keep things from getting into a rut).

As for Japan and Siberia, again, there are extreme limitations to what Japan can do given the one rail line in Siberia. As Paul mentioned we’ve discussed adding some optional rules if this turns out to be a problem, but we’re not convinced yet that it is. Is it 100% realistic, probably not, but until you see the tradeoffs that Japan must make to execute this strategy, I wouldn’t jump to any final conclusions.

By the way, the AAR’s have been played using Advanced Supply rules. I strongly suggest that players try their first games with the standard supply rules (where you don’t actually move supplies on the map, just use them from a general supply pool). Although the game is much less realistic that way, it is a lot easier to play. Once you get used to the game, the gamers looking for added realism and depth should move to the Advanced Supply rules.

Since this game has been compared to Axis & Allies by many (mostly those that haven’t played GGWaW yet), I’ll give my personal ratings as to the “difficulty” (how hard to play) and “realism” ratings for these 2 games, and I’ll throw in a few others so you have some benchmarks. These are clearly subjective ratings representing my opinion only (1-10, where 10 is maximum realism and very difficult to play). By the way, I am a fan of A&A, especially A&A Europe, so I don’t mind the comparisons.

Game Difficulty/Realism
War in the Pacific 9/9
Steel Panthers 6/7
GGWaW 4/6
Axis & Allies 2/2

(in reply to Delphinium)
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RE: Is supplying extravagent manoeuvres too easy? - 3/23/2005 11:00:27 PM   
carnifex


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That's interesting :)

So Joel, can you list any war-type game that you would rate at 10 for realism?

Cause I believe that tracking individual pilot ratings in a game that covers half of WW2 is about as 10 as you can get.






(in reply to Joel Billings)
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RE: Is supplying extravagent manoeuvres too easy? - 3/23/2005 11:09:36 PM   
Becket


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Not to speak for Joel, but WitP doesn't track, for example, positions of planes/ships and ballistics of individual shots.

That's possible too, but combat in WitP is abstracted.

_____________________________


"The very word Moscow meant a lot to all of us....it meant all we had ever fought for" -Rokossovsky

(in reply to carnifex)
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RE: Is supplying extravagent manoeuvres too easy? - 3/23/2005 11:21:24 PM   
mavraam


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quote:

ORIGINAL: carnifex

That's interesting :)

So Joel, can you list any war-type game that you would rate at 10 for realism?

Cause I believe that tracking individual pilot ratings in a game that covers half of WW2 is about as 10 as you can get.









Yeah, I agree. For a game on that scale, if its not a 10, there are no 10's!

One could make a case that many of the better air or tank sims would rate a 10 for realism, but as far
as a STRATEGY game, I can't imagine there is anything I would rate higher than WITP.

From what I've seen of the AAR's and being quite familiar with A&A I'd put a bigger gap between
WAW and A&A for both difficulty and realism. A&A has no supply, the combat and research are so
abstract as to almost be meaningless. And considering the feeble AI in A&A, I'd put it at 1/1.

Let me put it this way. I never lost a single game of A&A playing any country at any difficulty level
in A&A against the AI. I can't imagine that will be the case with WAW.

On the same scale, putting A&A at 1/1, I would put

Strategic Command at about a 2/3. Maybe 2/4.
R:TW at about 2/7 (for the battles not the strategic part)
HOI2 at about 3/6



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(in reply to carnifex)
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RE: Is supplying extravagent manoeuvres too easy? - 3/23/2005 11:50:40 PM   
Paul Vebber


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Joined: 3/29/2000
From: Portsmouth RI
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To sum up Joel's comment in 25 words or less...extravagent manuevers are much easier against an opponent that lets you get away with making them...

I managed an "extravagent manuever" of my own when Joel tried to break into the North Sea and I retreated and brought supplies and connectivity to the the Empire all the way round Africa from the West coast of the US.

< Message edited by Paul Vebber -- 3/23/2005 11:58:06 PM >

(in reply to mavraam)
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