Cooperation Question

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Mark Breed
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Cooperation Question

Post by Mark Breed »

Apologies, I know that I have addressed this before, but I want to make sure that I understand this correctly. Cooperation penalties are applied to all elements in the battle. So, the elements of a formation with the most severe cooperation level penalizes the entire attacking force.

Hence, the cooperation value is held to the most restrictive cooperation level and is applied to the entire group participating in the attack.

Is this correct?


If so, why was this changed?

If I remember correctly, TOAW III had it so that the restriction only affected the elements of the force based on the cooperation setting? For example, Force A's (FREE Support) elements would always operate at 100% and Force B (INTERNAL Support) would be penalized based on who, based on element formation, counter and symbol color, it could cooperate with. In other words, only Force B's elements might be penalized. We would see different colored flags based on the penalty being applied to each element participating in the combat. So, individual elements, not the whole attacking force, would be penalized.

Regards,
Mark
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Curtis Lemay
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Re: Cooperation Question

Post by Curtis Lemay »

Mark Breed wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 2:01 am Apologies, I know that I have addressed this before, but I want to make sure that I understand this correctly. Cooperation penalties are applied to all elements in the battle. So, the elements of a formation with the most severe cooperation level penalizes the entire attacking force.

Hence, the cooperation value is held to the most restrictive cooperation level and is applied to the entire group participating in the attack.

Is this correct?


If so, why was this changed?

If I remember correctly, TOAW III had it so that the restriction only affected the elements of the force based on the cooperation setting? For example, Force A's (FREE Support) elements would always operate at 100% and Force B (INTERNAL Support) would be penalized based on who, based on element formation, counter and symbol color, it could cooperate with. In other words, only Force B's elements might be penalized. We would see different colored flags based on the penalty being applied to each element participating in the combat. So, individual elements, not the whole attacking force, would be penalized.

Regards,
Mark
Nothing has changed that I'm aware of. Cooperation is still best case. But, whatever the cooperation level is determined to be, any penalties apply to the entire attack/defense.
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Mark Breed
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Re: Cooperation Question

Post by Mark Breed »

I guess that I remember it wrong.
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Re: Cooperation Question

Post by Mark Breed »

General Lemay,

I think what you are saying and what I am hearing are not the same. Having looked at the rules on cooperation, it indicates that formation cooperation affects the units in both the attack and defense. The misleading rule statement is on page 48, rule 8.6.1 where it indicates "The scaling is applied to the entire attack or defense regardless of how few or how inconsequential the uncooperative units are in combat are, or whether they are ground-assaulters or range-supporters." This statement makes it sound like all of the units get the same penalty of the worst unit cooperation. However, when reading other rules on cooperation such as the one you state that "Cooperation is still best case."

One makes it sound like you have Force A with 10 units totaling 100 attack strength and free support cooperation setting combining with Force B of one unit with an attack strength of 10 and internal support cooperation setting would have a combined attack strength of 73.7 ((100 x 67%) + (10 x 67%)) versus the other being 106.7 ((100 x 100%) + (10 x 67%)). The later is my interpretation because the former would basically mean that any supporting elements such a bombers, higher artillery supporting units, reserves, etc. could have a detrimental impact rather than a positive impact that the addition of such units should have.

Looking at TOAW III combat planner seems to support this with the different colored flags. Otherwise, why wouldn't the flags for all units always show the worst color?

TOAW III Planner.jpg
TOAW III Planner.jpg (119.61 KiB) Viewed 229 times
Note, that it does matter which unit is selected first as that determines who the other units in the battle are cooperating with. In the above case, the black symbol units are part of the initial formation participating in the attack (green flags) and, hence, the white symbol unit's cooperation is penalizing it in the attack (silver flag). If the white symbol unit was selected first, the black symbol units would have the silver flags and the penalty applied against them.

TOAW IV Planner.jpg
TOAW IV Planner.jpg (134.25 KiB) Viewed 229 times
Note in TOAW IV, the last unit added to the attack becomes the principal unit supported by the other units/formations. In the above example, I clicked on the German units first, and then, the Austrians. Note the flag colors. This makes it even harder to plan the attack. Plus, TOAW IV is confusing because the combat planner reflects the attacking forces worst cooperation penalty in the upper left-hand corner. Making it appear that the worst cooperation penalty is applied every unit.

Regarding rule 8.6.1, I take it to mean that the cooperation penalties are applied to all units based on their cooperation settings and not the cooperation setting of the worst unit in the battle.

What are your thoughts? Am I completely off-base?

Regards,
Mark
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Lobster
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Re: Cooperation Question

Post by Lobster »

Selecting a unit in the battle planner simply shows you the cooperation level of the other units in the battle planner relative to the unit you selected. So yes, flag colors will change because they are being compared against the selected unit. The display of cooperation flags gives you the opportunity to add or subtract units to the attack based on their level of cooperation.

The way I've always understood it is how it's explained in the manual. The final cooperation level will be based on the least cooperative unit in the attack regardless of it's size compared to the other units in the attack. Not a very elegant solution but it's what we have.
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Curtis Lemay
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Re: Cooperation Question

Post by Curtis Lemay »

Mark Breed wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 6:25 am General Lemay,

I think what you are saying and what I am hearing are not the same. Having looked at the rules on cooperation, it indicates that formation cooperation affects the units in both the attack and defense. The misleading rule statement is on page 48, rule 8.6.1 where it indicates "The scaling is applied to the entire attack or defense regardless of how few or how inconsequential the uncooperative units are in combat are, or whether they are ground-assaulters or range-supporters." This statement makes it sound like all of the units get the same penalty of the worst unit cooperation. However, when reading other rules on cooperation such as the one you state that "Cooperation is still best case."
It says the "scaling" is applied to all units in the attack/defense. It says nothing about what that scaling is or how it is determined.
Looking at TOAW III combat planner seems to support this with the different colored flags. Otherwise, why wouldn't the flags for all units always show the worst color?
The planner would be very confusing if each unit showed the overall cooperation. How would you know which unit was causing the cooperation issue? That's why the overall cooperation is only shown in the top left corner.
TOAW III Planner.jpg
Note, that it does matter which unit is selected first as that determines who the other units in the battle are cooperating with. In the above case, the black symbol units are part of the initial formation participating in the attack (green flags) and, hence, the white symbol unit's cooperation is penalizing it in the attack (silver flag). If the white symbol unit was selected first, the black symbol units would have the silver flags and the penalty applied against them.


TOAW IV Planner.jpg
Note in TOAW IV, the last unit added to the attack becomes the principal unit supported by the other units/formations. In the above example, I clicked on the German units first, and then, the Austrians. Note the flag colors. This makes it even harder to plan the attack. Plus, TOAW IV is confusing because the combat planner reflects the attacking forces worst cooperation penalty in the upper left-hand corner. Making it appear that the worst cooperation penalty is applied every unit.

Regarding rule 8.6.1, I take it to mean that the cooperation penalties are applied to all units based on their cooperation settings and not the cooperation setting of the worst unit in the battle.

What are your thoughts? Am I completely off-base?

Regards,
Mark
I can't evaluate these without knowing what the formation cooperation levels are.
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Mark Breed
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Re: Cooperation Question

Post by Mark Breed »

Lobster wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 12:15 pm Selecting a unit in the battle planner simply shows you the cooperation level of the other units in the battle planner relative to the unit you selected. So yes, flag colors will change because they are being compared against the selected unit. The display of cooperation flags gives you the opportunity to add or subtract units to the attack based on their level of cooperation.

The way I've always understood it is how it's explained in the manual. The final cooperation level will be based on the least cooperative unit in the attack regardless of it's size compared to the other units in the attack. Not a very elegant solution but it's what we have.
As I indicated, if your understanding is correct, (1) this takes away a big capability of a scenario designer to simulate command and control; (2) it means that setting units to tactical and local reserve can have a significant negative impact on the defense (I cannot think of a situation in which a reserve commitment would actually be to the determent of a defense unless you count friendly fire casualties); and, (3) I can't believe that Norm would have gone through all of the design effort that he put into the game to have such a poor feature given the detailed thought that he put into everything else.

Regards,
Mark
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Re: Cooperation Question

Post by Mark Breed »

General,

I will try to get you better information.

Regards,
Mark
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Re: Cooperation Question

Post by Lobster »

The following is my opinion and should in no way be construed as from the Norm, hallowed be His name.

Some of the better trained and equipped armies had little problem with coordination. Germany, U.S., Commonwealth. So their units should be able to support each other freely. Others units like those in the armies of Italy and Poland had some problems when it came to training and equipment so they should have limited ability to support each other. The U.S.S.R. had terrible training and equipment problems. Only at the higher echelons was support freely administered. Even air regiments were restricted in who they could support. Granted divisions could be switched between Soviet Armys at will sometimes being in several different Armys in a months time but even then support was limited for them. So through the game's cooperation/coordination rules command and control is achieved. This is what Norm intended. Granted in a campaign scenario lasting years support levels tended to change depending on the nation and there is no way in the game to do that. But still in scenarios lasting a year or so the current model does kind of ok for command and control.
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Re: Cooperation Question

Post by sPzAbt653 »

I think the Commonwealth units are historically considered to have displayed poor cooperation, especially between the Infantry and Armoured units. All the research I've done for several 1944-45 scenarios support the poor cooperation rating.
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Re: Cooperation Question

Post by Mark Breed »

My purpose with wanting to use the cooperation is to encourage command and control. I want to encourage players to keep forces together within a command rather that just throwing units all over the map. I see players massing formations of artillery in unrealistic deployments to create super barrages that eliminate units in a single turn. This is a gamey way of playing and ignores the design feature that Norm incorporated into the game.

Based on my observations, TOAW IV has changed the way this feature functions from the way it was in TOAW III. And, this is disappointing to me. It is a shame to see a good feature be changed for the worse. Unfortunately, I will probably be migrating back to TOAW III for my own scenario designs that I need to represent C&C.

As I explained earlier, in TOAW III you select the main formation leading the attack and every addition formation that gets included only reduces the effectiveness of that new formations based on its cooperation rating against the original selected formation. Whereas, for all appearances, TOAW IV applies the worse cooperation penalty to all formations participating in the combat. This means that if you want air units and other supporting units to add their combat power without lowering the effectiveness of the supported formation, you pretty much have to have every formation set to Free Support or make all of the units game counters and symbol colors the same. Which means that player do not have to worry about keeping formation integrity.

Regards,
Mark
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Re: Cooperation Question

Post by sPzAbt653 »

I will probably be migrating back to TOAW III for my own scenario designs that I need to represent C&C.
But not all folks are using TOAW III to play, so please don't design with III in mind! You could put 'For TOAW III only' in the Scenario Description, I suppose.
TOAW IV has changed the way this feature functions from the way it was in TOAW III. And, this is disappointing to me. It is a shame to see a good feature be changed for the worse.
I don't understand this, so help me if you don't mind. Using the East Front in 1941 as an example, let's say we don't want the Hungarian Armed Forces to be 'cooperative' with other nations. This is because historically the Hungarian military was nationalistic and did not take orders from Germany. It could take Germany's suggestions, of course.

So for such a scenario design, we would assign all Hungarian units a unique color scheme and Internal Cooperation Orders. Therefore, operating with other Hungarian Units they are good, but as a player if you assign even one Hungarian Air or Ground Unit to any attack or defense, you will suffer the penalty. Even if all the other units have Free Support settings, you would still get a penalty, as you should in this case.

So if you have the time, can you tell me what changed for IV? If this example is not a good one for the purpose then provide another. Thanks!
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Re: Cooperation Question

Post by Zovs »

I am pretty sure that this portion of the game has not changed from TOAW III to TOAW IV.
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Mark Breed
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Re: Cooperation Question

Post by Mark Breed »

I am pretty sure it has. In the above post, I had opened both games and looked at the combat planners and saw the units selected change as I clicked on them. IN TOAW III, the first unit/formation remained the primary formation and the other units/formations cooperation reflected against the first formation. However, in TOAW IV, the formation cooperation was always based on the last formation selected. So, there was a change to how the cooperation was addressed.

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Re: Cooperation Question

Post by Lobster »

It has not changed. It is the same. Cooperation is the same as in TOAWI. I just looked at the manual to see if it has changed since inception and it has not. All the wording is exactly the same including the mistakes.
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