by Bob Cross
Supply enhancements contained in TOAW IV include a new supply state that falls between “Supplied” and “Unsupplied”, an option to reduce the movement cost of motorized units on Improved Roads by a factor of from 2 to 10 – impacting supply broadcast along such roads, and the removal of the 50% limit on Unit Supply Recovery per turn.
I. Overextended Supply State:
There is now a new supply state that falls between “Supplied” and “Unsupplied”. It’s called “Overextended”. If used, it will allow a designer to realistically impede units from continuing to press on indefinitely at red unit-supply conditions. Units in this state will have to slow down enough to keep their unit supply levels above their desertion levels – or wither away.
• A unit is “Overextended” if it has a line-of-communications to a supply point but is far enough from any supply source to be in a hex with lower location supply level than the designer-set “Overextended Supply Threshold”. For example, if that threshold were 6, then any hex with a supply level of 5 or lower would be “Overextended”.
• The default setting for the threshold is 0 – making it impossible for any hex to qualify for the new state. Therefore, only scenarios specifically edited for it will employ this feature.
• “Overextended” units receive supply normally.
• However, they also suffer desertion losses (see below) during the interturn calculations the same as if they were “Unsupplied” – except that those losses go to the “On Hand” pool, not the dead pile. To review, such losses start when the unit supply-level drops below (100 - unit proficiency). The percent loss per turn is scaled by turn intervals per week and by how far below the threshold they are.
• “Overextended” units only receive replacements if they are not suffering desertions (their unit-supply level is above (100 - unit proficiency)).
• “Overextended” hexes have a different supply font from the normal supply font in the supply display, for information purposes.
This shot shows the pull-down access to the Force Extended Supply Threshold. (Note that it is a Force Parameter – each side has one). You have to have the Force Editor active for these options to be listed:
Clicking on the parameter brings up this dialog. The default setting is zero. But, as shown, this scenario (Soviet Union 1941 Mobile Variant) has been given a setting of 4. So, all locations less than 4 will be overextended:
After playing that scenario to turn 18, this is the Supply View around Moscow. Note that as you go east of Moscow, the locations become overextended (note the change in supply view value color):
Now I made the units visible in that shot. The Germans have proficiencies greater than 80 in this scenario, so they need to have unit supply levels of at least 20 just to exist in overextended locations. To carry out offensive actions, they need to have nearly full unit supply. Note the few red-lined units I’ve identified that are now overextended (the supply radius just changed in the scenario, putting those units in this situation). They need to be extracted from these locations and moved to the west – being replaced by units in better health.
Recognize that in previous versions of TOAW there would have been no need for such unit shifts. Red-lined units could proceed indefinitely in such conditions without adverse consequences, with no limit on how far from their supply source they ranged. This puts an end to the “infinite supply line” problem.
Note that, although not a factor in this scenario (because the Soviets are falling back on their supply network and so are not on a supply tightrope, like the Axis), Soviet units have proficiencies in the 30s here. They would need unit supply levels in the 70s to just exist in such locations and offensive operations would be nearly impossible even for units at full supply. So, you can imagine the Soviet offensives grinding to a halt once they get to the end of their supply tether – a realistic effect.
II. Motorized Movement over Improved Roads
When in Deployment Mode or with the Force Editor active, the Edit pull-down contains the “Set Divisor of Improved-Road-Motorized-Movement” game parameter:
The default value is 1 (same as non-improved road), just as it was under TOAW III and before. But the limit is a max of 10, and, as shown, CFNA has a value of 2:
This shot shows the impact of that parameter. Motorized units only pay ½ MP over Improved Roads:
While this is primarily a movement cost feature, it has an impact on supply distribution, as shown in the supply view from CFNA. (There is a supply point in Tobruk). Recall that there is an improved road running along the coast. Inland locations get further and further away from the coast road. This is reflected in the location supply inland:
Note that this now means that operations south of the Qattara Depression are going to encounter much worse supply situations – enough so that the Overextended Supply Threshold will probably be exceeded. So, supply distribution in desert scenarios should be made more realistic by this feature.
III. Unit Supply Recovery Limit lifted:
There had been a limit of 50% max to how much unit supply a unit could recover in a turn. That limit has been lifted. So, if the location supply is lush enough, a unit can now go from 0% to 150% unit supply in a single turn. (Admittedly, this is a minor change that will rarely be encountered, but I’ve included it for completeness.)
Here’s a demonstration:
This shot shows a unit with zero unit supply under TOAW III:
But it is sitting on a supply point with 137% strength, and a Force Supply Level of 100%. There is also a HQ in the hex with the unit. So, the location is lush enough for the unit to recover to full (150%) supply in a single turn, if that was allowed by the game system.
But here is the unit after one turn of supply recovery:
The unit only recovered to 50% supply. The limit kicked in to prevent full recovery.
Now we switch the scenario to TOAW IV. Again, the unit starts with unit supply of 0% but is sitting on a supply point with 137% strength of 100% Force Supply Level.
One turn later, though, the unit now has full supply (150%):