WWII: Struggle for Europe____WWII: Struggle for Asia => General Discussion => Topic started by: kriegspieler7 on June 10, 2009, 04:39:29 PM

Title: Reducing combat factors and cost of support units
Post by: kriegspieler7 on June 10, 2009, 04:39:29 PM

It's been a little quiet around for awhile, so I thought I'd get something started for fun. Here's the thought:

What if we emphasized the importance of the infantry and armor units by making the cost of AT and Artillery just 2 prod-pts? Each AT and Artillery unit would give 2 infantry units or two armored units a +1 in attack and defense. They could be taken as casualties after all the main units (inf and arm) had been fired at (not necessarily taken as casualties).
This would maybe better simulate the use of those support units in most armies, with the exception of the USSR. Stalin used artillery in separate divisions, so an artillery "army/corp" by the Soviets would be allowed. Cost would be the same, but their combat factor would be 2 AF and 2 DF.

Thoughts? Comments?
Title: Re: Reducing combat factors and cost of support units
Post by: Bobsalt on June 11, 2009, 03:42:44 AM

My thought is youd probably wind up with something like World War One where the defense dominated until the end of the war. Everyone would be frantically trying to build as many artillery and AT guns as they could as fast as they could.

With your idea, infantry would attack on a 2 and armor a 4. On defense though, infantry would defend on a 3 and armor also a 4 (light armor a 3). I assume youd also have to add fortifications as well, since artillery and AT guns would realistically be well-suited to help in their defense, so now you also have a defensive unit that hits on a 4 and takes two hits to take out. Terrain would make things worse infantry would defend on a 4 and fortifications a 5. I think youd find that taking a territory in forest or mountains would be just about impossible.

Soviets would be even worse they have two types of artillery and so could build them faster than anyone else. Also, by giving them a +2 you make their defense as follows: infantry 4, armor 5, forts 6. In forest and mountains, these numbers are infantry 5, armor 5, forts 6. Even with a +1 Germany could not hope to attack with much success.

This would also make mechanized attacks potentially very costly for the attacker against defenders with support units, since only the Soviets have self-propelled artillery that can move in the mech phase.

This would also make the German 88s less effective. Theyd grant the Germans the +1 on defense but nothing on offense.

Ultimately I think youd see the game become much slower paced. No one would want to attack in the mech phase (except the Soviets) if the defender had support units. I think everyone would be building all the fortifications they could every turn. Defense would become much more powerful than it was historically.

Thats what Ive come up with off the top of my head. I may sound discouraging to you, but that isnt my intent. Personally Im in the process of completely re-writing the aircraft and naval rules in two stages. When I finish were going to set the game up and play a few games with the first stage to see if they work the way I think they will. If so, were then going to move to stage two. If everything goes OK Ill post them here for everyone.

My point is that the true test of whether a rule is a good one or not is what happens when you start rolling dice. My suggestion is that if you like this idea, then set everything up and play a game or two and see what happens. I think (hope) the rules Im writing are really good, but it wont be until we actually start using them in a game that well really know. Thats when you see all of the things you didnt anticipate.

Title: Re: Reducing combat factors and cost of support units
Post by: John D. on June 11, 2009, 04:24:04 PM
Bob - Perfect. If you like something - try it out and see how it plays. That's what it's all about. :)

Title: Re: Reducing combat factors and cost of support units
Post by: kriegspieler7 on June 12, 2009, 03:59:43 PM
Thanks for the comments. Just trying to generate some activity and get the mental juices flowing. ;D

Not sure if I'm going to do too much with it. It was just something to bring up, as A&A seemed to have gone that route. Even though "The Struggle . . ." has some similar characteristics, it's on a very different plane. ::)

What has always bothered me, now that I think of it, is that air units can destroy land units! It was that way in A&A and all their clones/spawn, and I didn't care for it. In Trevor DuPuy's "Numbers, Prediction, and War," he notes in his military science studies that air units never did totally destroy ground units until Operation Iraqi Freedom I, in the 1980's. (I might bring up the carpet bombing that the Allies did in Operation Corbra, but that's a singular instance and for another time.)

I could see that air units could disrupt ground/land units (and please note, I am not, repeat, not, referring to naval or other air units! Planes sank ships and shot down other planes. Ships sank ships and shot down planes too.)

Let's say that if an air unit makes a hit on a ground/land unit, then a marker (say, a black chip) is put next to it. The unit is not destroyed, but is unable to return fire on the opponents next turn. After the opponets turn, the markers on his disrupted ground/land units are removed. And play then resumes un the usual /regular way.

It's an idea for air superiority to be clearly seen for what it was. ;D
Title: Re: Reducing combat factors and cost of support units
Post by: smckenzie on June 14, 2009, 09:45:20 AM
The game is abstract, as games typically are.

Losing an infantry does not neccessarily mean an entire infantry corps was wiped out, but rather reflects losses in men and materiel that add up to 3 Production Points....

Allied fighter bombers destroyed large numbers of tanks et al, and when you add it up that's like losing ?
Title: Re: Reducing combat factors and cost of support units
Post by: kriegspieler7 on June 28, 2009, 04:03:32 PM
Thanks for the response, Mac. (Can I call you Mac?) Yours is an interesting point, I'll grant you that. Now that I have the oportunity to opine, I would counter posit that the rounds of combat which take place during a battle simulate what would really have happened, as again, I believe, "The Struggle . . . ," is supposed to be a simulation. And in my reading, To have an air unit destroy a ground unit (or wear down a ground unit to nothing), well, that never really happened until Operation Desert Storm, in the early 1990's. I just find it difficult to see how air units (even with hundreds of aircraft) with the ordnance available in the early 1940's could take out ground units with troops numbering from 36-45,000 men.

To counter that too, also in my research aka reading and studying, I came across the statement that in the Battle of Stalingrad, the Germans lost 6 months worth of production. In "The Struggle . . .," that would amount to 16-20+ infantry units, 1/2 a dozen armored units or more, at least 4 panzergrenediers, several artillery, A-T, and "88" units, not including Luftwaffe ones. Maybe the idea would be that air units are really more deadly in their attacks on land units that are "cut-off" and out of supply. Logistically, there would be no replacement equipment/units/troops to fill in.

I think I could buy into that. Yes, I would.

added on June 30:
And well, here is another idea. The Soviet Union's early fighters have a combat factor of one (1) to begin with. After the requeset number of them have been built according to the rules, then the Soviet fighters would have a combat factor of two (2). And then, about the time the US and UK get logn range fighters, Soviet fighters would get a combat factor of three (3). I suggest this as the Luftwaffe could get local control without too much trouble before then. After that date, Soviet fighters got to be close to par with German ones due to improved tactics and equipment (i.e. radios from the USA!).

Just some radom thoughts. More to follow. Like Italian Infantry units having only a combat factor of 1A/1D. They only had 2 regiments, don't you know? But that's for another post. Civilized comments welcomed.   ;D
Title: Re: Reducing combat factors and cost of support units
Post by: Mark on July 01, 2009, 04:17:42 AM
In designing the advanced game and rules - I toyed with the idea of having support units only return front line units to reserve (see Advanced Rules section on Front line and reserves).  But, in the end, this jut prolonged the battles - it was easier and quicker to abstract the loss of cohesion and combat capability inflicted by air units as unit losses and to reduce support unit effectiveness in the advanced game rather than create a more detailed support system. 
Title: Re: Reducing combat factors and cost of support units
Post by: kriegspieler7 on July 20, 2009, 09:15:05 AM
Wow!  I've not gotten back to say thanks Mark for your comments--and all the rest of you guys too.  I understand (for the most part) your suggestions.  I agree that there are some severe limitations with trying to make a simulation of life (or war in this case!), using paper, plastic, metal, time and space.  I am not skilled in using computer technology to do that, and it may be easier to do digitally and graphically there.  I think it's more limiting, but that's just me.

I've got the thought to put all my ideas (hair-brained and otherwise!) on a list with suggestions as to how they might work.  And of course, I will be trying to get my gaming group to try some out after our brief summer haiatus is completed.  I will beg, plead, cajole, and otherwise whine until they give in.  I own the game, literally, so they may be able to be persuaded somewhat. 
Mark and John--keep up the good work.  I know you have not yet begun to game!