Balance: scenario, A26.4, the game

Actionjick

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Not enough, IMO. It's not about one side having too much or the other having too little, the problem is how far they Germans have to go and the time they have to do it in. -- jim
That was the impression I got from your previous post. Would another couple turns be adequate?
 

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That was the impression I got from your previous post. Would another couple turns be adequate?
IMO, it's one of two things: Either the Germans need one more move or the Russian setup area needs to be restricted to allow the Germans to start about 4-hexes closer. -- jim
 

Actionjick

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IMO, it's one of two things: Either the Germans need one more move or the Russian setup area needs to be restricted to allow the Germans to start about 4-hexes closer. -- jim
Was there something novel in NBT's setup that broke the scenario and were the balance provisions adequate beforehand?

Btw this seems to bear out my opinion and yours that balance is subjective for all the reasons you posted up thread.

For NBT I would like to know what inspired his approach to the defense that tipped the balance so far against the Germans?
 

Sparafucil3

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Was there something novel in NBT's setup that broke the scenario and were the balance provisions adequate beforehand>
I don't know that it is novel, but it is pretty solid. The Germany setup area overlaps with the Russian setup area except the Germans must setup >= 7 hexes of all Russian units. So the Russians spread out across the front, pushing the Germans in to a narrow strip on the board edge. Straight-line distance to the VC area is 24 hexes. That's more than 3 hexes forward a turn and that only get's you to the front hex.

The Germans have to rely on their AFV's to do some heavy lifting but to do so, they have to work past 9 Russian tubes that come on before them and can setup up and wait for them. I like the scenario, but IMO, the Germans need some help. It's just too far to go if the Russians set up to force them away. -- jim
 
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Actionjick

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I don't know that is novel, but it is pretty solid. The Germany setup area overlaps with the Russian setup area except the Germans must setup >= 7 hexes of all Russian units. So the Russians spread out across the front, pushing the Germans in to a narrow strip on the board edge. Straight-line distance to the VC area is 24 hexes. That's more than 3 hexes forward a turn and that only get's you to the front hex.

The Germans have to rely on their AFV's to do some heavy lifting but to do so, they have to work past 9 Russian tubes that come on before them and can setup up and wait for them. I like the scenario, but IMO, the Germans need some help. It's just too far to go if the Russians set up to force them away. -- jim
Thanks! Sounds like he just examined the problem and figured out how to maximize his assets. Well done to him and a good challenge for the Attacker to overcome.
 

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Thanks! Sounds like he just examined the problem and figured out how to maximize his assets. Well done to him and a good challenge for the Attacker to overcome.
I agree. I have tried. While the game is still in the balance, I think it pretty heavily in his favor. I still have a few tricks, but we'll see. -- jim
 

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I agree. I have tried. While the game is still in the balance, I think it pretty heavily in his favor. I still have a few tricks, but we'll see. -- jim
Best of luck!! The challenge is what keeps it fun.
 

Actionjick

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Straight-line distance to the VC area is 24 hexes. That's more than 3 hexes forward a turn and that only get's you to the front
Jim looking at the above situation do you have any rule of thumb for calculating the actual amount of turns to move a certain distance in a scenario?

A squad without a Leader could move 12 hexes in two turns so in this scenario it would take four turns just to get to the VC area disregarding opposition. Seems like the designers were pretty optimistic that the defense wouldn't slow down the attacker to any significant degree. πŸ€”πŸ™„
 

Actionjick

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Jim looking at the above situation do you have any rule of thumb for calculating the actual amount of turns to move a certain distance in a scenario?

A squad without a Leader could move 12 hexes in two turns so in this scenario it would take four turns just to get to the VC area disregarding opposition. Seems like the designers were pretty optimistic that the defense wouldn't slow down the attacker to any significant degree. πŸ€”πŸ™„
Just as a thought experiment I think a squad without a Leader, on foot, could cover 16 hexes in two turns. Btw Colonel Cuervo is visiting so I could be totally blowing this. πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„

Colonel Cuervo has pointed out some theoreticals I overlooked. I'll have to give this some more thought. πŸ€”πŸ€”
 
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Jim looking at the above situation do you have any rule of thumb for calculating the actual amount of turns to move a certain distance in a scenario?

A squad without a Leader could move 12 hexes in two turns so in this scenario it would take four turns just to get to the VC area disregarding opposition. Seems like the designers were pretty optimistic that the defense wouldn't slow down the attacker to any significant degree. πŸ€”πŸ™„
It depends on the terrain and the risk you're willing to take. Three hexes forward, per turn, is a little hectic. The board in BoF 16 is covered in grain which also slows you down. Two woods hexes and an Advance is three hexes. Open ground, over a hedge, and into Brush, with an advance is three hexes. -- jim
 

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It depends on the terrain and the risk you're willing to take. Three hexes forward, per turn, is a little hectic. The board in BoF 16 is covered in grain which also slows you down. Two woods hexes and an Advance is three hexes. Open ground, over a hedge, and into Brush, with an advance is three hexes. -- jim
Yes there seems to be too many variables for any kind of rule. Handy to figure out the best possible and apply the variables as best you can.
Three hexes seems slow but it probably is a good pace all things considered.
 

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Yes there seems to be too many variables for any kind of rule. Handy to figure out the best possible and apply the variables as best you can.
Three hexes seems slow but it probably is a good pace all things considered.
Figure each hex costs you close to 1.5 MP's per Hex. I find that to be a good rule of thumb. You want to move in cover, using bypass, and all the things we know and love in ASL and you can maybe push that to 1.2MP's per hex. Still only about 4 hexes forward including the Advance Phase. You can move faster of course, but those pesky -2 shots will catch up to you. And RFP, lest we forget that. -- jim
 

Actionjick

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Just as a thought experiment I think a squad without a Leader, on foot, could cover 16 hexes in two turns. Btw Colonel Cuervo is visiting so I could be totally blowing this. πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„

Colonel Cuervo has pointed out some theoreticals I overlooked. I'll have to give this some more thought. πŸ€”πŸ€”
Well without the Colonel's influence and a couple cats on my chest I think a squad without a Leader could cover 19 hexes in one game turn. Still could be blowing this.

Has nothing to do with balance but fun to think about.
 

The Purist

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Going back to the original question, yes, the system is somewhat pro-German but mostly from 1944 onwards (maybe late 43). Mid to late war ELRs are arguable too high as we now know that even in early 1942 German infantry replacements had as little as 8-9 weeks of training before being sent to the front, with the obvious impacts to combat abilities. German rifle companies were chronically depleted and the pre-Barbarossa cadre of experienced combat veterans and pre-war "Weirmar NCOs" were mostly gone by the summer battles of 1942.

This doesn't mean the German infantry fell apart but it goes far in explaining how and why German infantry performance declined and losses again soared even before Stalingrad. Arguably, the Germans were fortunate that most of their opposition in 1942 consisted of hastily raised, poorly trained and underequipped Red Army formations that were used to bleed the Wehrmacht white. By late 42 and 43, as training and equipment became more available the Red Army had retained a growing core of more experienced field and senior officers, even if their junior officers were seldom a match for their German opponents (at least until mid-44 and later).

German OoBs should probably see the introduction of the 2nd line squads far earlier than most scenarios do. ELRs should probably seldom rise above 3 after mid-1942.

The real gaps in the system appear to be in representing the growth of western Allied experience and tactical nous before the second half of 1944. What some may not realise is that after 1940, western allied infantry were never again sorely pressed by German infantry when the Wehrmacht commenced offensive actions. On defence the Germans could be, under certain conditions (such as Normandy), very difficult to dislodge but these conditions were seldom met and German infantry was usually badly trounced by both US and Brit/CW infantry along with their supporting arms. Some still criticize the western allies for fighting (and winning) their battle using their own fire-based doctrine, instead of German methods. I usually ask why should they? The Germans lost (it is, of course, much more complicated).

Normandy is something of a late war outlier. The Germans were able to quickly reinforce a narrow front and create a seldom seen tactical depth backed by mobile reserves that made creating, and exploiting, any breach in the line very problematic. However, once those mobile reserves were exhausted German infantry positions were overrun and no amount of stalwart determination could maintain the front. The allies broke the front open and advanced almost as fast as the Red Army.

German support weapons (mortars and machine guns) are not much of an issue in the game and do a good job representing these excellent weapons. That said, their ammunition consumption was extremely high and the Germans often had to limit the fire of these weapons in order avoid depleting the available ammunition before the current fighting had been resolved.

Should they be B12 or B11 'circled' (low ammo)? Perhaps after 1942? πŸ€”

The primary culprits for "wunder" weapons are, of course, the panzerfaust and ATMM - too many and/or too easily obtained, the squads pay no portage for their possession and they can be used anywhere in the OoB as desired. Let's face it,... a usage dr of 1-3 is not that risky (except, perhaps in smaller scenarios), especially since a squad can try twice at the cost of its IFP (probably not needed if the squad(s) is (are) needed to stalk tanks). They possess an impact in a scenario far in excess of their actual battlefield performance.

And yet the rules are the rules and every player who draws the German side is right to rub his hands with glee when gifted these powerhouses.

I do wonder where the plethora of US Bazookas are (normal issue to a rifle coy was 5). I don't recall many scenarios where 5 US Baz 44s are included with 10 US squads.

At the same time Chapter H is actually very well crafted and is of excellent value (especially with the updates) in the scenarios. There are few minor issues with overrating the Suffleupagus found on Tigers and such. The grenades launched by the sN# certainly do not rate 16FP. Again this a problem of earlier available details not being clear enough or understood (ie: the launcher 'looks' huge, but the grenades were not any more powerful than a regular nor numerous enough to rate the high FP value assigned in ASL).

It is worth noting that when the rules were written 35 years ago our knowledge of certain aspects of the war were flawed and still heavily influenced by the post-war pro-German narrative that allied intelligence officers gobbled up with glee as the iron curtain descended across central Europe. The view that the Wehrmacht was only overwhelmed by numbers became very deeply engrained and that view still lingers on in some circles even to day.

It is only in the last 20 odd years (perhaps even the last 10-15) that we have come to understand that while the Germans held a decided tactical advantage in the early war years, this declined rapidly from 1942 and only accelerated as the war went on. As both the western allies and Red Army adjusted their doctrines and equipment levels to compensate for the improvements in the internal combustion engine, the Wehrmacht found less and less scope for fighting their preferred method of warfare (bewegegunskrieg).

My own 'wish list' is for the known rules loopholes and flaws to be corrected before releasing the next version rather than hand waving away the advances in historical understanding since 1985.

Cheers. πŸ€“
 
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Actionjick

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Going back to the original question, yes, the system is somewhat pro-German but mostly from 1944 onwards (maybe late 43). Mid to late war ELRs are arguable too high as we now know that even in early 1942 German infantry replacements had as little as 8-9 weeks of training before being sent to the front, with the obvious impacts to combat abilities. German rifle companies were chronically depleted and the pre-Barbarossa cadre of experienced combat veterans and pre-war "Weirmar NCOs" were mostly gone by the summer battles of 1942.

This doesn't mean the German infantry fell apart but it goes far in explaining how and why German infantry performance declined and losses again soared even before Stalingrad. Arguably, the Germans were fortunate that most of their opposition in 1942 consisted of hastily raised, poorly trained and underequipped Red Army formations that were used to bleed the Wehrmacht white. By late 42 and 43, as training and equipment became more available the Red Army had retained a growing core of more experienced field and senior officers, even if their junior officers were seldom a match for their German opponents (at least until mid-44 and later).

German OoBs should probably see the introduction of the 2nd line squads far earlier than most scenarios do. ELrs should probably seldom rise above 3 after mid-1942.

The real gaps in the system appear to be in representing the growth of western Allied experience and tactical nous before the second half of 1944. What some may not realise is that after 1940, western allied infantry were never again sorely pressed by German infantry when the Wehrmacht commenced offensive actions. On defence the Germans could be, under certain conditions (such as Normandy), very difficult to dislodge but these conditions were seldom met and German infantry was usually badly trounced by both US and Brit/CW infantry along with their supporting arms. Some still criticize the western allies for fighting (and winning) their battle using their own fire-based doctrine, instead of German methods. I usually ask why should they? The Germans lost (it is, of course, much more complicated).

Normandy is something of a late war outlier. The Germans were able to quickly reinforce a narrow front and create a seldom seen tactical depth backed by mobile reserves that made creating, and exploiting, any breach in the line very problematic. However, once those mobile reserves were exhausted German infantry positions were overrun and no amount of stalwart determination could maintain the front. The allies broke the front open and advance almost as fast as the Red Army.

German support weapons (mortars and machine guns) are not much of an issue in the game and do a good job representing these excellent weapons. That said, their ammunition consumption was extremely high and the Germans often had to limit the fire of these weapons in order avoid depleting the available ammunition before the current fightg had been resolved.

Should they be B12 or B11 'circled' (low ammo)? Perhaps after 1942? πŸ€”

The primary culprits for "wunder" weapons are, of course, the panzerfaust and ATMM - too many and/or too easily obtained, the squads pay no portage for their possession and they can be used anywhere in the OoB as desired. Let's face it,... a usage dr of 1-3 is not that risky (except, perhaps in smaller scenarios), especially since a squad can try twice at the cost of its IFP (probably not neededif the squad(s) is (are) needed to stalk tanks). They possess an impact in a scenario far in excess of their actual battlefield performance.

And yet the rules are the rules and every player who draws the German side is right to rub his hands with glee when gifted these powerhouses.

I do wonder where the plethora of US Bazookas are (normal issue to a rifle coy was 5). I don't recall many scenarios where 5 US Baz 44s are included with 10 US squads.

At the same time Chapter H is actually very well crafted and is of excellent value (especially with the updates) in the scenarios. There are few minor issues with overrating the Suffleupagus found on Tigers and such. The grenades launched by the sN# certainly do not rate 16FP. Again this a problem of earlier available details not being clear enough or understood (ie: the launcher 'looks' huge, but the grenades were not any more powerful than a regular nor numerous enough to rate the high FP value assigned in ASL).

It is worth noting that when the rules were written 35 years ago our knowledge of certain aspects of the war were flawed and still heavily influenced by the post-war pro-German narrative that allied intelligence officers gobbled up with glee as the iron curtain descended across central Europe. The view that the Wehrmacht was only overwhelmed by numbers became very deeply engrained and that view still lingers on in some circles even to day.

It is only in the last 20 odd years (perhaps even the last 10-15) that we have come to understand that while the Germans held a decided tactical advantage in the early war years, this declined rapidly from 1942 and only accelerated as the war went on. As both the western allies and Red Army adjusted their doctrines and equipment levels to compensate for the improvements in the internal combustion engine, the Wehrmacht found less and less scope for fighting their preferred method of warfare (bewegegunskrieg).

My own 'wish list' is for the known rules loopholes and flaws to be corrected before releasing the next version rather than hand waving away the advances in historical understanding since 1985.

Cheers. πŸ€“
Thanks! Very nice and raises some issues I have read elsewhere regarding the German influence on the West's perception of the Cold War Soviet Union. πŸ€”
 

The Purist

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Ooof! It was huge. If you have ever read von Mellenthin's memoirs you need to pay particular attention to his closing chapters. One would be led to believe the Red Army buried the Germans under an avalanche of men and tanks. He describes the Red Army as little more than amass of automatons, unthinking, unfeeling and not caring if they or their comrades lived or died.

But that is a discussion for another time. ;)
 
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Actionjick

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Ooof! It was huge. If you have ever reah von Mellenthin's memoirs you need to pay particular attention to his closing chapters. One would be led to believe the Red Army buried the Germans under an avalanche of men and tanks. He describes the Red Army as little more than amass of automatons, unthinking, unfeeling and not caring if they or their comrades lived or died.

But that is a discussion for another time. ;)
Bitd Doctor Marc gave me a copy of an Army publication called Russian Combat Methods in WWII ( IIRC, pretty sure that was it ) which I found very interesting. I believe in it mention was made that the material was taken from interviews and reports of German officers. That makes sense but did give only one side of the story. I wonder if the Japanese were interviewed to give their account of combat against the Soviets? That would be an interesting compare and contrast exercise.
 
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