Proposals for 3.4(b)

Mark Stevens

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Evidently every experienced Axis player takes the Pre-War Builds: the immediate gain in several strong and useful units far outweighing the prospect of early US entry, by which time you'll have (i) won, or (ii) surrendered if it looks like you're not going to win.

While I think that there was slack in the German economy that could have been exploited, I don't think that the Western Allies could have matched Germany tank-for-tank: they had begun rearming too late for that. However, it could be argued that Stalin - faced with a stronger than historical German rearmament programme - could have responded in kind, both in output and by not executing Marshal Tukhachevski and the Soviet officers who were in the forefront of developing mechanised and motorised doctrines.

Therefore the German Pre-War Build Theatre Option will automatically trigger the same Red Army reinforcements as are currently deployed in the Eastern Crusade version of the scenario, i.e. two 13-14 mechanised armies, three 11-12 motorised armies, three 6-12 infantry shock corps and one 24-3 artillery corps. The Germans will still be able to crush Western Europe even more quickly than without the Pre-War Builds, but will now face a far harder task in the USSR (which will also find it easier to beat Finland and Iran). Replace that mighty 600 strong railway gun beast with an additional early panzergrenadier division (same strength as the existing one).

To discourage the early Soviet units from reconstituting behind German lines in western Russia - you can argue who this benefits, but I agree that it looks odd - place them all on Low Supply. As this will compromise the initial defence of the USSR until the Soviet reinforcements kick in, reduce the German supply bonus for 'Barbarossa' to +15 from +20.

Simulate the massive Turkish build-up in 1941 - eight extra infantry and one cavalry corps - less heavily armed and lower proficiency than the pre-war army - for both the Allied and Axis Turks.

Cancel the supply bonuses/penalties for the capture of Gibraltar (3 each for the Axis and Allies) - Gibraltar is a strategic point to occupy, which is already represented in the scenario, not an arms production centre or key transit port for equipment.

Cancel the Axis supply bonus for Malta. Instead, remove the Axis supply point from Benghazi, until the Axis take Malta. This will mean that Axis units on the borders of Egypt will be operating at the end of a supply line stretching back to Tripoli (unless they've taken Malta.) Hopefully this will lessen the effect of packing the Middle East with the entire German Army.

Reduce the supply change for Narvik from 5 to 3. 3 is the industrial output for both France and Italy, so 5 is definitely too high.

Reduce the Allied supply loss for Suez from 4 to 2: again, if the entire output of France or Italy is 3 then 4 is too high.

Increase the net post 'Overlord' bonus from +6 to +10 for the Allies.

Break up the Swiss Air Force into three units to prevent Allied planes from reconstituting in the Swiss exclusion zone.

Break up the German Luftwaffe Jagdkorps into separate units, each with a narrower range - at the moment they each vary from something like 11 -> 37, which I agree is ridiculous.

Implement the suggestion that the 50% chance of an Italian surrender after the fall of Messina can only occur AFTER the Italian North African administrative centre of Tripoli is taken by the Allies. This will discourage suicidal assaults on Messina early in the war. (Not sure what happens if the Allies take Messina first and then Tripoli - would that trigger it, or has the Event passed?)

Comments welcome... :whist:

(I still haven't had time to take a proper look at the weather loop suggestion that may free up a lot more Events.)
 

Karri

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Are there any coastal garrisons arriving in Turkey?
 

Mark Stevens

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Not sure which version you're playing, but for some time now every port along the Turkisk coast has had a small fixed garrison. No new ones as a result of these changes, but the newly raised corps won't be fixed in place and so could be sent to reinforce them.
 

JAMiAM

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If I don't comment on a particular part of your proposals, then I either agree with, or am indifferent to the proposed change, or set of changes.

Mark Stevens said:
Evidently every experienced Axis player takes the Pre-War Builds: the immediate gain in several strong and useful units far outweighing the prospect of early US entry, by which time you'll have (i) won, or (ii) surrendered if it looks like you're not going to win.

While I think that there was slack in the German economy that could have been exploited, I don't think that the Western Allies could have matched Germany tank-for-tank: they had begun rearming too late for that. However, it could be argued that Stalin - faced with a stronger than historical German rearmament programme - could have responded in kind, both in output and by not executing Marshal Tukhachevski and the Soviet officers who were in the forefront of developing mechanised and motorised doctrines.

Therefore the German Pre-War Build Theatre Option will automatically trigger the same Red Army reinforcements as are currently deployed in the Eastern Crusade version of the scenario, i.e. two 13-14 mechanised armies, three 11-12 motorised armies, three 6-12 infantry shock corps and one 24-3 artillery corps. The Germans will still be able to crush Western Europe even more quickly than without the Pre-War Builds, but will now face a far harder task in the USSR (which will also find it easier to beat Finland and Iran).
This is a substantial increase to the Allied cause. The Soviet artillery corps, in particular, are extremely unbalancing units, and twice as strong as the lone German unit that is received in the Pre-War builds TO.

It could also be argued that if such an arms race was going on in Europe, particularly between the two major competing totalitarian governments, that isolationist sentiment in the US would be increased, rather than decreased. Thus, if you go this route, with an automatic triggering of matching Soviet force, then I would suggest a maximum of 10 for the US entry penalty.

Better yet, of course, would be allowing the Allied player to make a choice, rather than having the effect be automatic, with a separate US entry effect. This could be offered, regardless of whether or not the Axis chose the prewar builds, and could be an effective tool for helping to further balance the game between a relatively strong Axis player and weaker Allied player.

Mark Stevens said:
Replace that mighty 600 strong railway gun beast with an additional early panzergrenadier division (same strength as the existing one).
As much as I hate that unit, and have "railed" against it, given some of the other design features of this scenario, I think that it might be best to leave it in. And that PzG division is really a pathetic unit. It is too weak, and has too few transportation assets. Having an extra of this unit is not of any significant recompense for losing the rail guns. IMO, it would be better to make the first one a corps level unit, and if the rail guns are lost, duplicate it for the second one.

Which brings me to a major beef that I have with the scenario, in general. That is that truck production doesn't start until turn 100 for both sides. That is almost two years into the game! The games that I've seen, end up with fully supplied Axis units in 1941 moving into the USSR with slower movement rates than they had in Poland and France. This is due to the combination of combat losses, and movement stragglers, gradually reducing the total pool of trucks, and what does make it back from the on hand column is so randomly distributed amongst all of the various Axis units, including the neutral allies. Could you at least start the replacements from turn one, so that the overall movement rate, and mechanization, of the the various forces show some increase over the course of the war? Hell...even parity would be nice.

Mark Stevens said:
To discourage the early Soviet units from reconstituting behind German lines in western Russia - you can argue who this benefits, but I agree that it looks odd - place them all on Low Supply. As this will compromise the initial defence of the USSR until the Soviet reinforcements kick in, reduce the German supply bonus for 'Barbarossa' to +15 from +20.
I assume that when you say "Low Supply" you are actually referring to the replacement rate of the units. If that is true, then what you are proposing will actually make the problem worse. I heartily suggest reading Chris Horn's article on Reconstitution and Replacements. By making replacements less likely to get into on map units, you actually increase the likelihood that replacements will accumulate and go into reconstituting units RATHER than the on map units. This will tend to suck up even more of the limited pool of infantry squads into units that will not be available when needed, and only show up, when and if, the Soviets ever get back on their feet and start reconquering territory. Granted, this effect could have beneficial side effects, if designed for properly, but I really don't think (from what you've written) that this is what you had intended. Correct me, if I'm wrongly assuming.

Another general beef that I have with the scenario are the replacement rates, in general, for infantry squads, of almost all types. It could just be me, but with aggressive play on both sides, I've seen the pools shot through, and units running about with scarcely a quarter of their infantry squads, before the Barbarossa campaign even begins. This is an issue for both sides, when you have two aggressive players. In a game against MikeJ (a top-notch player) by turn 57, 7/28/40, the Axis had already lost 43309 HRS. The Axis were working their way through Anatolia at the time, so it was probably a bit more aggressive than most. However, when you consider that the average losses were 759 HRS for every turn, and that many of those turns were pre war, and ceasefire, the Axis loss rate was well over twice the replacement rate of HRS of 350 per turn. I'm not sure what his losses were exactly, but our respective loss penalties at the time were 56 to 23 in my favor.

Most of the rest of the proposed changes seem okay, and in the case of the air units, long overdue. Of course, the air units for all sides need to be gone through, with a fine tooth comb, but I'm not sure of how many more unit slots you have available. That is a major project.

Thanks for being so dedicated in trying to keep this scenario updated for such a divergent set of players.
 
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Karri

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Mark Stevens said:
Not sure which version you're playing, but for some time now every port along the Turkisk coast has had a small fixed garrison. No new ones as a result of these changes, but the newly raised corps won't be fixed in place and so could be sent to reinforce them.
I ment after Axis occupies them.

The Spanish OOB should be broken down. Because of the winter penalty the Spanish units are on 're-org' about every other turn, and in my current game after the winter of 40-41 half of Spain was under guerilla control, because I couldn't move my forces to attack the guerillas. Maybe break it to 2 or 3 formations, so that not all untis are in re-org all the time.
 

Karri

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btw. I agree with Jamiam about the replacement rates. It's turn 89 now in my PBEM game of EA(playing as Axis), I've everything but Switzerland and my casualties are high, also the war against SU started in winter of 40-41. Now I have thousands of AT guns, thosuands of artillery pieces, a few thousands armored cars, a few thousand tanks and somewhere between 15 000 and 20 000 airplanes. But only a few thousands squads(about 1000 each, HRS, RS, MRS and LRS). I have way more planes in reserve than what I have infantry...


Germany gains 350 HRS a turn as replacements. 350 squads would equal about 3500 men. That would be about 14 000 a month, 168 000 a year. In five year span that's 840 000 men. I don't think it's enough...
 

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Mark just a thought. You’ve approached this from one angle but there is another. I agree that most experienced Axis players take the pre-war builds, because the benefit outweighs the cost, and I think that the nature of the cost (early US entry) is appropriate. An alternative approach to what you’re suggesting would be to further beef up the US strength, so it is a real deterrent to have the US angry with you early in the game.

On the beefed up Turkey thing – that further strengthens the benefits of the Caucus drive approach to EA (where you load everything into AG South and go straight for Baku/ Stalingrad). And in my opinion the benefits of taking the Caucus oil producing sites is a major unbalancing factor in its own right. Perhaps it would be an idea to combine a strengthened Turkey with a weakened oil bonus.

I think all the supply changes are brilliant! Really great. As is the Messina proposal.
 

Raver

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Another general beef that I have with the scenario are the replacement rates, in general, for infantry squads, of almost all types. It could just be me, but with aggressive play on both sides, I've seen the pools shot through, and units running about with scarcely a quarter of their infantry squads, before the Barbarossa campaign even begins. This is an issue for both sides, when you have two aggressive players. In a game against MikeJ (a top-notch player) by turn 57, 7/28/40, the Axis had already lost 43309 HRS. The Axis were working their way through Anatolia at the time, so it was probably a bit more aggressive than most. However, when you consider that the average losses were 759 HRS for every turn, and that many of those turns were pre war, and ceasefire, the Axis loss rate was well over twice the replacement rate of HRS of 350 per turn. I'm not sure what his losses were exactly, but our respective loss penalties at the time were 56 to 23 in my favor.

Most of the rest of the proposed changes seem okay, and in the case of the air units, long overdue. Of course, the air units for all sides need to be gone through, with a fine tooth comb, but I'm not sure of how many more unit slots you have available. That is a major project.

Thanks for being so dedicated in trying to keep this scenario updated for such a divergent set of players.[/QUOTE]



Well I’m definitely not in the class of James and Mike, so I have a bit of a different slant on this. My games almost always see the Soviet Union out of LRS by the end of 1941, or at the end of the year the Axis attack them (usually 1941). And the Germans seem to start getting badly depleted about the same time. However, I think that the latter is a good thing, as the Germans seem to continue to get a steady stream of very good reinforcement units throughout the game, and the degradation of their HRS numbers in individual units kind of simulates history doesn’t it?
 

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Down in Iran the local forces have no supply. A supply unit may not help the problem.
If a supply point is used, probably do not want to leave it there, so an event on turn one to place it and another to remove it when Iran falls. Then again it may not be that important.

The attached force list with all their numbers, which might or might not be useful in the debate over the values of different units.
__

Made an error earlier in the suggestion to save 2 events where the US variable increase (4 Events) was concerned. The correct sequence should be –
1. Turn 8 Variable +1 40%opportunity
2. Turn 8 enable event 1
__

My two cents on the Soviet Arms increase to match the prewar builds.
Delay it until the end of Barbarossa or 5 months after the war with Germany starts.

As for the Western allies
There is no way the US would have done anything more than increase Lend Lease, Even when Germany was running all over Europe, the US was split almost 50-50 about the war until Pearl Harbor. After Hitler declared war on the US, there was still about 20% who believed Japan should have been first (these were the people behind the attempt to get Mac Arthur the presidential nomination in ’44). I remember well the arguments that were still going on –10 – years after the war ended
Also to be noted the Communist Party USA (far more influential than a lot people would admit at the time) was against the US joining the war in Europe until the 22 June 41.

In the case of France, one could make the case that Degaulle won his argument for (1/2 ?) Armored Divisions available 1 Sep 39, with a new one being available every 6 months or so. Would also mean an increase in French tank production.

For the British, I have difficulty accepting that they would assemble additional armor units prior to the war. More Aircraft yes, because that is what Munich bought time for (they might have got more but the references are at the house).
They might have assembled additional troops in the Asian/African Colonies (cheaper) for local security purposes and have the professionals’ home with the guarantee to Poland - a division or two maybe.

While everyone knew Germany was rearming, no one really knew what was going on in the Soviet Union beyond the show trials and what the friends of Russia said for propaganda.
__

Having said the above there could be

The USSR still get the bonus units already established with the prewar build.
Delay it until the end of Barbarossa or x months after the war with Germany starts. Let it at least miss the shock phase.

France establishes independent Armor force
Triggered by Prewar Arms increase

UK increase native troop levels in the colonies
Same trigger

Communist Party USA joins Lend Lease advocates (pro USSR)
Same trigger
Equipment delivered +26 turn delay AFTER Axis/USSR war
Equipment equals what sent to western allies

Each of the events would have to be canceled if the prewar option was not taken

With the sheets on unit values enclosed, the Allies could have a 150-?00% gain over the Axis. While it might not preclude the Axis from exercising the T/O, knowing the Allies will achieve a superior gain, even if not all at once, the Axis would have something to think about.
__

The pot has been stirred.
 

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Perhaps, events permitting, there could be a variable chance that the British and French would "see" that Germany was rearming faster than normal and would start to do the same. Maybe not even in the form of units but in increased replacements...
 

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First off - the trucks. Totally agree. I'm attacking into Russia, and the Hungarian HQ took a pounding, losing all it's trucks. It now moves 1 space per turn, and I'm stuck like this for the next 60+ turns (EC game; and it's likely to be a lot longer, isn't it? I don't know if this unit has as high a priority for replacements as other units, which will soak up all the trucks when they finally come?)

Raver said:
Mark just a thought. You’ve approached this from one angle but there is another. I agree that most experienced Axis players take the pre-war builds, because the benefit outweighs the cost, and I think that the nature of the cost (early US entry) is appropriate. An alternative approach to what you’re suggesting would be to further beef up the US strength, so it is a real deterrent to have the US angry with you early in the game.
I was thinking the exact same thing when I read this thread. It can be explained in that a more aggressive German player could have changed the US focus, making the Pacific a lesser front compared to Europe. Also - if the Yanks had declared war on Germany a year (for the sake of the example) prior to Pearl, then the focus would have been 100% on Europe. I agree with this suggestion. Have the Yanks ramp up substantially faster.

Raver said:
On the beefed up Turkey thing – that further strengthens the benefits of the Caucus drive approach to EA (where you load everything into AG South and go straight for Baku/ Stalingrad). And in my opinion the benefits of taking the Caucus oil producing sites is a major unbalancing factor in its own right. Perhaps it would be an idea to combine a strengthened Turkey with a weakened oil bonus.
This is also an accurate observation. But I'm more inclined to make the Middle East route, originating with an attack against the Brits in Africa, a much more difficult proposition. Leave the oil bonus intact, but make it quite unlikely that the German can just steamroll the brits and take it as a 'sure thing' every game.

The capture of Gibraltar, the Suez, or especially Malta, would have had some effect on the Axis ability to supply Africa. But instead of convoluted houserules, however, why not just limit the Axis to only 1 German unit in Africa until Malta is taken? (DAK). This will make Malta strategically important in its own right. Capture of Malta lifts restrictions. This will force the Italians to really go at it with the Brits to make the ME route towards the Caucasus viable, and there is a very real chance that it will not happen at all.

Africa should be a scary proposition for both sides. For the Axis, because they can't supply anything besides the DAK and the wussy Italians, and the Brits should be freaking because they barely have enough to keep Africa safe, and Malta is getting attacked constantly, and the capture of it or Gibraltar will make getting new units down here a looong process, etc.

To put it more bluntly, I'm sure everyone knows how much I've been playing EA over the years, and truth be told, I'm still testing the ME -> Caucasus route. I have never been satisfied with it, Mark, which is why there has not been a single game in which I have gone into Russia using a different path! It takes many playtests to gain an accurate picture of how things go, and the changes make me repeat the procedure, etc.

I think you can leave both the stronger Turkey and the oil bonuses in there; but I would strongly suggest that you try the restrictions on the Germans, in just one version, and watch the difference. I would like to honestly look at EA as the Germans, and decide not to go the southern route, just once. But in good conscience, I can't yet do that, as the south route is *the* way to go. Africa is waaaaay too easy.
 

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Hello,

just a small matter in this realm of changes.
Allies have very low level of Airlift. With the Russians having some good units available for airlift, it is aggravating not being able to use them in the role of air drops. Could this be increased, under certain circumstances?
I could forsee the russians being able to defend better, counter-attack more effectively as well put that thought of airdrops into the german's head, maybe slow up an advance due to keeping units far enough back to cover bridges, supply points and chit like that.

maybe a small change like that will solve other problems the Russians have in defending.
 

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Lou said:
For the British, (snip)

They might have assembled additional troops in the Asian/African Colonies (cheaper) for local security purposes and have the professionals’ home with the guarantee to Poland - a division or two maybe.
There's one I would like to see implemented. The Brit response to the German pre-war builds could (realistically) see a few brigades/divisions created in the colonies to garrison the ports. The Brits don't have enough to effectively garrison the ports, and just a few small units created thusly would be a *great* boon to them - the security of Africa could be improved with just a handful of small units.

Perhaps the French could react by releasing some of the colonial troops... No additional units created this way, simply a reorganization of existing policy.

Lou said:
Having said the above there could be

The USSR still get the bonus units already established with the prewar build.
Delay it until the end of Barbarossa or x months after the war with Germany starts. Let it at least miss the shock phase.
I like the idea of releasing these troops with the end of Barbarossa. Since we know it will be auto-triggered 4 turns after the German DoW on Russia, and the Barb bonus itself is roughly 8 turns, why not release these units 12 turns after the DoW? Germany will still have its full run with Barbarossa, but when it ends the Russians will have these units at a time when it desperately required the additional units simply to slow down the Axis advance.

Lou said:
France establishes independent Armor force
Triggered by Prewar Arms increase
As this would only be a couple of divisions, this sounds good too.

Lou said:
]Communist Party USA joins Lend Lease advocates (pro USSR)
Same trigger
Equipment delivered +26 turn delay AFTER Axis/USSR war
Equipment equals what sent to western allies
This sounds good as an alternative to beefing up the US as I've mentioned above. It might be more realistic this way, but I still feel, specifically from a game balance perspective, that the US is not a big deterrant to the Germans, as the game is usually over before they make any sort of presence felt. I'd prefer to see them beefed up, as this might be the only way to actually make the Germans attempt to behave themselves to some degree. Although there are some that will argue they couldn't have done a lot more so quickly, it is also unrealistic that they were 'no threat', which is where the situation currently stands.

Lou said:
With the sheets on unit values enclosed, the Allies could have a 150-?00% gain over the Axis. While it might not preclude the Axis from exercising the T/O, knowing the Allies will achieve a superior gain, even if not all at once, the Axis would have something to think about.
Now that I like alot. Trade time for superior firepower now. Makes sense. An all-out gamble that the Russians can be dealt with quickly. Win the war! But if not done quickly, then the gamble fails to pay off. Sounds realistic!
 

Bdr.Mallette

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Bdr.Mallette said:
Hello,

just a small matter in this realm of changes.
Allies have very low level of Airlift. With the Russians having some good units available for airlift, it is aggravating not being able to use them in the role of air drops. Could this be increased, under certain circumstances?
I could forsee the russians being able to defend better, counter-attack more effectively as well put that thought of airdrops into the german's head, maybe slow up an advance due to keeping units far enough back to cover bridges, supply points and chit like that.

maybe a small change like that will solve other problems the Russians have in defending.
Or at least be able to divide 1 of the units. If not, then I'm gonna have to burn some weight off in battle before flying over and dropping in.
 

Mark Stevens

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Thanks for the responses - lots to consider - initial thoughts in no special order:

loks like JAMiAM's right about putting the initial Red Army units on Low Supply - it would simply encourage the accumulation of replacements in the pool and make dead units more likely to reconstitute: crap idea. Don't know how to get round this - disband them and they'll simply reappear. Maybe move their reconstitution points to the east, but then the Axis doesn't get to weaken the Red Army by taking the western cities and preventing (most of) those units reconstituting. A House Rule to let them sit peacefully in a swamp somewhere looks ridiculous, as does allowing them safe passage back to the main Russian lines.

More trucks from the start, OK.

Either the 600 Railway Gun unit is even more silly than most of them, or it isn't. If so, I think that it's replacement by a panzergrenadier unit - admittedly weaker but surely a lot more flexible? - is a reasonable trade.

I'm determined to make the Pre-War Builds Option for the Axis something to really think about, not a given. And I don't want the trade off to be something involving the USA that only kicks in when the game's more or less over, either because the Axis - assisted by the PWBs - has virtually won, or because it's surrendered as soon as it becomes clear that isn't going to conquer Europe. I suppose if the increase in the Red Army is too drastic I could lower it and introduce a couple of extra French and British corps/divisions, although my personal reading of the period is that the Western democracies left it too late to start rearming, even faced with Hitler's actions from the mid-1930s. I don't think that the Germans producing an experimental armoured corps, more panzergrenadiers, Himmler winning the struggle with Goering and getting his own SS air force, etc., would have spurred them into action any sooner. I do think that Stalin's USSR could and would have responded. Quite happy to greatly weaken the USEV for this, or abandon the artillery corps if it's too powerful too early. I don't want to waste Events producing an Allied Theatre Option to create these extra units if the Axis does, because I think that it would be a no brainer.

The reason that the infantry in particular get burned up so quickly is that all players, being wargamers and not politicians, are happy to fight the war at maximum intensity from the start and continue in that vein, knowing that they can stop as soon as they decide that they're not going to win (especially the Axis). In reality there were long periods when not a lot happened - certainly in the West, and even on the Eastern Front, where the front lines of Army Groups North and Centre were relatively inactive from spring 1942 - mid 1943. Increasing the infantry replacement levels will simply encourage and allow everyone to fight like Viking Beserkers from July 1939 onwards. If you get to a position in 1942 when the Axis player thinks 'I've lost loads of infantry, I'll have to decide whether to attack in the north or south of the USSR for the next few months since I can't afford to do both', that's great in my opinion.

"...Germany gains 350 HRS a turn as replacements. 350 squads would equal about 3500 men. That would be about 14 000 a month, 168 000 a year. In five year span that's 840 000 men. I don't think it's enough..." Quite right, BUT...

plus the HR AT squads (which overlap with the HRs for about a year), and the Rifle, Light Rifle, Engineer, Reconnaissance, Railway Repair, and Ferry Squads, plus all the new units that arrive during the scenario (each infantry corps easily 12,000+ men), plus the squads locked up in the Industry units, plus whatever crews are considered appropriate for the guns, tanks and planes - I've not busied myself with my calculator, but at 10 men to a squad it must run into the equivalent of several million more troops. And I suppose you could argue that the fact that x%age of the troops of even a completely destroyed unit reappear in the replacement pool is another form of raising more men.

Russians didn't start trying airdrops in any strength until well into the war. If the Airborne Corps haven't been destroyed, they will be able to drop once the Allied airlift increases. But really the Red Army tended to use them as elite ground infantry, with armour attached.

I'd like to see what effect, if any, making the only Axis supply point Tripoli (+ Benghazi following the capture of Malta) has on the Axis ability to swamp the Middle East with troops before trying Shane's suggestion of limiting the number of German units that can serve there. Surely their operating at the lowest level of supply (unless Malta falls) must have an effect?

The alternative of having a limited number of German units that can operate in the Middle East will prevent the Axis player trying the Kesselring/Raeder 'Mediterranean' strategy, although if this is still a guaranteed winner I will do something like create special German Middle Eastern units, one to be made available with every Mediterranean island captured, or something like that. Shane, it's not ideal but all I can suggest is that if you start another game you agree in advance with your opponent that only X number of German units can be transported to the area and let me know how it works.

"The Spanish OOB should be broken down. Because of the winter penalty the Spanish units are on 're-org' about every other turn, and in my current game after the winter of 40-41 half of Spain was under guerilla control, because I couldn't move my forces to attack the guerillas." Maybe send a couple of German or satellite corps to Spain to assist?

I should also say in general that the scenario's designed to be played to a finish, and hopefully by players looking through the various scenario archives and thinking 'That one looks interesting'. It's really rewarding that a number of wargamers have been playing this on and off for about four years, but it does mean that a small hard core of grognards has developed who perhaps look at the scenario from a different perspective. Nothing wrong with that, most of the best suggestions for changes have come from this group, but the thing's never going to be perfect and I don't want it to develop into a scenario that's just played to see how well the Axis side can do before surrendering if they're not going to win by 1942, rifle squads worn down to nothing...
 

Mark Stevens

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Forgot the point about the Red Army bonus troops not arriving until 'Barbarossa' or whenever: my take is that the USSR speeds up its rearmament in the 1930s, either as a response to a German led coalition developing in Central and Eastern Eurooe, OR Hitler's Germany rearming more heavily than it did historically. If this means that the USSR can beat Finland and occupy Iran more easily then it gives the Axis player something else to consider as his finger hovers uncertainly over the PWB Theatre Option.

It's harder to explain how the German invasion of Russia suddenly causes several mechanised and motorised armies to appear out of thin air.
 

Karri

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Mark Stevens said:
The reason that the infantry in particular get burned up so quickly is that all players, being wargamers and not politicians, are happy to fight the war at maximum intensity from the start and continue in that vein, knowing that they can stop as soon as they decide that they're not going to win (especially the Axis). In reality there were long periods when not a lot happened - certainly in the West, and even on the Eastern Front, where the front lines of Army Groups North and Centre were relatively inactive from spring 1942 - mid 1943. Increasing the infantry replacement levels will simply encourage and allow everyone to fight like Viking Beserkers from July 1939 onwards. If you get to a position in 1942 when the Axis player thinks 'I've lost loads of infantry, I'll have to decide whether to attack in the north or south of the USSR for the next few months since I can't afford to do both', that's great in my opinion.
Actually, the problem is that a single attack can burn anything between 100 to 300 squads. Even attacking partisans can take 50-100 squads. If you go for full scale offensive, you will lose several thousand per turn. For example my recent game as Axis, my enemy made a fortified line out of HQ units, border regiments and militia units. I have been quite careful attacking them, and still I lose more troops than what I receive as replacements. And those are just trash units against half of my army.

plus the HR AT squads (which overlap with the HRs for about a year), and the Rifle, Light Rifle, Engineer, Reconnaissance, Railway Repair, and Ferry Squads, plus all the new units that arrive during the scenario (each infantry corps easily 12,000+ men), plus the squads locked up in the Industry units, plus whatever crews are considered appropriate for the guns, tanks and planes - I've not busied myself with my calculator, but at 10 men to a squad it must run into the equivalent of several million more troops. And I suppose you could argue that the fact that x%age of the troops of even a completely destroyed unit reappear in the replacement pool is another form of raising more men.
Well, I opened EA on editor and it gave the following numbers(replacements is replacement rate X amount of turns plus pool):
10 777 Irregular squads assigned, 1400 replacements
3210 civil police squads assigned, 350 replacements
5360 military police squads assigned, 350 replacements
25 817 mounted rifle squads assigned, 14 350 replacements
11 472 motorcycle squads assigned, 17 500 replacements
72 230 light rifle squads assigned, 9450 replacements
105 002 rifle squads assigned, 42 000 replacements
0 Rifle AT- squads assigned, 1750 replacements
0 Rifle AT squads assigned, 1750 replacements
95 223 Heavy Rifle Squads assigned, 88 050 replacements
13 372 Heavy Rifle AT Squads assigned, 53 700 replacements
192 Heavy Rifle AT+ Squads assigned, 20 replacements
5 SMG squads assigned, 0 replacements
1944 SMG AT Squads assigned, 3580 replacements
848 reconneisance rifle teams assigned, 350 replacements
5 AT- Teams assigned, 350 replacements
30 051 Engineer squads assigned, 18 900 replacements

This totals 629 358, which if we count 1 squad = 10 men, would total 6 293 580 men. Remeber this is ALL possible equipment of this kind assigned to Axis, nto just Germany.

As I see it, the problem is that the replacements are too low compared to assigned equipment. I'd say that the replacements should equal at least the amount of assigned equipment.
 

Heinz57

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There's a head to tail element really not represented in TOAW, at least not very well. At one point in the 1980's the US had 5 or 6 support troops for every 1 fit for the front line - administrative personnel, supply clerks, vehicle mechanics, cooks, quartermasters, etc. But also, each crew sized weapon and vehicle - figure 1 to 8 men for each. That's likely to bring numbers up quite a bit; though some of it is hidden.

Heinz57
 
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