Analysis

PC/MAC : Commander the Great War is the latest release in the popular Commander series to bring the thrill, excitement and mind-breaking decision making of these difficult times to life.

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Historion
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Analysis

Post by Historion » Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:01 pm

(Note : most values and information taken from various Wikipedia articles)

1. Geographical map scale : ca 50 km distance between tiles (Front Length = ca. 25 km)

2. Economy, ManPower, Military Unit Scale :

a) Serbia

Serbia ca. 4.5 - 5 million people.
Belgrad = ca. 100.000 people
Skopje = ca. 40.000 people

Because of the poor financial state of the Serbian economy and losses in the recently fought Balkan Wars, the Serbian army lacked much of the modern weaponry and equipment necessary to engage in combat with their larger and wealthier adversaries. There were only 180,000 modern rifles available for the operational army, which meant that the Serbian Army lacked between one-quarter to one-third of the rifles necessary to fully equip even their front line units, let alone
reserve forces. Although Serbia tried to remedy this deficit by ordering 120,000 rifles from Russia in 1914, the weapons did not begin to arrive until the second half of August.

During mobilization Serbia raised approximately 450,000 men.
The operational army consisted of 11 and 1/2 infantry (six of 1st and five of 2nd ban) and 1 cavalry division. (with additional regiments : around 250,000 men)

Serbian campaign 1914 : ca. 250.000 men, 558 Field Guns

1914 scenario :

Income : Serbia (26 points), +21 PP, Belgrad (9 points), Skopje 8
MP : 430

2 Infantry (24 MP)
6 Garrison (36 MP)
1 Cavalry ( 6 MP)
1 Artillery ( 5 MP)
-------------------------
71 MP
Upkeep 25 PP

Scaling by Divisions :
Garrison, Cavalry = ca. 1 Division
Infantry = small army (ca. 2-3 Divisions)

1 Division = ca. 12.000 men -> 1 MP = 2.000 men


Scaling by operational army :
250.000 / 71 MP -> 1 MP = ca. 3.500 men

Garrison = ca. 21.000 (1-2 divisions)
Infantry = ca. 42.000 (army of 2-3 divisions)


b) Austria Hungary

Austria Hungary : ca 51-52 million people
Vienna : ca 2.1 million people
Budapest : ca. 880.000 people

The standing peacetime Austro-Hungarian army : ca 450.000 men.
During the mobilization this number was increased to a total of 3,350,000 men of all ranks. The operational army had over 1,420,000 men, and a further 600,000 were allocated to support and logistic units (train, munition and supply columns, etc.) while the rest – around 1,350,000 – were reserve troops available for replacing losses and the formation of new units.
1918 : ca. 4.4 million men in service, ca. 2.85 million men at the front
Total : ca. 8-9 million mobilized, ca. 1 million killed

Serbian campaign 1914 :
ca 378.000 men, 756 Field Guns
The pre-war Austro-Hungarian plan for invasion of Serbia envisioned concentrating three armies (2nd, 5th and 6th) on the western and northern borders of Serbia. With the departure of the major part of the 2nd Army to the Russian front, this number fell to some 285,000 of operational troops, including garrisons

1914 scenario :

Income : Austria (54 points) +41 PP, vienna (12 points)
MP : 1600

Total army :

3 Infantry (36 MP)
8 Garrison (48 MP)
1 Cavalry ( 6 MP)
1 Artillery ( 5 MP)
-------------------------
95 MP
Upkeep 33 PP


at Serbian Front :

2 Infantry (24 MP)
2 Garrison (12 MP)
1 Cavalry ( 6 MP)
1 Artillery ( 5 MP)
-------------------------
47 MP

Scaling by operational army :
285.000 / 47 MP -> 1 MP = ca. 6.000 men

Garrison = ca. 36.000 (Corps with 2-3 divisions)
Infantry = ca. 72.000 (small army with 2 Corps)

Note :
At start, only 3 Garrison face the Russian Front in Galicia.
The starting army of AH is mostly the army for the serbian campaign. The CP player must mobilize the historical 1 million men for Galician Front on his own from the small budget of +37 PP per turn in 4 turns (4 * 37 = 148 PP), which allows additional 14 Garrison or 7 Infantry units in turns 2-8. (7 * 72.000 = ca. 500.000)


c) Germany

Germany : ca 67 million
Berlin : ca. 2 million

Standing Army 1914 : 794.000 men

8 Armies with total of 25 Corps a 2 Infantry Division + add. Corps troops.
Infantry Division = 2 Infantry Brigades + 1 Cavalry Brigade + 1 Artillery Brigade
(each Brigade has 2 regiments)
1 Corps = ca. 45.000 men (?) + 17.000 horses + 3.000 vehicles

1914-18 : Total : ca. 13 million mobilized, ca. 2 million killed


Mobilized Armies for Western Front August 1914 :

Cavalry : 4 Corps with total of 10 Cavalry Divisions (ca 64.000 men)

Infantry
1st Army : 4 Corps + 3 Reserve Corps + 3 Landwehr Brigade
2nd Army : 3 Corps + 3 Reserve Corps + 2 Landwehr Brigade (+ heavy Artillerie, Pioniers)
3rd Army : 3 Corps + 1 Reserve Corps + 1 Landwehr Brigade (+ Artillerie, Pioniers)
4th Army : 3 Corps + 2 Reserve Corps + 1 Landwehr Brigade (+ Artillerie, Pioniers)
5th Army : 3 Corps + 2 Reserve Corps + 5 Landwehr Brigade (+ Artillerie, Pioniers)
6th Army : 4 Corps + 1 Reserve Corps + 4 Ersatz Divisions (+ Artillerie, Pioniers)
7th Army : 2 Corps + 1 Reserve Corps + 2 Ersatz Divisions + 5 Landwehr Brigade
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
22 Corps + 13 Reserve Corps + 6 Ersatz Divisions + 17 Landwehr Brigade

1 Corps = 2 Infantry Divisions + ... = ca. 45.000 men
1 Ersatz Division = ca. 15.000 men
4 Landwehr Brigades = 1 Landwehr Division = ca. 15.000 men (?)

Total (calculated) : ca. 1.8 million men (Western Front August 1914)


1914 scenario :

Income : Germany (? points) +75 PP, Berlin (25 points)
MP : 1900

Western Front :

8 Infantry (96 MP)
4 Garrison (24 MP)
1 Cavalry ( 6 MP)
1 Artillery ( 5 MP)
-------------------------
131 MP

Scaling by operational army :
1.800.000 / 131 MP -> 1 MP = ca. 14.000 men

(Cavalry = ca. 64.000 (4 Cavalry Corps))
Garrison = ca. 84.000 (2 Corps)
Infantry = ca. 168.000 (army with 3-4 Corps)

Note :
131 MP is 1.85 times the 71 MP of serbian forces (= 250.000 men). Compared with Serbia scale, the Germans would field only 460.000 men instead of 1.8 million men in the west. Serbias forces are scaled 4 - 5 times higher than Germanys.


3. Analysis

MP-Scaling Military Units (1 MP = ? men) :
---------------------------
Serbia : 2.000 - 3.500 men
Austria : 6.000 men
Germany : 10.000 - 14.000 men

(expected MP-scaling : 1 MP = 10.000 men)


ManPower Scaling :
------------------------
Serbia (4.5 mil) : 430 MP (= 95 MP / mil)
Austria (52 mil) : 1600 MP (= 31 MP / mil
Germany (67 mil) : 1900 MP (= 28 MP / mil)

Economic Scaling :
------------------------
Serbia (4.5 mil) : +21 PP (= 4,66 PP / mil)
Austria (52 mil) : +41 PP (= 0,8 PP / mil
Germany (67 mil) : +75 PP (= 1,11 PP / mil)


Conclusion :
Since the game has a fixed geographical scale and features only 2 sizes of Infantry units without supporting of stacking multiple units in a hex, the game developers had to scale up Serbia and other minor powers to a Great Power in terms of Economic Income, number of units, ManPower reserves while Great Powers as Austria and Germany were scaled down to allow playability and provide extra challenge for players. (Game balancing)

BattlevonWar
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Re: Analysis

Post by BattlevonWar » Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:32 am

Interesting little break down. Good conclusion and this is really not a historical game outside of making a decent game with a feel of a challenge and balance. Austria was a country broken into many ethnic groups and even with good equipment or more numbers would have had issues 1vs1 against Serbia(supplied by friends) and in fact when she invaded Serbia as history tells us in WW1 she did have issues...wasn't like when Italy invaded Greece in WW2 but I thought I heard it was a disaster? All to often in history we look at figures and numbers but we don't look at the guy sitting behind the antique rifle..is he willing to take 3 shots and keep firing because he's afraid what you will do to his family just beyond that village? Meanwhile when your adversary doesn't even like his own country and feels that his people are not supposed to be fighting, and runs at the first sound of a bullet aside the possibility of being shot. Force Ratio begins to change entirely...

i.e.
The South never had a chance in The American Civil War in terms of production and population(meanwhile many historians should have put their money on the South despite everything, she gambled too much with her limited resources) What if she had freed her slaves, won a few more battles and brought in Britain and France?

PrinceMiskin
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Re: Analysis

Post by PrinceMiskin » Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:19 pm

Do you have your own mod historion?

I am heavily modifying mine with new cities, bug-fixes etc. I am thinking, I am probably wasting my time, since you are always running ahead of me.

If you do, would you be interested sharing it with the community?

PrinceMiskin
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Re: Analysis

Post by PrinceMiskin » Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:48 pm

By the way, some of your reasoning can be improved. We should attempt to scale MP by war mobilization and not nation population.

Please check some calculations, which I have made:

Code: Select all

"Entente Powers, 1914"	Population (M)	Mobilization (M)	Pop. / Mob.	GDP $	GDP $ per head	Game Scaling	Pop. Scaling	Mob. Scaling
Russian Empire (exlcuding Finland)	173.2	11.78	6.80	257.7	1488	2500	4912	2035
France	39.8	8.41	21.13	138.7	3485	1100	1129	1453
United Kingdom (excluding colonies)	46	6.21	13.50	226.4	4921	600	1304	1073
Finland (Russian Empire)	3.2	0.22	6.80	6.6	2050	100	91	38
Serbia	7	0.76	10.81	7.2	1029	430	199	131
Belgium	7.6	0.27	3.51			170	216	46
Italy	35.6	5.62	15.77	91.3	2564	700	1010	970
Portugal (excluding colonies) 6	0.10	1.67	7.4	1244	300	170	17
Roumania	7.7	0.75	9.74	11.7	1527	400	218	130
United States	96.5	4.36	4.51	511.6	5301	1800	2737	752
Greece	4.8	0.23	4.79	7.7	1592	200	136	40
"Entente Powers, Sum"	427.4				25201	8300	12120	6683
								
"Central Powers, 1914"	Population (M)	Mobilization (M)	Pop. / Mob.	GDP $	GDP $ per head	Game Scaling	Pop. Scaling	Mob. Scaling
Austria-Hungary	50.6	7.8	15.42	100.5	1986	1600	1435	1347
Germany	67	11	16.42	244.3	3648	1900	1900	1900
Ottoman Empire	23	2.85	12.39	25.3	1100	1000	652	492
Bulgaria	4.8	1.2	25.00	7.4	1527	500	136	207
"Central Powers, Sum"	145.4				8261	5000	4123	3947
								
Entente/Central Powers Ratio						1.66	2.94	1.69
The Entente/Central powers MP ratio in the game is 1.66 and a mobilization driven approach yields 1.69; meaning it is also playable.

PS I am sorry but transferring from excel makes tables very confusing. :-(

Historion
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Re: Analysis

Post by Historion » Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:59 pm

Hi,

you can improve your table by inserting "blanks", e.g. :

Code: Select all

 A | B
-------
 1 | 2
Mobilization depends on many parameters :
population, duration of conflict (Russia left early), losses, necessary troops to effectively defend / attack, supply limit (how many troops can be effectively supplied in field)

ManPower is usually calculated by Total Population / 4.
50% of Population is male, 50% is female.
Additionally half of the males/females is either too young or too old.

In World War 1 the healthiest and trained (reservist) males were sacrificed in the first years leaving the not so healthy, young and untrained ones for the later years to fill the lines. This is simulated in the game by a drop of quality when MP drops.

In wartime, the males usually shift from industry to military service while their woman often shift from homework to industrial labour. (Specialists usually are exempt from military service.)
When industry is mobilized for war, the production of weapons, ammo and supplies can go up by many hundred % compared to peacetime production. You can also buy weapons and ammo from foreign countries (convoys).
Therefore the industry production (PP) / Income should not automatical decrease if MP reserves go down.

Peacetime Military Forces in Europe were financed by budgets of 2.5 - 5% of National GDP.
War was financed by War bonds (or printing money), not only by taxes or GDP. During war, the budgets were permanenly increased to cover the military costs necessary to continue the war. In 1918, Great Britain spent more than 50% of GDP for its military forces. (After the war they were nearly bankrupt.)

CtGW does not simulate national ressources as Food, Energy (Coal, Oil), Raw Ressources (Iron), Industrial Capacity or GDP in detail, only MP and PP.

PrinceMiskin
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Re: Analysis

Post by PrinceMiskin » Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:18 pm

Hi Historion,

Thanks for your reply.

How do you count spaces to leave effective blanks in between, or do you do this manually one by one? I have tried tabulations, but it failed.

The available manpower is different to the actual manpower, which is tied to the population. For example Austria-Hungary conscripted only 0.29% of its population, compared to 0.47% in Germany, 0.35% in Russia and 0.75% in France. There are various reasons such as the ethnic integrity of a nation, the public opinion against the war, the political will, the government type, how threatening the war is for the country and how involved its people feel in it. In terms of game mechanics the actual manpower is handled by MP resources.

So are the available and the actual conscription rate. At the outbreak of WWI, the number of people volunteering to enlist for the Australian Imperial Force was so high that recruitment officers were forced to turn people away. Here the distance to the war theater, the supply effectiveness and its cost, the production capacity, the army needs and the actual manpower availability are the determining factors. In terms of game mechanics the actual conscription rate is probably a combination of MP and PP resources.

Therefore, if I had to rescale MP to a more realistic historical version, I would have also taken into account both nation population and the actual conscription rates, which occurred in WWI. In an simplified attempt , I would say 50-50.

To conclude, I present below three historical alternatives based on population, mobility and their combination:

Code: Select all

Entente Powers, 1914 | Game Scaling (1914) | Pop. Scaling | Mob. Scaling | Pop. And Mob. Scaling
Russian Empire (exlcuding Finland) | 2500 | 4912 | 2073 | 3492
France | 1100 | 1129 | 1453 | 1291
United Kingdom (excluding colonies) | 600 | 1304 | 1073 | 1189
Finland (Russian Empire) | 100 | 91 | 38 | 64
Serbia | 430 | 199 | 131 | 165
Belgium | 170 | 216 | 47 | 131
Italy | 700 | 1010 | 971 | 990
Portugal | 300 | 170 | 17 | 94
Roumania | 400 | 218 | 130 | 174
United States | 1800 | 2737 | 753 | 1745
Greece | 200 | 136 | 40 | 88
Entente Powers, Sum | 8300 | 12120 | 6724 | 9422

Central Powers, 1914 | Game Scaling (1914) | Pop. Scaling | Mob. Scaling	
Austria-Hungary | 1600 | 1435 | 1347 | 1391
Germany | 1900 | 1900 | 1900 | 1900
Ottoman Empire | 1000 | 652 | 492 | 572
Bulgaria | 500 | 136 | 207 | 172
Central Powers, Sum | 5000 | 4123 | 3947 | 4035

Entente/Central Powers Ratio | 1.66 | 2.94 | 1.70 | 2.34
Scaling is based on MP of Germany.

I am thinking to combine these with a flat 2% yearly increase in MP based on max MP. Please let me know, what you think.

Cheers

Turbo624
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Re: Analysis

Post by Turbo624 » Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:59 pm

Good Analysis Historian!

The Turkish OOB and manpower are equally unbalanced. Granted the units were weak and poorly supplied. Then again, the Russians should be weak as well, but they are strong as hell. This game takes too many liberties in the name of "gameplay" in my opinion. So much so, that as a wargamer, I regret buying the game.

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