Suggestion for future unit types

PSP/DS/PC/MAC : WWII turn based grand strategy game

Moderators: firepowerjohan, Happycat, rkr1958, Slitherine Core

borsook79
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
Posts: 837
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 5:51 pm
Location: Poland

Post by borsook79 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:12 am

Throwing my two cents in - I'd rather see paratroopers with lower stats than a normal corps. True their training should raise the stats (and this may still be shown by higher effectiveness) but simply since I believe it would be unrealistic to have paratrooper corps in the game. There was only one operation on corps scale, but still what was used did not fight like a corps but rather on a divisional level. Hence the unit should represent a division and hence lowering of the stats.

I'm not a fan of adding in the marines as a unit, rather representing them as a tech (representing both equipment and small marine units added to landing forces). Simply because they saw even less use than paratroopers and not by all of the combatants, they belong rather in a pacific war game not CEAW
rkr1958 wrote:Two or three of thoughs occured to me when playing the Allies vs Axis AI on the subject of invasions and naval transport. By the way, the Axis AI does a lousy job protecting France against invasion. I was able to invade in mid '42 and capture Berlin in December '42 knocking Germay out of the war. I was able to hold on to France until late '40
Playing Axis with the max Allied advantage Allied AI can achieve similar results :)

rkr1958
General - Elite King Tiger
General - Elite King Tiger
Posts: 4264
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:20 am

Post by rkr1958 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:23 am

Borsook wrote:I'm not a fan of adding in the marines as a unit, rather representing them as a tech (representing both equipment and small marine units added to landing forces). Simply because they saw even less use than paratroopers and not by all of the combatants, they belong rather in a pacific war game not CEAW
If you're talking about Marines as in the Marine Corps, I agree. US Marines were used in the Pacific and didn't see action on any significant scale in Europe or Africa. However, if you're talking about seaborne invasions then I couldn't disagree more. These operations were very significant in WWII. Below is a list of 7 large scale Western Allied seaborne invasions that took place in WWII.

1. Operation Torch (initially called Operation Gymnast) was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started 8 November 1942.
2. The Allied invasion of Sicily began on the night of July 9, 1943, and ended August 17 in an Allied victory. The invasion of the island was codenamed Operation Husky and launched the Italian Campaign.
3. Forces of the British Eighth Army landed in the 'toe' of Italy on September 3, 1943 in Operation Baytown.
4. On 9 September 1943 forces of the U.S. Fifth Army landed against heavy German resistance at Salerno in Operation Avalanche and additional British forces at Taranto in Operation Slapstick.
5. Anzio. During the early morning hours of 22 January 1944, troops of the Fifth Army swarmed ashore on a fifteen-mile stretch of Italian beach near the prewar resort towns of Anzio and Nettuno.
6. June 6, 1944 - D-Day invasion begins. Operation Overlord was the phase in the Western front of World War II that was fought in 1944 between German forces and the invading Allied forces. The campaign began with Normandy Landings on June 6, 1944 (commonly known as D-Day), among the largest amphibious assaults ever conducted with nearly three million troops crossed the English Channel and ended on August 25, 1944, with the liberation of Paris
7. August 15, 1944 - Allies forces land on Mediterranean coast of France.

Happycat
Strategic Command 3 Moderator
Strategic Command 3 Moderator
Posts: 763
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:57 am
Location: Riverview NB Canada

Post by Happycat » Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:32 pm

rkr1958 wrote:
Borsook wrote:I'm not a fan of adding in the marines as a unit, rather representing them as a tech (representing both equipment and small marine units added to landing forces). Simply because they saw even less use than paratroopers and not by all of the combatants, they belong rather in a pacific war game not CEAW
If you're talking about Marines as in the Marine Corps, I agree. US Marines were used in the Pacific and didn't see action on any significant scale in Europe or Africa. However, if you're talking about seaborne invasions then I couldn't disagree more. These operations were very significant in WWII. Below is a list of 7 large scale Western Allied seaborne invasions that took place in WWII.

1. Operation Torch (initially called Operation Gymnast) was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started 8 November 1942.
2. The Allied invasion of Sicily began on the night of July 9, 1943, and ended August 17 in an Allied victory. The invasion of the island was codenamed Operation Husky and launched the Italian Campaign.
3. Forces of the British Eighth Army landed in the 'toe' of Italy on September 3, 1943 in Operation Baytown.
4. On 9 September 1943 forces of the U.S. Fifth Army landed against heavy German resistance at Salerno in Operation Avalanche and additional British forces at Taranto in Operation Slapstick.
5. Anzio. During the early morning hours of 22 January 1944, troops of the Fifth Army swarmed ashore on a fifteen-mile stretch of Italian beach near the prewar resort towns of Anzio and Nettuno.
6. June 6, 1944 - D-Day invasion begins. Operation Overlord was the phase in the Western front of World War II that was fought in 1944 between German forces and the invading Allied forces. The campaign began with Normandy Landings on June 6, 1944 (commonly known as D-Day), among the largest amphibious assaults ever conducted with nearly three million troops crossed the English Channel and ended on August 25, 1944, with the liberation of Paris
7. August 15, 1944 - Allies forces land on Mediterranean coast of France.
I agree that the game could benefit from special amphibious capabilities, and some marine/ranger type units might be nice. But, the degree of training that went into European amphibious ops, including Overlord, was nothing like the training the USMC members received. And, it showed in the results---some of the operations named above were not shining examples of how to conduct an invasion of enemy held shores.

The present system of moving units to coastal hexes and then having to wait a turn is flawed imo. It is almost impossible to run an Anzio type operation, for example, because it is easy for the Axis player to reinforce coastal hexes. But, on the other hand, Stauffenberg has shown me, time and again, that taking Italy out of the war is quite easy. Move naval units adjacent to Rome, bombard the crap out of it, then use Sicily-based tactical air to finish off what is left of the defending unit. Then, simply move a transport in on the same turn that the defender is eliminated, and take over Rome----bye bye Italy!

Stauffenberg and I have found this to be too easy in fact, so in our mod (still a work in progress), a port was added to the west of Rome, Civitavecchia to be precise. This prevents shore bombardment and a seaborne invasion of Rome. Doubtless there are other possible solutions to making the task of removing Italy from the war a little harder.

The point is that amphibious operations in the game are in some cases too difficult, and in a few instances, childishly simple. Whether a specialized amphibious unit would rectify this or not, it would be nice to have these units as options, at the very least. Then PBEM players could choose whether or not to allow specialized forces into their games.
Chance favours the prepared mind.

borsook79
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
Posts: 837
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 5:51 pm
Location: Poland

Post by borsook79 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:14 pm

rkr1958 wrote: If you're talking about Marines as in the Marine Corps, I agree.
Yes, of course. As I said I don't mind adding a some sort of amphibious landing technology but not a unit...
Happycat wrote: and some marine/ranger type units might be nice
Representing what? I really hope CEAW won't go the fantasy path SC2 chose recently. Adding such a unit suggest that we'd have one unit representing an army corps and another representing corporal John and 6 marines.
Happycat wrote: The present system of moving units to coastal hexes and then having to wait a turn is flawed imo.
It's not the flaw of that, it's the flaw of turn based system. The only solution would be to replicate HOI... In a turn based game if we want the enemy to have a chance to attack invading army on ships before they land it's rather impossible to do otherwise...
"Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it." - G.B. Shaw

Maj_Battaglia
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 9:54 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Post by Maj_Battaglia » Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:57 pm

Happycat, when I read your criticism of how easy it is to take out Rome (and hence Italy), I actually infer as much a criticism of the conquest rules as the amphibious landing model. I do like the solution you and Stauffenberg have of adding a port next to Rome. Just a thought: perhaps you might also add a second capital in southern Italy--or even make Rome just a plain city and move the capital to someplace in non-coastal southern Italy--to reflect Italy's lack of political willingness to fight once the war came to its mainland. It would also be nice to be allowed one turn to recapture a capital.
The point is that amphibious operations in the game are in some cases too difficult, and in a few instances, childishly simple.
I agree 100 percent with this assessment. On the one hand, one is forced to only invade vacant hexes but, on the other, if one wishes, it is pretty easy to put together an invasion force of 20 corps (regardless of type) and have them all line up against every shore hex in a country. The problems with this are threefold:

1) There is no way any country could produce the assault craft necessary to haul that many troops simultaneously. It took the US quite a long time to build all the necessary landing craft to conduct D-Day, especially because so many were also needed in the Pacific. And D-Day total was all of three to four corps. To take it a step further, imagine the Germans trying Operation Sea Lion with what they really had in 1940! But in the game the German is free to try, especially once Denmark falls.

2) It is much more difficult to conduct an amphibious assault with an armored or mechanized unit than plain infantry. As far as I know, there were no opposed amphibious landings in World War II featuring armored divisions in strength. Sure, there were various supporting battalions here and there but no divisions, let alone corps-strength armor units.

3) There are certain places on pretty much any country’s coastline that are impractical to land troops in force. The Allies were very deliberate about where they landed, putting a lot of time into considering suitable locations.

The naval transport model as it stands is fine if you are transporting units between ports. Having to unload a unit in a port, meaning one per turn, also would model the reality of port capacity to some degree (and I'd like to see a game address that at some point (way) down the line).

The amphibious landing model needs some work. It seems to me that there needs to be some limits on how many units can be used at any one time for amphibious assault, make it more expensive for vehicular units (or even not allowed for armor) to conduct amphibious assaults, and limit the places one can land. In addition, there should be some way to allow for opposed landings.

Avalon Hill’s Third Reich designated certain coastal hexes as “beaches” and able to be invaded. Other coastal hexes could not be invaded. This might be one solution to consider down the road. And while I generally agree with Borsook’s aversion to special units like rangers and marines, it seems that perhaps some combination of technology and special unit might be required. I don’t have a really good answer that would work within the current game parameters and not allow for abuse. One thought is to create a hybrid naval/infantry unit that can only convert in a port or adjacent to a “beach” hex. It would require certain technology, be expensive, and take a while to build to reflect added assault craft and training. But I can foresee abuse. Maybe it could only be reconverted to a ground unit once and then loses its amphibious ability?

All this would be difficult to include in the current game, I fear. I do think it is useful to discuss for future considerations, however.

Happycat
Strategic Command 3 Moderator
Strategic Command 3 Moderator
Posts: 763
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:57 am
Location: Riverview NB Canada

Post by Happycat » Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:19 pm

Maj Battaglia---I will let Stauffenberg answer for himself, but my opinion is that the solution we have in hand now works well enough for Italy. You correctly point out that in the real world, that there was no political will in Italy to continue fighting (many thought they were on the wrong side to begin with).

It would certainly be more realistic if Italy collapsed the second that the Allies landed on the "boot", but probably in game terms that would be too catastrophic for Germany. I don't know about you, but I find that the Axis NEVER has enough units to properly guard France and Italy, plus ensure that the Russians don't enter Berlin in 1943.

Designated beach hexes a la Third Reich would be great, but it would be then an easy matter for the Axis player to be "gamey" and simply park armor on all of the beach hexes. Good luck bombing those into oblivion before landing your troops :)

There have been many good suggestions posted on this forum, but incorporating them into the existing game would be difficult, as you have pointed out. Happily, we have the ability to mod the game, and tailor it to our own liking. And that, as much as anything, gives this game "legs".
Maj_Battaglia wrote:Happycat, when I read your criticism of how easy it is to take out Rome (and hence Italy), I actually infer as much a criticism of the conquest rules as the amphibious landing model. I do like the solution you and Stauffenberg have of adding a port next to Rome. Just a thought: perhaps you might also add a second capital in southern Italy--or even make Rome just a plain city and move the capital to someplace in non-coastal southern Italy--to reflect Italy's lack of political willingness to fight once the war came to its mainland. It would also be nice to be allowed one turn to recapture a capital.
The point is that amphibious operations in the game are in some cases too difficult, and in a few instances, childishly simple.
I agree 100 percent with this assessment. On the one hand, one is forced to only invade vacant hexes but, on the other, if one wishes, it is pretty easy to put together an invasion force of 20 corps (regardless of type) and have them all line up against every shore hex in a country. The problems with this are threefold:

1) There is no way any country could produce the assault craft necessary to haul that many troops simultaneously. It took the US quite a long time to build all the necessary landing craft to conduct D-Day, especially because so many were also needed in the Pacific. And D-Day total was all of three to four corps. To take it a step further, imagine the Germans trying Operation Sea Lion with what they really had in 1940! But in the game the German is free to try, especially once Denmark falls.

2) It is much more difficult to conduct an amphibious assault with an armored or mechanized unit than plain infantry. As far as I know, there were no opposed amphibious landings in World War II featuring armored divisions in strength. Sure, there were various supporting battalions here and there but no divisions, let alone corps-strength armor units.

3) There are certain places on pretty much any country’s coastline that are impractical to land troops in force. The Allies were very deliberate about where they landed, putting a lot of time into considering suitable locations.

The naval transport model as it stands is fine if you are transporting units between ports. Having to unload a unit in a port, meaning one per turn, also would model the reality of port capacity to some degree (and I'd like to see a game address that at some point (way) down the line).

The amphibious landing model needs some work. It seems to me that there needs to be some limits on how many units can be used at any one time for amphibious assault, make it more expensive for vehicular units (or even not allowed for armor) to conduct amphibious assaults, and limit the places one can land. In addition, there should be some way to allow for opposed landings.

Avalon Hill’s Third Reich designated certain coastal hexes as “beaches” and able to be invaded. Other coastal hexes could not be invaded. This might be one solution to consider down the road. And while I generally agree with Borsook’s aversion to special units like rangers and marines, it seems that perhaps some combination of technology and special unit might be required. I don’t have a really good answer that would work within the current game parameters and not allow for abuse. One thought is to create a hybrid naval/infantry unit that can only convert in a port or adjacent to a “beach” hex. It would require certain technology, be expensive, and take a while to build to reflect added assault craft and training. But I can foresee abuse. Maybe it could only be reconverted to a ground unit once and then loses its amphibious ability?

All this would be difficult to include in the current game, I fear. I do think it is useful to discuss for future considerations, however.
Chance favours the prepared mind.

Maj_Battaglia
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 9:54 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Post by Maj_Battaglia » Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:04 pm

Re: Italy, I was just throwing that out there. It does sound like you guys devised a good solution.

With beach hexes, I intended that to work only if amphibious assault--actually being able to attack while loaded on a transport--were incorporated. Otherwise, you are correct. Given the lack of resources in units you rightly point to, however, if one could assault from the sea, even if only in certain beach hexes, it would be a fair trade if the opposing player wants to use armored corps as beach defenders. As the Allies I'd rather have them tied down there than marauding in Russia.

rkr1958
General - Elite King Tiger
General - Elite King Tiger
Posts: 4264
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:20 am

Post by rkr1958 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 8:21 pm

Happycat wrote:It would certainly be more realistic if Italy collapsed the second that the Allies landed on the "boot", but probably in game terms that would be too catastrophic for Germany. I don't know about you, but I find that the Axis NEVER has enough units to properly guard France and Italy, plus ensure that the Russians don't enter Berlin in 1943.
What about if you used a conquest rule similar to that used in AH's 3rd Reich for Italy. 1. Conquer Rome (as it is now or 2. Conquer Libya + throw all axis units out of North Afrcia + capture Silica or Corsica + occupy one or more hexes on Italy's mainlaind. #2 victory conditions makes North Africa much more important to both sides and provides more incentive for an historical strategy in the Med.

Happycat
Strategic Command 3 Moderator
Strategic Command 3 Moderator
Posts: 763
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:57 am
Location: Riverview NB Canada

Post by Happycat » Tue Feb 12, 2008 8:34 pm

rkr1958 wrote:
Happycat wrote:It would certainly be more realistic if Italy collapsed the second that the Allies landed on the "boot", but probably in game terms that would be too catastrophic for Germany. I don't know about you, but I find that the Axis NEVER has enough units to properly guard France and Italy, plus ensure that the Russians don't enter Berlin in 1943.
What about if you used a conquest rule similar to that used in AH's 3rd Reich for Italy. 1. Conquer Rome (as it is now or 2. Conquer Libya + throw all axis units out of North Afrcia + capture Silica or Corsica + occupy one or more hexes on Italy's mainlaind. #2 victory conditions makes North Africa much more important to both sides and provides more incentive for an historical strategy in the Med.
I like it! Of course, this would be to my detriment, because when I play Stauffenberg with me as the Axis, he usually kicks me out of Libya fairly quickly (well, certainly better than the historical record anyway). But this would indeed make North Africa more important and more interesting.
Chance favours the prepared mind.

vypuero
Sergeant Major - SdKfz 234/2 8Rad
Sergeant Major - SdKfz 234/2 8Rad
Posts: 628
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:40 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA

Post by vypuero » Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:39 pm

Have you guys attempted to invade the UK by focusing the Axis 100% on it, building up massive air? It works most of the time even vs a person. Seems like taking Rome would be hard, at least assuming the Axis has some air power available, and you would need the unit already adjacent to Rome or it could not land - at least without a free reinforcing turn. So to do it you need bombardment and a fairly massive air advantage.

Peter Stauffenberg
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4730
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Oslo, Norway

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:48 am

I don't think it's bad that Italy will surrender quickly after the Allies land in mainland Italy because that is what happened historically. But in CeaW you need to take the capital for force Rome to surrender.

One problem Happycat and I saw in CeaW is that Rome is adjacent to 3 sea hexes. So by adding Civitavecchia as a port it means Rome can only be invaded from 2 hexes. The Axis player can place an Italian sub in Civitavecchia and directly attack a transport trying to get adjacent to Rome and invade the empty hex later.

The way to take out Rome is to stage lots of air units on Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily (many tac bombers and more fighters than the Allies have in Italy). Then you can just use the air units to bombard Rome and when the land unit there dies you can simply land into Rome from an adjacent transport. I usually had a group of cheap garrisons onboard transports and send 3 of them adjacent to Rome so they can invade next turn. At the same time I bombard Rome with all my air units + CV's. The Axis land unit in Rome will now have 0 entrenchment levels and can be repaired. I guess the Axis player will send tac bombers to bombard and kill transports, but it's very hard to take out as many as 3 transports when the Allies have several fighters who can intercept. Next turn the Allies can continue the bombing raids on Rome and sooner or later the unit there will be killed and Rome will fall. You can even send BB's into 2 of the 3 hexes adjacent to Rome to bombard if you feel you need them to kill the defender in Rome.

The best way for the Axis to defend against such a way of invading is to place an experienced German armor unit in Rome. The unit is pretty resilient to air bombardment. So the Allies need a bit of luck to kill this armor. The Axis player's problem is that when the armor unit one turn is brought below 5 steps you can repair it to max strength. This means you need other armor units adjacent to Rome who can take over the defensive role. So even if the Allies fail for a few turns to kill the Rome defender it will be very expensive for the Axis player to repair 5 armor steps every turn.

With the change we made with adding Civitavecchia it means the Allies transports adjacent to Rome will be 2 instead of 3 and can even be bombarded by a defending sub in Civitavecchia. So Germany can keep Italy in play for a few more turns until the Allies have enough luck to kill the Rome defender or the Axis player can't afford to repair the huge air and land losses caused by these Allies attacks. You HAVE TO use an armor unit to defend in Rome if you want to have a slight chance to survive the heavy bombardment. Infantry units will easily be killed by several tac bombers.

It's also difficult for the Axis player to have enough fighters to actually stop the Allied tac bombers from bombarding Rome. I use a sneaky strategy by first sending my strat bombers in the area to bombard other hexes nearby Rome. This will lure the Axis fighters to intercept the strat bombers and then there won't be any fighters left to intercept the Allied tac bombers. Another problem for the Axis is that repeated fighter interceptions will cost a lot of oil. If the Russians perform an aggressive strategy on the east front to send lots of air units every turn to bombard German land units then the German fighters will be lured to intercept and burn oil. Repairing fighters is quite expensive.

I don't think the game is very flawed when it comes to how one can knock Italy out of the war. The biggest problem I see about how Italy is knocked out of the war is that all Italian hexes will immediately become Allied controlled. This means the Allies can rail units the land in the south quickly to northern Italian cities and start the pressure upon the Germans closer to the Alps. This can be easily fixed by letting all Italian hexes not in Allied ZOC remain German controlled. This gives the Germans a chance to stop the Allies further south in Italy. It will also force the Allies to physically capture every hex in Italy to gain control over these hexes.

But the biggest problem for the Axis in this game is how to stop the Russian steamroller from late 1942 and beyond. The Russians can afford to take all the losses and just attack with as many units as possible. This way it's possible to kill about 4-5 Axis units per turn. The Germans can't afford to replace such losses and the front will quickly crumble. The Germans can counter attack and also kill some Russian units per turn, but it won't help because the Russians alone produce more than the Germans, especially when the convoy PP's are added.

I also feel that the high fighter dogfight combat losses add to the Axis player's problem. The Axis player needs fighters to stop strat bombing from Britain and also tac bombing of Rome and Axis front line units in Russia. It's not uncommon to receive 2-5 losses per fighter after dogfights. Let's say you get 3 losses per unit as an average. If the Allies play in such a way to encourage dogfights it's possible to see as many as 8-10 German fighters taking part in dogfights per turn. That means they lose on average 24-30 steps per turn. Each step costs 6 PP's to repair so most of the German production will be used to repair fighters. This is not possible so the Germans would have to retreat their fighters into Germany to avoid forced interceptions. That means the Allies air power can operate at will and inflict even more losses upon the Axis land units.

With such a sneaky Allied play I've seen the Russians move all the way from Moscow to Berlin in just over a year. And it's nothing at all the Germans can do to stop it. Losing 4-5 units per turn will kill even the best front. I've had more than 20 Russian air units early in 1943 and forced the Germans to retreat their fighters back to Germany. With 20 air units I can repair or rebase maybe 6-7 units and use the other air units to bombard 4-5 land hexes. These land hexes will then be attacked by Russian land units who can easily kill them without receiving so much losses.

I always get into problems as the Germans with manpower levels because of the frequent need of repairs and reinforcements. That is historically correct and will only add to the German problem.

I think one thing CeaW won't recreate properly is how Albert Speer managed to reorganize the German war industry to produce a lot more later in the war than in the beginning. Extra industry tech levels would only give some percent extra production and for the Germans it won't affect production much to have tech 4 instead of tech 1. Germany would slowly lose PP's when the Allies get some cities back and heavy strat bombing would mean the Germans have big financial problems from 1943. But it's too dangerous to just let new tech levels increase the production by maybe 100% from tech 1 to tech 4. ALL countries will get the same increase. So this would make all countries build lots of labs and put focus upon industry. Then Germany would get more PP's, but so would all the other countries as well. So instead of being faced with 20 Russian air units in 1943 Germany would be faced with 30 or 40.

I would like to see individual tech trees per country or side. That means we can have individual tech effects from different techs for the Axis vs the Allies. I would like to have one tech tree for the Allies, one for the Russians and one for the Axis. Then we can let increased industry levels for the Axis have more impact than increased industry levels for the Allies.

Post Reply

Return to “MILITARY HISTORY™ Commander - Europe at War : General Discussion”