Unwanted side effect from garrisons not being transportable

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Peter Stauffenberg
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Unwanted side effect from garrisons not being transportable

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Wed Mar 19, 2008 1:14 am

I'm now playing Happycat's and my modded CeaW game using the latest v1.06 as a base. We've noticed that garrisons are now not able to transport. This rule was probably intended to prevent the Allies from emptying Africa.

The rule change works fine for Africa and also Canada, but is has a negative impact upon Gibraltar and Malta. Since both Gibraltar and Malta don't have other hexes the garrison can move to then it means it's NOT possible to place another unit in these fortresses like a corps or an air unit. I think the Allies will quite often later in the game use these fortresses as airbases since they no longer feel threatened. Now the garrison will block such a possibility. Even worse is that if the Allies feel threatened by an invasion it's not possible to get rid of the garrison and replace it with a stronger corps unit.

Was the rule change intended to make Gibraltar and Malta less useful or was this unintended as I expect? I hope something will be done about this like making an exception for the inability to transport garrisons for Gibraltar and Malta. If that's not possible then I think it should be added a key or button for disbanding a unit. Then it's possible to disband the garrison in Gibraltar and move the desired unit there. I can understand adding a new button is not easy to place in a patch, but disbanding a unit could be added to a key like D. That would solve the problem without having to remove the new garrison rule.

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Post by rkr1958 » Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:09 pm

One workaround is that you could mod the scenario and place a regular infantry corp in those two locations. While this would give the UK a stronger starting force they could only replace those units if they pulled them out with other units that cost more (e.g., air) or the same (i.e., infantry).

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Post by firepowerjohan » Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:16 pm

From experience in a large amount of games, Gibraltar and Malta are not any key locations in the game. Gibraltar only becomes playable if Axis conquer Spain and Malta I have never seen it taken over by Axis so far. The pros of not being able to exploit garrison transports outweighted the cons in this case :)
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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:35 pm

I agree that Gibraltar and Malta will very rarely see Axis intervention, but these ports are very valuable for the Allies as airbases. E. g. I often place a British tac bomber in Gibraltar prior to Operation Torch to help invading Algiers. Malta is a good Allied airbase prior to the invasion of Sicily and it can also be used as an airbase when the Allies try to get to Tunis.

We've solved this in our mod by replacing the garrisons with regular British corps units. Then we added a house rule that the Gibraltar corps can't leave until USA join the Allies. The Malta corps can't leave until either Benghazi (a new city in our mod) or Tripoli is captured by the Allies. This means these corps units won't be used to bolster the Allies in Egypt.

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Post by Maj_Battaglia » Sat Mar 22, 2008 2:33 pm

Maybe I'm missing something on the positive side of this new rule (or in general; if so apologies), but it seems more negative to me overall. Wouldn't this also mean that the Axis are only able to garrison Norway and/or Sweden with full corps? Or that Italy cannot send garrisons to North Africa? It would also mean that the Allies can't send newly built ones anywhere (other than home country) and they are only good for home defense.

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Post by Ryben » Sat Mar 22, 2008 8:21 pm

Maj_Battaglia wrote:It would also mean that the Allies can't send newly built ones anywhere (other than home country) and they are only good for home defense.
Well, they call them....garrisons...to garrison cities, fortress and such. They are not full armies so it´s logical. To a certain point.

Maybe if you allow to place garrisons in ANY city the problem is solved.

What about transporting units from a sea port to another sea port, but not via transports but something like trains? That would be a truly "transport" not an "invasion barge" like it is now a transport unit.

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Post by Maj_Battaglia » Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:44 am

Ryben, within the confines of the current game engine what you propose is likely not going to happen, as good a suggestion as it may be.

I fully understand what garrisons are intended for; I'm sorry to disagree but it is not logical to a point. This rule means that the US cannot send garrison units to support the UK, neither one can send garrisons to secure reconquered territory in France, Italy cannot use garrisons to bolster forces in North Africa or protect a conquered Egypt, Germany cannot protect Norway with garrisons, etc. Point is, if the game is going to allow players to build cheap units for these kinds of duties, why not allow free movement of them?

"Garrisons" are an abstraction of a smaller unit not capable of fighting to the level of a corps but can do a decent job of static defense. It is not only some kind of "Home Guard" unit. So yes, it makes sense to allow them to be shipped across seas. If the Germans can send them to anywhere in continental Europe to guard conquered areas, why not also to Norway?

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Post by vypuero » Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:04 pm

The problem with garrison transports is that they are easily used as blockers for naval invasions so even if the UK for example has a strong fleet they can't stop an axis invasion blocked by garrison units.

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Possible roundabout

Post by Ryben » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:12 pm

Maybe a roundabout could be that transported garrisons could only be unloaded on a port?

You could still use them to reinforce an attack (once you gained a beachhead) or to garrison a city. But never use them as an attacking force. Same for plane units, maybe.

Could this be possible to implement in the game now? It seems easy and solve a lot of problems.

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Post by Maj_Battaglia » Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:44 pm

Thanks Vypuero. Silly me, I was using U-boats all this time to try to do that. I wasn't thinking of being gamey. That is a problem.

I'm not sure what a good immediate solution would be, then.

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Post by borsook79 » Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:20 pm

vypuero wrote:The problem with garrison transports is that they are easily used as blockers for naval invasions so even if the UK for example has a strong fleet they can't stop an axis invasion blocked by garrison units.
Is it really such a problem? A garrison unit in such a situation should be destroyable in two hits. Not to mention that it can be forbidden by a house rule.
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Post by Ryben » Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:50 am

Another suggestion:

What if "rail transport" could displace units over sea hexes?

This way it would be possible to move units to Norway or North Africa form South Europe. We could assume that the unit were transported on rails till a port and then loaded into a transport ship (not landing boats) and unloaded in another port.

So you still could move garrisons but not using for sea invasions / blocking other units.

I don´t see any side effects from making this.

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Post by IainMcNeil » Thu Apr 03, 2008 10:14 am

It would mean Axis can rail units to Africa even if the Allies ruled the seas, same across the channel if the Axis had a foothold or even across the Atlantic :) Its a bit of a can of worms!

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Post by rkr1958 » Thu Apr 03, 2008 11:39 am

iainmcneil wrote:It would mean Axis can rail units to Africa even if the Allies ruled the seas, same across the channel if the Axis had a foothold or even across the Atlantic :) Its a bit of a can of worms!
I've suggested this before in another thread but I think the solution is to have separate functions for transport and invasion. Transport is only allowed between friendly ports. Invasion is from friendly port to coastal hex. Also, I'd suggest that invasion be limited to a given number of units at any one time. That limit or cap would be a function of nationality and year. Also, transport could have a similar but larger limit. And while I'm suggesting, either limit would decease for a time if one of its type was sunk. That way one would have to be more careful in employing transport or more importantly invasion.

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Post by borsook79 » Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:33 am

rkr1958 wrote:
iainmcneil wrote:It would mean Axis can rail units to Africa even if the Allies ruled the seas, same across the channel if the Axis had a foothold or even across the Atlantic :) Its a bit of a can of worms!
I've suggested this before in another thread but I think the solution is to have separate functions for transport and invasion. Transport is only allowed between friendly ports. Invasion is from friendly port to coastal hex. Also, I'd suggest that invasion be limited to a given number of units at any one time. That limit or cap would be a function of nationality and year. Also, transport could have a similar but larger limit. And while I'm suggesting, either limit would decease for a time if one of its type was sunk. That way one would have to be more careful in employing transport or more importantly invasion.
I'm not saying that adding an invasion function is a bad or good idea but it's not a solution here - it should not be possible to move CEAW size units without a possibility for enemy's fleet to intervene. In fact I believe we should go the other way around and add a possibility for air units to damage units moved vis rails (e.g. if you bomb a city units that moved next to it in the previous enemy turn should suffer some losses). As it is now rail movement is very powerful and safe function adding such movement over seas would IMO seriously unbalance the game.
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Post by shawkhan » Fri Apr 04, 2008 6:22 pm

...The idea of naval interception ala air interception has merit, I believe. Sure would make the invasion of England a much dicier proposition.

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Post by rkr1958 » Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:25 pm

Borsook wrote:
rkr1958 wrote:
iainmcneil wrote:It would mean Axis can rail units to Africa even if the Allies ruled the seas, same across the channel if the Axis had a foothold or even across the Atlantic :) Its a bit of a can of worms!
I've suggested this before in another thread but I think the solution is to have separate functions for transport and invasion. Transport is only allowed between friendly ports. Invasion is from friendly port to coastal hex. Also, I'd suggest that invasion be limited to a given number of units at any one time. That limit or cap would be a function of nationality and year. Also, transport could have a similar but larger limit. And while I'm suggesting, either limit would decease for a time if one of its type was sunk. That way one would have to be more careful in employing transport or more importantly invasion.
I'm not saying that adding an invasion function is a bad or good idea but it's not a solution here - it should not be possible to move CEAW size units without a possibility for enemy's fleet to intervene. In fact I believe we should go the other way around and add a possibility for air units to damage units moved vis rails (e.g. if you bomb a city units that moved next to it in the previous enemy turn should suffer some losses). As it is now rail movement is very powerful and safe function adding such movement over seas would IMO seriously unbalance the game.
I didn't mean to suggest that transport would be immune to naval interception. The big distinction I was trying to make between transport and invasion is that transport uses different vessels not designed for invasion and should be limited between friendly ports. Also, all ground and air units would be eligible for transport but only infantry and armor crops (no garrisons or air) would be eligible for invasion.


One of my pet peeves with the allied AI is that it doesn't protect/escort transports. It protects the heck out of convoys but corps size units cross the sea unprotected. A strategy that I've found to be very effective when playing against the Allied AI is to build up the German U-boat fleet, both in numbers and research and focusing naval research on subs, and use them to attack warships and transports, leaving convoys alone.

Anyway, back on point, I'm suggesting that there be two separate naval functions, transport (friendly port to port only) and invasion (friendly port to coastal hex), both of which are subjected to naval and air interception. Also, the number of units at any one time involved in these functions is limited. A limit would be set for each (much higher for transport) and would be a function of nationality and year. Also, if units get sunk then this limit goes down for a while representing a loss of that capability (i.e., transports or invasion boats) until replaced.

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Post by rkr1958 » Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:24 pm

Stauffenberg wrote:I agree that Gibraltar and Malta will very rarely see Axis intervention, but these ports are very valuable for the Allies as airbases. E. g. I often place a British tac bomber in Gibraltar prior to Operation Torch to help invading Algiers. Malta is a good Allied airbase prior to the invasion of Sicily and it can also be used as an airbase when the Allies try to get to Tunis.
I enjoy playing CEaW from an historical perspective and was wondering if your execution of Operation Torch (i.e., invasion of North Africa) and Operation Husky (invasion of Sicily) has any GAME tactical or strategic value? Or (like me) do you carry out these operations because they're historical?

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Post by Ryben » Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:07 am

Well, it´s a bitt hard attacking Rome if you had to cross France, the Alps and half Italy to get there (at least its very time consumming) so yes, they have a strategical value. At least Husky.

I won´t bother too much with North Africa (Torch) as their PP value is laughable and the Axis troops placed there are not really a great menace to yours. Just wipe out the garrison in Sicily to establish a base for your bombers and start pounding Rome from there.

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Post by rkr1958 » Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:23 pm

Ryben wrote:Well, it´s a bitt hard attacking Rome if you had to cross France, the Alps and half Italy to get there (at least its very time consumming) so yes, they have a strategical value. At least Husky.

I won´t bother too much with North Africa (Torch) as their PP value is laughable and the Axis troops placed there are not really a great menace to yours. Just wipe out the garrison in Sicily to establish a base for your bombers and start pounding Rome from there.
Couldn't you just take/use Corisa and / or Sardinia for your airbase(s) and "invade" next/near to Rome (e.g., Anizo)? From a gaming point-of-view this seems a faster way to take Italy out than an Operation Husky type approach that goes through Sicily.

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