The ability of cut off units to sever supply lines needs changing

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Vindictus
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The ability of cut off units to sever supply lines needs changing

Post by Vindictus » Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:14 am

I do like this game, I have 700 hours of gameplay under my belt now.

But my greatest criticism of OOB, and the mechanic that makes this game less of a war strategy, and more a checkers-like puzzle game, is the fact that units that have been overrun and cut off from supply have the ability to sever the supply lines.

This is totally unrealistic. In WW2,shattered units that were overrun and remained supplied either (a) Became guerilla or partisan units (b) Surrendered to the first enemy unit they encountered,

My proposal is:

Once a unit runs completely out of supply with a red supply marker - it loses one hitpoint each round.
Once a unit is completely out of supply with a red supply marker, and has 3 or less hitpoints, it then in effect becomes a partisan unit, with no ability to take territory, no ability to capture towns, no ability to cut supply lines.

Having to send elite panzer units traipsing off into forests or swamps to chase a cut off and almost destroyed infantry unit is just so unrealistic. And most of the scenarios and campaign battles in this game do not give a lot of command points, so there is never enough units to create a proper frontline anyway, let along chase after a unsupplied unit of one hitpoint.

I don't normally join forums or make posts, but I joined here because this really needs to be fixed, and I hope the devs read this and see merit in the idea.

GabeKnight
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Re: cut off units

Post by GabeKnight » Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:16 am

Vindictus wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:14 am
I do like this game, I have 700 hours of gameplay under my belt now.
Nice, a rookie... :wink:

.. but you have a point (that has bothered me very, very often, too, to be honest):
Vindictus wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:14 am
Having to send elite panzer units traipsing off into forests or swamps to chase a cut off and almost destroyed infantry unit is just so unrealistic. And most of the scenarios and campaign battles in this game do not give a lot of command points, so there is never enough units to create a proper frontline anyway, let along chase after a unsupplied unit of one hitpoint.
To deny units with zero efficiency the possibility to attack was a step in the right direction by the devs IMO.

And I'm not so sure about your partisan proposal, but the idea that units out of supply AND with zero efficiency might lose one strength point per turn kinda grows on me... :D
Like planes without fuel.

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Re: The ability of cut off units to sever supply lines needs changing

Post by prattaa » Thu Aug 13, 2020 10:14 am

A unit that is out of supply and low efficiency can barely move much less cut supply lines so I don't know that I agree with the OP's issue.

What I do think are problems that the devs could address are: (1) scenarios where "kill x units" are a primary objective and you have to chase units to all corners to destroy them and (2) supply can still reach a unit through difficult/impassable terrain and unbridged rivers.

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Re: The ability of cut off units to sever supply lines needs changing

Post by bru888 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:30 pm

(1) is more of a scenario design issue than a game deficiency. Such "kill x units" add a great deal of fun to the game - people love watching those body counts climb - but they can be frustrating if the designer sprinkles the targets over too wide an area and/or he makes them passive and idle. If he avoids these situations, while not making the task too easy, then there should not be an issue.
- Bru

prestidigitation
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Re: The ability of cut off units to sever supply lines needs changing

Post by prestidigitation » Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:10 pm

You shouldn't be sending tanks to deal with rear area security, you should be sending recon cars and if necessary a unit of infantry.

Recon cars with their double move and high speed are excellent at chasing down enemy units. Infantry have a low CP cost and can reconnect disconnected forces. They can also chase into heavy woods.

Vindictus
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Re: The ability of cut off units to sever supply lines needs changing

Post by Vindictus » Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:04 am

prestidigitation wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:10 pm
You shouldn't be sending tanks to deal with rear area security, you should be sending recon cars and if necessary a unit of infantry.
Most of these scenarios, including the DLC campaigns, do give enough command points to field a lot of units - certainly not enough to have luxury recon units to go chasing after cut off and overrun units.

Many times, a panzer unit will almost kill an enemy infantry unit on the edge of a swamp or forest, and that almost dead unit then retreats further into the forest or swamp. The panzer unit then has a choice - continue the advance and let that shattered unit circle around and cut off supply, or dive further into the forest or swamp to to chase and kill it off. If you do chase the unit, you waste 2 rounds to chase and kill it, then another 2 rounds turning around and driving back out of the forest.

In WW2, all units that were cut off and ended out of supply became operationally useless. Be it individual US divisions in Battle of the Bulge, or Army groups like the 6th army at Stalingrad. In all those cases, such would stay put and wither on the vine until they surrendered

I am just asking for a little realism here, at the same time improve the game.

If a player allows his unit to be cut off, and run completely out of supply, he should expect that unit to degrade and eventually surrender. He certainly should not be able to use shattered units like that to cut supply lines and capture towns IMO

StuccoFresco
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Re: The ability of cut off units to sever supply lines needs changing

Post by StuccoFresco » Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:21 am

I agree with that: sapping 1 HP per turn and not allowing it to capture territory seems a good idea.

TheFilthyCasual
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Re: The ability of cut off units to sever supply lines needs changing

Post by TheFilthyCasual » Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:52 am

Vindictus wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:04 am

In WW2, all units that were cut off and ended out of supply became operationally useless. Be it individual US divisions in Battle of the Bulge, or Army groups like the 6th army at Stalingrad. In all those cases, such would stay put and wither on the vine until they surrendered
There are many instances of surrounded units holding out or escaping in WW2 so I'm not sure what you're talking about. The Nazis pulled it off several times, and Japanese forces often held out for months after the Americans would land on islands and "secure" them. The Japanese division on Peleliu, for instance, held out for months despite getting no reinforcements or supplies, having no air or naval support, and being massively outnumbered.

StuccoFresco
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Re: The ability of cut off units to sever supply lines needs changing

Post by StuccoFresco » Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:46 am

Yeah but they didn't capture any territory: they resisted inside favorable terrain and/or a defensive perimeter. Once completely out of supplies (that is more or less represented by the ingame red dot, I suppose) they certainly couldn't wander for miles cutting off enemy supplies and capturing towns, could they?

TheFilthyCasual
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Re: The ability of cut off units to sever supply lines needs changing

Post by TheFilthyCasual » Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:14 am

StuccoFresco wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:46 am
Yeah but they didn't capture any territory: they resisted inside favorable terrain and/or a defensive perimeter. Once completely out of supplies (that is more or less represented by the ingame red dot, I suppose) they certainly couldn't wander for miles cutting off enemy supplies and capturing towns, could they?
The AI's attitude towards its units being cut off often resembles Japanese banzai charges: suicidally charge into the enemy rear and wreak as much havoc as possible.

In any case, the point of it acting like that is to make you cover your flanks; because if you don't, it will usually seize the opportunity to cut your units off, even if the unit that does so end up dead. It's to waste your time - that's the whole point. Eat up turns to make you lose.

What you're 'supposed' to be doing is positioning your units such that enemy units can't do such things.

Vindictus
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Re: The ability of cut off units to sever supply lines needs changing

Post by Vindictus » Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:55 pm

I am not proposing a game breaking mechanic change or anything. All I am saying is if a unit is only 30% of it's remaining strength, is totally cut off, and completely out of supply, it is not unreasonable for that unit to considered shattered and out of the game unless it can return to it's own lines and re-supply/re-enforce.

At least I found an ally in Stucco :)

This is a good fun game, I don't really have any other complaints, and games like this cannot be expected to be totally realistic. But I feel this change would be an improvement that most players would probably like.

GabeKnight
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Re: The ability of cut off units to sever supply lines needs changing

Post by GabeKnight » Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:45 am

Thinking about it: what would this mean for the "Forced Labour" spec?

conboy
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Re: The ability of cut off units to sever supply lines needs changing

Post by conboy » Sat Aug 15, 2020 3:39 pm

I like the idea of taking away one strength point per turn starting on the THIRD TURN after being cut off but I am not in favor of preventing cut off units from attacking supply lines.

If they're only cut off from supply for one or two turns turn in PvP, they can make havoc on your supply and turn it right around on your units and cut them off. So it should be a factor in determining whether or not you try to cut them off.
In games v AI, it is not so lethal but I think it should be allowed.

The AI pounces on every opportunity to cut your units off, so I'd like the opportunity to reply with the same courtesy. Besides, unless I am wrong, bright red dot units lose most of their mobility and then all of it after a set number of turns, so AI units become progressively less dangerous as long as they aren't resupplied.

So this is not a major issue in my book. I'd prefer to keep it as it is, actually. It would be ok to start the strength reduction no earlier than the 3rd turn.

conboy

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Re: The ability of cut off units to sever supply lines needs changing

Post by bebro » Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:11 am

Well the 6th Army at Stalingrad blocked Volga river tp even when it was cut off. Yes, it did lose men due to hunger and other causes, but it still tied up lotsa troops until january, and it needed a dedicated Operation Kolzo to force them to surrender.

There are other examples of encircled troops either breaking out (Alpini > NIkolayevka) or holding out (Bastogne), in varying supply conditions though.

However, gameplay-wise turning units into partisans will lose a lot of appeal when people realize that this can happen to their core units too in the event of getting cut off. In general - possible tech issues aside - I'm not in favour of such a change, esp. when it allows to essentially ignore un-supplied, cut-off units and just plow on with your guys.

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Re: The ability of cut off units to sever supply lines needs changing

Post by kondi754 » Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:23 pm

Yes, I also wanted to write about the Italian army at the Don River, but take into account that both the Italians and the 6th Army at Stalingrad or even the US army in Bastogne occupied a large area (or an important strategic point) which would contain supply points on the OoB maps
So I suppose Vindictus didn't mean big laps but only the situations when 1 of few units were cut off
I think that small reduction of HPs is interesting proposal for discussion

Vindictus
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Re: The ability of cut off units to sever supply lines needs changing

Post by Vindictus » Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:04 am

I had a game on Merrils Marauders map, where my opponent hid an almost-destroyed unit in the jungle for 15 rounds, waiting for my forces to pass through before emerging from the jungle and cutting my supply line. Cut off most of my army, which then withered and died. That map is huge, there is not enough command points to have a large enough force to comb all the jungle, or leave defensive units along your route of supply like a string of pearls.

In that battle, a unit that has 2hp, and had been out of supply for 15 rounds, was able to march 4 hexes across my supply line from one section of jungle to another section of jungle, and doing so destroy my army and ruin the game.

It is not just those scenarios, also mountainous maps like Gothic Line, where a cut off unit can just walk around in the mountains behind the lines. Armored and scout units cannot attack them, and infantry units can only do a little damage on them and also lose effectiveness chasing them across mountainous hexes. But you have to or they cut your supply lines.

Desert maps are also have huge problems with this exploit.

I am not suggesting a change that changes the whole balance of the game, but instead shutting down a loophole that gives a weak, cut off unit, more power that it should be able to have.

If a unit has been cut off for 4 rounds, it should start to degrade. If a unit is out of supply for more than 4 rounds and has 3 or less hipoints, it should lose it's ability to conduct offensive operations. This represents close to wehat happens in real war, and would make gameplay in OOB vastly superior IMO.

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Re: The ability of cut off units to sever supply lines needs changing

Post by Erik2 » Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:07 am

+1 for automatic reduction of strength points for unsupplied units.

TheFilthyCasual
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Re: The ability of cut off units to sever supply lines needs changing

Post by TheFilthyCasual » Fri Aug 21, 2020 6:48 pm

Vindictus wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:04 am
I had a game on Merrils Marauders map, where my opponent hid an almost-destroyed unit in the jungle for 15 rounds, waiting for my forces to pass through before emerging from the jungle and cutting my supply line. Cut off most of my army, which then withered and died. That map is huge, there is not enough command points to have a large enough force to comb all the jungle, or leave defensive units along your route of supply like a string of pearls.

In that battle, a unit that has 2hp, and had been out of supply for 15 rounds, was able to march 4 hexes across my supply line from one section of jungle to another section of jungle, and doing so destroy my army and ruin the game.

It is not just those scenarios, also mountainous maps like Gothic Line, where a cut off unit can just walk around in the mountains behind the lines. Armored and scout units cannot attack them, and infantry units can only do a little damage on them and also lose effectiveness chasing them across mountainous hexes. But you have to or they cut your supply lines.

Desert maps are also have huge problems with this exploit.

I am not suggesting a change that changes the whole balance of the game, but instead shutting down a loophole that gives a weak, cut off unit, more power that it should be able to have.

If a unit has been cut off for 4 rounds, it should start to degrade. If a unit is out of supply for more than 4 rounds and has 3 or less hipoints, it should lose it's ability to conduct offensive operations. This represents close to wehat happens in real war, and would make gameplay in OOB vastly superior IMO.
You could solve this problem by extending the current inability of cut-off units to attack to also preventing them from moving. ie, if a unit is cut off from supply and has 0 efficiency, it can only defend, it cannot move or attack.

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Re: The ability of cut off units to sever supply lines needs changing

Post by Erik2 » Sat Aug 22, 2020 9:07 am

I think non-movement is too harsh, 1 hex should be allowed.
Reducing strength and no ability to cut supply should be enough.

GabeKnight
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Re: The ability of cut off units to sever supply lines needs changing

Post by GabeKnight » Sat Aug 22, 2020 9:52 am

Erik2 wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 9:07 am
I think non-movement is too harsh, 1 hex should be allowed.
Reducing strength and no ability to cut supply should be enough.
My opinions on this matter after reading the thread and thinking a bit more about it:

:arrow: I suppose this new mechanic would apply to my units as well! :!:

- strength reduction for cut-off units? If cut-off and being attacked by the AI, you're with zero efficiency within 2-3 turns, and on low strength anyway. Do I really want to lose my core units that way? No, thanks!
- no movement for cut-off units? If so, my own units could not retreat (into concealment or out of LOS) and would be chased and destroyed by AI forces FOR SURE - it's like their "prime directive" to kill my units if possible.... No, please!
- "converting" my cut-off core units into Partisans or some other useless unit? NO WAY! Sorry to say, but that was the worst idea of them all.
- the one good suggestion could be that cut-off AND zero eff. units should be unable to claim new territory/capture hexes. Would be essentially the same mechanic as with retreating units.

But overall I'm not sure at this point. This game has become quite complex with many different DLCs and excellent custom content - hundreds of scens! Maybe best not to mess with this basic and proven mechanic.

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