GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

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pk867
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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by pk867 » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:14 pm

IMO GogtheMild's account was on the opposing turn the enemy had a 1 strength unit in Palermo. It made a suicide attack emptying the city.

Then the opposing enemy dropped a friendly para on a friendly city, and now Gogthemild is facing a full strength unit. Which in my opinion is a resupply situation flying in

reinforcements by transport which is allowed. It still cost the player 10PP's and any losses dropping to adjacent enemy units. (i.e. fair)

I do not see a problem with this instance. Or for a player conducting a high risk attack (sacrifice) to save the situation or distract the enemy, that can currently be done.

This ain't broke. Code should only be changed to fix a bug at this time.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Vokt » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:54 pm

Actually he did on the number 2. of the reasons he mentioned:
GogTheMild wrote:I have never been happy with Paras being able to drop into cities for a number of reasons.

2. It is a way to stretch the spotting range. Have a FTR attack a city (or resource or rail junction or fort) and if it is empty it becomes a viable hex for a paradrop. Empty hexes cannot be similarly targeted.
To which @Cybvep agreed:
Cybvep wrote:
2. It is a way to stretch the spotting range. Have a FTR attack a city (or resource or rail junction or fort) and if it is empty it becomes a viable hex for a paradrop. Empty hexes cannot be similarly targeted.
That doesn't sound right, so hopefully it can be changed.
And to which I also agree that it should be fixed as it's clearly a potential game exploit. An air attack leaves the attacked hex spotted and that theoretically allows for a paratrooper dropping on referred hex.

I don't see how such thing could be fixed without prohibiting airborne units to directly land on cities.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by GogTheMild » Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:15 pm

pk867 wrote:IMO GogtheMild's account was on the opposing turn the enemy had a 1 strength unit in Palermo. It made a suicide attack emptying the city.

...

It still cost the player 10PP's and any losses dropping to adjacent enemy units. (i.e. fair)
No. Currently the Para unit will always land full strength and with no drop in morale.

In my view both should suffer heavily. Good to hear that you think that they should suffer to some extent. At the moment the system gives you a loss free jump. The prediction will be for moderate to heavy losses, but it will never happen. To me, that means that something is "broke".
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pk867
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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by pk867 » Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:14 pm

Yes I agree with your assessment if it is a friendly city the unit will not take any losses in steps and morale,
but illustrates what I was getting at I consider rushing in reinforcements at the last moment.

If the para drops on an enemy city with no interception and no adjacent troops, the para can lose up to 5 steps and 50 morale. It depends upon luck of the die roll.

If a para drops on a city with no air interception with a corp unit adjacent on a lucky roll loses 1 step and 17 morale.

on a bad roll it loses 6 steps and 60 morale. So it illustrates landing by the city and occupying the city and the other landing too

close to the city and taking lots of damage.

I have not tested have a GAR in the city and landing adjacent and performing an attack yet.

That is with the current rules. If know the enemy's FTR range then you garrison any resource hexes that maybe in range. IT is that simple.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Diplomaticus » Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:53 pm

I wonder if what's called for is to prohibit drops into "major" cities--i.e. ones with production value. Given the 20-day time scale of CEAW turns + the fact that paras cannot move on the turn they drop, it should be possible to drop "into" smaller cities, rail depots, etc. Consider the capture of Nijmegan during Market Garden, for instance. Or Arnhem itself (after all, the Brit paras made it all the way to the bridge, even with a panzer division based in the area). While it's true that the paras didn't actually drop right into town, they did drop right outside and moved in within hours or days. You could say something similar for the invasion of Crete and the seizure of Iraklion. And a para drop into Malta was, I think, being planned.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Vokt » Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:05 pm

Diplomaticus wrote:I wonder if what's called for is to prohibit drops into "major" cities--i.e. ones with production value. Given the 20-day time scale of CEAW turns + the fact that paras cannot move on the turn they drop, it should be possible to drop "into" smaller cities, rail depots, etc. Consider the capture of Nijmegan during Market Garden, for instance. Or Arnhem itself (after all, the Brit paras made it all the way to the bridge, even with a panzer division based in the area). While it's true that the paras didn't actually drop right into town, they did drop right outside and moved in within hours or days. You could say something similar for the invasion of Crete and the seizure of Iraklion. And a para drop into Malta was, I think, being planned.
Problem here is that Arhem was 50 km or so from front line whilst in CEAW we are used to see paratrooper dropping quite deep into enemy territory, keeping in mind CEAW map scale. They are totally isolated operations aimed at "bothering a little the enemy" or to capture enemy naval units in port, in which apart from the bothering thing we are talking of a really profitable business in terms of PP's of the units involved.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by rkr1958 » Sun Jan 29, 2017 6:14 am

Personally, I don't see anything broken with airborne units dropping on empty city hexes. If you prohibit that then you're saying that an unoccupied city is stronger than one occupied by a 2-step garrison or an air unit. In the latter case the airborne unit could drop adjacent to the city, attack and destroy the 2-step unit or force the air unit to retreat and capture the city.

I think we've had this discussion before and my opinion is that if one leaves a critical city empty and his opponent takes by an airborne drop then they deserve what they got. My vote is don't change a thing with the possible exception of reducing the range at which one may drop.

By the way, the two other strategic WW2 wargames that I've played and have familiarity with, Matrix's World in Flames and AH's 3rd Reich, both allow paradrops onto any city including capitals. If a player is careless and leaves his capital unoccupied or weakly garrison then he deserves what he gets. I remember an AAR where Supermax lost Rome, and hence Italy, to an "amphibious invasion" from a garrison because he left Rome empty. Should we disallow that too?

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Cybvep » Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:05 am

Personally, I don't see anything broken with airborne units dropping on empty city hexes. If you prohibit that then you're saying that an unoccupied city is stronger than one occupied by a 2-step garrison or an air unit. In the latter case the airborne unit could drop adjacent to the city, attack and destroy the 2-step unit or force the air unit to retreat and capture the city.
Yes, this is one of the problems of the potential no-paradrops-on-city-hexes rule and one of the reasons why I think that such a rule shouldn't be implemented. Even a weakly garrisoned city should have better anti-para protection than an empty city.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Vokt » Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:00 pm

Garrisons shouldn't ever have been allowed to land on enemy hexes (like the famous landing in Rome) because they are just that, garrisons, that is, military units which are tasked with guarding a city or resource.

Don't think that real WW2 contenders strongly garrisoned big cities in fear of paratrooper landings so far away from the front line. That possibility surely was at the end of their lists of threats. So maybe this strong garrisoning of cities in fear of a paratrooper landing is only a game thing and consequently one in which the simulation capability of the game, resents. In general, when an event (like paratrooper drops so deep into enemy territory or garrison units performing landing operations) can only occur in a game but they are highly unlikely to occur in the real WW2, we are closer to a fantasy game than to a simulation game.

Anzio landings came to mind as a sample that capitals were not garrisoned that strongly but it was to keep the front line fed with units what mainly mattered. Germans, poised at stopping the Allies in the mountains around Cassino, strongly reinforced that front with units coming from Rome, thus leaving this capital virtually undefended. When the landings at Anzio did occur, they completely caught the Germans. It's speculated that Allies might have lost the chance of advancing unopposed and then, to take Rome but they instead focused on consolidating the beachhead thus giving time to the Germans for bringing reinforcements.

Third Reich and World in Flames maps scales are smaller than CEAW map scale which might justify airborne droppings over cities in those games. Besides, I guess the paratrooper units in those games are not division sized but they are at least corps or even army sized units.

In CEAW, city hexes are city hexes all over the hex, so when a paratrooper is dropped into a city hex, theoretically the unit is being dropped directly into a city. Everybody knows that no airborne landing was made directly over a city.

The fact that in CEAW we are talking of division sized units instead of corps units might account for setting limitations on paratrooper rules. I strongly doubt that a division sized unit, with no heavy equipment would be able to easily surrender a city the size of Hamburg or London. This keeping in mind that the unit would have to be acting completely alone and far from the main supply source. It simply edges the fantastic.

So for me there's something broken here when we see that players are using paratrooper units for quite different roles than those they really had.

Maybe this is also a paratrooper ranges thing. Maybe it's not only how far could be the spots to which a paratrooper can be transported and dropped but also logistical considerations should be taken into account. This way we could make airborne operations ranges something like fighter range/2.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by pk867 » Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:32 pm

I have to disagree with your idea that a hex designation of city covers the entire hex. That is a fallacy. It just says that is the prominent feature, but not the entire hex.

The hex is 50 km from flat side to flat side, approximately 31 miles side to side. The time period is 20 days and the out come is the result of accumulation of the battles that occurred

in that time segment. We are going to have agree to disagree and do not believe your interpretation.

When I look at the map for WiF, the scales for the hex are approximately the same. Our simulation is different than other games and that is why it is popular.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by rkr1958 » Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:03 pm

Vokt wrote:Anzio landings came to mind as a sample that capitals were not garrisoned that strongly but it was to keep the front line fed with units what mainly mattered. Germans, poised at stopping the Allies in the mountains around Cassino, strongly reinforced that front with units coming from Rome, thus leaving this capital virtually undefended. When the landings at Anzio did occur, they completely caught the Germans. It's speculated that Allies might have lost the chance of advancing unopposed and then, to take Rome but they instead focused on consolidating the beachhead thus giving time to the Germans for bringing reinforcements.
Anizo was a failure because the US General Lucas was an idiot. I just finished a book about the 157th US infantry regiment, the Thunderbirds, of the 45th US infantry division. This regiment landed at Anizo. General Lucas didn't even secure the high ground surrounding the beachhead, much less push on and capture an empty Rome. The focus of the book was a Lt. Col. Sparks who at the time of the landing was a Captain and a company commander. Over the course of a couple of weeks he lost his entire company of 230 men (killed, wounded or captured). Sparks was the only member of his company at the time of the landings to make it through Anizo. And it wasn't because he stayed in the rear. He didn't. Even later in the war, as a Lt. Col. and a battalion commander, he led from the front and was in the thick of things. The book is called, "The Liberator: One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau".

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Vokt » Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:48 pm

pk867 wrote:I have to disagree with your idea that a hex designation of city covers the entire hex. That is a fallacy. It just says that is the prominent feature, but not the entire hex.
I have to disagree back to that since I just didn't say that. I just said that city hex type of terrain properties apply to the entire hex regardless.

Besides, this consideration of a majority or minority features inside a city hex might lead to confusion provided that the "minority feature" of a city hex doesn't account for any combat modifier of the city hex itself.

Yes, abstractly considered, in the map, a city hex is not city all over the hex the same way that forest hex is not covered with forests all over the hex. But that's only abstraction with no consequences when it comes to determine combat modifiers of the hex or to justify a rule.

And for the matter we are discussing here that mere abstraction shouldn't justify anything. It's not like "paratroopers should be allowed to jump into city hexes because they first, abstractly would be landing in the 'minority part' of the city hex, this abstractly representing the surroundings or flat terrain around the city, and then, they would be 'advancing' into the 'majority part' of the city hex, the city itself ". This is IMO pure invention or imagination.

Applying that same argument, we should remove the increased penalties for paratroopers when jumping into cities because "in reality they are being dropped into the clear, flat terrain around the city and not into the city itself".

So people must know that it doesn't really matter if the minority feature of the city hex is clear, forest, rough or whatever. That doesn't change anything. What really matters is the combat modifiers of the city hex type of terrain (set on terrain.txt) that will apply to the entire city hex regardless.

World in Flames map hasn't same scale than CEAW's and that can be seen at glance. World in Flames hex scale is 100 km per hex (that's for Europe only since in Asia is bigger, like 200 km or so). That's the double of CEAW map hex scale. That scale and probably bigger size of paratrooper units would justify different rules.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by rkr1958 » Sun Jan 29, 2017 7:32 pm

Is there a problem that we're really trying to fix here? In the 1000's of games played since we've added airborne units, how many games have airborne units dropping directly on cities been a problem? Dropping on capitals? The closest I've come is a game where I dropped adjacent to London and took that city because it was garrisoned by an air unit. If the problem now is that airborne drop ranges are too far because we extended fighter ranges, why don't we just cap the maximum range an airborne unit can drop?

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Vokt » Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:40 pm

As I mentioned, reducing paratrooper ranges might be an approach.

Maybe most gamey way of using referred units is to use them as means of destroying an air unit. That's why it was suggested at the start of this thread, to increase the damage when jumping adjacent to an air base.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Vokt » Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:58 pm

Cybvep wrote:
Personally, I don't see anything broken with airborne units dropping on empty city hexes. If you prohibit that then you're saying that an unoccupied city is stronger than one occupied by a 2-step garrison or an air unit. In the latter case the airborne unit could drop adjacent to the city, attack and destroy the 2-step unit or force the air unit to retreat and capture the city.
Yes, this is one of the problems of the potential no-paradrops-on-city-hexes rule and one of the reasons why I think that such a rule shouldn't be implemented. Even a weakly garrisoned city should have better anti-para protection than an empty city.
I just bring this now because, in a recent game, it just happened a situation in which it was actually better not to garrison a city in order to keep it than to garrison it (no paratrooper operation involved in this case). It was winter weather, 3 Soviet units, 2 of them experienced and with Guards status were approaching Debrecen in Hungary. Referred Allied units were situated at 3 hexes from mentioned city, so I didn't bother with garrisoning the city, knowing that it would be destroyed anyway and then, taken. By not garrisoning the city I was able to keep it the for 1 more turn.

So to highlight how in many cases the game is abstracted, in that case it was "stronger" not have any garrison unit in the city than to have one.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:10 pm

That example is an issue in most wargames where the attacker can advance after combat. With the advancement you reach one extra hex. There is nothing we can do about that without altering the game completely. We see the same in GS in winter turns where the Axis player withdraws so much to stay 2 hexes away from the Russian units in winter and mud turns with 2 units exerting ZOC into every hex. That means the Russians can't move into the hex itself since you need +2 MP to enter a hex in ZOC by 2 or more units.

An even bigger exploit is to not capture hexes up to the defending units who have retreated behind a river. Then you attack from the flank and force a retreat. The unit can retreat into a friendly hex and will retreat across river towards the enemy. This unit can easily be finished off. Suddenly you have a hole in the defense line you can send an armor unit into to roll up the defense line from the rear. This is particularly used a lot to roll up the French defense line in 1940.

So players will exploit the game engine. Not garrisoning cities to prevent the city from being captured is just one such exploit. Not much we can do about that.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Vokt » Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:58 pm

I brought this argument because, related to the paratrooper issue, someone said that by prohibiting paratroopers to land in cities, it would be better not to garrison cities than to do it when it comes to defend them vs a potential airborne operation aimed at taking a city. Maybe what we should do is not to worry about that in the first place since no one did in real WW2.

Not to garrison cities that are going to fall into enemy's hands anyway is more a matter of convenience than of taking advantage of game rules IMO. Decision of garrisoning should be made anticipatedly and after evaluation of which cities and resources are worthy to be defended, so garrison units can benefit from entrenchment bonus.

That way, you would want to garrison occupied cities so they are not taken by partisans, or coastal cities so they can offer some resistance to potential enemy landings thus giving time to rush reinforcements. That would mean to use garrisons not in a gamey way. On the contrary, gamey use of garrisons would include to do things like to spam with garrisons beach hexes to physically oppose a landing or to do "amphibious" operations with them.

Not sure about if something should be done regarding that "retreating forward" thing since in mid-late game, double defensive lines located along the rivers may become virtually impregnable.

Finally, ZOC feature is one that exists in most wargames, so ZOC defensive dispositions shouldn't it be considered an exploit IMO. As many wargames manuals say, ZOC abstractly represents the fact by which elements of an unit can be operating outside the hex they are actually located. The bigger the size of the unit (in CEAW corps units), the more sense it makes this ZOC influence.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by FirstCanadian » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:54 pm

Lots of passionate discussion!

My two cents worth:
1) Loss of an entire airborne corps should really be shocking, more than just a PP cost/benefit trade-off.

Perhaps if an airborne corps is destroyed when it is more than 3 hexes away from other friendly land units, the loss should be a Permanent reduction in airborne capability for that country

2) In other games, even vacant cities has some minimum garrison capability.

We could have a vacant strength of 3 for capital cities, 2 for regular cities, and 1 for rail stations.
If the airborne are capable of landing on the city and defeating this garrison, then they have won fair and square.

3) The minimum garrison would also fix the issue raised about leaving a city vacant so the enemy cannot attack and advance after combat. The enemy could always attack this minimum garrison vs a real unit.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by AugustusTiberius » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:27 am

We already have a problem with garrisons being used two deep all along the French coast to stop Overlord so this idea, with all due respect, FirstCanadian, would just free up even more garrisons for that exploit.

As for the unit being wiped out, there is a limit on the number of airborne divisions (not corps unless you check the box at the start to allow that) that can be replaced in a given year.

AT

P.S. Always nice to see more Canucks playing this game!

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Vokt » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:41 pm

Garrison blob is the other issue that's implicit on this topic. By garrison blob, we refer to the practice of spamming beach hexes or river bank hexes with garrisons so, instead of acting on their role of guarding cities or resources, they act as "physical" blockings, taking advantage of the fact that this game doesn't allow stacking of units.

One of the ways to deal with this thing could be to create an upgrade system for garrison units: all garrison units would start as proper garrison units and if you want the garrison to become something more (something like supporting infantry units, Reserve corps, etc. and so, to be used in much the way they are used in GS), you will have to upgrade the garrison unit in the same way you can upgrade into paratrooper units.

In that system, proper garrison units would only be possible to be railed from resource hex to another resource hex but they wouldn't be possible to be railed to any of the ADJACENT hexes of the resource, thus avoiding those "quick garrison deployments" along the beach hexes.

As a second differentiation with respect to current system, proper garrisons wouldn't be possible to be unloaded into enemy hexes. This way, garrisons would only be possible to be unloaded in sea ports, being banned from doing amphibious operations.

On the other side, upgraded garrisons would have a cost of 5 PP's and the upgrade would allow them to:

- increase movement allowance from 2 to 3 hexes
- be railed to a resource hex or to any of its adjacent hexes, just like the rest of land units and air units
- be unloaded in enemy hexes, and this way participate in amphibious operations as sort of supporting units.

Upgrade could be made via renaming a garrison into something like "Reserve Corps" or "Division Group" or "Supporting Infantry" or whatever or It could be created another specific way.

Upgrade limit per year/country could be made the same than for the other type of units that have a build limit.

Proper garrison units would have a 'G' both in counters and sprites to denote their garrison type. Upgraded garrisons would have an infantry symbol, but smaller than the one for corps units. Those symbols would be used to differentiate garrisons in pretty much the same way we have a parachute symbol in paratrooper units to differentiate them from garrisons.

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