OTP.

Discussion relating to Battles in Normandy

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OTP.

Postby sorcerer » Sat Aug 06, 2005 3:25 am

After extensively playing mirror games of OTP. I have the following notes and suggestions.

1. It is too easy to win as the Germans.
2. Winning as the Allies is disproportionately very difficult.
3. The VPs awarded for cities are unbalanced.
4. The Allies do not have a big enough artillery shift.
5. The AA ability of the Germans is too strong.

Here is what should be done.

A> The SS Panzer divisions (12SS and 1SS LAH in particular) should have fewer auto-replacements. This is to stop them from continually attacking the British throughout the game and or driving them up the beachhead. Also it would be more realistic as there is no way an SS Panzer division could reform internally, providing another 225% of its unit strength. (four step unit - 9 auto replacements)

B > The partisan and Gestapo units are fine, and this is a fun element to the game trying to correctly place both. However Allied air interdiction is terrible because of the AA radius or AA units and the many small towns. This needs to be reduced to 1 for the AA units and also reduced for the cities, with small towns having no AA capability.

C > Unbalanced VPs ruin what has the potential to be a brilliant game. The Allies do not have enough strength against the Axis (especially with the tougher landings, all the powerful SS divisions and extra normal reinforcements) to recreate Overlord (which is itself unbalanced in the eyes of many by about 600 VPs in the Axis favour. This means that while already having a huge VP projection, from the start the Axis player can build a huge lead of thousdans. Then when the Allies are strong enough to push on to Avranches and St Malo and Falaise and Argentan there is simply no way to catch up. All the big towns in the South of the map are worthless to both sides and this hurts the Allied player. Also the Cherbourg peninsula is worth too many VPs. For example a small town called Carteret is worth 24 VPs a turn to the Axis after turn 15. This is crazy because it is more than all the big towns like Falaise and Avranches.

D > So more VPs for the Allies capturing and holding big towns in the South. This would really enliven the game making it fairer and taking it to 76 turns where it is at its most enjoyable as the Allied player is not already beaten by turn 20.

E > Part of the reason why the Allies take ages to build up is because unlike overlord, in OTP they receive no bigger artillery shift than 1 throughout. *except for five or six turns with carpet bombing*. The bonus should be increased to two by turn 30/40 and three by 50/60 than 4 by seventy.


Any other feedback would be most welcome and I am sure JSS will be listening...
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Postby Cpt. Feathersword » Sat Aug 06, 2005 3:30 am

Is the beginning more or less like Overlord? Because if it is and it took you 50 turns to take Cherbourg (as was stated in another post) I would say you need to improve some before making such sweeping suggestions, in Overlord Cherbourg should fall somewhere between turns 12-20 depending on the skill level of the parties involved. It may be that it is not the scenario but rather your skill level as compared to that of your opponents, nothing personal, how did you do as the Axis?

It was my understanding that OTP was an extended Overlord but I may be wrong having never played it.
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Postby sorcerer » Sat Aug 06, 2005 6:56 am

Cpt. you are in no position to say whether I need to improve my OTP game or not, since you have not played this scenario.

Regarding Cherbourg, perhaps you would like to re read the post I made after that regarding the reasons for its late capitulation.

Winning as the Axis is easy. Apart from one game against Steve (when I had not played BiN long) I have won all my games as the Axis in OTP.

So can someone who has actually played OTP and is not just going to try and criticise my game, respond to my suggestions.
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Postby Guest » Sat Aug 06, 2005 7:56 am

I've played up to turn 47 of OTP ...
And correct, I think SS units getting 9 Replacements is just wrong. It takes a good year to get a unit to standard status! (unless it failed in training tasks).
I don't find the AA too strong. Unfortunately since i'm a newbie it took me 45 turns to get to the place Roger is in the Normandy AAR !
I think that the Allies should get the largest ART shift possible on Turns 1,2,3 to indicate absolute lethal bombardment/air superiority, and then go down to 4 a turn. This would also help the British alot.
Yes, the AA on the towns ...
Why make there AA? It defeats the object of the words "AIR SUPREMACY"!
That also means that British Interdiction a Caen is worth s***
I think Cherbourg is reasonable, because it was a major city.
Carentan needs to be worth it's value equally, because both sides found it vital (US to link the bridgeheads, and the Germans as good terrain and does not link the bridgeheads)
I think the 1/2 SS Panzer Divisions should have 5 Tank Regiment rept's, 4 PzGr Rept's and 3 Recon Rept's
While the 9/10/12/17 SS Divisions should have 4 Tank Regt Rept's, 4 Pz.Gr rept's (if Pz.Gr div then 5)
and Recon have 2 Rept's
I think the allies should have 2-9 replacements since they had a flood of men. But why do pitiful Sherman/Tank Battalions have 3+ tank shock?
I think the allies need more C.Bombing runs (2-4 a turn) since they did persuade the Bomber Command to release their planes in preparation of Op.Cobra and the Carpet bombs should be like this :
Turns 1-5 = 2 C'pt Bombs
32-48 = 1-3 C'pt bombs.
But i know Pterrok mentioned that all of the rept's means quick reorganization, repairing things lost in the field and that. But really, should an Elite SS division have 225% of it's normal strength in replacements and coupled with ULTRA fast healing??!!
Doh! The Germans can go in and out of Caen and with the Jugend they could get to the Beach-Head if Pterrok was being SUPER AGGRESSIVE! :lol: (or someone else of course :)
The germans didn't have many replacements in Normandy, so units shouldn't have many replacements. Maybe 1-3 because hardly 500 Tanks even got in to Normandy. And i assume that no-where near 10,000 soldiers were replacements. But it's a game, and the battle has to be fair .... :evil:
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Re: OTP.

Postby stevel40831 » Sat Aug 06, 2005 9:54 am

sorcerer wrote:1. It is too easy to win as the Germans.
2. Winning as the Allies is disproportionately very difficult.
3. The VPs awarded for cities are unbalanced.
4. The Allies do not have a big enough artillery shift.
5. The AA ability of the Germans is too strong.


I agree that it does appear to be a fair amount (much?) easier to win as the German side. In my game v.s. Sorcerer (I played the Germans) his airpower never really gave me any difficulty because I used the AA units and town AAs to cover all important areas. This is possible in OTP because their ranges are longer AND, to anyone who has not played it, many of the smaller towns/villages also have AA. Very tough for the Allies to restrict movement and/or supplies compared to Overlord.

In addition, the coastal defenses are much tougher which means the German units, in some areas can get closer to the coast than they can in Overlord as the Allies have a tougher time getting inland. Also, Sorcerer did not mention that several of the German units (infantry only if I remember) are pretty beefed up compared to Overlord.

The VP questions brings up an issue that was discussed in other threads in the past -- that is, whether people like just a few key VP hexes or many more, to include value for key towns and junctions. I think you can make a good arguement either way and I actually favor the larger number as we see it OTP. That being said though, it does appear as though the Allies have a very tough time regaining points due to the amount being generated by these smaller VP hexes. Maybe their are just too many of them? Don't know, haven't played it enough really.

In my game v.s. Sorcerer I don't remember what turn Cherbourg fell but I'm pretty sure it was very late in the game. I didn't make any brilliant maneuvers in that area that I remember, but, the line south of Carentan was very formidable -- 4-5 steps in just about every hex running west coast to a few hexes SE of Carentan, and, small units dug in in secondary fall-back positions. Combine this with some not-so-hot die rolling and it was very very difficult for him to move forward. (As a side note, the Caen sector was lots of fun as the SS eventually swept the British beaches clear of Allies and I ended up with a line running roughly N/S around Bayeaux with a finger of British troops extending SE into my lines but with constant supply problems. It was a blast for me as my SS units had a crazy number of auto-replacements and I continued to grind away turn after turn. The number of replacements I got seemed a bit unfair and he could not keep up with the relentless attacks by the SS and the many artillery units that joined in.)

Now, in spite of the things that I have said, I think this is a great scenario (just wish I had more time to play it again!) that might just need a few tweaks. Don't want this to seem a negative post, not intended that way... seems Sorcerer is getting a bit beat up unnecessarily so I felt I needed to chime in!

"A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in ... And how many want out."

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Postby Joe » Sat Aug 06, 2005 3:50 pm

I played OTP just once as the allies against Brubaker.

It is 76 turns and at turn 66 it could have gone either way. Ultimately he beat me by about 5,000 points

At turn 20 I thought I was already beaten but I stayed the course.

If I played a little better I could have won.

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Postby JSS » Sat Aug 06, 2005 6:18 pm

This scenario, much like WiE and Master of Battle Patton, will probably never be truly "balanced"... there's simply too variables involved. What was necessary for someone playing the Germans against me becomes excessive German capability for another pair of players. Best that can be done is to provide a reasonably capable side to both players and let them battle it out. Sharing specific experiences as Sorcerer and Steve have done helps a great deal in working out the capabilities.

Attached is On to Paris v2.02. Key changes since v2.01:

1. Heavy Allied Naval assets can bombard Cherbourg. This means the German player must garrison the hexes in Cherbourg harbor with units (later arriving Allied units can land here and there is an Allied supply source).

2. Panzer units and Recce units can no longer accept regular replacements. They only have their timed replacements to rebuild combat power.

3. StuG and Panzer Grenadier units have the flow of regular mechanized replacements drastically reduced (31 down to 4). These units must rebuild with timed replacements or the additional mech replacements generated by taking alert VP hexes.

4. The Allied D-Day invasion divisions each have an additional timed replacement available.

5. German flak is less effective in reducing Allied interdiction during good weather (reduced interdiction was 2 OPs, now is 3 OPs)... its still 6 OPs when no Flak is present.

6. German artillery units no longer have basic movement. All movement requires the unit to receive and stock supply. This will impede the strong Pz Div thrusts toward Gold-Juno-Sword. The artillery units are less mobile, so the shoot-and-scoot missions can be performed less readily... this also makes forward placement of artillery units without a big OP reserve risky... a few turns of effective interdiction and the artillery could be unable to fire and possibly stranded.

7. German Coastal Divisions have a lower divisional integrity bonus... previously these units were much more effective than their historical counterparts.

I'll post separately the rationale for giving the I SS Pz Korps max timed replacements. Short version is that these units remained combat effective throughout the campaign and were very large formations initially. Whittling down their timed replacements simulates the thinning down of their formations (i.e. along Wotan's line of reasoning I'd make these units 5 steps if the game allowed it!).

Aim the zip extraction at .../Battles in Normandy/Scenarios/Battles in Normandy/ and it will extract to /Paris v202/ folder.

Enjoy!
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Postby sorcerer » Sat Aug 06, 2005 6:59 pm

The changes are good although I am not sure about reducing the German armour replacements so much. I would have thought a more modest decrease in both armour and infantry replacements would have been more appropriate.

Also what about changes to the VPs. Because even though now, the Allies have less tougher opposition early on, the German player can still burn through the available replacements to hold onto those VP hexes such as Carentan, St-Lo, Coutances and Cherbourg. Then later in the game the Allied player, despite being able to swipe across the map, is not able to recover the huge VP defecit.
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Postby hank » Sun Aug 07, 2005 12:10 am

Joe wrote:I played OTP just once as the allies against Brubaker.

It is 76 turns and at turn 66 it could have gone either way. Ultimately he beat me by about 5,000 points

At turn 20 I thought I was already beaten but I stayed the course.

If I played a little better I could have won.

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I have an OTP PBEM going and we're on move 35. I'm Allies and I'm down 16,000 pts. :shock:

I have checked my maps and historically my forces are not too far off what actually happened. I'm not as far south of Bayeaux as I should be by a few hexes and I'm several hexes shy of the advance toward St. Lo as what actually happened by July 10/11. I also have the US forces set up historically with VIII corp to the west, VII next, etc. The brits are more jumbled up compared to historical accounts but they are beginning to hold their own in the clear terrain west of Caen. It a blast playing this way, by the way. :)

However, my disappointing point score is discouraging. Joe, I'm hanging in there and I hope things swing my way soon. Its tough though attacking through the bocage. I'll let you know how it goes in another 10 moves or so.

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Postby sorcerer » Sun Aug 07, 2005 1:23 am

Hank..this is the VP problem in a nutshell. I would say that unless the German force is ragged, you don't really have much hope of victory. It sounds like you have recreated what the Allies actually managed to do. But you are very far behind in terms of VP. And of course the Allies can't really do more than expected in the early turns.

Sure the carpet bombing on turns 37, 43, 49 and 50 will give you hope. However you are in for an overwhelming defeat. JSS, while we welcome the changes you've made, please twink the VPs.
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Postby Joe » Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:08 am

Just like the Breakout scenario, the allies ought to be able to make up 1,000 points per turn in each of the last half dozen tourns.

It sounds to me like you are heading for a victory.

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Postby sorcerer » Mon Aug 08, 2005 6:35 pm

No you can't make up a 1,000 VPs a turn, because the Allied VP points for towns in the South are very few.
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Postby JSS » Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:35 pm

Hank,

Are you down 16k or projected to lose by 16k? Very big difference.

All,

Any other specific game scores by turn are appreciated.

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On to Paris v3.00

Postby JSS » Sun Sep 17, 2006 2:08 pm

Here's the pre-release version of On to Paris v3.00 (9 Sep).
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Postby CESteman » Thu Sep 21, 2006 5:07 am

Thanks JSS I'll give it a shot :)
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