Kharkov Amendments

Discussion relating to Kharkov: Disaster on the Donets

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Kharkov Amendments

Postby Talos » Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:33 pm

Have been meaning to post this for ages and keep forgetting. One fairly minor update for the scenario i think and something else to think about.

The 171 pioneer battalion of the 71st Infantry Division is rated at 40 VP's, all other pioneer battalions are either 15 or if the Pz Divisions 25 VP's, presumed this just got missed somehow.

Other thought is Dnepropetrovsk, could it not have the same alert options as Krosnograd? At the moment if the German player is unlucky enough to allow the city to be captured there is not really much chance of getting it back and it generates vast amounts of VP's and i would have thought that it would have been just as likely for alert forces to be released to capture this back as Krosnograd. Anyway just a thought, even with the extra alert units it would still be a tough place to get back.
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Postby Abwehr » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:12 pm

Giving Krasnograd and Dnepropetrovsk the same alert units would be problematic for the Soviets. Giving Krasnograd less alert units, and Dnepropetrovsk (as a far more important objective) most of the alert units would be preferable.

The scenario could use a small overhaul in any case, as earlier posts have shown.
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Postby Abwehr » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:58 am

I'll just bump this thread instead of creating a new one.

-

After reading Talos' AAR I'm not comfortable with the way surrendering works now. I didn't even know that surrendering units disappeared from the game completely, until Talos posted about it.

I have some trouble with that concept.

For example:

An encircled enemy unit behind your lines is killed. The cadre somehow manages to get to their own lines, as the unit will always reappear as long as it has the lives to do so.

An encircled enemy unit behind your lines surrenders. The game assumes every single capable soul in the unit surrenders, and somehow the unit never returns, not even as a ~2 company (1 step) unit.

That's rather silly.

The Kharkov engine, especially the randomness of combat and now this, does seem to have some room for improvement.
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Postby Talos » Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:31 am

Some thoughts/comments on surrendering.

It requires large combat numbers to get up to 20-1 which is where is gets close to automatic depending on the Shock values of the units involved, it can happen below this but is not as likely.

Generally a unit has to be down to 1 step and not entrenched, though this is not an absolute given and if a German unit is hedge hoged probable forget about it altogether, though Spuddy did manage to pull it off in our game.

The advantage for the attacker in doing this is you suffer no combat loses and no use of attack bullets a major plus.

The disadvantage is you are very unlikely to be making many of these kind of attacks per turn and they have to be used appropriately.

I have a few other thoughts which i will post about after the final has finished as they have occured to me as the final has been going on.
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Postby Abwehr » Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:00 am

You don't need high combat numbers per se to get a surrender result. You should be able to get a surrender result before 20-1, although 20-1 might be guaranteed depending on the CRT. You also automatically overrun the unit, so the attack strength can be used again.

For me, the problem is that surrendering units will disappear from the game completely. For example, in your Finals PBEM as the Soviets, you forced the majority of the defenders facing your 6th Army to surrender. That gave you a pretty good advantage instantly, even though there was no true reason the units could not historically have reappeared later on. They were near friendly lines, and could be returned to cadre status. However, as surrender means the unit is out instantly, the units will never reappear.

Imagine what would happen if the Soviet player could force the Romanians to surrender. That would give the German player a grand total of one quality Germany division to defend Dnepropetrovsk with, without relocating forces from Krasnograd.

In terms of reasonable combat results and the issue of surrendering, Kharkov isn't an improvement of the DB system, so I'm hoping ATD2 will change some of that. A single hedgehogged stack should never be able to stop the majority of two Soviet armies for days if attacked from all sides, and units that surrender should perhaps have a chance to reappear instead of just evaporating.
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Surrender

Postby Carl Myers » Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:00 am

One can think of a destroyed unit as having its organizing elements scattered as the survivors E and E while a surrendered unit is one that has its organizing elements captured. If the leadership elements of the various command levels get back to friendly lines, these escapees can reform into a cadre unit within a turn. With the surrender of an unit's organizing elements, one has to create a unit from scratch or levy enough organizers from existing units to create a unit.
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Re: Surrender

Postby critter » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:24 pm

Carl Myers wrote:One can think of a destroyed unit as having its organizing elements scattered as the survivors E and E while a surrendered unit is one that has its organizing elements captured. If the leadership elements of the various command levels get back to friendly lines, these escapees can reform into a cadre unit within a turn. With the surrender of an unit's organizing elements, one has to create a unit from scratch or levy enough organizers from existing units to create a unit.

I agree with Carl.
Plus you've got to figure time. While the some of the men may make it back to friendly lines. The chances of reforming the surrendering units are almost impossible during the length of the sen.
You'd have to find leaders and weapons in the middle of a major battle. They would most likely be assigned to the units they returned to till the end of the fighting.
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Postby Talos » Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:09 pm

Abwehr wrote:You don't need high combat numbers per se to get a surrender result. You should be able to get a surrender result before 20-1, although 20-1 might be guaranteed depending on the CRT. You also automatically overrun the unit, so the attack strength can be used again.

For me, the problem is that surrendering units will disappear from the game completely. For example, in your Finals PBEM as the Soviets, you forced the majority of the defenders facing your 6th Army to surrender. That gave you a pretty good advantage instantly, even though there was no true reason the units could not historically have reappeared later on. They were near friendly lines, and could be returned to cadre status. However, as surrender means the unit is out instantly, the units will never reappear.

Imagine what would happen if the Soviet player could force the Romanians to surrender. That would give the German player a grand total of one quality Germany division to defend Dnepropetrovsk with, without relocating forces from Krasnograd.

In terms of reasonable combat results and the issue of surrendering, Kharkov isn't an improvement of the DB system, so I'm hoping ATD2 will change some of that. A single hedgehogged stack should never be able to stop the majority of two Soviet armies for days if attacked from all sides, and units that surrender should perhaps have a chance to reappear instead of just evaporating.


If you are deliberately going out to get units to surrender as a strategy then you need to get the auto results otherwise you are potentially going to waste resources.

As i mentioned the other advantage of the surrender result means it does not use attack bullets and the attacking units will suffer no combat loses.

Have to agree with Carl's analogy on this, in addition though my initial attacks achieved the surrender results i was after on the 6th Army front, i destroyed less units than Spuddy did in his attacks. So its a question of what strategy you are following, i think mines the most effective, but that is not necessarily the case.

As i also noted to get on the 20-1 table for the auto result requires a hefty concentration of resources. If you are going to just destroy these units then a lot less firepower is needed. Also a comment on the Romanians, because there are more of them it would be hard to get them to surrender as they will be stacked after the 1st turn of movement.
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Postby Abwehr » Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:48 pm

One can think of a destroyed unit as having its organizing elements scattered as the survivors E and E while a surrendered unit is one that has its organizing elements captured. If the leadership elements of the various command levels get back to friendly lines, these escapees can reform into a cadre unit within a turn. With the surrender of an unit's organizing elements, one has to create a unit from scratch or levy enough organizers from existing units to create a unit.


The problem is that we have to abstract what a certain unit is, or where its organizing elements/reserves are.

For starters, divisional HQ's and their non-combat support units are not on the map. It's unlikely they'll be at the frontline near one of their surrendering units. It is likely that, if a unit is taking severe damage, some elements of that unit will pop up in the HQ area to regroup.

My main problem is that a unit with 1 step, and perhaps the rest of its strength refitting with timed steps, can always come back when destroyed as long as it has a life, no matter how strong your attack is or where the unit is. When the unit surrenders, however, all of that suddenly disappears in an instant. The game assumes that, even though it's unlikely the unit will be near full strength, the entire unit surrenders. I can't currently think of an example of a German elite formation surrendering prior to Stalingrad. There might be one, but it was an unlikely event, especially in summer 1942, so when Talos tells us at one point in his AAR that out of the 70 units the Germans lost, only 14 will ever come back, I'm worried about historical accuracy and how devastating a surrender result is. Of course, there will be non-combat units in that total or units without a life, but also quite a few units that surrendered.

I see a surrendering units as the elements/steps of the unit that are still fighting surrendering, whilst the rest of its strength regroups elsewhere. It was pretty unlikely for a single regiment to surrender with every single last man and piece of equipment. Maybe the 2 companies indicated by the 1 step would surrender, but not neccesarily the rest.

It just feels a bit too gamey: no matter where the unit is or what shape it's in, as long as it has a life and is destroyed in battle, it can always return no matter what. No matter where the unit is or what shape it's in when it surrenders, it will never come back.

In BiI, most units would never surrender unless isolated or substandard. I personally believe that system made a lot more sense than the current one, now that I know that surrendering units always disappear for the rest of the game.
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Postby Talos » Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:59 pm

Abwehr wrote:
One can think of a destroyed unit as having its organizing elements scattered as the survivors E and E while a surrendered unit is one that has its organizing elements captured. If the leadership elements of the various command levels get back to friendly lines, these escapees can reform into a cadre unit within a turn. With the surrender of an unit's organizing elements, one has to create a unit from scratch or levy enough organizers from existing units to create a unit.


My main problem is that a unit with 1 step, and perhaps the rest of its strength refitting with timed steps, can always come back when destroyed as long as it has a life, no matter how strong your attack is or where the unit is. When the unit surrenders, however, all of that suddenly disappears in an instant. The game assumes that, even though it's unlikely the unit will be near full strength, the entire unit surrenders. I can't currently think of an example of a German elite formation surrendering prior to Stalingrad. There might be one, but it was an unlikely event, especially in summer 1942, so when Talos tells us at one point in his AAR that out of the 70 units the Germans lost, only 14 will ever come back, I'm worried about historical accuracy and how devastating a surrender result is. Of course, there will be non-combat units in that total or units without a life, but also quite a few units that surrendered.


The 70 units includes, the AT, Recon, Pioneer, AA, Arty and Stug Bn's which only have one life. For the number of infantry regiments i am not sure, will see if i can do a check to see how many i destroyed in total and the you will get a better idea of the percentage that came back. After a quick count i think i got 10 German or Hungarian regiments to surrender, though one of those was luck and was not planned.
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Postby Carl Myers » Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:08 am

The problem is that we have to abstract what a certain unit is, or where its organizing elements/reserves are.

For starters, divisional HQ's and their non-combat support units are not on the map. It's unlikely they'll be at the frontline near one of their surrendering units. It is likely that, if a unit is taking severe damage, some elements of that unit will pop up in the HQ area to regroup.


The divisional HQ and divisonal level units would not be part of the organizing elements of a regiment or battalion. The organizing elements of these units would be the leaders and their assisting elements at each command level of the unit.
As a unit taks losses, a unit keeps reorganizing to keep leaderhip and critcal weapons systems manned. Destroying a unit is basically causing the unit to escape and evade at nighfall, which eliminates the unit's cohesion until reformed in friendly lines.
Going for 20 to 1 odds, a half dozen Soviet divisions against a beat up German regiment, is using so much fire power that it just about constitutes human wave attacks. The defending unit either surrenders to this firepower or is wiped out before any chance of escape and evasion at nighfall.
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Postby Spuddy64 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:34 am

While we are discussing ammendments, am I alone in thinking Arty units should have 2 steps, with a very reduced indirect fire after losing 1 step? (or none at all)I also feel the timed replacement for such a unit would have a long delay. (4 to 6 days)
The reason I bring this up is the huge number of Arty units destroyed with indirect fire in most games. I find it hard to believe that these units could be destroyed completly with just counter battery fire. If you feel that counter battery fire would render these units useless for quite some time I would agree, but to be awared the same vps for destroying a unit with counter fire compared to actual combat (which would destoy all tubes in a unit for sure) doesnt seem quite right to me.
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Postby Abwehr » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:19 am

It's pretty simple: support units of any kind only have 1 step due to, it seems, engine limitations.

I'm also not too sure if artillery regiments should be given 2 steps, as a step would indicate battalion strength in terms of manpower to begin with, which would be around 600 men.

Although I agree that artillery units know sometimes die too quickly, perhaps it would be better to have them come back after a few turns, rather than increasing their strength in steps (which doesn't seem to be possible to begin with).
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Postby Spuddy64 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:48 am

I like your idea in giving arty units 1 life. Easy and simple fix.
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Postby Carl Myers » Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:27 am

If you feel that counter battery fire would render these units useless for quite some time I would agree, but to be awared the same vps for destroying a unit with counter fire compared to actual combat (which would destoy all tubes in a unit for sure) doesnt seem quite right to me.


Well, a direct hit on a tube is pretty unlikely unless one has copperheads but artillery fire close enough to kill the crew is close enough to take out the recoil system. That kind of repair is a depot job and would take quite some time to accomplish. Though an emergency, I imagine one could use the piece if one had a real loooong lanyard and crane available to right the piece when it flips!!
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