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Clausewitz

New Question for Cater/Bill Regarding 1.03

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After playing several matches in both tournament and ladder it has become very clear that experienced players quickly devise strategies that are clearly within rules but in my opinion distort game as a result of the map design. Three of the four axis capitals are directly adjacent to the sea and thus can be conquered without a land unit in close proximity. I am not a master at geography and map may be accurate but my issue is playability of game. In my opinion even at maximum builds the axis cannot compete with allied naval and that is fine for battle of seas but should not dominate land battles. If playing community concurs I believe this could be easily solved by giving Italy a second capital and adding a land square at either Tokyo or Seoul or both. I respectfully ask players to share their thoughts.

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Agreed. Historically pockets of Fascists fought on after the fall of Rome so not ahistorical to give Italy a second capital.

And the ability to take both Seoul and Tokyo with amphib landings after a zillion air attacks from carriers is a bit of a flaw. Does make Japan rather vulnerable to pure naval power. Historically there is no way that Tokyo could have fallen without a land battle of sorts. I would even more strongly support this if I have read another thread correct as started by Amona - am I right that the Jap Navy is going to be reduced in size? If so then allied naval power and amhib landing on its own gets even easier.

Personally I would try to move all major capitals away from coastal tiles so that similar things cant be done to London, for example, either. London also would never have fallen without a land battle had Hitler ever attempted it.

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And while I'm thinking about it - because it is also relevant to capital capture - I dont think that paras should be able to land on major cities. It is unrealistic. No para unit could ever have done it. If the engine could do it I would make it impossible and then reduce the purchase cost of paras a bit.

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This is a great initiative, and I wholeheartedly agree.

Something would need to be done with Norway though, as one of the few ways to take Oslo on a historical timetable is to use paras.

Edit: another thought appeared regarding large city para-invasions. There were actually several very successful examples of this during operation Market Garden. The straits the actual paras found themselves in is easily replicatable through their loss of supply and subsequent destruction without additional support. However, this does not take into acount the "grand theft capital" strategy. One option could be to significantly increase the buffer for surrender created by active units for a major, making it so that a simple capital capture simply wont be enough if the major in question has 20 or so land units left.

Another thing that I have been thinking about since the days of SC: Pacific Theatre, is any sort of incentive to actually "island hop" through the pacific instead of bumrushing straight at Japan or an adjacent island to use as a stratbombing site.

Can anyone think of one truly good reason to fight island by island as the US?

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1. Agree with Catacol about Paras and London.

2. I didnt demand to reduce Jap fleet, rather to enlarge US allowable carrier builds.

(But not with land attacks by carriers in mind. Actually its quite hard to kill a jap unit with high AD tech in Tokyo or Seoul by carrier air.

In my game against Clausewitz, I attacked Tokyo by LAND BASED air from Northern Japan.

3. Regarding Japan, In global Gold the Japs had an alternate capital in OSAKA, and only after that was taken too, the capital tranfered to Seoul, so Japan actually had 3 capitals.

Dont know why this feature has been removed in AOD.

It would make taking out Japan surely tougher.

4. About Ashes Fall point on island hopping:

I DONT know any reason why the US should island hop. This is a weakness of the game, I agree.

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In real life the U.S. island hopped in order to seize airfields to provide land based air cover for their fleet and also to provide land based air support for some of their invasions.

in Europe the allies also made sure their invasions were within range of land based air cover. North Africa possibly being an exception, though I do believe some land based air was provided from Gibraltar.

If ingame you can pull off invasions with just carrier air support, perhaps carrier air, in both ground attacks and air vs air, is to strong compared to land based air.

As far as Italy goes. I don't think the Italians should be to tough to make surrender. In real life they quit soon as they were invaded. After Italy's surrender, neither the Italian fascists or the Italian troops that joined the allies, were worth very much to their respective sides. Perhaps reducing the ground attack strength of carriers can solve the problem of defending Rome as well, without the need of giving Italy a 2nd capital.

Just my 2 cents. I'm about as far from an expert on this game as you can possibly get. :o

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An afterthought on island hopping:

Maybe if naval and ambhib supply would somehow be tied to distance from a friendly base.

Any thoughts?

That is definitely an idea, though I dont know if it would be possible within the engine...

In real life the U.S. island hopped in order to seize airfields to provide land based air cover for their fleet and also to provide land based air support for some of their invasions.

in Europe the allies also made sure their invasions were within range of land based air cover. North Africa being an exception.

If ingame you can pull off invasions with just carrier air support, perhaps carrier air, in both ground attacks and air vs air, is to strong compared to land based air.

as far as Italy goes. I don't think the Italians should be to tough to make surrender. In real life they quit soon as they were invaded. After Italy's surrender, neither the Italian fascists or the Italian troops that joined the allies, were worth very much to their respective sides.

Another reason for island hopping was to create forward supply depots for land borne invasions, and in some cases fuel depots for long range naval operations. Just as you say though, mainly it was due to the fact that the Japanese had a lot of small land based air squadrons that could inflict serious damage to the fleet if not denied bases or air cover was given by own landbased air.

After some serious thinking, I might have an idea to simulate this. I think we can all agree that it is highly unrealistic (given costs and ingame engine mechanics) for the Japanese to build a lot of land based air and place them in low supply around the pacific, this would just get that air destroyed for little loss by carriers. This then, is my suggestion;

Create a continous event akin to Russian winter for US naval forces within different sea areas, conditional upon the Japanese owning Islands in the region.

If possible, it could be tied to actually having a unit in a specific "town" on an island, or several islands. This would actually give the Japanese a good incentive to go after small islands around the pacific, as well as give the US an incentive to go after those islands in turn. The hits shouldnt be too bad, rarely a strength point (though possible), but mostly hits on readiness and morale.

Maybe tie this to a Japanese decision with a cost, aiming to "create" those abstractly represented land based air squadrons all around the place.

Thoughts?

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Actually the US did plan a paratroop attack on Rome together with their amphibious assaults on Salerno but wisely scrapped at the time. In this game though there are possible alternatives allowed to support such assault by taking Sardinia/Corsica to allow air support and itself would realistically allow logistic support more north then the allies actually landed in the toe which was idiotic in itself as it demanded a slog up north.

However to all persons points on here it would seem logical for game play that Italy is given a 2nd capital as Rome can be easily taken with combined assault, and also the other capitals mentioned.

Carrier support as mentioned by Al are too devastating to land units. I could envision something different such as carrier support vs. continental units being less than carrier support vs. islands. Carrier support can be game changing either in the French campaign, Africa campaign, and China battle and in the future the Italy/Japanese/French campaign for allies. Carriers are needed against islands as there is no alternative but they should not be so decisive against continental areas and I would consider London/Tokyo being continental for game purposes.

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I think we can all agree that it is highly unrealistic (given costs and ingame engine mechanics) for the Japanese to build a lot of land based air and place them in low supply around the pacific, this would just get that air destroyed for little loss by carriers.

Perhaps the supply rules could be changed so that if a port in an island group is owned, then all the small islands in that island group would be considered in supply. That would solve the supply problem for land based air on small islands that are part of a larger group. For isolated islands that are not part of an island group, a port could be added to them if they lack one now.

Just brain storming here. I'm just trying to come up with a method that rewards historical behavior.

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I guess that major capitals shout be saved by fortification/stationary air defences/Coastal guns to be able to protect themselves by their own. Rome and Tokyo could be saved much better on this way either other capital cities. Also agreed about a second Italian capital. I don't like too many new rules which affected the gameplay. For me the gameplay now is on a high level and I don't want to change this for minor realism issues.

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I

As far as Italy goes. I don't think the Italians should be to tough to make surrender. In real life they quit soon as they were invaded. After Italy's surrender, neither the Italian fascists or the Italian troops that joined the allies, were worth very much to their respective sides. Perhaps reducing the ground attack strength of carriers can solve the problem of defending Rome as well, without the need of giving Italy a 2nd capital.

Maybe a second or third Capital should be related to the National Morale of a Nation. High NM = several alternate capitals.

Low NM = one, or no alternate capital at all.

Italy in 1943 surrendered gladly to the Allies. Not so sure what Italy of 1938 would have done...

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Gentlemen: Thank you for your thoughtful responses and per my reading the consensus support for the threads request of alleviating the axis capitals vulnerability to amphibious landings supported by CV/land based air. In my opinion there were many other ideas that have merit. However my preference and request of Cater/Bill would be to stay with a simple fix in 1.03that would not have unintended consequences and disrupt as Amadeus noted a very playable game. Amona mentioned OSAKA which was an item of puzzlement in our recent match. At one point I as axis player was presented with the Decision to move the Japanese capital to Seoul if Tokyo and Osaka were captured. I accepted but was doubtful of Osaka because it does not appear on map as alternate capital. If Cater/Bill do not wish to move both Tokyo and Seoul inland by one square then making Osaka a third capital would help. Thanks to all.

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The island hopping thing is interesting. I find that I do it because the historian in me says that it has to be done... but Amona is right that there is little need to bother really.

For me the issue with naval units is supply. The game engine takes one supply point off every naval unit that takes part in combat or convoy raiding or whatever... but it does not penalise a ship for being at sea that does nothing. That makes no sense. I can sail the Bismarck all the way over to the pacific without a single supply stop and there is no penalty to movement range or combat efficiency at any stage.

The way to make island hopping attractive is to allow the ports along the way to recharge supply. Naval units should lose supply just by being at sea - US carriers that stay in the pacific for turn after turn should lost combat efficiency by losing supply... and then the island basis fulfil their role by resupplying the ships.

I think this would be within the capabilities of the engine because land units have their supply rating affected by proximity to supply centres... so put a BB in a port or adjacent to a port ought to possible for the engine to register resupply. It works already with subs that are reduced to 0 by convoy raiding and then have to head for a port. If this were done then suddenly the vast allied navy in 1945 would need to look at its supply situation very carefully if it chooses to sail all the way from the pacific coast to Japan. High supply ratings for Jap ships around their home islands could then be a real problem for the allies.

The only downside would be increased need for micromanagement.... but I think it is a price worth paying.

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If Cater/Bill do not wish to move both Tokyo and Seoul inland by one square then making Osaka a third capital would help. Thanks to all.

Hi Clausewitz.

"Cater" has a forename too, and it is Hubert.

:)

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An afterthought on island hopping:

Maybe if naval and ambhib supply would somehow be tied to distance from a friendly base.

Any thoughts?

The solution could be the supply level of an amphib units.

If invasions would only allowed at a hight supply level, long distance invasions would become impossible.

Low supply invasions should be impossible or at least very dangerous, with losses at sea, losses during the landing, and low supply etc after the landing.

To allow long distance invasions like the one american North Africa invasion, players would have to travel by transport to Gibraltar or the Azoren Islands, and from there as amphibs.

This would make island hopping pretty important.

The next tool to make island hopping worthwhile should be convoy lines, National Morale Lines, Diplomacy lines. The last two are not part of the game, but would be a good addition.

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Originally Posted by Clausewitz View Post

If Cater/Bill do not wish to move both Tokyo and Seoul inland by one square then making Osaka a third capital would help. Thanks to all.

Hi Clausewitz.

"Cater" has a forename too, and it is Hubert.

Very sorry! No disrespect intended.

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However - an extra thought. Ladder results suggest so far that players are beginning to work out the game and the axis is dominant. If axis capitals are made harder to capture then it makes the game even more tough for the allies.

I think some slight gameplay adjustment to make it a bit more difficult for the axis to gain a dominant position by 1942/43 might be a good idea. I suggest 2 subtle changes that might just slow the axis down a little:

1. Add a couple more fort squares to the area around Chungking to allow a greater chance of Chungking surviving beyond 1941. This will help dilute the Japanese effort a little.

2. Give the French Army some more ground units to force the Germans to commit all their forces and a few more mpps to take them out. Currently it is possible for the Germans to attack France and also send units to North Africa quite easily at the same time (as soon as Italy joins) and this makes the allied position very difficult. In addition the force representation in France in 1940 anyway is wrong. The French are outnumbered 3 : 1 in tanks and also outnumbered in infantry. That is ahistorical. The French had a lot of tanks, though used in small numbers in infantry formations often, and on paper a lot of infantry too. It is not so much the time it takes to destroy France - I have played 2 games recently where it took until Sept 40... but it is the fact that it is done at so little cost and with opportunities to send German units to North Africa so early. Personally I would give the French 1 more armour unit. I think that would give the 3 German panzer units a bit more to worry about! Either that or start the Brits with a tank unit. The BEF contained armour, and the opportunity to decide to send it to France or North Africa in the early stages gives the UK a bit more relevance.

These 2 adjustments would balance it up a little better early game.

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I have suggested this before. Air attacks or naval attacks should never be able to destroy a ground unit. Reducing the defending unit to 1 point I can see. This would replicate the destruction of material and command and control.

Using the tech available in WW2 it was impossible to destroy land units with air or naval gunfire alone. If it were possible there would not have been a flag raising on Iwo Jima or the campaign on Okinawa and nobody would know what happend at Betio.

Now this would not solve the problems of Capitals sitting on the coasts but it would prevent air drops taking the Capitals.

As far as amphib assaults they are not easy. A simple solution would be that an amphib unit can not advance past the tile it invades until the next turn.

Look at what happened on every amphib assault of the war - none of them advanced the equivalent of a tile in the space of a game turn.

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The island hopping thing is interesting. I find that I do it because the historian in me says that it has to be done... but Amona is right that there is little need to bother really.

For me the issue with naval units is supply. The game engine takes one supply point off every naval unit that takes part in combat or convoy raiding or whatever... but it does not penalise a ship for being at sea that does nothing. That makes no sense. I can sail the Bismarck all the way over to the pacific without a single supply stop and there is no penalty to movement range or combat efficiency at any stage.

The way to make island hopping attractive is to allow the ports along the way to recharge supply. Naval units should lose supply just by being at sea - US carriers that stay in the pacific for turn after turn should lost combat efficiency by losing supply... and then the island basis fulfil their role by resupplying the ships.

I think this would be within the capabilities of the engine because land units have their supply rating affected by proximity to supply centres... so put a BB in a port or adjacent to a port ought to possible for the engine to register resupply. It works already with subs that are reduced to 0 by convoy raiding and then have to head for a port. If this were done then suddenly the vast allied navy in 1945 would need to look at its supply situation very carefully if it chooses to sail all the way from the pacific coast to Japan. High supply ratings for Jap ships around their home islands could then be a real problem for the allies.

The only downside would be increased need for micromanagement.... but I think it is a price worth paying.

This idea sounds like a winner to me. It would make players actually need to plan naval operations which currently there is no need to do.

Would I be right in saying that the engine would be able to handle this change?

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