Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited


About arby

  • Birthday 07/16/1950


  • Location
    Cleveland, OH
  • Interests
    wargames... duh
  • Occupation

arby's Achievements

Senior Member

Senior Member (3/3)



  1. Oh, we're having quite a time. I kicked his Axis butt out of Russia, and retook the Low Countries. Now he's sitting in Berlin, whimpering as he waits for America to enter the conflict and open a gigantic can of Whomp-Ass on his head. It's not going to be pretty. As that great American, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, once said, "We can do this the hard way or we can... No, there's only the hard way."
  2. What the hell are you talking about? SC2's been out for three months now. You mean you still don't have your copy? Loser.
  3. Even assuming that's true -- and I don't think it is -- why do you think that was? I think the explanation is relatively simple: tanks were so far ahead of the weapons intended to stop them that far more effort had to go into developing those defensive weapons. It's hard to fully appreciate just how revolutionary a concept the tank was. Warfare throughout the ages has been a construct struggle between the offense and defense. From the Civil War through World War I, the defensive was ascendant. The massed charges that formed the basis of Napoleonic tactics were made much more difficult by the advent of the rifled musket, and rendered completely obsolete by the repeating carbine, the machine gun, and barbed wire. And on the eve of WWII, everybody expected pretty much the same thing. Except the Germans. The tank changed all that; the pendulum swung decisively in favor of the offense. We all know that the French and British tanks in 1940 were better than the German ones, but it was the Wehrmacht that developed and perfected the use of armor. And for two and a half years, they used that to run roughshod over the rest of Europe. And again, I think your basic premise is incorrect. If you compare the early-war tanks to the late-war tanks of just about every country -- the PzII to the Tiger II for Germany, the M3 to the M4E8 "Jumbo" for the Americans, the T/34 to the IS-II for Russia -- the difference is huge.
  4. What I said was that the game did not correctly model the shift in strategic initiative from the Axis to the Allies that occurred during the war; the Axis retain the initiative throughout. Part of that is because the Italians are overrated. I think that's not accurate. Oh, don't misunderstand me, I'm not suggesting that it's of no concern. As I've said, ground combat isn't realistic: it doesn't correctly reflect the role of armor, and it's not bloody enough. Both of those lead to other problems, like the overimportance of air and the economic imbalance: Germany winds up getting to reinforce units that it would otherwise have to replace, at much greater cost. And that winds up affecting the accuracy of the entire game. On the other hand, there are people who claim that oil should be a much more significant factor in the game: that you should only be able to build so many armor or air units per oil resource, or even that each hex should have a particular resource (steel, grain, superglue, whatever) that should go into determining what you can produce. That would certainly be more realistic, but I don't think it would have a major effect on the accuracy of the game. (In fact, as HOI demonstrates, it could actually have a negative effect.) The importance of oil is demonstrated in the game, although abstractly, by virtue of the fact that oil is the most productive resource. I think that's about as far as you need to go. Two: 1. It was so cold today that lawyers were walking around with their hands in their own pockets. 2. Q. What's brown and black and looks good on a lawyer? A. A doberman.
  5. I don't think it can be. I agree with you that Italy is substantially overrated in the game. I'm playing a game now where Italy is getting more MPP's a turn than the US. That's completely whack. Sort of off the subject. I remember seeing a thread about the A-bomb a while back, whether that should be one of the techs. I'd definitely vote no on that, for a couple of reasons. First, it wasn't used in the European theatre, and I'm very doubtful that it would have been. Secondly, one of the problems with a historical game is that the people playing it know how history came out, which affects the game. We all know how significant the A-bomb was, and thus a player is going to do his best to develop one. Back then, though, there was no particular reason to believe that it was going to amount to anything much. There's a big difference between going to somebody in 1940 and saying, "Hey, if we spend a lot of time and effort on this, we will be able to develop a single bomb that can destroy an entire city," and saying, "Hey, if we spend a lot of time and effort on this, we might be able to come up with some sort of superweapon, but we're really not sure what it will do."
  6. This is where I wouldn't get too wrapped in the realism aspect, and attempt to duplicate the "exact" advances that each country had. For a couple of reasons. First, advances can entail more than technological change; it can involve changes that are doctrinal or even experiential. (And "experience" in this game would not necessarily reflect those. Experienced soldiers do things better than non-experienced soldiers. But they also learn techniques in combat that can then be passed off to soldiers who don't have any experience.) Second, and perhaps more important, limiting advances to those that were actually done "strait-jackets" the game too much for my tastes. Why should I, as the German player, have five tank advances just because the Germans did? What if the Germans had decided to stop with the Panther and devote the resources that went into developing and producing the King Tiger to other things? What if the US Army, instead of believing that light tanks performing the role of light cavalry was the way to go, correctly discerned that heavier tanks were better, and had produced the M-26 Pershing in late 1943 instead of 1945? The tech levels are abstractions, but they work. They can work better; I'd like to see the effect of certain techs, like rockets/artillery and tanks and anti-aircraft, increased, and I'd like to see strategic warfare improved. If all that's done, then players will really face some significant decisions in their choice of which techs to pursue.
  7. I don't know whether I'd agree that aircraft destroyed "10's of 1000's of tanks"; after all, Germany barely built tens of thousands of tanks (the most numerous model, the PzIV, only had a little over 8,000 produced of all versions during the six years of the war). I don't question that more German tanks were destroyed by aircraft than by Allied tanks on the Western Front, but that probably is more a testament to the woeful capabilities of Allied armor than to the prowess of Allied aircraft. I know what you're saying, and I didn't mean to suggest that aircraft were of marginal significance. Obviously, they played a primary role; it would have been very difficult, if not impossible, for the Western Allies to have achieved the success they did without overwhelming air superiority. I do think, though, that the effectiveness of air power is overstated in this game, and that the effectiveness of armor is substantially understated.
  8. I've read other stuff along those lines, that tank losses attributable to air were substantially inflated. Makes sense: you're flying 300+ mph, trying to hit a target that's around 30 ft long and 10 feet wide, and very well may be moving, too, with weapons that weren't particularly accurate. Air superiority was obviously helpful, but it wasn't nearly as determinative as this game makes it. The Germans had total air superiority on the Eastern Front until well into 1943 -- they virtually destroyed the Russian Air Force, on the ground, in the opening days of Barbarossa -- and it did not stop the Russians from mounting numerous counteroffensives.
  9. That's not what makes the importance of air greater. What makes it greater is that there's not much change in ground unit's value, other than the strength points. Take air, for example. By 1942 or 1943, when everybody's up to L2 or L3 jets, air combat is deadly; it's not uncommon for a unit to lose 6 or 7 strength points in a single combat against other air units. Why? Because those advances have increased the attack and defense values of the air units. An L0 air fleet has air attack and defense values of 3; an L3 air fleet has double that. Which means that a clash of 2 L3 air fleets is going to wind up with each unit inflicting (and taking) double the losses they would at L0. What happens with ground combat, though? Nothing increases the soft attack values in the game: Attacking a corps with an L5 infantry (or a tank, for that matter) results in no more damage than attacking it with L0 infantry. (Except for a slight increase in damage if the L5 unit has its max strength points of 15.) In fact, tank combat v. infantry is really out of whack, since infantry gets the benefit of an advance in TD, while tanks don't get any advance in SA. (This leads to some ridiculous anomalies: an L0 tank attacking an L0 army will suffer a 50% lesser loss than the army, but an L5 tank attacking an L5 corps will suffer a 50% greater loss than the corps.) This has a number of effects. First, ground combat is never any bloodier, and becomes less effective as the war goes on: basic attack and defense values don't change, but infantry units become much harder to destroy because they have more strength points. Because of the limited number of ground units which can attack another in a single turn, air becomes even more important. And, since air units don't increase their ground attack values, either, having even more of them is necessary, because it takes more to get the job done.
  10. Never did get turn 50. Bummer, dude. So, like, send it, you know?
  11. Every now and then, somebody comes in here and tells us something that he thinks we don't know: that this is only a game. Apparently, you've been chosen to fulfill that role this month. Well, sorry to steal your thunder, but we already know. There are also people who feel that there's no sense in trying to make an accurate or realistic simulation. You apparently are one of those; you would be just as happy with the game if it included spaceships and the Germans could go off and colonize Mars if things got a little too sticky down on Earth. That's fine, too; that means that you won't be troubled by anything that's done with the game, as long as it's still fun for you. Rest easy; I'm pretty it will be. Especially if you're high. Hey, what's not fun when you're high? So, why don't you just let us amuse ourselves with this stuff, okay? And take a toke for me.
  12. You bring up an interesting point. The effect on combat is relatively inconsequential. With one army attacking another, and no other variables, each additional strength point of the attacker will result in an additional .13 loss on the defender; each additional strength point of the defender will result in a .067 loss to the attacker. Even at the extremes, it's not going to amount to much. One army attacking another, with the attacker at XP 3 and, with a HQ that has a combat bonus of 2, will inflict 5.1 points of damage on the defender at strength 10; if you boost the attacker all the way up to 15, it will inflict 6 points. So the direct effect on combat is negligible. The logic behind having it increase strength is questionable, too; as you point out, equipping a unit with panzerfausts makes the unit more effective, but it doesn't make it bigger. The biggest effect that increasing strength points has is to keep the unit alive. That's a huge effect, especially considering the common complaint that there are too many units. On the other hand, bigger units are more costly to build, so it's probably a wash. I'm not sure that allowing an increase in strength points beyond 10 makes much sense from a logical standpoint, but I don't think it has any particularly negative effect on the game. In light of some of the other aspects of the game which need attention, I'm not sure this makes the list.
  13. Okay, two things: tanks and corps. Tanks first. I think the problem is you're using a reductionist fallacy -- one tank can't knock out more than a few soldiers, so several tanks can't knock out more than a platoon or so. But applying such a tactical analysis to a strategic situation runs into problems. In this game, a tank group doesn't just represent tanks, it represents the mechanized and motorized divisions that panzergruppes contained. You may not be concerned at seeing a tank or two rolling toward you, but if you saw a company of tanks rolling toward you along with halftracks and armored cars, my guess is that you'd be off to the races. Which, historically, is exactly what happened. You may not believe that tanks could "blow holes" in anything more than a squad, but the German tank groups certainly blew holes in the Polish, French, and Russian (and American, at the Bulge) armies that they opposed. Not without cost, certainly; while German casualties in the blitz of France were minimal, it lost 30% of its tanks. But the tanks were what hammered the opening. In this game, you use infantry to open up the gaps and follow through with your tanks. In reality, the exact opposite occurred. As for your suggestion about tanks affecting readiness, the big problem with that is that it really won't mean much: readiness only affects the losses you inflict, not the losses you receive. And given the present state of the game, in which damages to the defender greatly outweigh damages to the attackers, reducing the defender's readiness is of minimal value: in a standard Eastern front infantry v. corps combat scenario, reducing the defender's readiness by 90% has the effect of reducing the attacker's losses from .23 to -.4, and has no effect on the defender's losses. Tank groups were the most powerful ground unit in the war, by a huge margin. I've read military historians who claim that the panzer division was the greatest single development in warfare since the invention of the bow and arrow. They aren't here; they're no more effective against infantry than other infantry, and actually become less effective than infantry, on the attack at least, as the game progresses. This desperately needs to be addressed. As for corps, I don't think I made my point clear. I understand that special corps units were created in WWII that were superior to general army troops. But corps in the game don't represent those, they represent "half-armies." At the game's outset, you pay half the price for a corps that you would for an army, and get half the value: all of the corps values are exactly one-half of the army's values. What happens after that, though, is that while the price stays the same, the corps values go up at the same rate as the army's values. When I get to L3 anti-tank, my corps has a TD value of 4, while my army has a value of 5. Meaning I can buy two units with a TD of 4 for the same cost as one unit with a TD only 20% higher. That's one of the reasons you see so damned many corps: it's more cost-effective to produce them than armies. One final note on tanks. As a hobby, I build armor models. About 90% of the hobby is devoted to WWII models, and about 90% of that to German tanks. Realism is the Holy Grail of modelers; it's not unusual for a modeler to spend $100 on books (especially those with a lot of pictures) before building a $30 model, just to make sure it comes out historically accurate. One day I was at the hobby shop when an old guy came in. He looked at a model of a King Tiger -- the 60-ton behemoth that the Germans were producing at war's end -- and said, "Boy, that brings back memories." Turned out he was at the Battle of the Bulge, and had seen a King Tiger in combat. We all crowded around, breathless for the opportunity of getting some eyewitness accounts to bolster what we'd gleaned from books and pictures. "What did you see? What did it look like? What kind of camouflage pattern did it have?" And he said, "All I saw was that it was big, and it was coming straight for me, and that's when I decided the next glance I got at that thing would be over my shoulder."
  14. Simple. Increase the terrain bonuses for cities. Right now it's 1 for SD, 2 for TD. I'd give serious thought to boosting it to 4 and 6, respectively. (In fact, the terrain bonuses should all be boosted if the attack and defense values are.) A unit defending in a city will suffer about 2 points less damage against infantry, and more than 2 1/2 less against tanks.
  • Create New...