Jump to content

Ideas for SC3 - Size does matter!


Recommended Posts

I would like to know where it will now be most appropriate to post ideas related to SC3. For the time being I will post the following issue here as it relates to AOD but I would like to see it resolved in SC3.

I would like to have a discussion about issues connected with having a number of unit types with similar characteristics except for relative size.

In AOD we now have Divisions, Corps and Armies. My understanding of the conflict resolution mechanism in the Strategic Command series is that the damage caused by attackers and defenders is calculated largely by using the attackers characteristics for damage to the defender and the defenders' characteristics for damage to the attacker but based in each case on the opposing unit's type. Thus if an attacker is "soft" the routines will look at the defender's rating for soft defence modify that by strength, readiness, morale etc and calculate damage caused. Let us say that for example the damage caused is 1. Now this will be the same whether the attacker was a division, a corps or an army. Clearly there is something wrong with this if one assumes that a corps is something bigger than a division and an army is bigger than both.

I am currently experimenting with ways to handle a division unit actually representing 2 real divs, a corps unit =4 real divs and an army = 8 real divs or 2 real corps. Plainly applying damage of 1 to an army is pretty near the destruction of a whole "real" division whilst if the actual attacker was a division unit then damage of 1 would effectively be .2 of a real division!

I am currently addressing this in 2 ways but neither is entirely satisfactory. First I am making repair costs relatively cheaper for larger units. Thus if a corps represents 2 division units then I will make the % to repair the larger unit half that of the smaller one e.g. one might be 8% and the other 4%. This sort of fixes the problem but after the event and does not recognise that the large unit concerned might have been completely destroyed with various tactical consequences. The second approach is to introduce the concept of damage evasion which SC includes as an option for all unit types. In this case the approach can be based on the idea of giving the larger unit twice as much evasion as the smaller unit and over time this will reflect the capability of the larger unit to withstand more damage than the smaller. The difficulty with this evasion based approach is that it has to apply to all land or all sea related combat. Where land includes land based air. This means that I have to evaluate a quite complex set of interactions that adjusts the impact of evasion versus a whole range of potential attacking units.

In practice I am currently experimenting with an AOD based scenario which uses a combination of cheaper reinforcement costs for "larger" units and some level of evasion which starts at zero for divisions and works up to around 40% for army sized units.

There seem to be some benefits to this approach because it does depress the overall level of casualties and it gives another characteristic to distinguish Special or Elite Forces. I treat SF as equivalent in size to my division units but I give them a degree of evasion which represents quite well the ability of elite units to dish out more damage than they take.

However, at the end of the day my two solutions do look somewhat artificial and, since evasion values are not visible to players, somewhat opaque. I would hope that in SC3 if we are to have different sized units this might somehow be recognised in their strength calculations. Thus in determining damage caused or losses taken an army might be recognised as being worth 2 times corps. There is another problem in wargaming when a "large" unit is allowed unrealistically to concentrate all its potential force along one axis but I will leave that discussion to another post and give some of you an opportunity to comment on the problems of relative unit size first.

Regards

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Al

I am really using the idea of a division as a broad brush example rather than arguing that a division was the same size in all its various national manifestations. I guess you will not disagree with me that for any country an army would be several tyimes the size of a division therefore the damage calculated for armies and for divisions should somehow be different when they fight the same opponent.

Regards

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you thought about the density of men and equipment of a division vs army, Mike? Seems to me with a larger concentration of material there would be a greater possibilty of damage, more casualties with an army deployment, whereas a division would be better able to disperse throughout a tile since it has a smaller "footprint".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure what the reply meant but let me detail what I said more.

A Russian division after 1941 was ~10k men - They fought in armies

A German division was ~15k men - they fought in corps

A USA division ~18k men - they found in corps

A Japanese reinforced division ~20k men - they fought in armies

So you can't equate a Russian division to a USA one. The USA one is far stronger as is a German or Japanese.

The Italians were the same way. I think they had a handful of divisions that were up to European standard. The rest were incomplete or colonial. So you have to fudge it combine groups by the # of raw men.

like 5 Russian divisions = 1 army = 1 corp of Germans -> 3 divisions

Anyways that's how I did it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Big Al

I will use your example and assume that for the Russians your Division unit = 1 real division and your army unit = 5 real divisions.

Let us assume that either of these attacks a German division unit and that both the Russian army and division have similar values for morale, readiness, entrenchment etc. My understanding is that the SC routines will calculate the damage caused to the Russian units by the defensive action of the German division in precisely the same way taking no account of the fact that one attacking unit was an army and the other a division as they are both "soft". So let us assume that the damage caused was evaluated at the loss of 1 strength point. In the case of your army unit this would correlate to the loss of 50% of a division (i.e. 10% of the five divisions that make up the army) whereas for the russian division unit the damage is equivalent to 10% of its strength i.e. 10% of 1 division.

I do not agree with SeaMonkey's suggestion that a larger attacking unit should be expected to receive more casualties (and certainly not 5 times more) indeed the opposite should be true as the extra resources in the army should help to suppress the enemy force more rapidly.

I have based my argument on the paper describing the science of sc which is amongst the extras issued with Gold. It is possible that the combat routines are no longer the same but I have not seen anything which says that is the case.

Regards

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mike, aren't you assuming that the larger attacking force has accurately assessed and located all the defending sources assets?

And I'm not saying the attackers "should" take more casualties, just that there is a chance, and a very real chance according to history.

Do a little experiment, take a definite area and deploy a number of upright devices in that area and in the same size area deploy five times as much.

Now, take a big ball and roll it though the small deployment and then take a small ball and roll it through the large deployment, which area sustains more toppled devices?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi SeaMonkey

I suggest a different experiment - set up 10 people throwing tennis balls at two people who can also throw at the 10 people. The rule is that if any person is hit twice they are out of action. How likely is it that the 2 people will be hit twice and both out of action before they succeed in getting any 2 hits let alone 2 on the same person.

Clearly a larger force has more troops looking for the enemy so I would reckon they have a better chance of finding where they are - the two forces are meant to be qualitatively equivalent.

Regards

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The SC combat system is very different and I understand your points. I get it that a div has the same amount of strength as an corp. Its just how their game mechanics go and it feels different than it should be. One would think the comparisons would be like this

Division 3 strength - attack 4, defense 4 = effective combat value 3x4 = 12

Corp 9 strength (3 divisions) - attack 4, defense 4 = effective combat value 9x4=36

SC doesn't look like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Big Al

Actually the attack strength is different between a division and a corps so I do not use that as an example as the problem is not so obvious although the effect is still there. The problem in the attack case is that the attacker does the same damage to the unit being attacked regardless of what it is other than it being soft. Thus if it is calculated as doing damage "1" then if the attacked unit was a division the repair cost might be, say, 10 but if it was an army then the repair cost might be some multiple of that.

The issue in the other case is that the damage done to an attacking unit by a defender is calculated based on the CTV of the defender without reference to what the attacker unit was other than its type. Thus when you have many different units all conforming to the same type i.e. "soft" then they would all have their damage calculated using the same algorithm irrespective of the fact that one of them might effectively be 5 times the size of the other and therefore the cost to repair is likely to be 5 times greater.

A number of other factors come into play in calculating damage such as entrenchment, experience etc so this anomaly is not obvious but if the documentation is correct then it does happen and as you introduce more unit types such as divisions in AOD the anomaly gets worse.

Regards

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

imho thoughts reqarding Divisionas and different Unit types in diferent nations:

Isn't it the most simple approach to compare the quantity of man?

let's say in SC2-3 a Corps has 30K man and an Army 60K.

how much Divisions is this in Russian Units? 2,5? and in US Units 3,9 Divisions?

If a possible SC3 has Manpower as "resource" wouldn't it be more logic to leave the final and total amount of man in the Unit as base and not how much divisions or whatever sub-fractions are "inside" this unit?

One could say ok, recruiting man in URSS is easier than in USA, but this could be solved with a factor.

i think the simplest strategic approach keeps beeing the total amount of men regardless subfrations. Must admit that it is a little more difficlut to give a correpondent Name to the Unit if in fact it would be the equivalent of i.e. 2,76 divisions, but this is in my eyes the only handycap.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi PowerrGmbH

I personally do not have any problem conceptually with units such as divisions having a different meaning with respect to manpower size in each country as I like to be able to use real unit names. Thus a division could be 10k men for the Russians and 20k men for the Americans but if you did this you would need a mechanism for the combat routines to determine how much loss each of the divisions should take when they are attacked. This could be by the game understanding how many fighting men were included in each unit. The combat target value for a US division could be twice that for a Russian division and that determines how much damage it causes when it attacks but you have to have a mechanism to determine how much damage it receives in the combat. The defensive ctv only dictates how much damage it gives to whatever attacked it, it does not, as I understand it, influence how much damage it receives itself. My understanding is that the damage calculation gives an absolute number to be subtracted from the strength and other factors to be taken from the morale etc. There needs to be an additional mechanism that distinguishes a Russian Division from a US one so that the Russian division takes relatively more damage because it was fundamentally a smaller unit - this could be an underlying manpower count.

It is a more obvious example if you think about a division being attacked either by an army or by another division - my understanding is that the SC routines would not distinguish between the attacking division and the attacking army and would say that the same defensive damage in terms of absolute strength loss was caused to each of them by the defending division.

Regards

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...