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Gallagher Balance


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Mr. Sterret in another thread relates that he and a regular opponent have reached the point in their games that the US side always wins in Gallagher battles.

I am interested in people's thoughts on the proper way to balance the scenario. One thought is that a 2:1 "odds" attack, more or less, ought to be something the US side can plain stop, not just delay. (If the US can't stop 2:1 attacks, the line isn't going to hold, delay or not). So what about giving Opfor another 30 or even 60 minutes?

I realize it might extend the game and those the playing time. But especially with the less rapid arrival times, the first hour is more like an approach-to-contact than a battle anyway.

Another possibility, depending on what tactics for the US side you are finding work too well, is to restrict how far forward the US can deploy before Opfor's main force arrives. It is in principle possible to move the majority of the task force to near the east edge, and destroy Opfor elements piecemeal as they arrive. That is unrealistic. I will explain.

The Opfor force would not remain on column-of-march and feed forces forward directly into such a defense. There is nothing magical about the east map edge. They would simply deploy farther back to bring more forces to bear simultaneously, or flank the "blocking position" with one battalion, etc.

So, consider a restriction like - only the "scout" M3s and their teams are allowed to move into the last 3 grid-squares on the east edge. in the first hour say. That gives Opfor room to deploy, and prevents the entry schedule from being some artificial thing, rather than reflecting a real march order / time on road reality.

With the added Opfor tank battalion, the overall "odds" by points is more like 2.5:1. Opfor, given time, ought to be able to "attrite" their way through a defense like that unless the defender plays quite well. Opfor doctrine is 3:1 for attacks - but stopping the extra battalion force with 150 or 180 minutes for Opfor should not be at all easy.

One other idea is to alter the support slightly. Especially if the time is also lengthened, as the % chances of added support increase in their relative value with the length of the scenario. The 5% chances on the US side seem a bit high to me even for a 120 minute scenario - that means an average of 6 extra air-support and 6 ammor resupply events.

8 overall sorties would seem to me to by amply support and not very likely to only battalion. More artillery ammo every 20 minutes seems unlikely to me - every hour is more reasonable, for the US side that is.

So, might try - 2 sorties for US side and 4% air support if 2 hours, 3% if a longer time limit is used. Only 2% ammo resupply. For Opfor, I'd use 2% air support only (2 planned), and 1 or 2% ammo resupply.

Another balance thing to tweak is allowed resupply. You might forbid that for the US side (forward and pressed defense) while allowing it at pre-fixed times for the Opfor side only, in some limited amounts, and perhaps only to be used e.g. for the on-map artillery and mortars. It would represent overstocked ammo for the attack "trucked" forward for planned support fires - say at the 90 minute mark, perhaps.

If that still does not achieve balance for Opfor, then I'd consider "attrition" on the US force, as though it were not perfectly fresh, to bring the point-totals down to 3:1 favor the attacker. That is a different sort of exercise, though, and probably should keep the 120 minute time limit (as a delaying action). Just knock 1 SP off the full-size platoons.

Just some suggestions for reasonably historical balance, *if* you don't get even results from the existing scenario.


Jason Cawley

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Another thought...

We found that US airpower was irrelevant in packages of less than 6 airstrikes. 6 strikes on a given target all at once would get through Opfor's air defences; fewer generally did not.

The thing that really hurt Opfor was the death of a thousand cuts: as the US, we were good at running a series of small delaying ambushes against each other, mostly with Bradleys and artillery. These were strung out across the map, with a final defence near the western edge, where finally everything would be committed to a big fight. That latter fight was usually either a foregone conclusion or not necessary.

Opfor, going very slowly, could get around part of this; but we both balked at extending the scenario more than 30-45 minutes. Attempts to run "momentum" style attacks - slam all of Opfor down one axis, fast & hard, to overwhelm the delay, also met with disaster - the target array was too dense!

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