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Airborne: Don't need it at this scale


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Originally posted by Thantis:

Operation Market Garden - the airborne forces were used as a strategic leap across the rivers in the Netherlands so Montgomery could sneak 21st Army Group into Northern Germany before winter.

Nope, purely operational move. The airborne was used to facilitate an attack by the ground forces.

No more of a *strategic* asset than the specialized river bridging units used by that army to cross those rivers that they didn't grab prior to the Germans blowing them up.

Jeff

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Warning: Ranting Ahead. D-Day and Market-Garden were both corps-size strategic employments of airborne. The German airdrop on the Belgian Eben-Emanual (sp?) fortress in 1940 was a division-size tactical employment, and maybe shouldn't count in SC, but I'd rather see it than not. Why is airborne a strategic asset? You can acheive surprise, seize deep objectives, reduce defender advantages for river-crossings and seaborne invasions, and generally threaten the enemy rear areas when airborne is within range. That potential threat is often just as effective as any actual use, probably more so. That effect is missing in SC. And why is the scale an issue? SuperTed's AAR talks about individual U-boats being rammed in the North Atlantic. What's up with that in a "strategic" game? (Where's U-99?) I've been playing Third Reich for over 25 years now and airborne corps work great in that game, even with abstract seasonal turns. So, do you need airborne to play and win? No, but having it is a plus and a simulation of historical fact. Hubert has indicated he will probably add this feature at some point, perhaps in SC2. When he does, just use your airborne as straight-leg infantry and drive on. I understand airborne capability, I value it, and I want it in any WWII strategy game I play. Hopefully sooner in SC than later. :D

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Airborne forces were never intended to act independently for long (i.e. strategic) periods of time. Each time airborne forces were used in WWII, they were intended to operate in conjuction with ground forces in some form or fashion (in Crete there was a seaborne follow-up force that was thrashed by the Royal Navy before they could land in support of the airborne forces).

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Originally posted by Bill Macon:

...SuperTed's AAR talks about individual U-boats being rammed in the North Atlantic. What's up with that in a "strategic" game?...

Bill,

I should point out that I am taking some liberties for dramatic effect. There is no ramming of other naval units; only a single "roll of the dice" and assessed damage.

Also, the naval units are an abstraction. Despite having names like Scharnhorst or Gneisenau, these units represent more than those individual ships.

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SuperTed, your artistic license is noted and appreciated! Please continue to embelish your AAR's with some color.

I simply note that some abstractions in the game blur the picture for the corps-size argument. I just don't see compelling reasons to exclude airborne when all the other stuff is included. It's like being served prime rib with no steak sauce.

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Originally posted by Bill Macon:

SuperTed, your artistic license is noted and appreciated! Please continue to embelish your AAR's with some color.

I simply note that some abstractions in the game blur the picture for the corps-size argument. I just don't see compelling reasons to exclude airborne when all the other stuff is included. It's like being served prime rib with no steak sauce.

But what else should be included?

WHy airborne, but not bridging engineers? Why airborne but not minwsweepers? Why airborne, but not AT units? WHy airborne but no mountain troops? Why airborne, but no mechanized? Heck, that last one is the real killer. If you want to make an argument for missing something that is critical to the game, talk about mechanized and motorized infantry.

Jeff

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Jeff, I tend to use Third Reich as the benchmark for this scale game and most of the design considerations of that game are applicable to SC. The heavily mechanized components of British and US infantry were reflected as 3-4 infantry compared to standard German 3-3 infantry. Most of the German pzgndr divisions were part of armor corps anyway, and are relected in the armor units. This worked OK. If all infantry units are the same in SC, there's a problem here. I agree some specialized units could be added, like mountain corps or commando units, even Russian artillery corps and German rail artillery, without complicating the game too much. Maybe the editor can allow us to add these ourselves? Other units like engineers and AT were integrated into corps/army units and didn't function independently, so they probably shouldn't be added as separate units at this scale. I really like most of the features of SC - different air/naval types, research, diplomacy, FOW, etc. I've been very specific in criticizing the lack of airborne, which I view as a fundamental unit type for WWII. It offers strategic/operational options for players that were available historically but currently missing in SC. The "effect" is missing, and you can't replace it with some air power abstraction or anything else. We need a basic air transport capability to drop a unit behind enemy lines.

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</font>

  • Airborne - Wish it was there, just for the flavor </font>
  • Mech Infantry - Wish it was there, probably as a research type that the US gets a head start on </font>
  • AT, Engineers, - Naahhh, don't need 'em </font>
Other units that I've seen in other games that would be welcome include:
</font>
  • Russian Cavalry </font>
  • Seperate SS (just different color scheme) </font>
  • Home Gaurd/Militia/Volkstrumm </font>
  • Mountain troops (maybe) </font>

None of these is essential, but they all provide a little flavor and some more production choices. If I had to choose one to include, it would be airborne.

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Originally posted by BloodyBucket:

</font>

  • Airborne - Wish it was there, just for the flavor </font>
  • Mech Infantry - Wish it was there, probably as a research type that the US gets a head start on </font>
  • AT, Engineers, - Naahhh, don't need 'em </font>
Other units that I've seen in other games that would be welcome include:
</font>
  • Russian Cavalry </font>
  • Seperate SS (just different color scheme) </font>
  • Home Gaurd/Militia/Volkstrumm </font>
  • Mountain troops (maybe) </font>

None of these is essential, but they all provide a little flavor and some more production choices. If I had to choose one to include, it would be airborne.

Seperate SS would be interesting, simply because of the huge amount of duplication of resources this private little army incurred - not to mention Goering's own little army, mainly HG Division and the LW field divisions. Operationally, though, weren't they as much a part of the Heer as, say, the Canadians were a part of the British command structure?

That being the case, it probably wouldn't make much sense to have different markers for them or to treat them differently. There were very real differences in order of battle/firepower in SS units, naturally, though the level of training etc. was a mixed bag among SS units - just as it was in the Heer. At the grand strategy level, seperate SS probably makes little sense unfortunately. I agree that I like most games' dramatic portrayal of SS units.

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Originally posted by BloodyBucket:

</font>

  • Airborne - Wish it was there, just for the flavor </font>
  • Mech Infantry - Wish it was there, probably as a research type that the US gets a head start on </font>
  • AT, Engineers, - Naahhh, don't need 'em </font>
Other units that I've seen in other games that would be welcome include:
</font>
  • Russian Cavalry </font>
  • Seperate SS (just different color scheme) </font>
  • Home Gaurd/Militia/Volkstrumm </font>
  • Mountain troops (maybe) </font>

None of these is essential, but they all provide a little flavor and some more production choices. If I had to choose one to include, it would be airborne.

</font>
  • Airborne - the key would be to allow only a limited amount of such units (maybe in relation to the rest of the army or the total # of cities) </font>
  • Mech Infantry - extremely easy: just another corps type, more expensive, and with an additional action point </font>
  • Engineers - would be cool to be able to fortify regions. Like airborne, the legit amount has to be limited </font>
  • Russian Cavalry- I don´t think so... </font>
  • Seperate SS (different color scheme), has my support, but there should be limits to how many, and they should maybe have some different features than "normal" armies. </font>
  • Home Gaurd/Militia/Volksturm. Hmm, cheap militia should become available to the Germans only under certain conditions paramount to near defeat.</font>
  • Mountain troops - yes, maybe. I´d like to see Finnish skiing troops, too, but there´s a real problem as we do not have appropriate winter conditions.</font>

Straha

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I'd have to agree with the majority here.

Airborne would add that extra element of risk and therefore excitement. However, to keep it from becoming mostly a recon unit, I would imagine there should be limitations, like maximum number per country, and it cannot be reconstructed if eliminated on enemy soil.

Of all the others, I too would like to see mechanized, and Straha's analysis seems accurate. A little more movement, and a little more punch. But, it has to be expensive enough, otherwise -- why buy the regular Army?

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Jeff-

Actually, I tend to agree with you on historical employment of airborne, and I see why you could easily leave them out. I also think airborne could be in SC without destroying the game.

I just think it would add more variety, "What if", and give a historical feel to SC. Same with all the other types.

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Originally posted by BloodyBucket:

Jeff-

Actually, I tend to agree with you on historical employment of airborne, and I see why you could easily leave them out. I also think airborne could be in SC without destroying the game.

I just think it would add more variety, "What if", and give a historical feel to SC. Same with all the other types.

Oh, absolutely. Having airborne does not detract from the game, it just doens't really add much beyond "flavor".

Of course, flavor is very important. I am just trying to refute the idea that airborne was some kind of especially decisive or important element of WW2 warfare; it was not. It's use was strictly tactical in scope.

personally I would *much* rather see things like mechanized and motorized distinctions.

Jeff

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For mental health reasons, this old airborne/ranger shall restrict any additional comments on this subject. smile.gif Hubert can add stuff to SC if he wants to, or leave it out. Whether the game ends up as a fun beer&pretzles abstraction (like Axis and Allies) or a serious simulation of WWII (like WiF) is yet to be determined. There's clearly two different crowds looking for satisfaction here. Hubert's challenge will be to find the right balance, and he'll have some stiff competition with Hearts of Iron on the radar screen. Perhaps future enhancements will provide options for additional historical details not required for basic game play. Whatever.

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Originally posted by Bill Macon:

For mental health reasons, this old airborne/ranger shall restrict any additional comments on this subject. smile.gif Hubert can add stuff to SC if he wants to, or leave it out. Whether the game ends up as a fun beer&pretzles abstraction (like Axis and Allies) or a serious simulation of WWII (like WiF) is yet to be determined. There's clearly two different crowds looking for satisfaction here. Hubert's challenge will be to find the right balance, and he'll have some stiff competition with Hearts of Iron on the radar screen. Perhaps future enhancements will provide options for additional historical details not required for basic game play. Whatever.

Bill, have you played TOAW?

Jeff

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Lets just all compromise and say Airborne and Mech Inf would be a cool addition in a patch.

Anything that adds options and depth to the game can only be a plus!

I'm all for airborne in the game, but I also have never really played on this type of grand strategy level in a modern wargame, so I'm not qualified to argue HOW effective or useful they would be. I know I prefer simulation to "beer and pretzel"... but I also don't have time to worry about knitting my troops undies for the winter war. tongue.gif

Bill, you up for a PBEM once the DEMO arrives?

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Yes, I've got TOAW WOTY edition. There's a lot of excellent detail there. The PO and events engine are powerful tools, but not the same as a good, fully functional AI. I know there are some WWII strategic game scenarios for TOAW, but not the same as what SC and HOI propose to do. The SC corps-scale is preferable for playing a campaign game within a week or a weekend. HOI will have greater resolution at the division-scale and will probably be an excellent game, but you'll have to be a dedicated hermit to finish a campaign game within a month.

Ever since Third Reich PC was released in 1994, with its disappointing AI and other code limitations, I've been waiting for a worthy successor to come along. I also tried Clash of Steel, but wasn't impressed. Despite 3R's truly abstract attrition and exploitation rules, it plays remarkably well. The map is excellent, the units are adequate, and the economic model is good.

SC could easily pick up where 3R left off. The turn scale permits greater resolution for Poland, France and other short campaigns. The additional air and naval units and HQs provide more game play options and a more realistic feel. And the research and diplomacy (similar to A3R) will be great additions. It's just frustrating that the SC map looks plain, the units too basic, and the whole economic model and seasonal turns abstraction being difficult to appreciate. That's just an initial impression. It may "play" well as a game, but so do many other games which collect dust. I think SC is a good start with potential for becoming a great WWII simulation. Hubert needs to keep pushing to make it so.

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In "War In Europe" the AA Divisions were usually used as modifiers to increase the CRT of the attacking force or to take a poorly defended port.

But on their own they were quite usuless except as your standard division.

Perhaps SC could take into this account so you could drop AA with an attack as a +1-2 modifier in favor of the attackers.

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  • 8 months later...
Originally posted by Bill Macon:

Ever since Third Reich PC was released in 1994, with its disappointing AI and other code limitations, I've been waiting for a worthy successor to come along. I also tried Clash of Steel, but wasn't impressed. Despite 3R's truly abstract attrition and exploitation rules, it plays remarkably well. The map is excellent, the units are adequate, and the economic model is good.

SC could easily pick up where 3R left off. The turn scale permits greater resolution for Poland, France and other short campaigns. The additional air and naval units and HQs provide more game play options and a more realistic feel. And the research and diplomacy (similar to A3R) will be great additions. It's just frustrating that the SC map looks plain, the units too basic, and the whole economic model and seasonal turns abstraction being difficult to appreciate.

I totally agree. 3R, besides having bad AI, plays very very well - the map is very nice, and although combat is very basic (defender eliminated almost always at 2-1 or better), the use of defense air (breaking up of air units) is very useful. SC seems to me as a (sucessful) combination of 3R and PG/AG. Just some minor tweaks to make this a truly great game.

BTW what is A3R that you mentioned?

[ January 08, 2003, 07:28 AM: Message edited by: cruzzer ]

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Hark! A visit from the ghost of forums past. Isn't there a statute of limitations on things we say here?? :eek:

A3R means Advanced Third Reich, which was released back in 1992. Same game but with improvements. A3R went on to spawn Rising Sun for the Pacific Theater and then Global War to merge the two. The rules seemed to grow exponentially with all the changes and I grew increasingly frustrated with them. It's a good game system; I just don't have the patience for it any more. And that's worth keeping in perspective as we ponder additional complexity for SC as it evolves.

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I believe that the Japanese used para to take out the oil fields on NBorneo (balipakken) (NEI} and then went on to take out the oil on sumutra. I think this was in conjunctiobn w other marine divs ..!! which landed but considering the distance and logistics then this i would call Strategic. Ill check it out forthwith. tongue.gif

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Originally posted by Bill Macon:

We need a basic air transport capability to drop a unit behind enemy lines.

I have a problem with Air transoprt Dropping a "Unit" That cuts off supply to my Army. A Division can capture behind the lines objectives and hold them for a period of time until relief arrives but cannot disrupt supply. And any unit added into this current game design would do just that. Game balance would disappear with one fell swoop.

As for SC2 Well I'm sure it's being thought about.

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