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Is assaulting Bunkers too hard ?
12-29-2015, 02:59 AM,
#11
RE: Is assaulting Bunkers too hard ?
Not owning the game, here are a few questions regarding scale:

What is represented by a bunker hex in PzB Normandy? 1 bunker, 2 bunkers, indeterminate abstract representation of bunkers, or perhaps, bunker-esque terrain?

How much time is represented by a turn? (I know, this I could look up.)

Is there a "surrender" feature? I.e., a representation that the defenders simply throw up their hands and appeal to the mercy of "Lt Speirs." [personal opinion - - - this always seems to be a weakness of JTS combat results system].
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12-29-2015, 03:09 AM, (This post was last modified: 12-29-2015, 03:40 AM by wiggum.)
#12
RE: Is assaulting Bunkers too hard ?
One hex is basically 250m x 250m so a "bunker" hex (actually we are talking about Pillboxes) represents more then one small Pillbox/Bunker or one large one + some trenches with more firing positions.

One turn is 30min

There is no surrender feature its basically abstracted into the losses units suffer while assaulted. See the "Finishing Off" rule.


Quote:WN60 was the most easterly of the resistance nests guarding OMAHA Beach. It overlooked Fox Sector and the beach exit Fox-1 Draw. It was manned by 40 German soldiers. On D-Day, June 6th 1944,  elements of U.S. 1st Infantry Division landed opposite WN60. The Resistance Nest had one 75mm gun, one French tank turret mounted on a concrete bunker, an Anti-Aircraft position and four mortars. An observation point on the cliffs gave the Germans an excellent view of the beach.

The men of L/116th managed to reach the top of the bluff some time before nine 'o clock and attack WN60 from the rear. Throwing grenades and satchel charges they blasted the Germans out and were able to report the taking of this German position around 09.00.

Bunkers and Pillboxes are great as long as the enemy was a few hundred meters away but once the enemy is on top or behind you you are mostly done for. For most of the WW2 soldiers fighting to the last men and dying in a Bunker when already surrounded was no option so they tried to surrender or flee.

So maybe add a facing to bunker hexes and remove the defensive bonus if attacked from the sides or from behind ?
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12-29-2015, 05:02 AM,
#13
RE: Is assaulting Bunkers too hard ?
Bunkers and pillbox hexes are an abstraction of in this case probably platoon-sized strongpoints in a hex. They're a one size fits all category, so the bunkers overlooking the beaches are the same as log bunkers inland.

The bunkers overlooking the beaches had an excellent view of the beach but were vulnerable from the rear, like most bunkers, but they were protected by a trench system. As long as the trench system could be held, the occupants of the bunker were fairly safe. As the trench system is in the same hex, it's difficult to represent a bunker being overrun by infantry with grenades, satchel charges or flamethrowers, as the trench system and the bunker are in the same hex. Supporting bunkers further back might also be in the same hex.

Adding a facing might be problematic as you'd need to determine the direction the attack is coming from for each bunker, and it wouldn't be possible if the bunkers were player-created, unless a pop-up screen would appear to select facing when the engineers have created a bunker.

With such a fluid battlefield, determining what "behind" is will be difficult, unless it's a rule like "defenders face penalties when attacked from a different direction than the one they are first attacked from during a turn".
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12-29-2015, 06:08 AM, (This post was last modified: 12-29-2015, 06:13 AM by wiggum.)
#14
RE: Is assaulting Bunkers too hard ?
Hi ComradeP !

I think you are right, adding a facing would be problematic.
But still i feel the devs need to put some more work into the balancing of such engagements, especially the thing with small units (below 10) fighting off assaults by nearly 200 attackers.
The thing with rarely if ever breaking a enemy unit even when they already suffered horrendous losses.
As i said in post #10 maybe the "Finishing Off" is the solution to the problem and just needs some tweaking to make it more likely such small defender units "vanish" (surrender) if assaulted by much larger forces or at least get broken status.
Do you agree with what i wrote in post #10 or did i get something wrong (i guess you know the system much better then me).
Whats your opinion on that ?
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12-29-2015, 07:57 AM, (This post was last modified: 12-29-2015, 07:58 AM by Gregor.)
#15
RE: Is assaulting Bunkers too hard ?
I don't feel that there is a major problem with too strong bunker lines. I in fact feel the attackers sometimes have a too easy time and gets ahead of schedule.

The scale of the game need some abstraction and even if it reports 8 defenders I think of it more as a representation of 8 personnel in full combat capacity most of the rest are only taken out for time being. As long as some defenders are undisrupted an attacker will have a hard time, but there are usually a lot of options available to take them out.

That said there could be many ways to represent prepared defenses other than the ones selected in this title. If assaults were easier then the defenders had to be strengthened severely to hinder much too fast breakthroughs. To me it seems like the defenders usually had to be severely suppressed/ disrupted prior to any assaults  on a fortified area and I feel that is represented well in the system and feel that real world tactic usually result in close to real world results. The feel of desperation to take out bunkers is real, but with the correct AT weapons they are usually taken out in a timey manner. Its more to get a grip on the right approach.
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12-29-2015, 09:08 AM, (This post was last modified: 12-29-2015, 09:44 AM by wiggum.)
#16
RE: Is assaulting Bunkers too hard ?
(12-29-2015, 07:57 AM)Gregor Wrote: I don't feel that there is a major problem with too strong bunker lines. I in fact feel the attackers sometimes have a too easy time and gets ahead of schedule.

That might be the case but clearly not because strongpoints get overrun to fast. Its more likely the AI not mounting a clever defense or a too static one. As all my test have show, fortifications with only small units inside last unrealistic long against assaults undertaken by overwhelming forces (10 against 180). This issue has already been discussed with the Kursk game and i feel its still there and needs a better balancing.

(12-29-2015, 07:57 AM)Gregor Wrote: The scale of the game need some abstraction and even if it reports 8 defenders I think of it more as a representation of 8 personnel in full combat capacity most of the rest are only taken out for time being. As long as some defenders are undisrupted an attacker will have a hard time, but there are usually a lot of options available to take them out.

A 40 men unit that has been reduced (KIA, WIA (even lightly wounded), MIA) to only 8 combat ready men (which, given the hex size maybe not even have contact with each other) and surrounded is no longer a combat effective unit and would in reality most likely surrender or panic (route if possible).
Remember, each WIA takes manpower away from the combat action and if you see your comrades dead and wounded that has an psychological effect on the remaining soldiers. There are numerous cases were platoons bogged down after only taking 2 or 3 KIA.

The great thing about a game like PzB with so much abstraction is that it can and should produce realistic results because it does not need to show you what happened to each soldier and tank.
At DDay, whole WN's (Wiederstandsnester -> Fortification hexes) surrendered with 21 men left (out of 40 or 50). In most WW2 combat nobody fought to the death. Units usually fought as long as they could keep a sufficient amount of cohesion and had contact to other units and their superiors. A surrounded fortification hex with only 8 combat ready soldiers (Moral "D") left that gets attacked by 180 combat engineers should in majority be taken by the attackers and not (in majority) fight of the assaults or at least the defenders should become broken (if they were disrupted before) and disrupted (if they had no status before).

I dont say the game is completely off, dont get me wrong. I just say it needs a bit better balancing in these kind of situations to produce more realistic and believable results.
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12-29-2015, 09:48 AM,
#17
RE: Is assaulting Bunkers too hard ?
Quote:That might be the case but clearly not because strongpoints get overrun to fast. Its more likely the AI not mounting a clever defense or a too static one. As all my test have show, fortifications with only small units inside last unrealistic long against assaults undertaken by overwhelming forces (10 against 180). This issue has already been discussed with the Kursk game and i feel its still there and needs a better balancing.
I have to disagree here. A competent attacker seems to have a faster progress in the game both in Normandy and Kursk than in RL if playing a competent defender more often than the opposite. Especially is that seems true for the "bunker" scenarios, except possibly where severe lack of AT weapons making it difficult.
My view on this is more that you wouldn't be able to get all those 180 engineers into position in an attack against a fortified area against non disrupted/suppressed enemy. As the defenses are represented by fortified hexes and not my solid lines this is working as intended and as long as the bunkers are not disrupted they will hold the enemy of.
Quote:At DDay, whole WN's (Wiederstandsnester -> Fortification hexes) surrendered with 21 men left (out of 40 or 50). In most WW2 combat nobody fought to the death. Units usually fought as long as they could keep a sufficient amount of cohesion and had contact to other units and their superiors. A surrounded fortification hex with only 8 combat ready soldiers left that gets attacked by 180 combat engineers should in majority be taken by the attackers and not (in majority) fight of the assaults.

I do agree that they usually didn't fight to death, at least the Osttruppen, but I suspect most of those 21 men in this case would be represented in game as casualties, and in addition the unit disrupted. But again, that abstraction works for me and I don't feel the advance is too slow in the beach scenarios, but I do understand that you and some others feel it differently.

Would be fun to see other approaches to those scenarios. One approach could be a solid line or impassable terrain between the bunkers alongside bunkers with static troops with a facing. But I suspect both those approaches would result in other problems occurring...
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12-29-2015, 09:59 AM, (This post was last modified: 12-29-2015, 10:01 AM by wiggum.)
#18
RE: Is assaulting Bunkers too hard ?
(12-29-2015, 09:48 AM)Gregor Wrote: I have to disagree here. A competent attacker seems to have a faster progress in the game both in Normandy and Kursk than in RL if playing a competent defender more often than the opposite. Especially is that seems true for the "bunker" scenarios, except possibly where severe lack of AT weapons making it difficult.
My view on this is more that you wouldn't be able to get all those 180 engineers into position in an attack against a fortified area against non disrupted/suppressed enemy. As the defenses are represented by fortified hexes and not my solid lines this is working as intended and as long as the bunkers are not disrupted they will hold the enemy of.

I agree that the hard part should be to get close to the bunkers, not taking them after you have surrounded them.

Currently ingame its the opposite. Its relatively easy to get close (adjacent hex) or behind the bunker but the assault, even with overwhelming forces against the 10 remaining defenders is a bit too hard (20 tries (reload) and fails every time). Mostly because a failed assault rarely results in the remaining defenders becoming Disrupted/Broken (which never seems to happen) or the "Finishing Off" rule does not apply (which would help in such situations).
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12-29-2015, 04:09 PM,
#19
RE: Is assaulting Bunkers too hard ?
I posted a new thread to demonstrate the Getting Started Utah Beach scenario bunker busting techniques I think work well enough.

Notice I make the majority of my assaults with full assembled companies plus an additional two combined platoons of another company where I can to achieve as close to 200 men in the assault as possible when first attempting to wear down a bunker position.  Multiple assaults in a single turn are required to move along quickly.  This can be a challange as one wants to not block the LOS of your supporting ATG and tanks by having more than 100 men in the hex those support units need to fire through.
In most cases I try to place the support two hexes from the target bunker.  In some cases, like when the defending ATG are disrupted, moving the tanks in next to the bunker gives the tanks extra punch for a small amount of increased risk of lost tanks.

You can download my game files and turn movies  here:
02 Getting Started Utah Beach

Dog Soldier
Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.
- Wyatt Earp
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12-29-2015, 08:08 PM,
#20
RE: Is assaulting Bunkers too hard ?
Clearly you can do it that way.

But the question remains, should defenders below 10 men always be able to fight off a assault by 180 men ?
Is there something wrong with the broken status ? Should defenders that were already broken and took additional casualties during a assault become broken ?
Is it a good idea to give bunker hexes their own suppply source which prevents them from becoming isolated ?
Is the "Finishing Off" rule working correct and should it maybe get expanded a bit ?
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