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NEW: Prokhorovka 5: The Historical Battle
11-27-2017, 03:51 AM, (This post was last modified: 11-27-2017, 03:59 AM by Battle Kat. Edit Reason: typos )
#41
RE: NEW: Prokhorovka 5: The Historical Battle
Thanks Cole, now that's a thorough feedback if I've ever seen one  Salute 

Appreciated especially as this is a monster of a game, not that easy to play through...

Let my try to comment on your observations.

1. I have to ask Alan about their stance at that moment of that day. Alan's done research on Prokhorovka for years, I am sure he's considered it from various views. He explains their group composition and strengths in detail in design notes, but I am not sure he made any comments as how prepared they were for the coming German onslaught. Both had been in combat just before, I note. I'll get back to you.

2. Artillery, when modeling true OOBs, especially in larger scenarios... I agree VE's approach and how he's modeled big scenarios makes them infinitely more playable, but I concur in this being a weakness in game engine. It is perhaps something the original designers took straight out from boardgames, but how it was done doesn't represent this scale well, if much at all. I could write a long post about that issue alone, but I'll save it for later. Suffice it to say this is an area that needs some careful consideration, where the goal is to have true historical Artillery OOBs in the map, and performing historically. This would include their HQs in that losing a Battalion HQ at the moment for instance does not punish them at all. The other aspect are the organizational boundaries that could be modeled better, as now any resource on map is at anyone's (short) availability. (Most of that would fall under optional rules, existing and new, likely)

Other aspect is the Soviet armor. It defies the belief the amount of tanks they managed to lose year after year in Eastern Front... It makes no sense looking at T-34 characteristics for instance. Good thing we now have Adaptive AI so perhaps we can do something to simulate this better in EF III. (Adaptive AI is optional, peeps). 

But yes, this has a making of a true classic. Alan's done some great work with CSME 2.0 where he took the original Chinese Farm scenario (Crossing of Suez by Israelis, the original name for which the battle is known is somewhat belittling), and broke that into 8 separate battles. I'd really like to see that happening here as well, in that we would have this monster, but we would have bits and pieces from around the scope put into other scenarios. 

3. Playing monsters. Yes, good points. How to do away with replay animations, but receive the information in some format, like a full Damage Dialog instead of the snippet that is currently provided? Options to skipping various replay and begin-of-turn animations. These might not be easy to code, and would benefit the largest of scenarios only, but we can dream... 

4. Totenkopf at Prokhorovka. Looking at this map, and this battle as a whole, it does not make any sense does it? But then again, Kursk salient as a whole did not make much sense I guess. It must have been the German sense of superiority when fighting in summer conditions? They did after all destroy everything they initially faced, both in 41 and 42.

5. Victory Levels. Always the hardest, only playtesting will tell. Thanks again, keep us with the latest on your games! 

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11-27-2017, 06:07 AM, (This post was last modified: 11-27-2017, 06:16 AM by zap.)
#42
RE: NEW: Prokhorovka 5: The Historical Battle
4. I have to agree In reply to Coles observations. What were the Germans thinking? I'm his opponent. In planning the German side I looked at the north and the 100 point VP hex.. That attack involved a river crossing with bridges. That looked too costly. But as Cole noted the Germans didn't know what was waiting for them in the East. 

I just withdrew all my bridge units and boats. And not attack North but just fired at what I could see hoping to cause casualties and build points.  South and East I decided to unload artillery as far as it could reach. Took all armor available to do a search and destroy mission to the south. I did destroy many Russian tanks that way but at a cost. We are on turn 30 I'm left with maybe twenty tanks in all. Its simply retreating the Germans (quickly) there is no resistance capabilities. However, as Cole noted the Russians now have a point problem.

If the German player follows the historical plan of attack (its a loss for sure). Just for gaming purposes, This scenario from the German perspective to win or draw (attacking historically as the Germans did or another plan) they must hit and gain points early on and then retreat (I mean completely form the battlefield).
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11-27-2017, 06:37 AM,
#43
RE: NEW: Prokhorovka 5: The Historical Battle
(11-27-2017, 06:07 AM)zap Wrote: 4. I have to agree In reply to Coles observations. What were the Germans thinking? I'm his opponent. In planning the German side I looked at the north and the 100 point VP hex.. That attack involved a river crossing with bridges. That looked too costly. But as Cole noted the Germans didn't know what was waiting for them in the East. 

I just withdrew all my bridge units and boats. And not attack North but just fired at what I could see hoping to cause casualties and build points.  South and East I decided to unload artillery as far as it could reach. Took all armor available to do a search and destroy mission to the south. I did destroy many Russian tanks that way but at a cost. We are on turn 30 I'm left with maybe twenty tanks in all. Its simply retreating the Germans (quickly) there is no resistance capabilities. However, as  Cole noted the Russians now have a point problem.

If the German player follows the historical plan of attack (its a loss for sure). Just for gaming purposes, This scenario from the German perspective to win or draw (attacking historically as the Germans did or another plan) they must hit and gain points early on and then retreat (I mean completely form the battlefield).

Thanks for reporting, Zap Helmet Smile   

In this version, the Soviets are released in a more piecemeal fashion, which should allow for better manoeuvring to meet each threat. Locking shields with the German Divisions seems a good strategy at the same time. 

When I played Prokhorovka I kept a tally of tank losses for both sides, and this seems an area where the engine could use the help from Adaptive AI for instance to allow a more historical kill/loss ratio, as I was wondering aloud in my reply to Cole. 

As for retreating off map, maybe there could be an option in future in Scenario Editor where designer can allow/disallow exiting map by a say Header tick box?  Helmet Wink
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11-27-2017, 06:55 AM,
#44
RE: NEW: Prokhorovka 5: The Historical Battle
(11-27-2017, 06:37 AM)Battle Kat Wrote:
(11-27-2017, 06:07 AM)zap Wrote: 4. I have to agree In reply to Coles observations. What were the Germans thinking? I'm his opponent. In planning the German side I looked at the north and the 100 point VP hex.. That attack involved a river crossing with bridges. That looked too costly. But as Cole noted the Germans didn't know what was waiting for them in the East. 

I just withdrew all my bridge units and boats. And not attack North but just fired at what I could see hoping to cause casualties and build points.  South and East I decided to unload artillery as far as it could reach. Took all armor available to do a search and destroy mission to the south. I did destroy many Russian tanks that way but at a cost. We are on turn 30 I'm left with maybe twenty tanks in all. Its simply retreating the Germans (quickly) there is no resistance capabilities. However, as  Cole noted the Russians now have a point problem.

If the German player follows the historical plan of attack (its a loss for sure). Just for gaming purposes, This scenario from the German perspective to win or draw (attacking historically as the Germans did or another plan) they must hit and gain points early on and then retreat (I mean completely form the battlefield).

Thanks for reporting, Zap Helmet Smile   

In this version, the Soviets are released in a more piecemeal fashion, which should allow for better manoeuvring to meet each threat. Locking shields with the German Divisions seems a good strategy at the same time. 

When I played Prokhorovka I kept a tally of tank losses for both sides, and this seems an area where the engine could use the help from Adaptive AI for instance to allow a more historical kill/loss ratio, as I was wondering aloud in my reply to Cole. 

As for retreating off map, maybe there could be an option in future in Scenario Editor where designer can allow/disallow exiting map by a say Header tick box?  Helmet Wink





In our present game I don't think I have to retreat my troops off map the point count is high for the Russians and presently they are -1000. I believe the resistance the germans put up as we are pushed back will be enough to keep the point count in the German favor.

Historically the Germans did withdraw from the field , right? I mean they just didn't fight over the last city and allow their group to be totally destroyed to the last man or did they?
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11-27-2017, 07:18 AM,
#45
RE: NEW: Prokhorovka 5: The Historical Battle
Yes, at the end they left, just not on this date. I made the comment more in a manner of thinking out loud that off-map thing might be something that scenario designers at times might want to code into the game.

Please post as you play on, this is such a monster of a scenario, in length too, so many turns.  Salute
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11-30-2017, 02:56 AM,
#46
RE: NEW: Prokhorovka 5: The Historical Battle
(09-19-2017, 11:35 AM)zap Wrote:
(09-19-2017, 07:38 AM)Cole Wrote: I'm up to play this one.

I have fond memories of Earlmann's Kursk scenarios so I'm interested in this one.

Updated to say that I have just finished reading the .pdfs.  Kudos to Alan on creating this scenario.

By the nature of the game in both terms of the scale, number of turns, and most Russian forces fixed for the first quarter of the game I doubt many would want to play PBEM but I'm willing to play this as the Russians and hold on until forces get released.

If your courageous enough to go at it I will take the germans Cole. I've a few monsters under my belt.

Hey Zap:

Whatever monsters you keep under your belt are your business...but did that line work in high school?

Regards,

Dan
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12-04-2017, 04:11 AM,
#47
RE: NEW: Prokhorovka 5: The Historical Battle
Here's a quick comment from Alan regarding Death's Head and their area of responsibility (and what were they thinking to begin with):

...

We wargamers have one advantage that the leaders back in 1943 didn't have, hindsight. Its easy to sit in chair and comment how bad Totenkopf's attack plan was. But we must look at the decisions made by the leaders from their point of view, based on what they knew at the time:

While the German were unaware of the presence of the Russian 5th Guards Tank Army, they certainly knew about the 5th Guards Army as they saw the units they had been fighting being relieved by fresh troops from that force, plus LAH was fighting a regiment from the 9th Guards Airborne Division for possession of Hill 252.2, both on the 11th of July.

The plan for the 12th of July was reasonable based on what they knew though it could not have been fully completed by the end of the 12th. This was why the Germans planned on capturing Prokhorovka on the 13th, pending completion of the attack plans for the 12th.

The Germans were being methodical in their plans. Nor were they completely surprised by the Russian attack on the 12th as they had expected the new Russian forces to be supported by armor, usually one or two brigades or regiments worth. It was the size of the armored assault that surprised them. Still they acquitted themselves well in the battle.
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12-04-2017, 07:53 AM,
#48
RE: NEW: Prokhorovka 5: The Historical Battle
(12-04-2017, 04:11 AM)Battle Kat Wrote: Here's a quick comment from Alan regarding Death's Head and their area of responsibility (and what were they thinking to begin with):

...

We wargamers have one advantage that the leaders back in 1943 didn't have, hindsight. Its easy to sit in chair and comment how bad Totenkopf's attack plan was. But we must look at the decisions made by the leaders from their point of view, based on what they knew at the time:

While the German were unaware of the presence of the Russian 5th Guards Tank Army, they certainly knew about the 5th Guards Army as they saw the units they had been fighting being relieved by fresh troops from that force, plus LAH was fighting a regiment from the 9th Guards Airborne Division  for possession of Hill 252.2, both on the  11th of July.

The plan for the 12th of July was reasonable based on what they knew though it could not have been fully completed by the end of the 12th. This was why the Germans planned on capturing Prokhorovka on the 13th, pending completion of the attack plans for the 12th.

The Germans were being methodical in their plans. Nor were they completely surprised by the Russian attack on the 12th as they had expected the new Russian forces to be supported by armor, usually one or two brigades or regiments worth. It was the size of the armored assault that surprised them. Still they acquitted themselves well in the battle.


My curiosity was not that the Germans missed the 5th Guards Tank Army but they decided to advance in a direction where the attackers would be isolated.  At first I wondered if Alan had overdone the rivers and cliffs along the river but even a Google map view shows limited means to cross the river.  Seems there is now a bridge midway that wasn't there.  Either the Germans were overconfident that they could join up at the objective or the river was/is more easily crossed in places that the scenario map.  That's where my "what were they thinking?" came from.
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