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Operation Herkules_Alt scenario - Please remove from game database
07-04-2019, 10:52 PM,
#1
xThumbs_down  Operation Herkules_Alt scenario - Please remove from game database
Gents:  Smoke7

0622_01 Operation Herkules_Alt (30-Turns)

http://www.theblitz.org/scenarios/pzc-11...io&id=6840

This scenario is broken! Please remove it from the game database.   Cry

Using the Alternative Assault Rules makes it virtually impossible for the Axis player to assault bunkers. Several Allied bunkers have same hex supply sources that makes it impossible to isolate the bunkers from supply even when surrounded for the majority of the game! Majority of victory hexes are protected by bunkers within villages or towns giving the Allied defenders -50 or -60 defense benefits! Axis artillery and Stukas register "no effect" combat results against - you guessed it - the Allied bunkers. The only marginally effective Axis unit against Allied bunkers is the Italian navy. However, the Italian navy (Morale E) stays on station for approximately 6 turns, units fire on average once every 3 or 4 turns and then the navy withdraws on Turn #16! Reminder, this is a 30-turn scenario! Since the Allied bunkers can't be reduced, the Axis commander is forced to divert nearly half his entire invasion force to contain the enemy bunkers - further weakening his offense and siphoning away much needed strength from the front lines. Played 16 turns of this broken mess before my opponent gracefully agreed to end our game and not report it. Please remove this scenario from the game database. Thanks!
Regards, Mike / "A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week." - George S. Patton /
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07-04-2019, 11:47 PM,
#2
RE: Operation Herkules_Alt scenario - Please remove from game database
(07-04-2019, 10:52 PM)Kool Kat Wrote: Gents:  Smoke7

0622_01 Operation Herkules_Alt (30-Turns)

http://www.theblitz.org/scenarios/pzc-11...io&id=6840

This scenario is broken! Please remove it from the game database.   Cry

Using the Alternative Assault Rules makes it virtually impossible for the Axis player to assault bunkers. Several Allied bunkers have same hex supply sources that makes it impossible to isolate the bunkers from supply even when surrounded for the majority of the game! Majority of victory hexes are protected by bunkers within villages or towns giving the Allied defenders -50 or -60 defense benefits! Axis artillery and Stukas register "no effect" combat results against - you guessed it - the Allied bunkers. The only marginally effective Axis unit against Allied bunkers is the Italian navy. However, the Italian navy (Morale E) stays on station for approximately 6 turns, units fire on average once every 3 or 4 turns and then the navy withdraws on Turn #16! Reminder, this is a 30-turn scenario! Since the Allied bunkers can't be reduced, the Axis commander is forced to divert nearly half his entire invasion force to contain the enemy bunkers - further weakening his offense and siphoning away much needed strength from the front lines. Played 16 turns of this broken mess before my opponent gracefully agreed to end our game and not report it. Please remove this scenario from the game database. Thanks!

I would say that perhaps the folks at WDS need to put out a fix/patch for this scenario ?  I do hope David is listening.  I wonder if it can be disabled in the database, rather than outright removed.  That seems a bit drastic.
"Plans are nothing; planning is everything." Dwight D. Eisenhower
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07-05-2019, 02:28 AM,
#3
RE: Operation Herkules_Alt scenario - Please remove from game database
This is an Ed Williams scenario, so he may want to weigh in...

David
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07-05-2019, 02:29 AM,
#4
RE: Operation Herkules_Alt scenario - Please remove from game database
Doesn't need to be removed. Just call it a draw and write up your review there so anyone checking it out will see it.
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07-05-2019, 03:59 AM,
#5
RE: Operation Herkules_Alt scenario - Please remove from game database
(07-05-2019, 02:29 AM)KG_RangerBooBoo Wrote: Doesn't need to be removed. Just call it a draw and write up your review there so anyone checking it out will see it.

Scenario rated and review submitted. Hopefully, players will see these warnings prior to investing their gaming time into a broken scenario.   Crazy
Regards, Mike / "A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week." - George S. Patton /
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07-05-2019, 05:35 AM, (This post was last modified: 07-05-2019, 05:36 AM by beldurax.)
#6
RE: Operation Herkules_Alt scenario - Please remove from game database
Hey Mike - did you notice the presence of 0622_01a: Operation Herkules (HTH Balanced)_Alt ? I believe John Stevens ('Green') and I are playing that one right now. I do believe John started the scenario so he would know for sure.
All the best, Travis
"Plans are nothing; planning is everything." Dwight D. Eisenhower
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07-05-2019, 08:12 AM,
#7
RE: Operation Herkules_Alt scenario - Please remove from game database
(07-05-2019, 05:35 AM)beldurax Wrote: Hey Mike - did you notice the presence of 0622_01a: Operation Herkules (HTH Balanced)_Alt ?  I believe John Stevens ('Green') and I are playing that one right now.  I do believe John started the scenario so he would know for sure.
All the best, Travis

Hi Travis,

The (HtH Balanced)_Alt version, as compared to the normal _Alt version, differs only in the Victory conditions, so this does not change the validity of the points that Mike is making.

I think this is simply a case of the Alt rules being applied to a scenario without any testing. I assume that this is the case with most Alt scenarios, but I think in this particular case the consequence of using the Alternative Assault optional rule drastically changes the way the scenario plays.

John
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07-06-2019, 10:39 PM,
#8
RE: Operation Herkules_Alt scenario - Please remove from game database
Gents:  Smoke7

Actually, after a cursory review of the Axis OOB - it looks suspect!  Yikes

In the Axis historically proposed plan for the invasion of Malta, the paratroops (German Fliegerdivision 7 and Italian 185th Airborne Folgore) were to secure the hills surrounding the southern coast AND seize a nearby airfield. Then Axis aircraft were to land another division (80th Infantry Division La Spezia air landing division - 10,500 men) and supplies! 

The Axis OOB in all the Operation Herkules scenarios - plain vanilla and .alt - are missing over 10k men! These troops were to be air landed onto the captured airfields. Landing troops on airfields would result in much fewer casualties then paratroops + allow the Axis commander to bring in heavy support weapons to help in reducing Allied bunkers.

I find these Malta scenarios to be intriguing... and I wish to be able to play and explore them further, but the before mentioned design deficiencies and incomplete Axis OOB make that impossible.  Cry
Regards, Mike / "A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week." - George S. Patton /
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07-10-2019, 09:39 AM, (This post was last modified: 07-10-2019, 09:42 AM by Volcano Man.)
#9
RE: Operation Herkules_Alt scenario - Please remove from game database
OK, dramatics aside, what exactly do you think that the _Alt scenario changed over the standard version that makes it broken? Have you tried playing the non _Alt (stock) version? If you look at it, both scenarios are the same in regards to bunkers and supply sources if I remember correctly.

And just to be sure, you were using the "Alternative Assault Resolution" (AAR) rule, correct? Without that rule, you won't be able to assault bunkers correctly and the rule should be a default for early war PzCs at least.

Also, although I didn't (obviously) play every single _Alt scenario, I certainly tried to do so, many of them solitaire over the several decades. I am pretty sure I played this one to completion as well. I wouldln't characterize any of them as being totally broken in the way in which you describe in the play results comment.

That said, I do remember the stock version being damn near impossible as well so perhaps there is room for you to create your own variant. From what I recall about that scenario, the Axis had to assault the bunkers with stacks (with AAR rule on of course) and repeated assaults like this would get results. Obviously though it was grind, and I suppose the original scenario designer felt that the bunkers AND supply sources were needed for the Allies to hold against the Axis numbers.

But let's make sure you know that:

a) The scenario itself is actually not much more different than the stock version. Actually I suspect that most of the change is with the PDT data and OOB (consistency), but not much else in the way of serious differences.
b) You are using the Alt Assault Resolution (AAR) optional rule.

From the notes:

Q: Why the addition of the Alternate Assault Resolution rule?

A: The reason is that with the McNamara based db, it was decided that the Alternative Assault Resolution rule was necessary because of the use of many infantry units that now have range 0 hard attack values. This makes the rule vital so that these units can be historically weaker or stronger (depending on their rating) in assaults against armor, pillboxes and bunkers. With this rule disabled (as it was before) the range 0 hard attack values for infantry are not used. [...therefore, assaulting bunkers with infantry is nearly impossible]

------------------------

So let's check that first. If you were playing with AAR optional rule off then I would appreciate if you removed that comment from the scenario/game result page.

And if you did play with AAR rule on, then still I wouldn't say the scenario is broken as harshly as you did there given the similarities with the stock game. Instead, 20 years ago I would just make my own variant that I felt was improved. A simple variant might be vacated bunkers, no bunkers, or lower (or no) supply sources on those locations -- you have a number of options.
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07-10-2019, 01:15 PM,
#10
RE: Operation Herkules_Alt scenario - Please remove from game database
The 'Volcano Man' comments make it clear to me that I do not understand the assault calculation process and would really like some clarification on how it all works.

I always thought assault resolution was based on two separate combat results. The assaulting unit attacks with its Assault value against the Defense value of the defender. And the defender attacks with its Assault value against the assaulting units Defense value. Unless you are using the Alternative Assault Resolution (AAR), it is not relevant if any of the units are Hard or Soft.

If using AAR then the assaulting unit attacks with its Assault value or Hard attack value  (depending on whether the target is Soft or Hard) against the Defense value of the defender. And the defender attacks using its Assault value or Hard attack value (depending on whether the target is Soft or Hard) against the assaulting units defense value.  

If this is correct, then the defense values do not vary when using AAR but the attack values can. So if a unit has a much higher Assault value compared to their Hard attack value then they will be much less effective against Hard targets using AAR. In the scenario in question, an Italian Para unit has Hard attack of 1 and Assault value of 14. A German FJ unit has Hard attack 2 and Assault value of 12. A British Inf unit in a Bunker has a Defense value of 26. This would mean that using AAR would drastically increase the difficulty of assaulting Bunkers but the Volcano Man post states that unless using AAR "assaulting bunkers with infantry is nearly impossible". The opposite to what I would expect.

Obviously I have got something completely wrong but it would be great if someone could explain how assaults are actually handled.
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