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Tobruk '41 Gold Questions
10-23-2019, 03:50 AM,
#1
Tobruk '41 Gold Questions
I recently got all of my Gold versions. Tobruk '41 has always interested me, as I remember GDW's Operation Crusader card board game.

I recall that same people had raised concerns about the older version of Tobruk '41. I can't recall what those issues were, nor find the old threads discussing them. Can anyone speak to what those issues were and whether they have been addressed in the Gold scenario versions? Have the Gold scenarios been re-worked? As for the campaign game, what is the recommendation for the scenario that best replicates history? I think explicit supply is absolutely required, but is the Volcano Man's version more representative of history than the stock scenarios?
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10-23-2019, 06:18 AM,
#2
RE: Tobruk '41 Gold Questions
Firstly the threads discussing players thoughts about T41 pre date the forum we have now and so have been lost hence I cannot direct you to threads commenting on specific details about which aspects of T41 players might have had concerns about but I also remember there was a general consensus that the title had some "issues".

It is not my impression that the Gold upgrade made any changes to the stock OOB, PDT, SCN files or altered any unit values, see this page https://www.wargamedesignstudio.com/2019...-upgrades/

I can comment on the work that VM did on the _Alt scenarios around 2006 (can it be that long ago?), firstly I should state that Ed's alternate work on T41 is not to be mistaken as him "fixing" the title or the issues that had been raised on the forums or saying that his Alt scenarios are better than the stock ones, but as always it is his take on T41 using his alternate OOB, PDT, SCN files, Optional rules (important) and McNamara unit values.


The changes he made are way too numerous to list here, in your T41 Gold files there should be a Word Doc titled "T41 Alternate Changes" which runs to 12 pages!  Whistle


As for Alt scenarios I cannot comment on the campaign game but I worked with Ed to test both the Brevity and Battleaxe scenarios to optimise them for H2H play and played between two opponents of similar abilities should produce an entertaining game. 

So that's all I can ween from my memory...…………... Wink
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10-23-2019, 08:27 AM,
#3
RE: Tobruk '41 Gold Questions
I always found the Desert games always played better with the zoc parameter in the PDT set to zero (like most other titles). The stock leaky zoc's (zoc parameter set to a value) made the games play weird.

As an aside IIRC in Tunisia 43 the zoc parameter is zero.
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10-23-2019, 07:48 PM,
#4
RE: Tobruk '41 Gold Questions
We found that some ZOC flexibility was desirable as this was a pure desert title so for the Alt scenarios we increased the amount of MP's required to move from ZOC to ZOC so that units with very high MP allowances could move through a couple of ZOC's but not regular units.

I don't think the ZOC parameter is set to zero for EA42 either, however I don't have that title loaded on my PC to check?
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10-24-2019, 07:02 AM,
#5
RE: Tobruk '41 Gold Questions
Correct about it being non zero in EA42. I changed it in my scenario's. Plays better.

FWIW I can't understand why they thought zoc's are less sticky in the Desert. It would seem to be the opposite to me. Moving across open ground in the face of enemy fire would be more sticky.

Anyway, each to their own. I just find the games play better with the zero setting. And then it's consistent across the whole series.
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10-24-2019, 08:47 AM,
#6
RE: Tobruk '41 Gold Questions
I find this an interesting topic. In his notes for the Bulge '44 campaign mod, Brian Jennings made these comments;

"No Zones of Control: This might not be to everyone’s taste but I am convinced it is a more accurate representation of combat at this scale and is particularly important in Bulge44 where infiltration and breakthroughs were such a key part of the campaign. Units can only hold the ground on which they are deployed; the area around them they can observe and, depending on their type, dominate by fire. It is particularly ahistoric for a small, possibly non-infantry or armour, unit to be able to stop movement over a frontage of two or three kilometres (hexes). There are many reported cases of armoured formations driving past defenders. This can now happen, but as opportunity fire still occurs cannot be done with impunity. I have tested this thoroughly and it works, and gives the player a need for much more realistic deployments to produce a sustainable defence."

I guess he changed his views slightly as his scenario does have ZOC's but the movement cost from one to another is doubled (as in Panzer Battles). I like the concept for PzC but the problem is that any unit will be able to move from one ZOC to another using all its MP. For example, the Alt scenarios in Tobruk '41 set the ZOC Movement Multiplier to 90 which means that virtually all units will require all their MP to move from one ZOC to another. But this still allows for units on foot to infiltrate relatively easily over a series of turns. This may make sense in the Bulge campaign but I would be interested in the rationale for using it in the desert scenarios. The Design Notes for Tobruk '41 say that using soft ZOC's  "was seen to improve the free wheeling nature and desert feel of the game", but I am not quite sure that really explains it. Anyone have any thoughts?
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10-24-2019, 09:28 AM,
#7
RE: Tobruk '41 Gold Questions
I can see how zoc's would be less effective in dense terrain (like woods or forests or urban) and also in some weather conditions. But in clear weather on open ground, that is surely the most sticky zoc situation that could occur. So to my thinking the desert and open plains in clear weather should have high zoc values.

But for sure, changing zoc values is in essence changing the way the game is played.

Personally I like it the way it is.
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10-24-2019, 11:08 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-24-2019, 11:15 PM by Outlaw Josey Wales.)
#8
RE: Tobruk '41 Gold Questions
My 02 cents........Infil is a slow process. Constant crouching and ducking so as not to be seen, all while watching your noise discipline, your step, trip wires and everything else. On top of that, there is the enemy. At times unpredictable. All this time, you never see him in this gap you found. The night you inlil, all of a sudden, you see a patrol. Maybe, they just found the gap or got more men to help cover the ground.

A smaller unit has a better chance to get through and also has a better chance to be infilled. Keep in mind, it can happen in any type of terrain.
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10-25-2019, 04:48 AM, (This post was last modified: 10-25-2019, 04:50 AM by Mr Grumpy.)
#9
RE: Tobruk '41 Gold Questions
Well I am no expert and I didn't design any of the T41/EA42 and C40 add on scenarios so I don't talk for the designers of those titles, but I believe the rational regarding the ZOC change is to try to reflect the unique situation on that the forces found themselves in when fighting on what was often a blank canvas as far as terrain was concerned, many writers have commented on the fact that desert combat was more like naval warfare with no front lines or rear areas and units expecting to have to defend 360 degrees with the enemy as likely to attack from the "rear" as they were the "front", units would "laager" at night to again defend a 360 degree perimeter.

So if you have the "normal" ZOC modifier players had the option to place their units in straight lines like every other PzC title projecting a front line that often never existed in the desert campaigns, with fluid ZOC players are forced to think more like a desert commander as less like a commander in say Normandy?
 
Anyone reading about the Crusader battle cannot fail to be struck at the total chaos that took over after the two sides clashed on the inland flank, with units wheeling round each other trying to gain an advantage. 

When playtesting the T41 Alt scenarios (for Blitz H2H approval) we felt the standard ZOC modifier was too generous so we altered it for all Alt scenarios to prevent units with very high mp allowances from driving through ZOC's and still having enough remaining allowance to continue on for multiple hex's but I would never claim that this was 100% accurate but just what felt right to us based on our playtesting results.

Of course the great thing about the PzC system is that you can alter these values if they don't feel right to you just as Michael T did in his scenarios.  Smile
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10-25-2019, 07:21 AM,
#10
RE: Tobruk '41 Gold Questions
From my reading, I find that the confusion and gaps appeared mostly between Divisions, brigades and regiments, whereas battalions and companies tended to remain closer together. Ofcourse there were exceptions, but that goes for any theatre.

So for example the Gazala battles, the fortified brigades, surrounded by mines etc. They did not form a front. But the battalions and companies within the independent zones were mutually supporting.

So the way I see it, there were not enough large formations to cover the front (these are the gaps that the enemy took advantage of) but the formations themselves remained fairly tight. Exception being Alamein, where the front was so narrow a continuous line could be maintained.

So the battles still feel right to me when using standard zoc's.

I have to admit I am a bit of a North Africa fan. So I have read quite a bit on the subject.
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