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Rich Hamilton is taunting us
03-24-2020, 08:20 AM,
RE: Rich Hamilton is taunting us
Thanks for your comments VM - looking forward to the next title(s)
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03-24-2020, 09:06 AM,
RE: Rich Hamilton is taunting us
As well as Ed's fantastic notes which delve in great detail into every aspect of this new title (just as with F14 & EP14) and are a must read to fully appreciate his design decisions that influenced the new title I have prepared a "what's new" article that just gives players a brief overview of the new rules and features this latest title has introduced to the FWWC series which I will post on release day.

Not long now...………………….  Wink
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03-24-2020, 11:11 PM, (This post was last modified: 03-25-2020, 04:25 AM by ComradeP.)
RE: Rich Hamilton is taunting us
Quote:Not wanting to get into a big disagreement here, but this was a very meticulously calculated aspect of EP14's early campaign, one that I spent many months figuring out.

The underlying rationale is fairly straightforward: the Russian Army in EP14 has effective soldiers and they outnumber the Germans in the early campaign by over 2:1 in all things (infantry, MGs, cavalry, guns). On paper, they should have annihilated the Germans. However, it is well established that the Russians were suffering from abysmal supply at the start of the war, as it was a monumental task to supply their colossal forces in East Prussia and Galicia.  This supply problem was mostly worked out over time, but apart from their command structure, their logistics is what failed them the most, at least in 1914.  It is completely unrealistic to expect that the Russians were in a position to provide significant replacements to their massive forces during the early 1914 campaigns, at least not during their offensive in East Prussia.

Anything less would create a purely pro-Russian fantasy situation as far as I am concerned -- something that would not be balanced, nor produce a *possibility* of a historical result. But this is the tough decision of a game designer; to have to (hopefully) create a situation that can allow for a historical result, but at the same time allowing enough flexibility to also create a-historical results as well. It is a constant dance.

The easiest thing for me to have done there would have been to give the Russians generic command, and good supplies, but then make the entire Russian Army be poor D quality or less.  But I don't like easy approaches, and in the end I decided on being more elegant, I think, because the generic/mediocre approach makes perfect sense for the communist Red Army in WW2, but not for the Imperial Russian Army of WW1. There needed to be subtle differences between how the Russians behave in FWWC vs. PzC.

Apart from that, who is to say that the Russian Army in East Prussia should have +5% more supply though, I just can't get bogged down in that though.  I am satisfied with the result.

I agree with the approach in theory, particularly the decision to not make most Russian units D quality like in PzC, it's the cumulative effect in practice that hurts the balance.

Changes were made to France '14 based on how casualties can quickly become very high (like in virtually all PzC titles) and the Entente forces being able to hold their ground in northern France and Belgium beyond the Ardennes. WWI units lack offensive punch besides assaults, which makes it difficult to break through defences. It can make a 1914 campaign resemble the trench phase of the war on the Western Front, instead of the dynamic phase. 

In East Prussia '14 the Russians face an opponent with an excellent supply situation, whilst having a mediocre to bad one themselves. Though that might indeed be mostly historically accurate, there are many mechanics tied to supply which in EP '14 all work in favour of the Germans.

In many PzC and FWWC titles, ahistorical loss rates are paired with ahistorical replacement rates as a sort of stabilizing factor, though the replacement rates can also be too good compared to losses like in stock Kharkov '43.

A constant stream of replacements in FWWC would depending on the local supply level amount to about 10-30 men per turn of rest, not that much for ~1000 men units that can lose dozens of men per turn. The attack might then decide to dig-in, becoming the defender, at which point the defender-turned-attacker runs into the problem of not really being able to deal with strong entrenched positions without copious amounts of artillery ánd shelling out of sight units to prevent them from recovering Fatigue.
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03-25-2020, 01:03 AM,
RE: Rich Hamilton is taunting us
I am confused here
"Most importantly dealing with small strength (tactical) HQs - these can now move around in non-Travel Mode without going Out of Command, and these would be things like most brigade HQs."

So this means that when a brigade HQ enters travel mode it does not automatically become in command and can then still pass on command? This says that the can now move in "non-travel mode" which is confusing.

thanks. I look forward to the game.

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03-25-2020, 04:30 AM, (This post was last modified: 03-25-2020, 04:30 AM by ComradeP.)
RE: Rich Hamilton is taunting us
I'm also not entirely sure what Volcano Man means, unless he means those brigade-level HQ's no longer switch to an Out of Command state when in T-mode.

They can already move around in Deployed/regular movement state without switching to the Out of Command state.
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03-25-2020, 05:45 AM,
RE: Rich Hamilton is taunting us
OK guys here how it will work with HQ movement in the new title and then F14 & EP14 when they are updated (hopefully in the near future).

All Hq's that move in T mode automatically go "Out of Command" as is the case in F14 & EP14 now.

Now any Hq's with a strength of 50 men or more (normally Div, Corp, Army) will also automatically go "Out of Command" if they move when deployed.

However Hq's with a strength of less than 50 men (brigade) remain the same i.e. can move when deployed without going "Out of Command".

The logic of this is that the larger Hq's have more complex communication arrangements than would have to be set up each time they move location whereas Brigade Hq's were a much simpler set up often relying on runners to distribute messages.

Players will now have to be aware of this change when advancing and if they meet determined resistance may have to halt to allow their Hq command structure to re-establish itself before launching an assault that may result in units becoming disrupted and low ammo.

A subtle but important change that will reward the diligent player who arranges his command structure in the correct way and punishes the rash player who runs headlong into an attack without considering his command structure first.  Wink
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03-25-2020, 07:30 AM, (This post was last modified: 03-25-2020, 08:23 AM by Volcano Man.)
RE: Rich Hamilton is taunting us
Right, the change essentially means that the smaller brigade HQs can remain in command while they move around while deployed. Its sort of a merging of the PzC and FWWC system for brigade HQs, to provide flexibility to those organizations. This greatly helps the attacker, such as the Germans in F14 and the Russians in early EP14.

That said, in the next title, some particularly clumsy and irregular forces have large strength brigade HQs, intentionally designed that way so they do go out of command when moving tactically -- but the point is there is lots of flexibility here. And one of the things I like to do is take what are otherwise uniformly equipped armies (of infantry, MGs, guns and cavalry), and squeeze as much little detail and special characteristics out of each, to make it feel like they play differently. This is one more change that allows that, by modeling command in different ways (for example: one particular nationality in the next title doesn't have brigade HQs at all, because they historically didn't, which makes them less flexible in command).

The notes will cover this. :)
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03-25-2020, 07:42 AM, (This post was last modified: 03-25-2020, 09:01 AM by Volcano Man.)
RE: Rich Hamilton is taunting us
(03-24-2020, 11:11 PM)ComradeP Wrote: In East Prussia '14 the Russians face an opponent with an excellent supply situation, whilst having a mediocre to bad one themselves. Though that might indeed be mostly historically accurate, there are many mechanics tied to supply which in EP '14 all work in favour of the Germans.

Yes, I am aware of what game mechanics are connected to supply. And I am perfectly fine with the behavior in general; it was certainly all factored into the decision making and balance.  These are not unknown observations here. Nor are any of these games perfect either. That is simply the nature of wargaming. But to suggest any sort of major supply level change to benefit the Russians in EP14 is just biased in my opinion, because then the Germans would have absolutely no chance at all to replicate anything close to historical (and arguably, they have a very slim chance as it is).

That said, we have made some great improvements to the FWWC engine (including the command system for brigade HQs as mentioned previously), and additional improvements to when and how much replacements are received. I have always felt that the issue with the replacements feature is that it gave too much strength back. This is greatly improved in the next title, because I can now customize the replacement level in a much more elegant way (allowing for decimal numbers and side specific modifiers).

All of these improvements will be carried over to F14 and EP14 in a future update. And in regards to EP14, the issue is NOT that Russians need to receive more replacements, its that the Germans should receive less replacements than they get, and this is justified considering that East Prussia was a secondary theater of operations to the Western Front, so had lower priority in receiving replacements. So, with less German replacements overall (via the new side specific modifier), then this would make it where they cannot totally disregard casualties anymore, which benefits the Russians in a more elegant way. Other than that, I am perfectly satisfied with how everything else is modeled now with all the improvements. The FWWC series continues to evolve. Big Grin 

And now, its back to work for me... that is all I can say for now.
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