• Havoc
  • Caius
  • redboot
  • Rules
  • Chain of Command
  • Members
  • Supported Ladders & Games
  • Downloads


Serbia '14
05-30-2020, 08:02 AM,
RE: Serbia '14
Yes, I have been doing the same thing as Mr. Grumpy, keeping my MG and Arty units a couple of hexes in the rear until I have a front line unit in patrol status. The partisan can still set up outside that radius, but ay least you wont be disrupted before you reach the front lines. And if you have your units within command radius, they will not be overly affected. I have not found it to be game-breaking by any means, just something I had been confused as to the mechanics.
Quote this message in a reply
05-30-2020, 08:13 AM, (This post was last modified: 05-30-2020, 08:35 AM by Volcano Man.)
RE: Serbia '14
I am perfectly happy with the Chetnik representation, and it is intentional that the Chetniks have 3 hex disruption, and A-H has 2 hex patrolling range. I thought some of this was explained in the notes, but if not, there here are my quick thoughts...

While it is true that I was not entirely happy with how the patrolling feature worked during S14 development (I originally thought that patrolling protected the 2 hex radius around the patrolling unit, as most people probably also think here), but when you think of it another way: that the patrolling has to be able to locate the unit doing the partisan disruption, therefore the partisan unit has to be within the patrolling unit's radius, then it makes sense to me. I learned to live with it, because its a fundamental trait to how the feature works, and it wasn't possible to change the behavior (tracking individual hexes around patrolling units is just no practical or possible).

In an ongoing team campaign I am playing in - just this turn we have seen that often times Chetniks don't always do much at that third hex range. Its a die roll like anything else. Most importantly, the partisan side has no feedback whether they are being patrolled/suppressed, so its not an entirely one way street in favor of the partisans. The Chetnik unit can be sitting in place, thinking they are causing disruptions, but then a unit that is 2 hexes away is patrolling them. So you end up with the Chetniks doing nothing. Often the Chetnik player has to assume that they are being patrolled, and then voluntarily must move back to where they on the third hex away from the A-H side, which puts the patrolling range at the very edge of the unit to catch A-H units moving in (the third hex). Its not an ideal situation for the partisan unit, actually, because they are forced to pull back to ensure they aren't being patrolled, often when they aren't being patrolling at all (unknown to them) so again its not as if the partisan unit has all the benefits there, since they are forced to pull back to ensure they aren't being patrolled (hence the reason for the +1 partisan disruption radius vs. patrol radius).

And we can't forget that the partisan effects only apply to Travel Mode movements. I haven't seen many situations where the A-H are just marching along in Travel Mode columns on rapid advances. Yes, it usually means that they are always disrupting MG units and field gun units as they have to move forward in Travel Mode, but at the same time, all that A-H infantry that aren't moving up in Travel Mode have something they should be doing (patrolling) to protect those units. And even if MG and field guns units are disrupted in this way, they can usually recover from it relatively quickly enough that it is a minor hindrance.

TIP: If you suspect Chetniks are in the area, then its always best to avoid moving stacks of MG and guns. Try moving them one at a time to avoid possible disruptions (otherwise the entire stack will get disrupted together by the partisans, but then again, the entire stack might not get disrupted too). Of course by moving the units separately then you increase the chance that some will get disrupted, so its a pro/con thing.

So, I am pretty happy with the way it works, especially since historical accounts stress that the Chetnik threat was quite significant. Maybe if it was another theater then the partisans would be much less effective, but the Chetniks in Serbia must be a substantial headache for the A-H side to be historical (they weren't something that could be ignored).
Send this user an email
Quote this message in a reply
05-30-2020, 04:37 PM,
RE: Serbia '14
The notes explain what the Chetniks historically did, but the reason why I feel they are overpowered is that in the game they tend to project their Deception effect "through" the frontline. They're not guerrilla units hidden in the hills, but placed near the frontline.

In the 1st Invasion, I don't have a lot of trouble with nullifying Chetniks, but that's also due to the good weather making it easy to move units around. As Elxaime noted, the weather is a serious handicap (for both sides) in the 4th Invasion.

In the 4th Invasion, there are lots of Chetniks and if you want to cover all of them through Patrolling , you could potentially have several divisions worth of battalions Patrolling. That means they're not recovering Fatigue or Men and in difficult terrain might only be able to move 1 hex when moving, as "recalling the patrols" consumes MP's.

As you can't be entirely sure whether you're covering the Chetniks causing Disruptions when you set units to Patrolling, you might also "overcommit" to Patrolling.

Central Powers cavalry is a tempting assault target when deployed and a bullet magnet when in T-mode, which makes it less ideal to switch them to Patrolling without infantry support in the same hex.

The 4th Invasion might be the only scenario where Chetnik numbers are so great that issues can, over time, appear, I'd have to play more scenarios to judge that.
Quote this message in a reply
06-01-2020, 07:40 AM, (This post was last modified: 06-01-2020, 09:24 AM by Volcano Man. Edit Reason: clarifications )
RE: Serbia '14
Generally the discussion is good, but I dislike the speculative theory based observations. Even though you might "judge" one way or another, that will not change the fact that I think the Chetnik representation is perfect ***for what is available and possible within the rules.*** Someone might disagree and split hairs about the actual number of Chetnik companies in the 1915 campaign though, but I will explain this below.

In general though, yes, it is true that there are quite a bit of abstractions in partisan/deception unit rules, especially with the deception range in that it ignores front line trace, but the same is true for patrolling rules. You can have a Chetnik unit one hex behind the front line, and an A-H unit adjacent to the front line can patrol and suppress the Chetnik unit. You can also have units on the front line execute "patrolling" and spot unseen enemy units behind the front line, so its a two way street for the abstractions. I don't mind this. The only difference here is that the Chetnik has the +1 radius, which exists for the reasons I described above. I don't see a major change in the game engine there, so I have to work with what I have, and I am happy with the results.

Also, in the 4th invasion, sorry but doesn't make sense to me that there are too many Serbs Chetniks units. In the first phase of the campaign where the Central Powers are attacking from one direction, perhaps, yes, but once the Bulgarians get involved later, and the conflict opens up into a three front all out war (north, east, south), then there aren't enough Chetniks to go around. At that point we are talking about 8 Chetnik companies per front, which is 50% less the number of Chetnik companies available for the single front in the 3rd Invasion (16 companies on a single front). Yes the Chetniks can concentrate on the sole threat at first (from the north), but that is historical, and historically the Central Powers were slowed quite a lot initially in their early advances. Anything they can do to slow the advance the better. Also, at any given time the Central Powers outnumber the Serbians by at least 100,000 troops and over 1,000 guns in the 4th Invasion.

I have personally played all campaigns in S14 (either in progress or to completion) and sorry, but I don't see what all the hullabaloo about Chetniks is about here. There are a grand total of +8 additional Chetnik companies in the 1915 campaign than in the 3rd Invasion, which is the previous campaign where all Chetnik units are available/in use. Personal experience in the 3rd Invasion has shown that the Chetniks are a significant headache, but they aren't over powered, especially because its rare that columns of units are moving rapidly down roads in places. Also, I have seen Chetnik units get in behind the front line to disrupt the VST supply network which is effective, but those were always hunted down by cavalry squadrons (who normally have nothing to do), and eliminated in every case. Then there are other cases where the Chetnik is forced to delay the enemy alone, and they almost always get over powered by the advance, once the advance catches up to them (they can easily be assaulted when alone, regardless of if they are disrupted or not).

Although there are indeed +8 Chetnik companies (+250 men per detachment) in the OOB in 1915 campaign, where they expanded over the 10 month period between the two campaigns, the frontage they are required to cover is exponentially greater than required of them in the 3rd Invasion. Certainly someone could argue that the Chetniks should be +4 companies in 1915 rather than +6 companies (as the size of the expansion was not clearly defined in texts), but I think this would be hair splitting detail at that point and I opted to give them the benefit of the doubt since I think the Allies probably need the favor for the later stage of the campaign when they are being invaded from Macedonia. Spoiler: Chetniks will be needed primarily in Macedonia to slow the Bulgarian juggernaut that is moving in from behind, versus the ad hoc Serbian forces.

So while I welcome all observations, I just don't see the irregulars/Chetniks as an issue in S14 - both from personal experience, and given how the rules work. Again, I just don't see the game engine changing much there either, so I have to work with the tools that I have, and I think that although the representation might not be ideal, it is sufficient enough that I don't have any regrets or doubts. Certainly though, maybe in time it will prove that I should cut the number of Chetniks in the 1915 OOB by -4 companies (at most!), but that isn't a decision I will make based on theories or a whim, and honestly I don't think it would matter that much given the scale of the campaign.
Send this user an email
Quote this message in a reply
06-01-2020, 11:27 PM,
RE: Serbia '14
As with many mechanics, there's a certain "tipping point" between one step and the next where the next step isn't merely an improvement but creates an entirely different situation.

One or two Chetnik units might not be an issue, but situations where every single T-mode unit in a sector can be targeted by the Deception effect are not difficult to create.

Did historical Chetnik units have the capability to disrupt, in any terrain, on and off road, Central Powers movement? Day and night? In the presence of large numbers of Central Powers infantry battalions? I have no reason to believe that they did, but that's precisely what they can do in the game. That's why I feel they're overpowered. They're not guerrilla units. Within their radius they work more like highly effective air interdiction, minus the casualties inflicted.

I'm also basing my experience on, thus far, two nearly halfway completed 1st Invasion games and a 1/3 completed 4th Invasion game. That's hardly purely theoretical speculation.

Aside from issues when advancing, problems also appear when defending. It's already difficult to pull back (low quality) MG and field gun units from the frontline, even in good weather. Chetniks can make that a nightmare for the Central Powers. The vulnerability of support weapons is one of the things which I think don't work very well in FWWC, particularly to assaults or when withdrawing, and Deception effects make that worse.

In any situations where the low quality Austro-Hungarian forces have to withdraw or are assaulted, it's likely that they'll lose some MG units. If you play a scenario following a historical retreat, the MG and field gun units are (largely) intact, but that isn't likely to occur in a game.

In general, it would also help if you'd take feedback a bit more seriously.
Quote this message in a reply
06-14-2020, 01:27 PM,
RE: Serbia '14
Quick question for the designer:

I have noticed that, while foot infantry can cross light bridges, cavalry cannot - you get the message that the bridge cannot support the unit.

I understand man + horse is heavier than man alone, but I assume infantry and cavalry also have similar impedimenta, e.g. if a light bridge can support a wagon attached to an infantry battalion, then a wagon attached to a cavalry battalion should be able to roll over the same bridge.

I just find this puzzling and welcome an explanation. Are the light bridges really primitive, e.g. rope bridges or simple planks or something? I would assume usually if a light bridge can support infantry, then it should be able to support cavalry (not artillery guns though, although I also wonder why machine guns can also cross light bridges and not cavalry).

Welcome a response. Thanks.
Quote this message in a reply
06-29-2020, 12:43 PM,
RE: Serbia '14
Sorry for the delay but I just can't answer every question and still have time to do my day job, and also work on the next titles. But basically, this behavior is nothing new as far as I know, it has always been this way but it does make sense to me.

If heavy bridges are for everything (vehicles, horse, foot), medium bridges are for everything but vehicles (horse and foot), then it makes sense that light bridges are for foot units only. Rhetorically speaking, what else would the delineation in movement type be for the light bridge? So the restrictions do make sense.

Besides that, these light bridges are for flimsy "foot bridges" that were present on foot paths. A single horse or wagon could certainly cross such a bridge, but the bridge wouldn't support repeated crossings by cavalry or artillery units (not that they would all load up on the bridge at once time, but that they destroy such a bridge from normal use - we must assume).

In S14, the foot bridges are placed in two cases:

1. Where there was a foot or horse cart path.
2. Where there were rail bridges, which are described in the notes document (rails bolted to traverses).

In either case, it is rationalized that a formation of cavalry or artillery could not cross at those locations, and this is very historical, given that text frequently mention that lack of good bridges to sustain operations - so its good that an entire formation might not be able to cross at the same place, or that a engineer must build a bridge to get an entire division across a river.

Hopefully that helps!
Send this user an email
Quote this message in a reply
06-29-2020, 12:54 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-01-2020, 02:48 AM by Volcano Man. Edit Reason: clarifications )
RE: Serbia '14
(06-01-2020, 11:27 PM)ComradeP Wrote: Did historical Chetnik units have the capability to disrupt, in any terrain, on and off road, Central Powers movement? Day and night? In the presence of large numbers of Central Powers infantry battalions?  I have no reason to believe that they did, but that's precisely what they can do in the game. That's why I feel they're overpowered. They're not guerrilla units. Within their radius they work more like highly effective air interdiction, minus the casualties inflicted.

I'm also basing my experience on, thus far, two nearly halfway completed 1st Invasion games and a 1/3 completed 4th Invasion game. That's hardly purely theoretical speculation.

...

In general, it would also help if you'd take feedback a bit more seriously.

I did take it seriously (as I do all feedback), and it was rejected. Not all feedback is acted on; I tried to explain that I do not agree with your point of view here, and why. At least I am trying to go into great detail to explain the "why", instead of just saying "no". If I didn't take the feedback seriously then I wouldn't explain anything.

Its also not that its "theoretical speculation", its that I have already thought this subject through during development, and you may play a scenario several times and sometimes make a heavy handed judgement (and in my opinion, I feel that I have more experience with the behavior in S14). There are limitations in what can be represented in these games. There is only so much I can do, and I went back and forth a hundred times with different representations. In the end I went with what we have, and all the scenarios were play tested with this behavior in place. So, it is literally from years of testing and experimenting, and deciding on what is best for what can be represented.

Yes, the rules don't work in every situation (as you clearly point out), but that is the nature of wargaming, right? It works both ways. The Chetniks can disrupt through front lines, and in all weather, at all time of day, but then again, patrols can suppress them just as effectively, and in the same situations. I am at the mercy of the game engine. I can make suggestions to John about how partisans and deceptions work (and I have), but that is as far as I can go.  From this point I view the "issues" and being acceptable, because there are certainly things that happened in real life that also cannot be represented in the game, and so it comes out in a wash in my view.

The Chetniks were mentioned time and time again in historical texts, they were not just a nuisance, and so I feel they are well represented here. And if a user is piling all their Chetniks into a given area, then they will be neglecting other areas they could cover, so it comes at a cost.

That is all I really have to say on that particular subject. I may reduce the number of Chetnik units in the 1915 campaign at some point, (like by removing 4 or 8 of them - which are perfectly valid changes) but I just don't want to do that yet without more time and observations as I am worried that it would be a knee jerk reaction at this point in time. That may change of course, since everything is evolving, but sorry, I don't view it as being justified at this time.
Send this user an email
Quote this message in a reply
06-30-2020, 10:05 AM,
RE: Serbia '14
(06-29-2020, 12:43 PM)Volcano Man Wrote: Sorry for the delay but I just can't answer every question and still have time to do my day job, and also work on the next titles. But basically, this behavior is nothing new as far as I know, it has always been this way but it does make sense to me.

If heavy bridges are for everything (vehicles, horse, foot), medium bridges are for everything but vehicles (horse and foot), then it makes sense that light bridges are for foot units only. Rhetorically speaking, what else would the delineation in movement type be for the light bridge? So the restrictions do make sense.

Besides that, these light bridges are for flimsy "foot bridges" that were present on foot paths.  A single horse or wagon could certainly cross such a bridge, but the bridge wouldn't support repeated crossings by cavalry or artillery units (not that they would all load up on the bridge at once time, but that they destroy such a bridge from normal use - we must assume).

In S14, the foot bridges are placed in two cases:

1. Where there was a foot or horse cart path.
2. Where there were rail bridges, which are described in the notes document (rails bolted to traverses).

In either case, it is rationalized that a formation of cavalry or artillery could not cross at those locations, and this is very historical, given that text frequently mention that lack of good bridges to sustain operations - so its good that an entire formation might not be able to cross at the same place, or that a engineer must build a bridge to get an entire division across a river.

Hopefully that helps!

Yes it does!  Thanks!
Quote this message in a reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)