GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

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Peter Stauffenberg
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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:34 am

I wonder what is broken in the first place. Garrison units are a bit weaker than corps units so they can more easily be destroyed and forced to retreat. Not very good to have to hold defense lines. If we add upgrades for garrison units then we make the game more complex for very little reason. Then it would be better to have a different unit type.

I see garrison units as weak infantry units who can maybe hold a position, but won't contribute much in offensive operations. Similar to static corps units. Therefore the movement allowance is just 2 and not 4. The ground attack is 2 while the ground defense is 3 as for regular corps units.

We see in game after game that the Allies have no problems breaking Axis defense lines through air power and concentrated attacks. I would welcome an Axis garrison defense line any day to stronger units. The Russians also need access to weaker garrison units in 1941 as stumbling blocks to slow down the German advance.

GS v4.0 has come to a certain development stage that we don't make changes just because we can. GS v4.0 has been tested thoroughly and making the suggested changes means we have to retest quite a bit to see the impact. We can tweak GS v4.0 a little bit if we see undesirable effects in AAR games. E. g. like frequent one turn conquest of Poland. Then moving one Polish unit can prevent that. Such fixes we can do, but changing the game mechanisms now is out of scope.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by pk867 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:48 pm

One idea for GAR blob, we need to impose limits like we have for other combat units. So a number like 30 to 35 would be the soft limit.

This would satisfy most of the countries that have large numbers of Gar's normally. (ie Germany, Russia, and the UK)

Paras would not count against this limit.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:51 pm

We don't have limits for corps units so why do we want limits for garrison units?

I haven't seen many examples of garrison blobs preventing any progress.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by pk867 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:24 pm

Well since it is legal to buy as many as you want for GARs players fill every hex in Sicily and sometimes Sardinia with GARS and one or two combat units.

The build a wall along the coast in France one or two deep hexrow. They are not that easy to kill it takes 2 or more turns per row to kill. In the case of Sicily

You need many turns about 10 turns by airstrikes and Surface ships to soften the GARS so AMPHs can then attack and land so the whole timeline is delayed.

It took me twenty turns to finally get on shore and then another 10 to take Sicily into 44'

Since it is legal You can not stop anyone from doing that tactic So I am looking for a way within the game mechanics to adjust it slightly.

It is the one gamey / loophole tactic that has never been dealt with.

Now to be clear about the idea of limits this is not a hard limit once reached the over costs take effect like it does with other combat units.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by AugustusTiberius » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:14 pm

First off, I agree with several of the commentators that if it ain't broke, then don't touch it. And that goes for Stauffenberg's post at the top of this page.

However, I too have encountered the fill-every-hex-of-Sicily/Sardinia-with-garrisons and that is beyond lame. Sorry if that offends anyone but it is.

My first solution is not to play players like that. That however is limiting. So while I understand your immediate response Stauffenberg to pk867's idea, I think it ming the worth considering as it is simple, does not alter the mechanics of the game or of the unit, and it would require players to spend on more expensive (PPs and manpower) and unit that are not immediately placed. And yes, I would prefer to attack a garrison over an infantry unit any day but if every hex is filled, it becomes an exploit.

So, not saying we should or have to, just saying, let's consider how to address this exploit and if we decide it should be addressed, I would posit that this is a simple solution.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Vokt » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:49 pm

Agree that nothing it's broken with this garrison blob we are talking about but my divinated guess is that we could be here before a game exploit that at least might need to be looked at.

Everyone saw in my game vs supermax how this massive filling of beach hexes with garrison units might be effective in order to significantly delay the timing and the location of a landing operation. Hadn't I succeed in landing on the swamp hexes of Holland (that IMO should be banned as hexes suitable for a landing, but that's another matter), landings would probably have been decisively delayed and/or they would have been made in an isolated location far from Germany.

Later, in other game played it occurred a similar thing: all along the coast from Brest to Denmark was covered with tons of garrisons. Even the swamp hexes of Holland were garrisoned so I had to go for a contested landing in Le Havre-Belgium sector. The fact is that although 3 units or so got ashore thus killing the garrisons, several garrisons survived at 2-3 steps (a late game +1 survivability for German garrisons helped there) the attack, thus making the Allies to waste an amphibious point and what was worse, making them vulnerable to Luftwaffe tacs strikes (1 transport was sunk because of the heavy air attacks that followed in Axis turn).

So yes, for me definitely something should be done about this.

Furthermore, one of the things that would confirm us that we might be here before a game exploit is the fact that players using this "tactic" are willing to pay expensive rail overuse penalties as long as they see their threatened coastlines filled with a double line of garrisons.

I don't know what would be the complication of an upgrading of garrisons system. This would probably be the most effective measure against this garrison blob. Since you would have to upgrade garrisons first in order to be railed to the beach hexes, there wouldn't be that much quickness in the deployment of the units along the coast. It's this quickness in the garrison deployment in flat terrain what allows for the garrison blob to easily occur. As mentioned, in this upgrading system, proper garrison units wouldn't be possible to be railed outside the resource hex.

If this upgrading system is not used we still can use a simpler solution: to make garrison units being only possible to be railed from resource hex another resource hex, being banned to be railed to its adjacent hexes. Doing so would dramatically reduce that quickness of the massive garrison deployment. This rail limitation for garrisons (that makes sense because if it's a garrison, you rail it to a city and not to flat terrain ) along with the hard limit mentioned by pk867 might suffice for addressing this thing.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:57 pm

If the Italians fill every hex in Sicily and Sardinia with garrison units then they can't have many units in mainland Italy. So you land there instead as the Allies. You don't have to capture Cagliari, Palermo and Messina to force an Italian surrender. You can go for Taranto and Naples instead.

The Atlantic wall is VERY long so if Germany can make a double defense line everywhere there to prevent retreats then they can't be strong anywhere else. That means the Russians can more easily storm towards Berlin. The Allies can land in southern France or further north like in Denmark or in mainland Italy to press into Germany via the Alps or Hungary. All the Axis can do is to try to delay the inevitable. If they want some kind of firepower in Russia they need to invest in offensive units and that means you don't have enough PP's to build hordes of garrison units. If the Allies bomb German factories a lot then you can't repair losses and build more units.

The main thing we might have to look unto, if at all, is the manpower cost for a garrison unit vs a corps unit. A corps unit is 10 manpower while a garrison unit is 5 manpower. Maybe upping the manpower cost for garrison units is a way to go. This way you drain your manpower faster if you go for garrison units. A weak static infantry corps still had to be manned with soldiers and thus manpower. it was the lack of equipment and to some extent training that made them weak.

Upping the manpower from 5 to 6 or even 7 could be worth looking into. That means you build garrison units because you can't afford the better corps units like it was in the real war. Volksturm units is an example of garrison units. Right now you get 2 garrison units per corps unit for 10 manpower. This was probably done because one considered a garrisoned unit to be a division unit and not a corps unit. However, in GS terms a garrison unit is a weak corps sized unit. Thus more manpower could be considered. It's an underpowered infantry corps, thus it can only be suited for holding position in non key front sections.

Maybe one should consider bumping the movement allowance from 2 to 3 to simulate that these units were just weaker and not necessarily much slower. The movement of 2 was probably added to "force" them to be garrisons, i. e. not able to move much.

I don't think limiting the build of infantry units is a good idea since these were the simplest to form. A limit to tanks, bombers etc. is understood since you needed factories to produce these units. Infantry units should be a function of the manpower of a country and it is to some extent now with penalties being applied when you drop below certain manpower levels.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:16 pm

Another way of dealing with making garrison blobs is to not burn amph points as fast if you make an amphibious landing and you don't get ashore. That means the landing takes more than one turn to complete. Your landing craft will still be there etc. This means the Allies can afford storming the beaches without losing the amph points too fast.

E. g. we could double the capacity and the cost for a successful landing. That means a failed landing would only burn 1 point instead of 2 points if the landing was successful. This to keep the numbers integer and not fractions.

An alternative could be that the regeneration of amph points becomes much better in 1943 and 1944 so you can afford quite a few failed landings without having to wait months before you can try again. What we shouldn't have is the Allies making fake landing attempts just to damage the defender.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by AugustusTiberius » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:11 pm

Now I think we are treading way out of sight of land! :)

Re. Landing in Italy instead of Sicily et al., is that you have the issue of air superiority. The allies could only land where they had air superiority, to do otherwise was to risk annihilation at sea and on the beachhead. The game currently reflects that well as I have had several opponents try to land in Sicily and/or Sardinia without adequate air power and they have been crushed to put it mildly.

I also know that if players are trying to build lots of garrisons then they a) have used a lot of manpower and b) do not have the counter attack ability to do much after the Allies get ashore.

I have (as probably others have as well) some reading about static infinity and generally they were less organized, had no transport except their own feet whatsoever (not even many horses as the regular German infantry had) and thus had paltry amounts of heavy weapons so I tend to like their limited mobility of 2.

Vokt notes that he ran into the issue of the late quality boost for garrisons. I have seen how that can play out - I tend to play the Axis and that boost (and the survivability) is really important in the late game.

So, here is the real question I feel, what is the Axis player giving up to get this sea (no pun intended - or maybe it is) of garrisons? The manpower drain must be high. What are the Axis they giving up in Russia for example? Is the Allied player pushing in the Med at the same time as France? Germany falls not because of one attack, it falls as a result of multiple pressures and the accompanying resource drains. If the Axis give up too much elsewhere then it is not a good strategy as the Soviets will arrive in Berlin early.

[Side not: Personally, I think the amphibious side of things works well and the Allies could not have rebuilt their entire transept fleet in a couple of turns (note, the current system also requires the Germans to time their occupations of Norway and Greece if they do an amphibious Hellenic strategy).]

We do restrict the number of all sorts of units and while it seems counterintuitive to restrict garrisons, we have restricted other units to stop armour and mech blobs, etc.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Diplomaticus » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:34 pm

I agree that the Sicily gar blob is just silly.

That being said, however, we do have a problem with Italy, IMO. I have posted elsewhere on this forum in the past re: the fact that when Italy falls at or near the historical date in 1943, the Axis loses every time. There are no exceptions in the AAR records, and I haven't heard anyone mention such a case.

So what that means is this: If Axis doesn't do *something* to save Italy from falling in 1943, it's game over. And that, too, is silly, isn't it? I think the Sicily-Blob has become a common tactic in response to this very dilemma. If you don't cram Sicily with units, the island can't be defended, Italy falls, Axis loses.

Anybody see a way out of this problem?

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by AugustusTiberius » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:46 pm

I have lost Italy twice in late '43 and still held at least one German capital by the game's end. It is extremely tough to do though and I think as a general proposition you are right Diplomaticus, Italy falls and Germany does not have the wherewithal to hold.

That being said, have not lost Italy in a while and am able to do it without the blob. Not to say that Sicily does not end up with about five or six good quality units but it is generally the Luftwaffe that saves the day (love those TACs!). Maybe Stauffenberg is right in that the solution is combine an obsession for Allied air superiority and you go after the Italian mainland.

I have no idea what he solution is to the dilemma you pose otherwise - may just be the challenge of a game that is both strategic and tactical in scale.

(better get back to work)

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by pk867 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:32 pm

I guess it would be better to raise the the manpower cost one or two in lieu of having build limits. I would keep the movement factor at 2. With all of the leaders available

GAR's get the extra movement easier now. The only other thing to look at is the techs that it gains and the bonuses it receives when earning XP.

Maybe there could be a lower limit for Max Morale earned would help. It is like the transport blob that was fixed. I am not sure of all of the changes made for GARs now.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Vokt » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:12 pm

Stauffenberg wrote:Maybe one should consider bumping the movement allowance from 2 to 3 to simulate that these units were just weaker and not necessarily much slower. The movement of 2 was probably added to "force" them to be garrisons, i. e. not able to move much.
It's plain to see that in the game and since vanilla, there's sort of a "gap" of units between garrison units and corps units. I mean, maybe we are needing here a middle ground between those two types of units. This could be done either by creating a new type of unit just like it has been created 3 new types recently, or to include the possibility of an upgrade of garrison units to turn some of these territorial and static units (2 hexes movement allowance), into more operational units (3 hexes movement allowance).

In real WW2, there were plenty of corps sized units that didn't have a territorial and static role but they didn't have either the strength nor the equipment of first class corps units. Referred units mainly acted as support units and/or constituted proper reserve units. This way, Soviets formed dozens of Reserve Armies units and the Germans formed several Reservekorps either. Even German Luftwaffe Field corps might fall within this category of 'supporting infantry' units.

Keeping in mind that, for me an upgrading system of garrisons would be the ideal way of dealing with this thing: we would be making more accurate the way by which military units are represented in the game and, in the process, we would be significantly reducing the attractiveness of the garrison blobs tactics.

If thinking that doing so would complicate things, we could think in downgrading the rail mobility of garrisons as mentioned in other posts (garrison railing only possible between resource hexes). This would be the simpler change possible to be made.

What I would be more reluctant to change is the manpower cost of garrisons which would be the solution with more potential effects in game balance. IMO, it would definitely have much more effect on Germany that, in late game, that it's more dependant on this type of units than any other major power.

Changing garrison tech or xp values might have unknown game balance effects either

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Vokt » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:04 pm

Furthermore, the change in manpower wouldn't stop players that use this garrison blobs. They are already willing to pay high amount of PP's for rail overuse so depleting manpower similarly wouldn't pose an issue for them since what matters is to "physically" oppose the landings.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by AugustusTiberius » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:49 pm

Vokt, you want to create a whole new set of units and/or an upgrade model but say that some of the other ideas floated here would not work or have unattended consequences? Go figure.

Second, just because you could upgrade garrisons that would not solve the blob issue. Players wold just have another option of what to do with garrisons - it would not reduce it or take away the advantages of double lining.

Third, you mention accuracy yet you want to limit rail access for garrisons? On what basis is that going to enhance accuracy?

Am afraid that I have to disagree with your proposals as I do not see then addressing the fundamental two questions:

1. Is the blob too good of a tactic and
2. Does it work as well a purported? (I.e. does it result in a disproportionate number of Axis victories)

Maybe worse manpower should come sooner? Say at 60% you hit orange instead of 50%.

And/or maybe over railing should cost even more. Or reduce the amount that one can deficit spend for rail and transports in excess. Or limit the number of excess? It isn't like in a 20day turn that a major power could magically double the amount of rail transport that was physically available.

Basically make the punishment for certain types of behaviour worse or cap the nefarious behaviour at a certain level. Much simpler fixes I would suggest then changing rail rules for one type of unit and or creating a whole upgrade system.

What am I missing? Because if I am missing a key element I would be willing to reconsider my opinion on this.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:19 am

I build a healthy CV force for the Allies so I can more easily get air superiority in the Med. If you have 6+ CV's swarming the Italian coastal waters then the Axis bombers stationed there won't be left alone. So you soften up the bombers before you stage and amphibious assault.

I don't think we can prevent players from doing something that could have been done in the real war, e. g. like sending lots of units to Sicily. The real Germans didn't because they lost a lot of units in Northern Africa so there was no time to prepare properly in Sicily. Real players tend to avoid similar mistakes by getting units out of Africa in time to build up in Sicily.

If you could the number of hexes in Sicily and Sardinia then you see that you tie up a lot of Axis units to passive defense in islands. The Allies will find ways to land in mainland Italy. Corsica is also available for invasion for airbases. If you send enough land units to the Italian coast then Axis bombers can only hit some of them before they get ashore.

I think we are making a huge problem out of something that isn't a real problem actually. If we want to prevent the Axis from defending properly in Sicily then we end up having to limit other ways of playing as well because some players find clever ways to do better than the real Allies and Axis did.

Nothing has happened in GS v4.0 regarding Italy and the defense in Sicily. So why hasn't this been an issue before and suddenly we speak about a garrison blob? I still haven't got an answer to my question about examples of games suffering from garrison blobs? We've seen Morris and others putting lots of garrisons in France. Still France falls pretty early. You just give the Axis more targets.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Vokt » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:52 pm

AugustusTiberius wrote:Second, just because you could upgrade garrisons that would not solve the blob issue. Players wold just have another option of what to do with garrisons - it would not reduce it or take away the advantages of double lining
It would solve it in the sense that the upgrade would mean 1 turn of waiting for the upgrade to occur, then the railing. Keep in mind that garrisons bought are available in the very same turn they are purchased. This allows for an immediate deployment of garrisons along the threatened beach hexes right away. On the contrary, having to wait for the upgrade would deny that immediateness in the deployment. Are you seeing now the difference?

I'm against touching the manpower, xp or tech values of garrisons, or increasing rail cost overuse because doing so would definitely have much more impact on game balance than to simply increase the movement allowance of a unit (upgraded garrisons) that already has that extra movement allowance of +1 both in paratrooper units and in HQ units. See my point here either?

In general, proper garrison units should be only possible to be railed to the resource hex itself and not to its adjacent hexes because otherwise allows for using them in a spamming and/or in a game exploiting way.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:09 pm

We need logical rules. Making garrisons only rail to the city and not adjacent doesn't make sense to me since these are regular troops. It doesn't matter for the trains whether the soldiers onboard and designated to a garrison or regular corps unit.

Increasing the build time from 0 to 1 is something worth considering, but it will affect Russia as much as it will affect Germany and Italy. So I'm reluctant to do that. Anyway, you can only deploy such units in home cities and one per city so you can't spam the garrison deployment. Maybe the price is too low and should be increased from 15 to 20? However, that can make life harder for Russia in 1941.

If we want to fix something we need to fix with consistent rules that will apply for all and not adding yet another special rule.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Vokt » Wed Feb 22, 2017 5:17 pm

What about making the rail capability per capital/city the same as the capability of deploying new built units per capital/city?

I mean, we know that we can deploy as much newly built units as we want in capital hexes but in cities there's a limitation of 1 unit per city. In a similar way, we could set a limitation of only 1 unit being possible to be railed to a city per turn. Capitals wouldn't have that limitation.

Spamming a city hex with garrison railed units is possible because with current rules you are able to rail, on the same turn, as many as 7 units to the city and its adjacent hexes, thus favouring the garrison blob from occurring.

If you can rail only 1 unit per city per turn, then English Channel French coastal cities wouldn't be possible to be quickly spammed with garrisons.

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Re: GS v4.0 paratrooper issues

Post by Plaid » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:39 pm

Diplomaticus wrote:I agree that the Sicily gar blob is just silly.

That being said, however, we do have a problem with Italy, IMO. I have posted elsewhere on this forum in the past re: the fact that when Italy falls at or near the historical date in 1943, the Axis loses every time. There are no exceptions in the AAR records, and I haven't heard anyone mention such a case.

So what that means is this: If Axis doesn't do *something* to save Italy from falling in 1943, it's game over. And that, too, is silly, isn't it? I think the Sicily-Blob has become a common tactic in response to this very dilemma. If you don't cram Sicily with units, the island can't be defended, Italy falls, Axis loses.

Anybody see a way out of this problem?
I have exactly opposite feedback here. When Italy holds all the way into 1945 its actually harder, than with surrender in 1943. Italians spend PPs on inferior units, while those same PPs could go into Germany pool and be used to build much better units.
And Italy eventually surrenders in late 1944 - early 1945, no matter how many units they have - thats just impossible to guard each and every surrender city while they are in Allied paradrop range and there are hordes of invasion transports everywhere. You can have still solid Italian force by the time of surrender, but they will just disappear for nothing.

Historical surrender and Germans manning Gustav line to delay Allied advance on Rome seems much easier.

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