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raptor34

Air and Naval flags/supply - Excessive supply levels don’t allow for attrition

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I'd like to discuss the general supply situation of air and naval forces in 1.36. Details are as follows:

Concern: Air and Naval supply levels are too high to allow for attrition in those areas. As well, given the relatively small numbers of pilots and sailors in-game this effect is magnified. 

Proposals: A - Remove all movable flags for Air and Naval forces, thereby limiting the ability of either side to reinforce a sector with extra supply (keeping in might extra supply can still be flow or sailed in). Given the excess of supply we have now, I don't see how this could really be an issue. As well, it would also make the process of finding and joining air missions more direct because players only have to look for the air or naval garrison force at each town, and not be spit up by some in a named flag and some being in the garrison. With this option, one side can focus it's counter air or sea operations on a single area without having to deal with reinforcement flags that further drive up supply; as well the defender is forced to manually support and reinforce the area in question. Even with option A, some supply should be trimmed from garrisons, in particular, heavy naval units (reflecting their low numbers and high value). Air garrison supply should also be trimmed. 

B - Cut supply across both garrisons and flags, but keep both.

As this is the first campaign of 1.36 I'm aware that the Rats will likely (and should) be making more adjustments to supply following this campaign. This being said, I'd like to start this discussion early because I still feel that meaningful attrition and losses in the air are not being felt due to the high levels of supply vs player numbers, as well as due to the effect of having extra supply in the form of flags, which is not required in 1.36.

Discuss S!

 

Edited by raptor34

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Allied Air Officer SOP has always been to include both countries in every airfield that we can afford to do so.  Taking away air flags removes this flexibility.  

 

If air supply is too high to see effective attrition, just cut it a bit.  No need to reinvent the wheel when there's a much simpler solution available.

 

Also, air attrition is more sensitive of a matter than ground attrition.  Pilots naturally fly around AOs, but they don't get to choose those AOs.  If there are no aircraft available near the AOs, then the pilots don't have a game to play.  

 

Some might argue that pilots can just spawn at backline AFs, but when those flight times start creeping up quickly, pilots will simply stop flying.  I think it's fair to expect a 15 min travel time in this game, air or ground.  Above that number and you start getting into unrealistic time constraints for a video game. 

 

On the ground though, there's always something to spawn and fight with somewhere.  There's never a case where every single AO or DO is out of supply.  On the other hand, if the AF lists are too small, that means aircraft can be removed from an entire sector for hours at a time, and it's entirely possible that the game's AOs during that timeframe are taking place in that depleted sector.  

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3 hours ago, Capco said:

Allied Air Officer SOP has always been to include both countries in every airfield that we can afford to do so.  Taking away air flags removes this flexibility.  

That would be a result of removing air flags - At the same time, it is not something I'd argue that would not be a major problem, at least for me and those of us who fly UK and French aircraft. Some debate could be had here.  

If air supply is too high to see effective attrition, just cut it a bit.  No need to reinvent the wheel when there's a much simpler solution available.

That was option B - I'd be all for it. I'd agrue for around a 50% cut at this time.

Also, air attrition is more sensitive of a matter than ground attrition.  Pilots naturally fly around AOs, but they don't get to choose those AOs.  If there are no aircraft available near the AOs, then the pilots don't have a game to play.  

In 1.36, Pilots will almost always have a game to play. The transit times to most AOs are not a major factor given the half-scale map that we have, even flying from backline AFs. Also, the transit time tends to drop as aircraft become higher performance in later tiers. Some aircraft will always be slow, but that is realistic.

Some might argue that pilots can just spawn at backline AFs, but when those flight times start creeping up quickly, pilots will simply stop flying.  I think it's fair to expect a 15 min travel time in this game, air or ground.  Above that number and you start getting into unrealistic time constraints for a video game. 

Even from a backline AF, transit times are often under 15 min in most aircraft.

On the ground though, there's always something to spawn and fight with somewhere.  There's never a case where every single AO or DO is out of supply.  On the other hand, if the AF lists are too small, that means aircraft can be removed from an entire sector for hours at a time, and it's entirely possible that the game's AOs during that timeframe are taking place in that depleted sector.  

The whole objective of limiting air supply is to be able to remove enemy aircraft from a sector for a period of time, in the same way a ground attack can seek to attrition enemy ground forces to near 0. Right now, its nearly impossible to gain sector control of the air because there is always more aircraft available due to high supply - losses in the air count for little in the end game. What I am seeking at address is just that, making high aircraft (or naval) losses painful and directly related to in-game performance. Operations such as counter-airfield ops could even become a major factor if supply was limited to the extent that gaining control of a sector becomes possible through destorying enemy aircraft. Keep in mind that even without air flags, nothing stops players from organizing resupply flights to refill "frontline" AFs from "backline" AFs, which if I am not mistaken was one of the major goals of 1.36, resupply and supply interdiction opportunities.    

In the end, what is the point of a supply system in a wargame if it doesn't have any real effect on the outcome of the fight?

 

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@raptor34 If you want to gain a decent chunk of altitude while coming from most backline AFs, it will take longer than 15 minutes in anything that isn't a Spit or a 109/190.  Bombers and planes like the P40 will push 20min.  

 

Again, in any case where ground supply is actually attritioned, that battle is already over and a new one then begins where there is supply.  Always.  It happens around the clock  (maybe not with a whole lot of action). 

 

Also, there is never a time where every time I want to spawn in to play on the ground that I am forced to spend 15+ minutes of travel each time.  Even the Matty and Char can get to most battlefields in less than 10min.  There are situations where completely attritioned AFs will be covering a given sector containing all of the games AOs, and so if I'm a pilot I am instantly saddled with a burden that no player on the ground shares.  Completely attritioning AFs should be able to happen, but it should not be the norm.  

 

Even as it is now, attrition still occurs with the good stuff.  Top-tier aircraft will always be at a premium and always be limited.  It isn't hard to take out the top-tier aircraft in a given sector over the course of flying around just 1 AO.  That alone puts a damper on the flyboys' participation rate.   But even if there are just hurri1s and 109e1s left in the list, there should usually be something to spawn.  It shouldn't be unlimited, but that bottom-tier stuff should be somewhat plentiful.  

 

And when it comes to new pilots, you absolutely need a good amount of that bottom tier stuff as well.  The only way they can learn is by dying a lot in those early birds.  New pilots shouldn't be penalized for that imo.  

 

And with this setup, you might actually see people ferrying in top-tier aircraft from backline AFs to the front.  A 15 minute restock flight is a lot quicker than a 30+ minute armor drive for restocking.  

Edited by Capco

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I disagree with the P-40C needing 20 min to get into a fighting position - yes you are not going to get the same altitude as the Spitfire or 109 in that time but as most combat takes place around 15000 feet and below, 10-15 min is quite adequate in most situations. But comparing aircraft performance here is not the point, it is about being able to gain sector air control through attrition. Simply put, other than the top-tier fighters, there is far too much supply of aircraft at all levels, and the flags only add to that situation. Of all areas in the game, air resupply is the most simple and would allow the side with attritioned airfields to be able to resupply, but it is up to the players. 

As you might recall,  I argued in favour of 1.36 being realistic TOE flags supported by very small garrisons. That didn't happen, so be it. I'm quite liking 1.36 at this point but I am starting to wonder if the hybrid supply actually works against it. Flags allow supply to be moved into wherever there is a gap and it takes away the requirement of the player base to actually move the supply, getting those kinds of operations on-map instead of being HC actions. I'd still support flags being heavy armour units only to try to simulate separate heavy tank brigades but then garrison numbers of armour would need to be reduced, although they are already too high IMO.

In short, I was expecting a greater emphasis on attritional warfare in the air war (which hopefully would lead to smarter flying and a greater determination to RTB on the part of pilots) that I'm just not seeing with 1.36 in its current form. TOE was worse in this regard, but it is still not the change I thought it would be. In the ground war you know your kills are having an effect on the local town's supply, in the air is it barely matters overall (top-tier fighters notwithstanding).

Edited by raptor34

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I agree with raptor here. You guys are grossly overestimating time to combat with fighters. I can fly from Den Haag all the way to the British gm factories and get alt in 30 minutes... In a He111!

Edit: I would also agree limiting the flags to essentially only armor and a small number of support units. I think the number of flags is good right now abd wouldn't expand them farthur for the reasons raptor said. The same thing with planes, especially bombers which could make the RDP war a bit more realistic than the current one-way kamikazee runs (which I am guilty of as well).

Infinite supply hurts gameplay IMHO, and I think we have already with garrisons seen a new approach to battles with players more careful about wasting supply.

Edited by aismov
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4 hours ago, aismov said:

 

Edit: I would also agree limiting the flags to essentially only armor and a small number of support units. I think the number of flags is good right now abd wouldn't expand them farthur for the reasons raptor said. The same thing with planes, especially bombers which could make the RDP war a bit more realistic than the current one-way kamikazee runs (which I am guilty of as well).

Infinite supply hurts gameplay IMHO, and I think we have already with garrisons seen a new approach to battles with players more careful about wasting supply.

Absolutely 

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