War in the East – Opposing Force and Combat Basics
War in the East – Opposing Force and Combat Basics
The opposing force counters looks different than your own. Instead of seeing a number like 14-39, we suddenly see an equals sign.
What the hell is that?
In War in the East the opposing force is showing us new information. The first number is attack strength, the second number is defensive strength. It wouldn’t make sense for us to see the movement number as we, the opposing force, wouldn’t know it. In fact those numbers you see rely on Military Intelligence and may be subject to error…
If you play with Fog of War on, which I recommend, then you’ll see a range of units. Check out that table above. Best case you can see attack strength and defensive strength.
This is an estimate. It’s relying on your intel and the game devises the proper strength. This takes weather, morale, supplies, equipment, the commander, all sorts of things. So your Wehrmacht unit might think it sees a mediocre unit when it could be a bit stronger than they think. Also, the number you see is for the stack, not the unit on top. So three Russian Infantry Divisions that are 1=1 on their own are 3=3 in a stack.
Also the longer you have a unit in contact with the enemy the better the intel. Better intel will also lead to better attacks.
Now if you send out your planes for recon you might just see an infantry division. That Luftwaffe pilot can just see troops, he has no idea on layout or morale.
Even worse off you’ll just know that something is there. Yah, that lazy pilot saw someone, but he didn’t know what the hell it was. This probably takes into account terrain and unit type. A heavy forest would make for a harder recon than just an open plain.
Example time! The above Panzer Division is going to attack that 1=3 Russian Infantry Division.
I’m pretty confident I can budge them. My Panzers are at a disadvantage though, I’m in a forest and attacking a fortified position. Luckily we have a Pioneer Battalion attached along with some Nebelwerfers.
I’ll use a Deliberate Attack, this means we’ll use more MP to attack, but have our full combat value. In this case I hold down SHIFT and right click on the hostiles.
A hasty attack uses half the MP, but also has the Combat Value cut in half. To use this I’d just right click.
One quick little key point, if I hold down shift and hover over neighboring units, I can add them to the Deliberate Attack too. Very handy to crack a tough nut of a fort.
This isn’t the GIF from the actual attack. I screwed up the capture but wanted to show how to to a Deliberate Attack with multiple hexes of units.
Routed! But let’s go over all of that information. There is a ton to take in there. But first, a summary!
In the upper left is the Axis Attacking square. This lists the HQ, in this case the XXXXI Panzer Corps. Below it is the attacking unit, the 6th Panzer Division. The 219 next to it is the CV. Remember that 25 from the Counter? Yah, that’s really 250.
Below it is the attached units, artillery and such. The number next to them is added to the CV.
In the center is the attacking forces. In this case 19,000 Axis soldiers, 212 Artillery Pieces, and 197 Armored Fighting Vehicles engaged 12,000 Soviet Troops, 160 Artillery, and only 10 Armored Fighting Vehicles.
Just below that is the losses.
Now beneath that is the air units that took part. In our case the Luftwaffe didn’t show up. The Red Air Force however did, with 39 Fighters and 14 Bombers. All of our amazing Flak didn’t seem to hit any of them either…
Also note the tiny text up top. 90,18, the hex location. Light Woods, the terrain. Clear, the weather. All of this impacts the CV.
This is the defending forces. They are the 168th Rifle Division which is part of the 54th Army. The unit has a Combat Value of 39, plus one from the Artillery Regiment. Note below it the air units that were attached. 19 I-16 Polikarpov and 20 LaGG-3.
Now the meat of it, the final CV. On the German side they have an intial CV of 243 that is modified up to 533.1 !
Wow, that’s massive.
The Soviets didn’t fare nearly as well. They have a CV of 40, modified to 80. Remember the icon showed 1=3? Well our intel must have been off, as it was closer to 1=4 (The 4 is multiplied by 10 to get the actual CV)
This was a deliberate attack, or I held SHIFT down while right clicking on the target. If it had been a hasty attack, and I’d just right clicked, the CV would be cut in half. In this case I don’t think it would have mattered.
So how did it get to 533? I’ll quote the manual.
The final overall combat values displayed at the bottom of the screen at the end of the battle may not bear any resemblance to the CV’s on the counters as they not only reflect losses suffered during the battle, but have been heavily modified due to numerous random factors (15.8).
Finally the result. The 168th Rifle Division was routed. They are displaced, shoved back a few hexes, and are out of combat.
The Odds below showed 6.03 to 1. This is the Axis CV / Soviet CV or 533 / 88 = 6.03.
The Enemy could have Held, which usually shows odds less than 2 to 1. Or they enemy could have Retreated, or only moved back one hex. Beyond routed is Surrendered. This is the ideal outcome, a surrendered unit has a loss of 100% of the manpower.
A unit that is routed is assumed to have lost all combat effectiveness and the troops flee through the woods. But here’s the thing, that manpower isn’t lost and Stalin will see them attached to other armies. So you can rout all day, and you will lose the war.
Instead you surround units, cut off the supplies, wait a week, and watch them crumble. Now the German tactic of encirclement really shines as you hit the Soviets and take the thing they need to feed their war machine : Men.
One final bit about that magical doubling of the CV.
One of the biggest factors is the quality of the leader. If the leadership passes a roll then the CV may be doubled. If the higher command doesn’t pass then the next person down the Chain of Command has an opportunity to try, but with a penalty. A few other things that the manual lists as impacts :
battle losses, the fortification defense modifier (possibly reduced due to attacking engineers), type of attack (hasty attacks halve the overall CV), command battle modifier, leader and unit morale, leader initiative and admin ratings, ground element experience and fatigue, supply status (severe penalty possible if units are isolated), vehicle shortages for attackers and defending reserve units, and effect on fighting in an urban hex for AFV/combat vehicles (halved) and infantry (doubled).
Your elite Panzer Corps of today will be worn down, fatigued, out of vehicles, and eventually assaulting cities. All of which will slow you down. As the Soviet you have piss poor leadership, horrible equipment, bad supply, and virtually no vehicles.
You’ve got one hell of a task ahead of you.