One of the curiosities of the Simonitch systems, has arisen again in a game I’m playing – Ukraine ’43. It is one of the Normandy ’44, Ardennes ’44 series games using the ZOC bond rules [ which are pretty interesting in of themselves] from GMT Games.
That curiosity is – The apparent Uber panzer unit, vs the feeble or ineffective inefficient Soviet force?
So about those German units…With this particular unit the Gross Deutschland the Germans need merely it and one regular infantry division to pound away at a single hex in the clear. But the same impact or less requires 6-9 Soviet XX’s!!
E.G: The attack starts out at a hefty 20 factors [ yes. .yes two divisions] vs 6 [1 Soviet Guard Division @ 3:1. +1R Tigers [no Soviet negation of German armour with Tigers!]/Armour & +1R for TQ [troop quality] = 5:1 . That GD unit is the toughest guy on the block, but of course susceptible to isolation if it aint careful.
Does this ably showcase the troop quality/elan and equipment of the Germans in ’43?
Or is it by contrast showing the plodding, less sophisticated attack capabilities, tactics and morale of the Soviet forces?
Lets compare in the south:
11 German factors defend in the open, we bring 6 division and 2 [free stacking, ’cause Soviets only stack 2 high] armor support units.
The German 5:1 attack was a low roll and inflicted a D1 with a 3 hex retreat, whereas below the Soviets earned just a a1/d1 forcing a 2 hex retreat on a meager 2:1 attack and took a step loss. In fact its not just the attack strength of these German units but the defense also! Wow.
What are the equalizing elements in this game system?
Air and Arty most likely 2nd only to favourable terrain which can double defense and sometimes ½ the attacker. The Soviet if he is smart can use significant arty, but if he has a lot of success he will out run supply, meaning he forgoes some arty to place units back in supply… A simple trade off abstraction. Art & Air add +1R each for the Soviets. Now please note, I’m ok in general with how things worked out, we are having fun, I think that game requires a bit of getting used to.. I’m also ok overall with the game progress and how the system ‘feels’ four turns in.
We seem to be tracking mostly historically, aside my mind bending attempts to game the system or forget ting key rules. But that nagging feeling is emerging that I need to factor hunt, I need to give my hand away by massing forces. What happened to my maskirovka?
Designers I suppose tread a fine line attempting to provide play balance, a sense of history and fun.
I’m always intrigued by HOW they got to certain conclusions. I’m less fussed with whether a unit is 1 Combat Factor over or under in general. If a game is not going to engage you that it is not worth playing.
I’ll take the game play, the plausibility and the narrative generated. So fat it is working.