23. Ground Combat
Focus: This section explains how to ground combat is conducted in WiTE2
- How Combat Values are calculated and their effect on combat
- How Combat Values are modified by leadership, terrain and weather
- How Combat Values might change during the combat resolution
- The importance of Combat Preparation Points and combat
- How Support Units are committed to combat
- How Combat Units in reserve mode are committed to combat
- The effect of combat on Ground Elements
- Combat Casualties
- Air drops and Combat
- Displacement Moves and their consequences
- Special rules for Isolated Units
Ground combat takes place in the ground phase and is represented by combat units of the phasing side expending movement points to attack enemy units. The resulting battle can include Air Groups from both sides providing ground support or interception, the commitment of attached support units, and the commitment of nearby combat units in reserve status. The actual fighting takes place between the individual aircraft and ground elements attempting to fire and hit each other in order to disrupt, damage, or destroy.
Terrain and fortification level, air interdiction levels, leader initiative and combat rating, unit morale, ground element experience and fatigue, ammo status, and the type of attack all play a role in the determination of the initial and modified Combat Value as well as how the battle is fought. At the conclusion of combat, the modified Combat Value ratio determines whether the defender holds or is forced to retreat, which may lead to rout, shattering or surrender, resulting in additional losses from retreat attrition.
Depending on the outcome and odds ratio, defending units may have their movement points for their next turn reduced and combat delay may increase the movement cost of attacking units moving out of the battle hex.
23.1 Combat Value (CV)
All ground units have a combat value (CV) that is used to determine the results of a battle. The unit CV is equal to the sum of the individual CV’s for each ground element in the combat or support unit. The CV is representative of the ability to take or hold territory, often referred to as “boots on the ground.” Thus the CV ratings of ground elements are weighted toward infantry and AFV ground elements, while artillery and other guns, though they have good firepower, tend to have low CV’s.
The CV in Gary Grigsby’s War in the East 2 is a calculated value that can only provide players an idea of the combat ability of the unit. This is partly due to FOW, partly due to the possibility that additional formations may join in a battle and partly as each battle will disrupt (or more) a variety of elements and each such element is then subtracted from the final CV score.
Displayed Unit CV’s are determined by a complex formula that takes into account the different ground elements making up the unit as well as unit morale, experience, fatigue, leadership and supply. CV values displayed for units are non-random approximations of what in combat is a series of die rolls and thus somewhat random values, so no single CV can be more than a guide to how the unit will perform in any particular combat. When Fog of War (FOW) is enabled the accuracy of estimates of enemy CV will be further degraded at lower detection levels (10.2).
The elements that go into calculating the CV are set out in annex 34.4. Elements may be more or less effective than this notional value. For example, each heavy tank contributes a value of 9 but a late war IS-2 or King Tiger will be far more effective in combat than an early war KV-2. Equally, in 1941 both the Soviet BT-7 and T-34 are medium tanks but the latter is far more effective.
This may not affect the combat result (hold or retreat) but may have a major impact on the losses incurred.
23.1.1 Initial and Modified Combat Values
At the beginning of combat the initial CV is displayed on the combat resolution report and then, after combat is finished, the resulting modified CV is displayed in the battle report. The final ratio between attacker and defender modified combat values is used to determine whether the defenders held their position or will be forced to retreat, rout or shatter (23.10).
The combat value displayed on the counters and shown as the initial CV in the combat resolution window can be radically different from the modified CV shown at the end of the battle, not only due to combat losses, but due to the many random factors and leader rating checks that occur to determine the modified combat value. Also artillery and air attacks in the early stages of a battle may disrupt, damage or even destroy Ground Elements and those elements are then not available for later in the battle if the attacker closes to close quarters.
In figure 23-1, both sides saw significant loss of at-start combat values. For the German defenders a major reason is the loss of the fortifications as the battle progressed due to the amount of Soviet artillery present. On the Soviet side, substantial numbers of elements were disrupted or damaged in the assault.
If the show details option is chosen, that screen will expand to give an overview of how this happened (see figure 23-2 for an example). More details are available in the other tabs (37.1) In addition, note that calculated CV’s are fairly large numbers, so for ease of visualization the CV displayed on the unit counter on the map and in the unit bar are divided by 100 and rounded down, while the unit CV’s displayed in the combat resolution display have been reduced by a factor of 10 and rounded down. The CV displayed on a unit counter will not be displayed as less than one unless it is a HQ, depleted or routed unit, but due to rounding, on-map units with a CV of one as shown on the map could have an actual CV that ranges between 1 and 99.
23.1.2 Zero CV Units
To reflect their inability to participate in ground combat, some ground units will have a combat value (CV) of zero and will perform an automatic displacement move (22.3.5) if an enemy combat unit moves adjacent unless they are stacked with a friendly combat unit with a CV of at least one.
A unit with a CV of zero will not participate in combat, but may take losses due to being forced to retreat or displace.
Headquarter units will always have a combat value (CV) of zero. Units in a routed or depleted (actual TOE of ten percent or less) state will also have a CV of zero.
Note that there are instances, such as if a unit becomes depleted during the air execution phase, where a zero CV unit can end up next to an enemy unit and not automatically displace. Displacement will then occur when a different enemy unit moves next to such a zero CV unit.
Units embarked on ships moving by sea transport (24.3) in water hexes can move adjacent to enemy ground units regardless of their notional CV value.
23.2 Combat Preparation Points and Combat
Combat preparation points (CPP) reflect the advantage of allowing units to rest and plan before they enter combat. While the obvious advantages apply to the attacking side, units with a high preparation value also gain defensive advantages.
You can also see the combat preparation points of units in the Commanders Report.
23.2.1 Gaining Combat Preparation Points
CPP are gained at the end of the friendly movement phase. All units will gain one CPP for each 24 unused SMP. If units end the turn neither adjacent to the enemy nor in a hex that was not friendly controlled at the start of the turn then they will gain triple the number of CPPs. Note that no unit can ever have more than 100 CPP.
If at all possible keeping units in friendly controlled hexes at the end of the movement phase and out of contact with the enemy will allow units to build up and retain CPP more efficiently. Equally trying to end a phase with at least some CPP is essential to regain lost CPP.
Units attached to a Soviet Front or Axis Army set to Assault Status (21.11.2) will gain one CPP for each 12 unused SMP.
23.2.2 Losing Combat Preparation Points
CPP’s will be lost at a rate of one per hex as they move using the tactical movement mode.
Units that participate in an attack will lose half their CPP once the battle is resolved.
If a unit is attacked and forced to retreat it will lose all its CPP. If it is attacked and the attack fails the lost CPP will vary according to the final odds and the intensity of the attack:
- if the odds were >=1.5 to 1, then the defender will lose half their CPP
- if the final odds were >=1 to 1, the defender will lose one quarter of their CPP
- if the final odds were less than 1-1 the defender will lose 10% of their CPP
A SU gains or losses CPP according to the actions of the unit they are attached to. In addition, if a SU is re-attached (either to a different HQ or to or from a Combat Unit) it will lose 50% of its existing CPP.
Units sent to the National Reserve will also lose all their retained CPP.
23.2.3 Effect of Combat Preparation Points
Attacking units will have their CV for combat calculations modified by the number of CPPs they possess if they are attacking. Every 1 CPP adds 1% to the final CV so a unit with 100% preparation points will have their attacking CV doubled. In effect, CPPs primarily affect the final combat odds – and thus the chance of winning or losing a battle.
In addition, CPPs affect the chances of passing administrative rolls for resupply and to reduce fatigue when in contact with the enemy. In addition, the chances of Support Units being committed and the effectiveness of artillery are also influenced by the number of CPP a unit possesses.
Units with 100 CPP can store up to 150% of their ammunition, supply and fuel needs if they are set at supply priority 4 and do not move.
In effect CPP primarily gives an advantage to a well rested and prepared attacking force. However, the secondary advantages (supply, fatigue reduction and Support Unit commitment) also benefit the defender.
Note that in addition, CPP can have a substantial effect on the MP of a unit (22.1). If the unit passes a test comparing CPP to a dice roll (higher the CPP, the greater chance to pass) then the movement allowance will not be affected by fatigue, or missed initiative and administration tests. It will still be affected by shortages of fuel, supply or trucks or having been attacked in the previous turn.
The importance of this cannot be overstated. When advancing try to ensure your units retain as many CPP as possible and are in a position to regain as much in the next phase. Overall your units will move faster, especially if there is adequate supply, fuel or trucks.
23.3 Combat Sequence
The following is a general outl ine of how a battle proceeds. Some steps, such as participation by Air Groups or commitment of combat units in reserve status, may not take place.
- Initiate battle (see section 22.3 regarding use of movement mode (F1) to attack)
- Determine the defence modifiers from terrain and fortification level (23.5)
- Commit support units (23.6)
- Calculate Combat Values (CV) and estimate the odds ratio to determine if reserve commitment might take place (23.7.1)
- Commit reserve units (Defender first, then Attacker) (23.7)
- Calculate initial CV’s and odds ratio
- Conduct battle
- Air Mission sub-phase (18.1.3 and 18.1.7)
- Attacker interdiction in the defender’s hex will cause damage/disruption to the defending units while defender interdiction in the attacker’s hex(es) will cause damage/disruption to the attacker. Each unit in combat is impacted by the enemy interdiction in their hex.
- Both players’ Air Groups committed for ground support
- Both players’ Air Groups committed for air intercept of enemy Ground Support
- Air to Air combat
- Ground to Air (AA) and Air to Ground combat
- Ground Combat sub-phase with elements being selected by range in a series of rounds
- Calculate final CV and odds ratio
- Determine Winner and Loser (23.11)
- If the Defender lost, determine retreat result (23.12). This could be a retreat, rout and displacement move (23.13), shatter, or surrender and involve retreat attrition (23.12)
- If the Attacker lost, determine retreat attrition on the attacking units (they are considered to be retreating back from the defender’s hex).
- Determine reduction in MP’s for defending units for next turn (22.1.3).
- Determine any Combat Delay movement costs to be added to the hex. (22.2.7)
23.4 Types of Attacks
There are two types of attacks that are distinguished by the amount of time, represented by movement points, spent in preparation and the ability of the attacks to mass forces against the defender.
Hasty attacks expend fewer movement points, but at a cost of reduced combat power. Deliberate attacks expend far more movement points, but allow the fullest application of force. Amphibious assaults (24.6.1) and Air Drop combat (22.5.3) are types of deliberate attack.
23.4.1 Hasty Attack
Defined as “…an attack in which preparation time is traded for speed in order to exploit an opportunity,” hasty attacks will generally result in higher attacker and lower defender losses than a deliberate attack.
A hasty attack will require the expenditure of three MP’s for a motorized combat unit and two MP’s for a non-motorized combat unit. Only a single stack of combat units can participate in a hasty attack and their Combat Value (CV) will be reduced by one half for all steps in which CV is calculated.
Support units can only be committed from eligible headquarters units that have not expended any movement points during the current turn. Note that support units attached directly to combat units will always be committed to battles when the combat unit is a participant.
23.4.2 Reconnaissance in Force
Prior to a hasty attack, a special modified CV calculation is conducted and an odds ratio generated. This calculation is not displayed in the combat resolution window and will most likely result in modified CV’s and odds ratio that are different than the initial CV’s displayed on the counters and in the combat resolution window (37.1).
If this modified CV ratio is less or equal to 2 to 1 (2.01 to one is greater than 2 to 1), than an initiative check is conducted for each combat unit participating in the hasty attack. If all the units pass their leader initiative checks, then the attack is turned into a reconnaissance in force.
If any unit in the attack fails the initiative check, then the attack remains a regular hasty attack.
A reconnaissance in force will result in reduced fighting and losses on both sides and the attacker will have no chance to cause a retreat. This result will be reflected by the combat resolution message “Defending forces were scouted.”
23.4.3 Deliberate Attack
Defined as “A type of offensive action characterized by pre-planned coordinated employment of firepower and manoeuvre to close with and destroy or capture the enemy.”
Deliberate attacks require the expenditure of sixteen MP’s by motorized units and six MP’s by non-motorized units (five by type (2) non-motorized units). Multiple stacks of combat units can participate in a deliberate attack against an adjacent defending stack.
Unlike a hasty attack, support units can be committed from eligible headquarters units that have moved during the current turn. In addition, Artillery combat units that have sufficient movement points remaining may participate in a deliberate attack from two hexes away from the defending unit. The artillery combat unit must be selected just as any unit would be selected to add into a deliberate attack.
In this instance the 4 Artillery Division can join in the attack on the German 7-10 Infantry Division even though it is not adjacent.
If all units launching an attack are artillery combat units that are two hexes from the target hex, then only artillery units from both sides can fire and no support, reserve or Air Groups will be added into the battle for either side.
Game Play Note: The artillery combat units are not actually firing from twenty miles away; the ability to add artillery combat units two hexes from the battle is an abstraction representing the massing of artillery for an intense pre-attack bombardment and the actual firing can take place at ranges as low as 1,000 yards.
23.5 Fortification and Terrain Defensive Modifiers
In WiTE2, the defender can gain bonuses both from man made fortifications and the terrain. The combat value of defending units can be increased by the fortification defense modifier, which is a combined value that takes into account both the intrinsic terrain and any man made fortification level in the hex.
The combat value of each defending unit is modified by multiplying the CV by one plus the total fortification defense modifier. In many cases, this defensive multiplier will also be increased due to the terrain occupied or in the intervening hexside(s).
All hexes have a manmade fortification value, called a fort level (20.3), that ranges from Fort Level 0 (no benefit) to Fort Level 5 (maximum benefit).
Each fort level gives a +1 Defense Modifier.
Terrain can be thought of as possessing an intrinsic fortification level that is added with the manmade fortification level to provide the total fortification defense modifier for that hex.
The table above summarizes the terrain fortification modifiers:
|TERRAIN TYPE||DEFENSE MODIFIER||REMARKS|
|Urban||+6||+3 if Isolated Hex \ Double Dense (2)|
|Heavy Urban||+8||+4 if Isolated Hex \ Double Dense (2)|
|Heavy Woods||+2||Dense (1)|
|Mountain||+3||Double Dense (2) (3)|
- In dense terrain, the CV of infantry type ground elements is doubled and the CV of AFV and combat vehicle type ground elements are halved (23.8.3).
- In double dense terrain the CV of infantry type ground elements is quadrupled (x4) and the CV of AFV and combat vehicle type ground elements is quartered (x1/4).
- Mountain and type 0 non-motorized combat units are more effective during battles that take place in a mountain hex both defending and attacking such hexes. The terrain type in a hex also determines the average distance (range) for combat between ground elements. This is important as it reduces the natural advantage that some longer range weapons (such as tank guns) and improves the importance of shorter ranged weapons (such as infantry carried anti-tank weapons). Thus tanks will tend to take heavier losses when attacking infantry in closed rather than open terrain.
23.5.3 Combat Intensity in Urban, Heavy Urban, or Port Hexes
Any combat that takes place in these hexes will see heavier losses for both sides. In particular defender losses will be higher and deliberate attacks will always be resolved at close range.
23.6 Support Units in Combat
Support units can participate in combat on either side. Support units that are directly attached to combat units will automatically be added to the battle. Support units attached to headquarters units must pass a series of checks in order to be committed to a battle. Headquarters units can only commit support units to attached combat units. The HQ unit must be within five hexes of attached combat units and be able to trace any path of friendly hexes, which can be in EZOC, to those combat units in order to commit support units during combat.
Note that the actual distance through friendly hexes from a HQ unit to an attached combat unit does not impact the ability to commit support units, as long as the HQ unit is within five hexes “as the crow flies”.
Support units committed to support a cross river attack will be subject to additional disruption (23.8.9).
23.6.1 Support Unit Commitment
The maximum number of attached support units that can be committed by headquarters units to a single battle is 6, with the exception where the defending combat units are in a light urban or heavy urban hex, where the maximum is 18.
Note this limit is in addition to the commitment of Support Units that are directly attached to Combat Units involved in the combat.
Support unit commitment from headquarters units is not automatic. For each support unit attempting to be committed, the leader of that headquarters must pass an initiative check. The support unit must then pass several checks, with the checks becoming more difficult based both on the number of support units already committed and the total number of non-construction support units attached to the headquarters unit. This means that Headquarters units with large numbers of non-construction support units will have more opportunities to commit support units; however the overall probability of each support unit being committed will be less than if the headquarters units had fewer non-construction support units.
Support units can only be committed if the relevant HQ is five or less hexes from the combat.
The chance of successful commitment will also be affected by the number of vehicles in the unit defined as the percentage of needed vehicles. This will vary as:
- 90+% +2
- 80-89% +1
- 70-79% 0
- 60-69% -1
- 50-59% -2
- 49 or less% -3
The chance of support units being committed can also be increased by the level of fortification in the defending hex. Equally the number of Combat Preparation Points of the units involved in the combat will affect the chances of support units being committed and the effectiveness of any artillery allocated (23.2.3).
HQ units that have moved during the current player- turn will see -1 deducted from the initiative value when determining if an attached Support unit is committed to a deliberate attack.
If the attack is a hasty attack (23.4.1) then only HQs which have not moved can commit Support Units.
23.6.2 Defender Artillery Special Commitment
Artillery support units attached to a defending HQ unit have priority to be committed into a battle during a special commitment phase. During this round of commitments, defending HQ units have a chance of committing 3 more than the normal limit of Support Units (so 9 or 21 instead of 6 or 18). After this round, the normal commitment round is conducted.
23.6.3 Soviet Artillery Limitations
Before 1944, Soviet artillery and rocket ground elements (i.e. both those in units and specialist Support Units) will have a notional requirement for only 60% of their ammunition needs. In turn, this will reduce the rate of fire.
Units reporting (directly or indirectly) to a Front set to Assault Status (21.11.2) will have a notional requirement for 90% of their ammunition.
23.7 Reserve Combat Units
Combat units in reserve mode may be committed to a nearby battle, both offensively and defensively. The type of attack itself, whether hasty or deliberate, has no effect on the commitment of units in reserve mode. Any Ready combat unit may be placed into Reserve mode by selecting the Ready/Refit/Reserve toggle on the counter or the combat unit detail window (35.2) until Reserve is displayed. Units that move, retreat or rout are taken out of reserve mode.
Reserve units that are committed to combat do not move, but they must have the MPs required to be expended in order to reach the battle hex. The MPs a unit has when it ends its player turn are the MPs available for it to use for commitment as a defensive reserve during the enemy player’s turn. Reserve units committed to support a cross river attack will be subject to additional disruption (23.8.9).
During a battle all defensive reserve commitments are made first, and then followed by offensive reserve commitments.
23.7.1 Reserve Unit Commitment
To be committed in defence, a unit in reserve mode must be within 6 hexes of the battle hex. To be committed to an attack, a reserve unit must be within 3 hexes of the battle hex.
A unit in reserve mode may never commit to a battle if it is adjacent to an enemy unit. A unit in reserve mode will never commit into a battle if the initial combat value (CV) odds ratio is over 10 to 1. A defending reserve unit will also never commit into a battle if the odds are less than 1 to 4.
Units next to enemy amphibious HQ units are not eligible to be committed from reserve.
If the above commitment pre-requisites are met, the unit must then check to see if it has enough MPs to commit to the battle. If it does, then the unit must pass a leader initiative roll to be committed to the battle. The unit must also pass a check based on the MPs to be expended such that Die (MPs to be expended if committed) must be less than or equal to Die (Units MPs).
In the above case the 6th SS Flander’s Motorized Brigade entered the battle as a reserve reaction. This is shown on the combat report by an ‘R’ next to the unit name. Since the Germans lost that battle, its MP is now set to 0 and it cannot take part in any further combats as a reserve reaction.
A unit may participate in multiple battles in the same turn as long as it meets all of the requirements and has sufficient MPs to expend. Defending units in reserve mode that participate in a battle that is lost have their MPs reduced to zero, so will be unable to participate in any other battles that turn.
All reserve combat units committed will suffer a reduction in their combat value if they have a vehicle shortage (23.8.3).
Reserve units may not trace a path to a battle over a ferry hex.
23.7.2 Reserve Commitment and Command Assignment
Units are more likely to be committed to a battle as reserves if they share the same commanding HQ (23.8.6) as the Unit(s) directly involved in the battle.
For the Axis player, this penalty will be reduced if the units either report to another Corps in the same Army or directly to the relevant Army HQ. For the Soviet player, the important relationships are either to be linked to another Army in the same Front or directly to the Front HQ.
In effect, the lower the command battle modifier (i.e. distance to the HQ), the higher the chance the unit will be committed from reserve, especially those units with a command modifier below 10 percent.
23.7.3 Reserve Commitment Limitations Due to Unit Size
Corps sized combat units are less likely to be committed offensively as they add one to the leader initiative roll. Brigades and Regiments are more likely to be committed as they subtract one from the leader initiative roll. In addition, as units in reserve mode from one side are committed to a battle, the chance of further commitments to the battle decline, based on the size of the combat units that have already been committed.
23.7.4 Defensive Reserve Unit Special Rules
Defending units committed from reserve may rout if the battle result forces the defender to retreat from the combat. These rules are the same for any other rout (23.12.15).
The AI will never put a unit with morale less than 50 in reserve mode.
Defending reserves are considered to be counterattacking forces and normally do not get the benefit of fortification levels in combat, though they do benefit from all terrain modifiers that are valid for the hex being attacked. The exception is that reserves committed in defence to fighting in urban hexes will receive the full defensive fortification modifier of both the terrain and fortification levels in the hex.
There are special rules regarding a defending unit’s ability to react from reserve into a battle in a city, light urban or heavy urban hex. Any reserve unit within 2 hexes of a battle in a city or urban hex that can trace it’s way to the hex and has at least one movement point remaining may be committed from reserve even if the number of MPs to reach the battle exceed the number the unit has remaining.
The unit is thus exempt from the normal distance checks. If the unit commits to the battle, it will expend the normal cost to commit from reserve, but if this is more than the remaining MPs of the unit, the unit will simply be reduced to zero MPs.
Even in the case of supporting urban combat, units can never be adjacent to an enemy unit to react in from reserve and must still pass a leader initiative roll to be committed. In this case, the normal Die (18) die roll used to compare against the number of units committed is changed to Die (36) for light-urban and Die (72) for heavy-urban (instead of Die (18).
23.8 General Ground Combat Rules
23.8.1 Description of Ground Combat
Ground combat is conducted by an automated tactical combat system consisting of a variable number of rounds where the various ground elements engage each other. In general, the computer first determines the opening range at which combat will take place. This is largely based on defending terrain, with battles in city and urban hexes commencing at shorter initial ranges. The attacker fires first at ranges of 3,000 yards or greater, while the defender fires first at ranges less than 3,000 yards.
Depending on the initial exchanges of fire, the attack may stop before the two sides are fully committed. In this case, the battle report will indicate the range at which the attack ‘stopped’. However, when the defending force is less than 1 regiment (1 or 2 battalions), the battle is never stopped due to poor odds (i.e. the range will close to minimum range in every battle).
The next step is to determine which ground elements will be able to fire. There are multiple factors involved, including the type of attack (hasty or deliberate), enemy unit detection level (DL), defending fortification modifier, attacking unit morale and supply status (especially ammo), individual ground element experience, fatigue, ammo usage and range of their equipped devices, and leader initiative and ground combat rating (mech or infantry) checks (15.5).
Ground elements that have successfully passed their checks will then fire their equipped devices once they are within range of an opposing ground element. The chance to hit, and inflict damage and the number of shots taken, is dependent on the factors listed above and issues such as ground element speed, size, and the firing devices’ accuracy, rate of fire, and blast radius against soft targets. For AFV and combat vehicles, additional factors apply such as where they are hit.
Detailed information on the attributes of elements can be found on the Commander’s Report Equipment tab (35.8) or the element detail window (37.6).
In addition, Anti-aircraft guns in the attacker’s units will not fire 75 percent of the time.
The amount of ammunition on hand impacts the number of shots taken in combat. If this is over 100 percent, the combat unit may gain an extra shot. If less than 50 percent, the combat unit will likely have fewer shots than their weapon might allow. Longer range artillery units will fire less often if their ammunition stock is under 75 percent.
Note that having CPP at 100 allows the unit to store extra ammunition.
Artillery in support units will tend to fire more often, depending on the ammunition stocks on hand. Artillery ground elements in support units and on-map artillery combat units will be more willing to use up their ammunition when they are in a battle than artillery ground elements in other combat units, because the support units and on-map units are less likely to be in additional battles while a non-artillery combat unit must retain some ammunition for other possible battles in the turn.
Low experience combat elements will expend more ammunition when they fire. Defensive fire will be reduced to conserve ammunition if the attacker is relatively very small (roughly less than half the size of the defender). If an artillery element is firing with its non-main gun devices only, only a small amount of the standard ammunition is used.
The size of the attacking force will also impact the number of shots taken in combat. This fire penalty occurs in combats where there is a large number of attacking units. The force value of the attacking side is calculated using the following values for each non-support, non-artillery division unit attacking:
- Corps 15
- Division 9
- Brigade 5 (3 if the brigade has less than 2,000 men)
- Regiment 3
Once the force value exceeds 28 there is a chance that elements will not get to fire during combat. Artillery elements are much less affected (and this rule only affects them at closer ranges in combat), and the chance that elements will not fire increases as the force value increases. In general though, adding more units should result in more elements firing, but a lower percentage of the total elements will generally be firing as the force increases. The CV values of the attacking units are not changed by this rule.
Ammunition allocation during deliberate attacks will be restricted to what is needed rather than what is available. Units that start with over 150% of ammunition need should end with more than 50%. In consequence, more ammunition will then be available for direct fire use later in the combat resolution due to this cap on artillery usage.
In addition, bombardment artillery fire will receive a bonus when firing if the enemy (defending or attacking) has more units. This bonus is limited if a side has more than 3 divisions (or equivalents) in the battle, although it increases as more units are engaged, so in most cases it will only cause higher losses to an attacking force.
If the targeted ground element is hit, then the result is determined based on the defending fortification modifier, the defending ground elements speed and armour, and the attacking ground element’s device lethality and penetration capability. The result could be no effect, disrupted, damaged or destroyed. AFV ground elements may become damaged during combat due to breakdowns or mines using their reliability scores (37.6).
Any result other than no effect removes the targeted ground element from further participation and they will no longer contribute to the overall combat value in the current battle. In addition, disrupted and damaged ground elements may suffer additional effects depending on which side wins the battle.
Generally, the range at which firing takes place will decrease for the ground elements such as infantry squads as they manoeuvre to come to grips with the defending ground elements, though indirect fire and longer range direct fire ground elements may continue to fire at longer range. After all engagements between ground elements are complete, the computer will move on to the next step of determining the winner of the battle.
Note this rule is one reason why the pre-attack estimated CV can be misleading. A side that is well equipped with artillery, or is backed by substantial ground support, may be able to disrupt and damage sufficient enemy ground elements to change the final odds or perhaps stop an attack before it moves to close range fighting.
23.8.2 Initial CV Values
At the start of the battle, the combat resolution window will display each participating combat and support unit along with its CV in parentheses as well as an overall combat value at the bottom of each side’s section.
These initial CV’s are essentially the CV displayed on the on-map combat unit counters multiplied by ten. The only modifiers applied to the initial CV’s are the fortification defensive modifier and the halving of attacking unit CV’s if the attack is hasty. The combat values of the individual units may not add up to the total CV because the total accounts for any loss of CV due to the command battle modifier, while the individual unit value does not. Note that the displayed CV’s in the combat resolution predictor window will reflect disruption caused by any cross river attack (23.8.9).
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.
23.8.3 Combat Value (CV) Modification for Ground Combat
Unit Combat Values (CV) are subject to the modifiers detailed below.
The CV predictor that is available as a hex pop up (6.8.2) when the normal or hasty attack symbol appears on the map (indicating an attack can be conducted in the hex) provides the adjusted CV values of the units that accounts for factors such as terrain, forts, dense modifiers, weather, fuel and ammunition shortages.
It is not adjusted for the factors in sections 23.8.4 to 23.8.7.
This value is fogged up for the enemy if FOW is on.
This is a very important tool as it’s the only way for the attacker to know how their unit’s CVs are going to be impacted by the terrain in the hex being attacked.
Vehicle Shortage CV Modifier. All attacking and defending units suffer a reduction in CV if they have a vehicle shortage. This penalty is a percentage reduction equal to ((1-(vehicles/vehicle need)) × 20). The reduction is multiplied by 2.5 if the unit is motorized. For example, a motorized unit with no vehicles would suffer a 50 percent reduction in CV, while a 40 percent shortage in vehicles would cause a 20 percent reduction in CV.
The CV modifier for units affected by a shortage of vehicles is reflected in the CV values shown on the unit counters.
However, since it does not impact defending units, unless committing from reserve and since static units cannot attack, this modifier will not impact the CV values on the counters for static units, and will not impact the defence CV value shown for all units (the value shown after the equal sign).
Terrain CV Modifier. The CV values of certain types of elements are modified in terrain designated as dense and double dense.
Dense terrain is Swamp, Heavy Forest, Rough, and Bocage. Infantry type elements are doubled and AFV and combat vehicle type elements are halved in dense terrain.
Double dense terrain is Mountain, Light Urban, and Heavy Urban. Infantry type elements are quadrupled (x4) and AFV and combat vehicle type elements are quartered (/4) in double dense terrain.
Mountain units have their CV doubled in battles fought in mountain hexes, no matter what the weather. There is also a 1.25 multiplier for CV values of non-mountain units that are non-motorized type 0 (no vehicles) for battles fought in a mountain hex.
Units defending in Heavy or Light Urban terrain receive a doubling of their Combat Value when determining the winner and loser of the battle. This doubling is in addition to all other modifiers.
These effects can be summarised as:
- Infantry elements double their CV in Dense terrain.
- AFV elements halve their CV in Dense terrain.
- Infantry elements quadruple their CV in Double Dense terrain.
- AFV elements quarter their CV in Double Dense terrain.
- Combat elements in Mountain Infantry divisions get a 2x multiplier on top of the above in Mountain hexes.
- “Leg” infantry units get a 1.5x multiplier on top of the above in Mountain hexes.
- Defenders in light or heavy urban get a 2x multiplier at the end of combat on top of the above.
- Artillery does not get affected by any of these modifiers.
Weather CV Modifier
Attacking CV values are reduced by the ground weather in their hexes (8.5). The exact modifiers are based on the specific ground weather and road system in the attacking unit’s hex and the hex pop up CV combat predictor will reflect these modifiers.
The following table shows the weather CV modifiers:
|WEATHER IN ATTACKING UNITS HEX||GOOD ROADS||AVERAGE ROADS||POOR ROADS|
|Heavy Snow (1)||0.90||0.80||0.75|
(1) Ski units will have their combat value (CV) doubled in snow hexes and tripled in heavy snow hexes and are not affected by the above weather CV modifiers for snow and heavy snow.
Play note, it is possible that attacking units in different hexes may be affected by different weather modifiers.
Ammunition and Fuel Impact on CV Values. All units with less than 100 percent of their required ammunition, and motorized units with less than 50 percent of their required fuel will suffer a reduction in CV (this penalty is capped at 50 percent reduction in total from these two modifiers).
First a unit loses 1 percent for each 1 percent they are short of ammunition. Next motorized units lose 2 percent for each 1 percent they are short of 50 percent of their required fuel.
Example 1: a motorized unit with 90 percent of ammo needs and 40 percent of fuel needs would have its CV multiplied by .9 and then .8 (or .72, thus losing 28 percent of its CV value). Example 2: The same unit but with 90 percent of ammo and 25 percent of fuel needs would have its CV multiplied by .5 as .9 times .5 is less than .5 which is the maximum combined penalty.
These CV reductions are accounted for in the printed on-map CV values.
23.8.4 Impact of Poor Weather on the Combat Value
The worse the weather, the more likely it is that some combat elements will not be available during the actual combat. This is particularly likely in blizzard and heavy rain turns.
In effect, if attacking under these conditions it is worthwhile to try to have higher notional odds before committing your forces as a number of elements will not be available during the actual battle.
23.8.5 Leadership, Experience and Morale and Combat Value Modifications
There are many factors that go into determining the modified combat values used in deciding the winner and loser in a ground battle. One of the most critical is the leader combat (mech or infantry) rating check.
Both these factors will particularly affect the Soviet player in 1941. A stack of units may appear to have a reasonable CV but failures of leadership, or inexperience, will mean they are weaker than they appear at first sight.
A successful check can result in the CV of the combat unit being doubled. Several failed checks can result in the CV being halved. As with other leader checks, a failed check by one leader will allow the next leader in the chain of command to attempt a combat rating check, albeit at a reduced chance of success (15.5.3).
Units with low experience elements will also find that a portion of their notional cv will be lost as the combat progresses due to a failure to commit rather than combat losses.
Units with morale of 50 or less that have no hex to retreat to and that are not in a port with less than 100 percent damage may suffer a very large CV reduction.
23.8.6 Command Chain CV Modifications
In order to simulate both the difficulty of coordinating attacks with units from different organizations and the ability of an attacking force to exploit the boundaries between different defending commands penalties will be applied if units reporting to more than one HQ are involved in the same combat.
For each combat, each side will have a designated commanding HQ unit. Generally this commanding HQ unit is selected because it has units with the most Combat Value (CV) directly attached to it in the battle. Units not attached directly to the commanding HQ unit will suffer command battle modifiers that will reduce their CV for the battle.
These penalties will vary according to how distant the respective commands are in the overall Order of Battle. So units belonging to a different Axis Corps HQ but in the same Army will have a 10% penalty (the equivalent for the Soviets is a different Army HQ but in the same Front). A unit that reports to a corps in a different army in a different army group will face a more substantial penalty.
In this example, the two units are probably the worst combination possible. Not only do they not share the same Corps HQ, their respective Army HQs report to different Army Groups. Note that the weaker unit has the penalty applied.
The greater the number of HQ units that the unit must trace through to reach the commanding HQ unit, the greater the modifier.
In addition, units that are attached directly to a high command (type 1) HQ unit suffer an additional 20 percent modifier, and those that are attached directly to an Army Group (or Soviet Front command) suffer an additional 10 percent modifier (these are shown as part of the total modifier percentage displayed) in addition to any penalty for coming from a separate command.
Note this rule rewards trying to organise your overall Order of Battle so that units from different commands are not mixed up. If this cannot be avoided, then try to organise your forces so that units likely to share a mission (defending or attacking) report to closely related HQs.
23.8.7 Combat Value Modifications During Combat
In addition, as noted above the CVs can be modified as the battle continues. Elements that are disrupted or damaged will be removed from the calculation as well as those that are destroyed. In addition both engineers (especially in a deliberate attack) and heavy artillery will reduce fortification values during combat thus reducing the defensive CV modification derived from those fortifications (20.4).
In effect, ensuring an attack is well supported by air power, heavy artillery and combat engineers can make a real difference in terms of the chances to actually capture a well defended hex.
23.8.8 Unready Combat Units Attack Restrictions
Combat units that have the sum of their current morale and actual TOE percentage equalling less than 90 are in an unready status, which is reflected in the unit bar when the unit is selected. Unready combat units may only attack if they have not expended any movement points during the turn. With the exception of unready artillery combat units firing at a distance of two hexes, this means unready combat units must start their turn adjacent to an enemy unit in order to be eligible to attack.
Unready combat units have their attack CV reduced by 50 percent.
23.8.9 Cross River Attacks
Combat units attacking into a hex through a non-frozen (ice level four or less for minor rivers and ice level 7 or less for major rivers) minor or major river hex sides are required to expend additional movement points above the normal attack MP cost (38.7.6). All ground elements that cross the river to attack are subject to a disruption check prior to the initial computation of combat value.
Ground elements with longer range indirect fire devices will normally not check for disruption while infantry and combat engineers most likely will check.
Infantry type ground elements will tend to suffer approximately the same amount of disruption for both minor and major rivers, but AFV and combat vehicle ground elements will suffer more disruption in crossing a major river than a minor river.
Since disrupted combat units do not contribute to overall CV, players can anticipate a reduction in overall CV of up to half for minor rivers and up to two-thirds for major rivers prior to any other modifications.
23.8.10 Attacking from a Ferry Hex
If the phasing player can enter a ferry hex (7.3.5), then they can attack from that hex. If the attack fails, the attacking units will be retreated from the ferry hex.
23.8.11 Beachhead Bonus
Defending units on or adjacent to a temporary port hex will have their end of combat CVs multiplied by 4 when determining whether they retreat. If they hold, but would have retreated had they not received this bonus, they will instead suffer additional losses to reflect their fighting to the last to hold the beachhead. This will only apply if they are also in a hex that is next to a sea hex.
23.9 Airborne Operations and Combat
Airborne operations can result in combat if the drop hex contains enemy units. In other instances the immediate effect may be seen more as attrition losses suffered by the airborne units and increased air interdiction in the drop hex and the surrounding hexes.
Airdrop scatter - Airborne brigade and regiment size units that are dropped have a 2/3 chance of scattering 1 hex. If they scatter into a water hex they are destroyed. No more than one airborne unit will scatter onto any given invasion beach (i.e. scattering airborne will not stop a two unit invasion from coming ashore). There will be a flak combat report in the original drop hex, and then a drop combat report in the hex the unit scatters to.
Airdrop fatigue - Broken down divisions will suffer 50 additional fatigue points when airdropped. Independent brigades will suffer 25 additional fatigue points when dropping.
23.9.1 Units that can be Airdropped
Only brigade or smaller units may drop.
For the Axis, only the 7th Flieger Division, 1st FJ Division, 185th Folgore Division and the Ramcke brigade can be dropped (in each case the divisions must drop broken down into the component regiments).
Soviets may drop any airborne brigade.
Units must have average unit experience of at least 39.
23.9.2 Air Drop Combat
When an airborne unit is dropped on a hex with enemy units, a special form of deliberate attack is resolved. In this combat the defending terrain is not considered for determining the combat value (CV) of the defending units. Also, the defending units have their CVs divided by 3 to simulate surprise.
If the defending units lose the battle they will be retreated and the attacking units may either land in the hex or scatter to an adjacent unoccupied hex. If the defender holds, then the airborne unit will scatter to an adjacent unoccupied hex.
If forced to retreat and there is no empty hex to retreat to, the airborne unit will be destroyed. If the defending hex is a city, urban or heavy urban hex, or if it contains a fort level greater than 3, or if the hex is also the target of an amphibious invasion, then the chance the defending unit will retreat is greatly reduced.
Airdrops on HQ units may result in the attacking airborne unit being forced to retreat. In this case, a normal battle with casualties is not fought, but there is an odds calculation and retreat losses.
Airborne drops into an empty hex may be engaged by nearby units in reserve mode. After the combat, if the airborne unit has lost the combat, it will be destroyed.
Note that an airborne unit can lose a battle to airfield ground crew, flak attached to a city or a HQ unit. In this instance no units will appear listed for the defender in the combat report.
23.9.3 Air Drop Attrition
Airborne units conducting an air drop will undergo a series of checks to determine attrition losses. These checks are based on the type of terrain in the drop hex, the number of preparation points the unit had accumulated prior to the drop, presence of other units, proximity to an amphibious invasion hex, the experience of the unit and whether the drop is at night or in bad weather. If the drop hex contains enemy units, a special deliberate attack combat will take place.
First the unit may have elements damaged or destroyed due to losses to the air transports while en-route to the drop target hex. Next, there is a chance an element not yet damaged will be damaged during the drop based on the terrain in the target hex. The relative damage caused by each terrain type is as follows:
- Clear and Desert: 1
- Sand: 2
- Bocage: 3
- Tundra: 5
- Light Woods: 10
- Rough: 20
- Swamp and Forest: 25
- City: 40
- Light Urban: 50
- Heavy Urban: 60
It is quite possible to see units taking percentage damage due to the terrain equal to roughly one half of the relative number of elements. So landing in rough could lead to 10 percent of the dropping units being damaged just from the terrain (plus or minus a sizable amount).
In addition, elements that are not yet damaged may be damaged based on the unit’s number of prep points if random (200)<(100-prep points).
Finally, once units end up in their final hex (either the drop hex or after a retreat if they lose a battle in the drop hex), any undamaged elements at this point must conduct an additional attrition check. First the following is added for each target hex or adjacent hex to the drop to arrive at an attrition value (AV):
- +15 if water hex or enemy unit (of any kind) in hex (+6 if hex is adjacent hex)
- If not item 1, then +10 if the hex is the target of an invasion (+4 if hex is adjacent hex)
- If not 1 or 2, then +5 if there is a friendly unit in the hex (+2 if hex is adjacent hex) For each element in the airborne unit, a check is done and if random (200+experience of unit) < AV the element is damaged.
There will be extra attrition to air drops at night and during bad weather. At night, if random (10)>rnd(pilot skill which is experience modified by fatigue) then ground elements being transported by that aircraft will be damaged. Weather based attrition will occur to ground elements if random(100) < weather effect * 5 where clear=0, rain=1,heavy rain=2, cold=3, snowfall=4, blizzard=5.
23.9.4 Air Drop Special Air Interdiction
Interdiction created by airborne regiments and brigades is 8 points per hex. This affects the drop hex and every hex adjacent when they drop. This additional air interdiction abstractly represents the confusion caused by airborne landings and the impact of paratroopers scattering into other hexes during the drop.
23.10 Combat Results and Battle Losses
23.10.1 Combat Results Effects
A ground element that is hit by enemy fire can suffer one of three adverse effects (or can escape with no damage).
Disruption: Disrupted ground elements can no longer fire and they will not contribute their combat value to the final CV computations. At the end of the battle they are set to normal but with additional fatigue so will take part in subsequent battles that turn but with progressively less effect (23.8.3).
Damage: Damaged ground elements are out of action and can no longer fire or be fired at. They no longer contribute to a unit’s CV, and can be destroyed or lose their devices as a result of the determination of which side won or lost the battle.
Destruction: Destroyed ground elements are eliminated immediately, though men and devices may be captured and there is a ten percent chance that the manpower associated with that ground element will be disabled instead of being killed in action. Approximately 1 in every 25 men from destroyed elements will be captured as a result of combat.
In addition to the effect on Ground elements, any generic organic vehicles in the unit can be damaged or destroyed as a result of combat.
If a combat or support unit surrenders then all the elements are eliminated but some men and equipment might be deemed to have escaped (and will be placed in the pool). Equally, if the unit has shattered, again all the elements are treated as destroyed but a proportion of the manpower will actually be retained. This information can be seen in the Commander’s Report (35.6).
23.10.2 Battle Losses
Battle losses are reflected in the Combat Resolution Display (37.1). Losses shown in the actual battle report are derived from the assumption that all the men and equipment in destroyed elements are killed or destroyed.
Battle losses are also captured on the losses screen (36.2).
Note that the battle loss screen can sometimes show more losses (especially in a surrender result) than appeared to be present in the battle. Most likely reasons for this are the loss of AA or Construction Units attached to a city or if there were additional routed or depleted units in the hex (these will not have taken part in the actual battle but may take losses as a result of the battle).
The ‘Last Action’ column will reflect the data that was shown in the battle report.
In addition, as the phasing player moves combat units and causes units with zero CV to displace the “Last Action” will continue to increase until the next battle zeroes that column out and the values start again. Note this column only reflects elements that are destroyed as part of these activities (so not damaged or disrupted).
In some situations this might be an overstatement as a higher proportion of the manpower and weapons of elements destroyed this way (in effect, by being forced to retreat) will be returned to the pools.
Note that the “Last Action” column is zeroed out when the phasing player first goes to the map area at the start of a turn, and just before each battle.
The two Permanent Losses columns (current turn and total) seek to convert how the game engine handles losses (by element) to a calculation of losses in terms of manpower, guns, tanks and planes. Each time an element is destroyed a proportion of the manpower etc. may be treated as killed, disabled or captured (in part, depending on the circumstances of the battle (23.10.1).
So while the immediate reports use the relationship of destroyed element to indicate all the components are killed, the permanent lost calculations take into the possibility that some escaped (and were returned to the pool). Equally some parts of a damaged element might be later treated as KIA. In the main, the battle report and the last action column will tend to over- estimate the permanent losses from a battle.
Some losses are treated as disabled and over time one percent of the men listed as disabled are returned to the manpower pool per turn. Equally one percent of the total are converted into KiA to reflect the severity of their wounds. Thus, the disabled column will alter even if no other actions take place.
Note that although some disabled troops will return to duty, since their devices were destroyed this might be slowed and until they have returned to duty they still count for victory purposes (used in most scenarios, 29.2) and are reported as “permanent” losses.
Depending on the relative flow of new battlefield losses and earlier losses (who are more likely to have recovered and be returned to their units) then the ‘disabled’ entry on the loss screen may be negative (i.e. more men recovered from being disabled that turn than became disabled).
In combat, units can also take damage or disruption from enemy interdiction in the hex before the ground elements start engaging. The losses from interdiction during a combat will be listed in the combat report.
Losses caused by bombing in the air execution phase are shown at the end of that phase and carried forward into the current turn total. However, the displayed losses can be limited by phase using the options at the bottom of the screen:
23.10.3 Damaged and Disrupted Elements
If an element is damaged then it might be subsequently either fully recover or be lost. Damaged manpower is best seen as men with significant wounds that require a degree of hospitalisation but most will return to their unit.
The chances of being able to recover and repair damaged vehicles will in part depend on which side won the relevant battle.
Elements disrupted in a battle will recover at the end of that action. Some extra fatigue will be assigned to reflect the impact of light wounds or limited damage to equipment. Note that elements disrupted in the air phase recover for the ground phase (19.4.6) but have additional fatigue as a result.
23.10.4 Impact on Morale
If a unit loses a battle it may also lose some morale. This can be up to 3 points if the unit fails both a check against its leader’s morale rating and its own morale value.
Units that win a battle may gain 1 morale point, again relying on their leader morale value.
Note the chances of both these events happening will alter (sometimes dramatically) if the morale level is set over or under 100 when the game is set up.
23.11 Determining the Winner in Ground Combat
At the end of all combat, the modified combat values for both sides are calculated and compared as a ratio (attacker/defender) to determine the winner and loser of the battle. If the displayed modified CV ratio is 2:1 or greater, the defender will be forced to retreat.
Note that due to rounding in the combat displays, odds of less than 1:1, for example 1:1.001, will be shown as 1:1.0. All of the defending units in a hex will be forced to retreat if the battle is lost. The attacking force will win the battle if the defenders are forced to retreat. The defenders will win the battle if they hold their ground.
The displayed modified combat values are rounded down to a whole number, but the odds ratio uses the actual numbers, which are in the 1,000’s. As an example, a zero could be anywhere between an actual 0.0 and 999 and a 1 could reflect a value between 1,000 and 1,999. Occasionally there will be a zero in the odds ratio, meaning that the unit was so weakened during the battle that its real (not rounded down) modified CV was zero.
23.12 Effect of Defender Retreat Result
When defending combat units are forced to retreat, each unit first suffers retreat attrition. Ground elements in the unit have a chance of being damaged or destroyed, and some ground elements may be captured, with damaged ground elements being much more likely to be captured.
Retreating over unfrozen minor river hexside causes double retreat attrition, while retreating over an unfrozen major river hexside causes triple retreat attrition.
Next, each unit must check to see if it shatters or routs. A unit that is in Supply and forced to retreat may shatter at the conclusion of the combat instead of retreating due to a combination of low morale, experience and a low TOE percentage and is then no longer considered a viable combat unit.
A combat unit that is in supply and forced to retreat will rout at the conclusion of combat if the final combat value odds ratio is greater than the morale of the unit. For example, at the conclusion of a battle, a unit with morale of forty will rout if the attacker’s adjusted CV is greater than forty times the defender’s adjusted CV. The exception is that if a unit has a valid hex to retreat to, then it will not be susceptible to a rout as long as it passes a check where the unit Morale is greater than or equal to 40+Die (15).
Note this means that units can rout as a result of combat even if they otherwise have a valid retreat path. As a practical play note this rule will particularly affect vs AI games if the AI’s morale is set to 120. Attacks by the AI are more likely to cause extra disruptions, lowering the defender’s cv and increasing the chance of a rout.
This provides an example of this AI bonus. Here extra Soviet elements were disrupted at the end of the combat resolution and as a result the final odds exceeded the Soviet morale – converting a retreat into a rout.
An exception to this is if the unit is a division or smaller unit (less than 9 stacking points) that is defending alone in a battle (no other units in the hex or committed from reserve). In this case the morale check needs to be greater than or equal to 40+Die (30). This means that normally units with morale that is 55 or greater will never rout, however a division (or smaller unit) defending alone with morale between 41 and 55 will be more likely to rout, and between 56 and 70 will still have a chance to rout.
Units that rout will perform a displacement move (23.13) instead of a normal retreat. Support units suffer the same fate as that suffered by the unit they are attached to, although support units never remain routed.
Ground elements from units that shatter or surrender may be captured, or may escape. Ground elements that escape are returned to the production pool and will be listed as escaped in the battle tab of the commander’s report (35.6). Some units that shatter or surrender will attempt to reform. Isolated combat units that shatter suffer the effects of surrendering instead of the effects of shattering.
Units that retreat or rout are automatically taken out of reserve mode.
There may be a combat delay movement point cost assessed in the defender’s hex against any attacking units that move out of that hex during the current player turn (22.2.7).
Units on ships that are in a port hex that falls during combat will retreat out to sea (or will be destroyed if there is no hex to retreat to).
Units that have no valid retreat path will always either rout or surrender if forced to retreat.
23.12.1 Retreating More Than One Hex
In some circumstances the defender may be forced to retreat more than one hex . This is more likely if the final combat odds indicate an overwhelming victory and/or if the defender has low morale or experience.
23.12.2 Defender Retreat Path Priorities
Defending units that have not shattered or routed will then attempt to retreat to a friendly controlled hex using the following priorities.
- Retreating units will tend to retreat to hexes not adjacent to enemy units.
- They will try to avoid retreating into an over stack condition (i.e. a hex that already has three friendly units), but if they do, they must continue to retreat and take additional retreat attrition losses for each additional hex that they retreat through.
- Retreating units tend to retreat to hexes that cost fewer MPs to reach, have rail lines, have fort levels and contain fewer friendly combat units.
At the conclusion of the retreat, the retreating unit suffers retreat attrition once for each adjacent hex that contains an enemy combat unit.
23.12.3 Effects of Shattering
When a unit shatters, it is considered destroyed and removed from the map. Ground elements in the unit are affected as follows:
- Damaged ground elements are captured.
- Undamaged ground elements may be captured depending on their experience, the distance from their unit to an in supply friendly unit, and whether their unit is completely surrounded by enemy controlled hexes (If Rnd (60 + range in Hexes to an in supply friendly unit) > experience of ground element + Rnd (200*), the ground element is captured. *this value is 100 if the unit is completely surrounded by enemy controlled hexes).
- If the ground element is not captured then the ground element’s AFV/Combat vehicles, devices and manpower are returned to the appropriate production pools.
Note that the battle report in the Commanders Report tabs will show how many men and equipment of a shattered unit managed to escape.
Shattering is more likely if the defender has low morale or experience and is a non-motorized unit that is attacked by motorized units.
23.12.4 Effects of Surrender
When a unit surrenders (whether due to combat or in the logistics phase due to isolation) it is considered destroyed and removed from the map. Ground elements in the unit are affected as follows:
- Damaged ground elements are captured.
- Undamaged ground elements may be captured depending on their experience and the distance from their unit to an in supply friendly unit (If Rnd (120+range in Hexes to an in supply friendly unit) > experience of ground element, the ground element is captured).
- If the unit was isolated all the ground elements are captured.
If the ground element is not captured then the ground element’s AFV/Combat vehicles, devices and manpower are returned to the appropriate production pools.
23.12.5 Effects of Routing
When a combat unit routs, it has its CV set to zero and then the unit performs a displacement move (23.13). Units can rout through a port to another port without additional impact (other than normal rout/retreat attrition).
Routed units may move but may not move adjacent to an enemy unit unless stacked with a friendly combat unit. Routed units do not participate in combat, but if part of a stack that is attacked and is forced to retreat, the routed unit will be shattered. Routed units do not have a ZOC and will not gain control of adjacent unoccupied enemy hexes.
Routed units are forced to make a displacement move if they are alone in a hex and are next to an enemy unit (if the routed unit is isolated, it will shatter). Routed units may not move via rail or naval transport. Routed units will not change their TOE, cannot receive replacements and cannot gain morale (12.1). Support units don’t remain routed, but do take retreat attrition and displace if the unit they are attached to routs.
Each turn during the friendly logistics phase a routed unit will attempt to pass a range test to an HQ unit in its chain of command in which Rnd (range to the HQ unit) must be less than six. If this test is passed than the leader of the HQ unit attempts to rally the unit with a successful morale rating check.
23.13 Displacement Moves
A displacement move is a special type of movement by non-phasing combat units that have been routed or zero CV units that find themselves adjacent to an enemy combat unit.
There are several conditions that cause a unit to make a displacement move:
- A combat unit routs following a retreat result after combat.
- A unit with zero CV finds itself adjacent to an enemy unit while not stacked with a friendly, non-depleted combat unit. This would include HQ units, on-map construction support unit, or a depleted or routed combat unit. Note that there are instances, such as if a unit becomes depleted during the air execution phase, where a zero CV unit can end up next to an enemy unit and not automatically displace. Displacement will then occur when an enemy unit moves next to such a unit.
- In some cases when a unit with a zero CV is part of a stack forced to retreat due to combat.
A unit performing a displacement move takes retreat attrition, and then will displace to the hex containing the HQ unit to which it is attached, or to a hex adjacent to its HQ unit.
The displacing unit cannot move next to an enemy unit if there is no friendly combat unit in the hex. If it is not possible to displace to or adjacent to its HQ unit, or the HQ unit is greater than 10 hexes away, then the unit will displace to a nearby town, city or urban hex, generally to the east for the Soviets and to the west for Axis units.
A unit will not displace to a hex that has a non-isolated enemy unit within two hexes. Units will not displace to an isolated town, city or urban hex or HQ unit unless the unit is already adjacent to the HQ unit. Units that rout may only move to cities/towns that are less than 24 hexes away and which are on a linked rail line or are a linked port. If they are unable to rout move to a valid HQ unit or city/town, they will surrender.
On the first turn of any scenario, units will not displace to their HQ units, but instead only displace to nearby town, city or urban hexes. Support units that are attached to a displacing unit will suffer retreat attrition and move with the displacing unit.
Note: voluntary relocation of a headquarters unit (21.11.9) has the same adverse effects as a displacement move, and the HQ unit will not relocate to its HHQ unit, but always to a nearby town, city or urban hex.
23.14 Specific Rules for Isolated Units
The combat system treats isolated units in different ways to others. They are more likely to shatter or surrender after an adverse combat result and will usually shatter if forced to displace.
Admin and Initiative checks are twice as hard to make for isolated units. Players who desire to remove headquarters units from a pocket of isolated units rather than wait for the enemy to displace them can voluntarily relocate the HQ unit during their ground phase. Isolated units are limited to building fortification levels to no more than fort level two and may well lack the supply even for this.
Isolated on map units can change attachments only to HQ units inside the pocket with them, and only if within 100 MPs. Support units attached to isolated HQ units can only be reassigned to other HQ units in the same isolated pocket and only if within 100 MPs. Isolated units are not eligible to be sent to any Theatre Box.
23.14.1 Isolated Hexes
Units and unoccupied friendly hexes are isolated if they cannot trace a path of any length to a railhead (which in turn links to a NSS) either overland or via the sea. Units cut off in the opposing players turn don’t gain isolated status until the next player’s turn in the logistics phase. Isolated hexes that are not occupied by a friendly unit, or adjacent to a friendly combat unit will often switch control to the other side automatically during the next friendly logistics phases (7.3.3).
23.14.2 Isolated Units and Depots
Depots in isolated hexes will lose five percent of their freight each turn in the logistics phase to reflect that some of the freight would not be material that is needed by the isolated units.
Isolated units can draw replenishment using non-vehicle methods (25.5.5). They can also draw freight from depots inside the isolated pocket by using vehicles already in the depot or by having the depot take vehicles from the units to use to distribute freight.
Isolated units cannot receive replacements.
Isolated units that are very low on supplies will suffer additional fatigue and damage to their elements during the logistics phase.
Isolated units will try to resupply themselves from any accessible depots to avoid isolation damage. During the logistics phase, isolated units will initially receive freight from depots that are in their hex or an adjacent hex, and they will follow the normal rules for obtaining this freight.
In addition, at the end of their turn, isolated depots will try to resupply any units that they can trace a path to (units inside the same pocket). They will attempt to fill up these units with 100% of their supply, fuel, and ammo requirements, spreading their freight out to all the units they can trace to.
23.14.3 Isolation and Air-Resupply
A unit at the end of its turn that can trace to depots that have received a combined total of 500 or more tons of freight during the turn will be considered in supply (not isolated) during the enemy player’s turn.
This allows air resupply to prevent units from facing isolation penalties when defending in combat, however, they will still be considered isolated during their player turn (when they might attack for example).
23.14.4 Isolated Unit Combat Value Penalties
When a unit is isolated, the CV value in combat divided by 2. If it fails a morale check triggered by the range to a friendly supplied unit, the units have their CVs reduced in combat by 3 instead of 2.
Isolated units in ports that have a fort level of 2 or greater do not suffer a combat penalty for being isolated. They still suffer normal penalties for any shortages of supply, fuel, or ammo.
23.14.5 Isolated Units Retreat and Rout Results
An isolated unit that ends its retreat adjacent to an enemy unit will surrender if Die (50) is greater than the morale of the unit. Units that are isolated will also surrender if they have no permissible hex to which to retreat. Combat units that are in supply will rout if they have no permissible hex to retreat to.
Note: units cut off in the opposing players turn don’t gain isolated status until the next player’s turn in the logistics phase.
Isolated combat units will not rout, but will surrender instead.
Isolated headquarters units will undergo a displacement move (23.13).
23.14.6 Isolated Unit Displacement
Isolated combat units will shatter if forced to displace. Isolated non-combat units performing a displacement move will suffer double retreat attrition but they can displace to a location where they are no longer isolated. This represents the fact that the assets of a non-combat unit, such as headquarters units, can be spread over a very large area and many of them would not actually be trapped when a pocket is formed.
23.15 Retreat Attrition
When a unit retreats or displaces, it suffers retreat attrition, which can result in some of its ground elements becoming damaged, destroyed or captured. The extent of retreat attrition is based on the unit’s current morale and the experience and fatigue of the unit’s ground elements. Units with higher morale and ground elements with higher experience and lower fatigue will suffer less from retreat attrition.
Damaged ground elements are more likely to be captured, dependent on their experience and whether the unit has a support squad ground element shortage. Damaged ground elements can also have their equipment destroyed while the manpower in the ground element is classified as disabled.
Organic generic vehicles can be damaged or destroyed as a result of unit retreat attrition.
Units that are forced to retreat across a river hexside will suffer double the normal retreat attrition for a minor river and triple the retreat attrition for a major river.
The amount of motorization of the unit, the morale of the unit, and the final odds of the battle all impact the retreat attrition suffered by defending units that lose a battle.
Defending units that retreat do have a chance to avoid retreat attrition. First the unit checks to see if the number of vehicles in the unit is greater than rnd(number of vehicles needed to fully motorize the unit). If it is, then the odds are changed to 1 to 1 and virtually no retreat attrition will occur. If the unit fails this check, it makes a morale check and if rnd(50)<(rnd(unit morale-50) then the effective odds are doubled for determining retreat attrition. If the unit fails the vehicle test, it gets one more chance to reduce the odds to 1 to 1 (no matter the result of the morale check just mentioned). The unit once again checks morale to see if rnd(50)<(rnd(unit morale-50) and if it passes this test, then the odds are reduced to 1 to 1 with the results above.
23.16 Captured Cities, Depots, and Air Base Units
When a town, city or urban hex changes control, factories, and other facilities, located in that hex will sustain damage. In addition, anti-aircraft units and construction units stationed in the city will either be destroyed or evacuated to their assigned HQ unit. Mobile anti-aircraft units assigned to cities that are not in isolated status may escape to a nearby HQ when that city is captured (21.5.3).
Depots and Air Base Units are fixed facilities that cannot retreat or displace. Enemy Air Base units that are captured will attempt to evacuate their Air Groups and then convert to an empty friendly air base unit (16.6.8).
When a depot is captured, most of the freight is destroyed (causing the destruction of some fuel and supplies from the player’s pool), but a small amount of freight is captured resulting in the placing of fuel and supplies in that location for the capturing player’s use. In addition, a small number of vehicles are destroyed and the rest are returned to the pool.
With the exception of depots in port hexes, captured depots are destroyed. If a port is captured, either an existing depot is transferred to the new owning player or one is automatically built with priority 3 in the hex.
Remember that if a rail yard is captured it is likely to sustain damage. As long as this is damaged, any depot in the hex will operate at less than its full capacity.