26. Replacements

Focus: This section covers how units will receive replacements as a specific aspect of the wider logistics processes.

Key Points:

  • How Replacements are allocated to combat and support units
  • Refit Mode
  • Usage of the National Reserve

The replacement part of the supply/replacement segment simulates the flow of men and equipment back and forth from the “home front” and the various production factories, through intermediate locations such as repair depots and hospitals, to the combat zone and the front lines.

Ground unit losses, whether combat or non-combat related, while expressed in terms of men, guns and AFV’s, are actually based on destroyed and damaged ground elements. Ground elements consist of manpower combined with AFVs, combat vehicles or Armament Points, which represent all other weapons.

During the replacement segment, available manpower is matched with the equipment in the pools to form complete ground elements. Men and equipment from damaged ground elements are included in this process, but are treated slightly differently.

Approximately (with the exception of AFV ground elements – see 26.1.4) 25 percent of the manpower and equipment from damaged ground elements are returned to the transit pools each turn. Over time these will move to the active pools and become available as replacements in future logistics phases, representing wounded troops that are lost for short periods of time before being sent back to units, equipment that has to be repaired at non-divisional repair facilities that are then sent back to different units, and men transferred from one unit to another.

Isolated units cannot receive replacements.

Note also that replacements are sent as freight from depots along with supplies, ammo and fuel based on the priority set by the HQ unit that they are assigned and percentage of need (25.8.1).

26.1 Receiving Ground Element Replacements

The replacement part of the supply and replacement segment involves the return of damaged ground elements, return of excess support squads, refit, and normal replacement.

Units must be in supply to receive replacements. Routed units will not receive replacements.

Replacements coming into units will bring down the average experience for that type of ground element by a small amount. Experience reduction caused by replacements is based on the relative amount of replacements received.

The higher the average experience of the elements, the less the decrease that can be expected as replacements are added. Experience levels in destroyed units being rebuilt will tend to be lower than high experience units receiving a steady stream of replacement ground elements.

26.1.1 Allocation of Losses to the Transit and Replacement Pools

First, 25 percent of all damaged ground elements (apart from AFV ground elements, see 26.1.4 below) from units are returned to the transit production and manpower pools to be made available to return as replacements.

However, only sixty percent of the manpower from the damaged ground elements goes to the transit pool; the other forty percent is placed in the disabled pool. All other things being equal, returning ground elements are more likely to be returned to their original units.

Damaged equipment, and manpower returned to the pool during the logistics phase are not available immediately to be used as replacements. Although they appear in the pool on the production screen, they actually are put in the transit pool.

At the start of each friendly logistics phase, 25 percent of the amount in the transit pool is moved to the available pool. This represents the lost time from the front of lightly wounded soldiers and damaged equipment.

When damaged ground elements are sent back to the pool, freight is placed in a nearby depot equal to one half of the freight tonnage of the ground element. Elements that are returning to the pool do not pay any shipping/rail costs.

26.1.2 Ground Element Replacements and TOE

The player can manually set the maximum percentage of TOE for which a unit’s ground elements can receive replacements within a range between 50 and 100. Fortified Zone (21.2) units can be set below 50.

The supply priority of the unit (set by HQ unit they are attached to, see 25.8.1) impacts the chance of units getting replacements, and how much they will get in the same manner as supplies/fuel/ammo.

The supply priority interacts with the TOE percentage of the unit so that lower priority units will not fully fill up with replacements, even if all freight/manpower/equipment is available, while high priority can reach their set TOE (and occasionally exceed the this by a few elements).

26.1.3 Ground Element Replacement Availability

In order for units to receive replacement ground elements, these must be either in the pool, or, alternatively for ground elements, built from armaments points, there must be sufficient armament points in the pool to build the devices associated with that type of ground element.

In the case of damaged ground elements being returned to the pool, if there is already appropriate equipment in the pool to outfit the particular ground element, then no additional armaments points are used and instead the pool of that type of equipment is reduced by one for each element sent as a replacement. Also, there must be manpower in the active pool to match with the equipment and build out the ground element.

However, simply having the ground element equipment and manpower available doesn’t mean they will get to the unit that requires replacements. Constraints in the supply network and the impact of interdiction can slow or stop this process meaning that ground element equipment and manpower might remain in the pool even though there are units that need them as replacements. Units may replace a type of ground element in their TOE with other types if there are shortages and other suitable equipment is available (21,2.7).

26.1.4 AFV Ground Element Replacement Limitations and Equipment Losses

There are several special rules for AFV ground element replacements . The percentage of damaged AFV ground elements returned to the production pools varies based on the ground weather as follows:

  • Clear – 22.5%
  • Light Mud – 20%
  • Heavy Mud – 10%
  • Light Snow – 17.5%
  • Snow – 15%
  • Heavy Snow – 10%

In addition, there is a chance that the equipment from an AFV ground element (i.e. the ‘tank’, but not the manpower) will be destroyed rather than being returned to the pool. The chance that AFV equipment will be lost increases the further the unit is from a railhead.

26.1.5 Excess Support Squad Ground Elements

Starting in October 1942 Axis units can use ready support squads to “repair” damaged elements. Damaged rifle and motorized rifle squads can be repaired, 10 at a time in a unit. In this case half of the men in the damaged squads are put in the disabled pool. Enough support squads (2 or 3) are removed to replace these disabled men. Any excess men remaining are placed in the pool.

As an example, if a the squads require 10 men to be fixed, then 10 damaged squads would become ready, 50 men would go to the disabled pool, 3 support squads would be removed from the unit, and 10 men would be placed in the pool.

26.1.6 Panzer Replacement Battalions

The Axis player receives a number of Panzer Replacement Battalions in the National Reserve. These can be assigned to Panzer Divisions and the component assets will be absorbed into the host unit.

At that stage the Support Unit will be removed from play.

In effect, these provide the Axis player with a tool to allocate replacement tanks either to the Panzer divisions or to keep as Support Units and allocate to other formations as conventional Support Units.

Given the problems especially in 1941 and later in 1942 of bringing replacements to front line formations via the normal freight system, using these to rebuild weakened Panzer formations is probably the best choice.

26.2 Aircraft and Pilot Replacements

26.2.1 Aircraft Replacements

Air Groups may receive replacement aircraft during the replacement segment. The air base unit to which the Air Group is attached must be in supply in order for the Air Group to receive replacements and any air group placed in the National Reserve (13.2) is always considered to be in supply.

The number of aircraft received is based on the amount of that model of aircraft available in the production pool and the need of the Air Group, which is defined as the difference between the maximum number allowed and the actual number of ready and damaged aircraft in the Air Group. Reserve aircraft will be reallocated during the replacement phase.

Damaged aircraft are not returned to the production pool, and can only be repaired at the air base unit to which their Air Group is attached (or in the reserve if the air group is transferred off map). However, if the air group changes base then any damaged planes are sent back to the production pool.

26.2.2 Pilot and Aircrew Replacement

Each turn every nation gets a certain amount of trained pilots added to their pilot pool with an experience level equal to the current air national morale (12.1 and 38.2). When replacement aircraft are assigned to units, manpower is deducted from the manpower pool to fill the pilot and associated air crew.

If there are not enough of these pilots available, then remaining vacancies will be filled with new pilots with an experience level set according to 12.3.2.

The number of trained pilots received each turn is listed in the Commander’s Report in the pilots screen under the Air Groups tab (35.4.4).

26.2.3 Air Group Replacment Priority

Players can set the priority for Air Groups to receive replacements or to decide that a unit will not receive replacements. Trained Pilots (first chance at getting replacement planes and pilots and will only take trained pilots from the pilot pool), Priority (next chance at getting planes/pilots, will accept untrained pilots), Normal (last groups to get replacements, will accept untrained pilots),

Restricted (no replacements). These settings can be changed on the CR air group screen en masse or by group, and also on the air group detail screen where the current replacement setting is shown.

26.3 Refit Mode

26.3.1 On Map Refit

Using the refit mode will help the chosen units to regain losses more quickly.

Units in refit mode on any depot will try to fill up to their MAX TOE percent in every supply sub-segment, drawing from other depots as well as the one in which they are located. Units in refit mode located in the same hex as a national supply source depot (type 4) will have access to virtually unlimited freight.

The unit still follows the supply priority order to determine when it attempts to get replacements, but as soon as there is a phase that matches the supply priority of the unit, the unit will receive replacements even if it is at a higher TOE level than the sub-phase calls for. Note that the bonus that refitting units in depots receive is only true for replacements, not for supply. They will go through the normal phases to draw supply based on priority.

However, a unit in refit with less than 81 percent of need, which passes both administrative and support checks will be allocated 40 percent of the supply need instead of just 20 percent, but they are dependent on supply priority limits, unlike the special refit replacement rule above. Since the needs of the unit are constantly being updated as it goes through all the replacement/replenishment phases, what will happen is that in the first phase a refitting unit on a depot will take all the manpower it can get. This will cause the need to go up for supply replenishment. In subsequent phases, the refitting unit will try to get the other items it needs as normal with the refitting bonus of 40 percent instead of the standard 20 percent.

The consequence is that a unit on a depot may obtain all the manpower it needs and be 100 percent of TOE but not have much in the way of needed supply. It may take longer to get those items, so having a high supply priority will help this situation, as will being near depots with lots of freight and capacity.

The mode button in the unit bar or detailed unit tab can be used to toggle individual units to refit mode.

This can also be done using the Commander’s Report (35.2.1).

26.3.2 Refit in the National Reserve

The basic rules above will apply. So units in refit mode in the National Reserve will be able to gain additional supply and replacements compared to other units. In effect, units in the National Reserve will be treated as a priority for the receipt of replacement manpower and equipment. Note that this also means that HQ and Support Units in the National Reserve should be set to refit if they need to take on fresh elements.

This means that units in the National Reserve may obtain so many replacement elements that there are few, if any, left for on map units.

To prevent this happening, the player can set the status of all units in the National Reserve to READY thus slowing the flow of manpower and equipment to those units. In addition, the maximum TOE can be adjusted to below 100% to ensure that not all available resources are taken up by units in the National Reserve.