Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
23 Posts

Wargames» Forums » Historical Context

Subject: Cities in war games. rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Peter Lloyd
United States
Longmont
Colorado
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As the original poster of the Cities in Wargames thread noted, the D-Day forum was not where the discussion should be. So I point and say "lookee what's going on over there!"

The original question was: should cities have a zone of control in wargames such as Avalon Hill's Blitzkrieg, D-Day, Stalingrad, and their ilk.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve
Thailand
flag msg tools
I was the original poster.

As such I claim the right to define my terms.
. . 1] We are talking about WWII, but it might be true through out time.
. . 2] I define a "city" as a large un-fortified built up area. I don't think that St. Vith, Dunkirk, or Calais count. Some examples -- Paris, Antwerp, Brussels, Lilly, and maybe Orleans.
. . 3] If elaborate fortifications have been built then it is a "fortress" in game terms. Brest, Calais, & Cherbourg are examples [even if they were large enough to qualify as a city].
. . 4] At the tactical level, towns are totally different. Small parts of Armies often used towns as strong points.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Lloyd
United States
Longmont
Colorado
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
By & large I think we pretty much ignore our issues with deadkenny and focus on a discussion of question presented. A secondary discussion of armies (defending or otherwise) maybe useful to the primary context. I feel we should be very careful to not contaminate the thread with our feelings about deadkenny's behavior. Let's keep it to the questions.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oh my God They Banned Kenny
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
Unsurprisingly, my arguments continue to be misrepresented. For my part, I was not commenting on the game question, but just disagreeing with statements such as:

plloyd1010 wrote:
Armies have always avoided fighting in cities.



plloyd1010 wrote:
Armies, small or defeated ones would seek out fortifications, mostly because they had stores, but not cities.


Steve1501 wrote:

a fortified city is NOT a city it is a fortress



Steve1501 wrote:

The defending general does not know what is going on because he can't see it for the buildings in the way.


That, plus being lumped in with "Tea Baggers". yuk
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Lloyd
United States
Longmont
Colorado
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I linked your arguments too. Others can judge for themselves.
I am far more intereseted in what they may have to say.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Damo
Australia
Hobart
Tasmania
flag msg tools
Look Up! Stay Alive!
badge
http://australianmuseum.net.au/Drop-Bear
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
plloyd1010 wrote:
The original question was: should cities have a zone of control in wargames such as Avalon Hill's Blitzkrieg, D-Day, Stalingrad, and their ilk.


I'll have a go. Just replying to the above question as it stands.

In short, my answer is no.

A city or fortress without defending forces provides little impediment to attacking forces (excluding traps or demolitions of infrastructure). There can be no zoc as there is no ability to exert control.

To have a city exert a zoc would require a defending force. To have ALL cities exert a zoc would require ALL cities to have an inherent assumed defending garrison.

Which in itself is fine, IF the counter mix is then reduced to reflect the forces thus dedicated. For both sides.

I'd rather retain the ability to shuffle those forces around, rather then having one foot nailed to the floor in a polka dance.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Lloyd
United States
Longmont
Colorado
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you Damo. A short straight answer (and a breath of fresh air). I am afraid I must admit to a mistake on my part. The question should have been:
Should units in cities have a zone of control in wargames such as Avalon Hill's Blitzkrieg, D-Day, Stalingrad, and their ilk?

Anyway I glean that your answer to the unit side is a yes. Though would not wish to use a unit to create said zone of control. Right?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve
Thailand
flag msg tools
plloyd1010 wrote:
Thank you Damo. A short straight answer (and a breath of fresh air). I am afraid I must admit to a mistake on my part. The question should have been:
Should units in cities have a zone of control in wargames such as Avalon Hill's Blitzkrieg, D-Day, Stalingrad, and their ilk?

"Should units in cities retain their ZOC?"

Unlike areas of rough terrain or forests cities are always small compared to the 3 hex front of a ZOC.

If you want to keep your unit's ZOC, put units on both sides of the city. Such units have sub-units in all the hexes of the ZOC, including the city. They get no combat bonus (doubled), but retain their ZOC.

The rule is -- for purposes of movement, ZOC go into a city, but do not go out. The difference between a city and a fortress is that units can move out of a fortress into a hex next to a unit investing the fortress, but units can't do this when moving out of a city.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
Would it not be true that a City, an Urban hub, in Peace "Exerts a ZOC" because of its infrastructure?

That same infrastructure - roads, communications routes and services, utilities, political and mustering (locals and goods) does provide tremendous influence and impact on adjacent areas.

ZOCs do not just represent spill over firepower:

1. The impact of fuzzy unit placement - the hex grid guides us. The position of the counter in the hex is for our convenience, as is turn structure.

2. The shifting of local forces during an opponent's turn not modeled - the ZOC being not just firepower in situ but the dynamics of a military force.

3. Cities can easily be converted to covered firebases, etc. The concealment potential can slow down the approaching enemy.

4. The deployment of screening units not depicted by the counter - skirmishers or patrollers inherent.

For me, the ZOC for units in a city must exist.

Look at the ZOC of a city as you approach it - those large structures and communications towers are LOS ZOCs making it easier to spot and deploy firepower outside the limits of a city.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oh my God They Banned Kenny
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
Steve1501 wrote:
Unlike areas of rough terrain or forests cities are always small compared to the 3 hex front of a ZOC.


This is an obviously false assumption. For example, Paris spans 3 hexes in D-Day. While most forest or mountains span multiple hexes, if a unit is positioned on the 'edge' of a forest, or a mountain range, its ZoC would still project out into the adjoining 'clear' terrain, just as it does with a city.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oh my God They Banned Kenny
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
Damjon wrote:
plloyd1010 wrote:
The original question was: should cities have a zone of control in wargames such as Avalon Hill's Blitzkrieg, D-Day, Stalingrad, and their ilk.


I'll have a go. Just replying to the above question as it stands.

In short, my answer is no.

A city or fortress without defending forces provides little impediment to attacking forces (excluding traps or demolitions of infrastructure). There can be no zoc as there is no ability to exert control.

To have a city exert a zoc would require a defending force. To have ALL cities exert a zoc would require ALL cities to have an inherent assumed defending garrison.

Which in itself is fine, IF the counter mix is then reduced to reflect the forces thus dedicated. For both sides.

I'd rather retain the ability to shuffle those forces around, rather then having one foot nailed to the floor in a polka dance.


Unfortunately he managed to misstate the question (what a surprise shake ), which should have simply been "Should units defending in a city hex have a ZoC?" Still, I have to give you a thumbs up for that awesome animated avatar, which must be based on Troy. A much under-appreciated game for the time IMHO.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve
Thailand
flag msg tools
deadkenny wrote:
Steve1501 wrote:
Unlike areas of rough terrain or forests cities are always small compared to the 3 hex front of a ZOC.


This is an obviously false assumption. For example, Paris spans 3 hexes in D-Day. While most forest or mountains span multiple hexes, if a unit is positioned on the 'edge' of a forest, or a mountain range, its ZoC would still project out into the adjoining 'clear' terrain, just as it does with a city.

Yes, Paris does span 3 hexes in D-Day. If it was just 1 hex I would be more likely to think it should keep its ZOC.

E_T_Lee says that a hex in D-Day is about 17 miles. It is more in AH's old Stalingrad and who knows about Blitzkrieg, but probably less with its huge multi-hex cities.

Who is to say where the 'edge' of a forest, or a mountain range is located with respect to the hex sides. The trees might extend into part of the next hexes. "Mountain ranges" often have "foothills" around them.

Most of the mountain hexes (including all such near the French and German border) on the D-Day map are really hills and/or rough terrain. The real mountains have a big 'X' in them.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Damo
Australia
Hobart
Tasmania
flag msg tools
Look Up! Stay Alive!
badge
http://australianmuseum.net.au/Drop-Bear
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm not sure I see the problem.

If you are happy that troops in a one hex city exert a ZOC, why would it be lost in a two hex city as long as there are Sufficient defending troops in each city hex?

As to who decides where features end, and whether that has an effect on gameplay, that would be the game designer.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve
Thailand
flag msg tools
Wilhammer wrote:
Would it not be true that a City, an Urban hub, in Peace "Exerts a ZOC" because of its infrastructure?

That same infrastructure - roads, communications routes and services, utilities, political and mustering (locals and goods) does provide tremendous influence and impact on adjacent areas.

ZOCs do not just represent spill over firepower:

I always, in the WWII context, saw the ZOC as being created by units dug in on all 3 hexes of the 3 hex front, with ample allowance for movement during the enemy turn (as you say below in 2).
. . . The game design allows stacks on a few hexes of a mulit-hex front to cover the hexes between them and thus reduces the number of battles. It also makes it harder to advance after combat to surround an enemy stack which you intend to immediately attack with now no retreat.
. . . I just think that to be doubled the defenders in a city must stay in the city and not go outside it 5 miles to dig in there. Therefore, the best way to simulate this is -- take away the ZOC of units in a city.

Wilhammer wrote:
1. The impact of fuzzy unit placement - the hex grid guides us. The position of the counter in the hex is for our convenience, as is turn structure.

2. The shifting of local forces during an opponent's turn not modeled - the ZOC being not just firepower in situ but the dynamics of a military force.

#2 is covered above. #1 makes little sense to me.

Wilhammer wrote:
3. Cities can easily be converted to covered firebases, etc. The concealment potential can slow down the approaching enemy.

Is it all that easy to hide artillery in a city? In all the news clips I have seen of WWII I have never seen artillery using indirect fire firing out of a city. The ZOC does not slow down approaching enemies (that is, cost extra MP or MF to enter the hex), it stops enemies trying to infiltrate through or around your units/lines. My claim is that "concealment potential" is useless for stopping infiltrating enemies that are miles away. For this you should really be sitting on the ground.
. . . You spoke about the road network radiating out from a city as helping the defenders to "control" the surrounding ground, I suppose by making counterattacks easier. I can see this to some extent. But, enough to double the counterattackers? Wouldn't the roads be easier to block than a wide open steppe-like terrain?

Wilhammer wrote:
4. The deployment of screening units not depicted by the counter - skirmishers or patrollers inherent.

In WWII I really doubt that skirmishers or patrollers could stop enemy units moving around the city 10 to 20 miles away from the center of the city. They needed to be dug in out there with artillery support, etc.

Wilhammer wrote:
Look at the ZOC of a city as you approach it - those large structures and communications towers are LOS ZOCs making it easier to spot and deploy firepower outside the limits of a city.

Yes, but enough to stop a determined enemy from moving at night say?

Wilhammer wrote:
For me, the ZOC of a city must exist.

I am not aware of cases where a string of cities were the link-pins of a defensive line, as they often are in our games. Towns yes, cities no.
. . . Far more often you see retreating forces moving through a city to take up positions behind it, in Italy with Rome say.

A commander like Stalin might put a small garrison into a city to make the enemy fight for it, but he had to know that they were going to all die or surrender in the end. But, even Stalin had to know that without a good way to get food and ammo into the city his troops could NOT hold it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oh my God They Banned Kenny
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
Steve1501 wrote:

Wilhammer wrote:
3. Cities can easily be converted to covered firebases, etc. The concealment potential can slow down the approaching enemy.

Is it all that easy to hide artillery in a city? In all the news clips I have seen of WWII I have never seen artillery using indirect fire firing out of a city.



Steve1501 wrote:

Wilhammer wrote:
For me, the ZOC of a city must exist.


I am not aware of cases where a string of cities were the link-pins of a defensive line, as they often are in our games. Towns yes, cities no.
. . . Far more often you see retreating forces moving through a city to take up positions behind it, in Italy with Rome say.

A commander like Stalin might put a small garrison into a city to make the enemy fight for it, but he had to know that they were going to all die or surrender in the end. But, even Stalin had to know that without a good way to get food and ammo into the city his troops could NOT hold it.


Classic material there. Thanks again Steve.

BTW I think you may have meant to say "lynchpin" rather than "link-pin". That is pretty much what the Germans did when they were forced onto the defensive. Yes, they used towns as well, simply because there were more of them. But they certain did NOT 'avoid cities', as was falsely claimed in the other thread. I previously provided examples of the Germans doing this on the eastern front, such as Breslau, Posen, Konigsberg, Budapest. Caen was obviously a "lynchpin" of the German defenses in Normandy.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
Wilhammer wrote:
1. The impact of fuzzy unit placement - the hex grid guides us. The position of the counter in the hex is for our convenience, as is turn structure.

#1 makes little sense to me.


=======================


In REAL LIFE there are no Hex Grids and their are NO Turns.

They exist for our gaming convenience.


2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve
Thailand
flag msg tools
deadkenny wrote:
Caen was obviously a "lynchpin" of the German defenses in Normandy.

Thanks for the correction to lynchpin.
Even today Caen has a population of just over 100,000; in 1944 it was much less, maybe 60,000. By my definition that is not a city. As the original poster I get to say what the words I used meant.

If one wants to think one can change the meanings of the words a poster uses then all sense is lost.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
Quote:
As the original poster I get to say what the words I used meant.


Well, umm, geee, hmmmph...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
"one of the oldest reasons why cities were built: military protection"

O'Flaherty, Brendan (2005). City Economics. Cambridge Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-01918-0

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
Wilhammer wrote:
4. The deployment of screening units not depicted by the counter - skirmishers or patrollers inherent.

===================

In WWII I really doubt that skirmishers or patrollers could stop enemy units moving around the city 10 to 20 miles away from the center of the city. They needed to be dug in out there with artillery support, etc.

==================

Relative relationships are important - I for example would not suggest that Moscow would extend the ZOC of one Battalion.

In the concept of patrollers and skirmishers, the meaning is the use of proper military doctrine to patrol - to actively scout, find and fix the edge of the line - the ZOC.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
And to refute another point.


Cities do not exist in vacuums - around them are your towns, villages, roads, levies, reservoirs, dumps, parks, water treatment plants, quarries, energy production points, rail stations, tracks, airports, airfields, farms, etc.

-----------------

ZOCs do often just slow movement down, even in games that are STOP ZOCs - often enough in STOP ZOC games, the ZOC is UNSTOPPED the next turn.

Very few games have truly RIGID ZOCs - once there always there.

In AH ZOCs, they tend to be STOP yet you can LEAVE next turn and STOP again.

Pause ZOCS.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oh my God They Banned Kenny
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
Steve1501 wrote:
deadkenny wrote:
Caen was obviously a "lynchpin" of the German defenses in Normandy.

Thanks for the correction to lynchpin.
Even today Caen has a population of just over 100,000; in 1944 it was much less, maybe 60,000. By my definition that is not a city. As the original poster I get to say what the words I used meant.

If one wants to think one can change the meanings of the words a poster uses then all sense is lost.


All 'sense' is lost when you insist on using your own definition of words rather than the standard definitions. In any case, there were practically no cities in Europe in WWII according to your 'definition', as according to you "a fortified city is NOT a city". You would be hard pressed to find a single one that didn't have some sort of leftover fortification from the past, Medieval or other, or some sort of contemporary defensive enhancements, such as prepared positions, entrenchments etc.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oh my God They Banned Kenny
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
Steve1501 wrote:
deadkenny wrote:
Steve1501 wrote:
Unlike areas of rough terrain or forests cities are always small compared to the 3 hex front of a ZOC.


This is an obviously false assumption. For example, Paris spans 3 hexes in D-Day. While most forest or mountains span multiple hexes, if a unit is positioned on the 'edge' of a forest, or a mountain range, its ZoC would still project out into the adjoining 'clear' terrain, just as it does with a city.

Yes, Paris does span 3 hexes in D-Day. If it was just 1 hex I would be more likely to think it should keep its ZOC.

E_T_Lee says that a hex in D-Day is about 17 miles. It is more in AH's old Stalingrad and who knows about Blitzkrieg, but probably less with its huge multi-hex cities.

Who is to say where the 'edge' of a forest, or a mountain range is located with respect to the hex sides. The trees might extend into part of the next hexes. "Mountain ranges" often have "foothills" around them.

Most of the mountain hexes (including all such near the French and German border) on the D-Day map are really hills and/or rough terrain. The real mountains have a big 'X' in them.


The problem is, when your initial assumptions are false, then your conclusions will be as well. You say that "cities are always small compared to the 3 hex front of a ZOC", yet you don't even know the scale of Blitzkrieg, which in fact has a number of multi-hex cities. With D-Day there is Paris, which is multi-hex, but also a number of places with multiple smaller cities clustered together in contiguous hexes.

You say that, for forests and mountains, "trees might extend into part of the next hexes" or that "mountain ranges often have foothills around them". However you discount the possibility that cities might have suburbs extending into adjacent hexes. In fact it was the designer / developer of the game who made a decision on where cities / forests / mountains were located on the map, where they started and ended for game purposes. Yet you propose to override those decisions, without having the detailed information to hand, or knowing the rationale for the decisions made.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.