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Subject: German 5th MTN Division Combat Bonuses rss

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Perry Lee
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Can the German 5th MTN division receive both the winterized +1 and paradrop +1 combat bonuses in the same combat assuming the 5th MTN division was accompanying another PARA and the weather was Snow or Blizzard?

It seems odd to me that a unit can receive 2 bonuses in combat, but I can think of nothing in the rules that would prevent it. If so, that makes the German 5th MTN a very powerful unit to have your army, especially since it also causes a notional to appear in the hex which is always flipped and gives another +1 combat modifier.

A PARA division and accompanying German 5th MTN division can completely negate the Snow penalty during winter months. For that matter, they also negate Rain and almost negate Storm. If the Germans want to maintain their offensive in any weather, these 2 little divisions can have a huge impact.
 
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Grog Jones
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Well, they're not going to be dropping anywhere in storm or blizzard, but apart from that I don't see any problem with it - except I thought snow was -4, so you only get to -2. Note that AFAIK the 5th (and the CW air landing division) is not a PARA type, so doesn't itself get the +1 for a PARA unit in the combat.
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Perry Lee
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Good catch on not being able to drop in Storm (or Blizzard). However, by my reading of the rules the 5th MTN would get the +1 bonus. Option 39 on page 32 reads as:

"Add 1 to the roll for each
paradropping unit (after air to air combat and anti aircraft fire, if
any)."

If it said PARA unit, I would agree with you. Instead, it is saying "a unit that is paradropping".

Here is how you negate Snow penalty using the German 5th MTN which must always be accompanied by an actual PARA unit.

+2 Paradropping units
+1 Flipped notional (the notional only appears when paradropping or invading)
+1 Winterized unit

So 2 divisions (and 2 ATR) can completely negate the penalties of Snow (and Rain for that matter). These seem to be highly valuable units for maintaining a German offensive in almost any weather.
 
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Wendell
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Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
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Gatecrasher wrote:
Here is how you negate Snow penalty using the German 5th MTN which must always be accompanied by an actual PARA unit.

+2 Paradropping units
+1 Flipped notional (the notional only appears when paradropping or invading)
+1 Winterized unit

So 2 divisions (and 2 ATR) can completely negate the penalties of Snow (and Rain for that matter). These seem to be highly valuable units for maintaining a German offensive in almost any weather.


Only PARA units can paradrop. MTN units may be air-transported but cannot paradrop. (First para, 11.15)
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Perry Lee
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AsA/MiF/PoliF option 2: The Commonwealth 51st air-landing and
German 5th mountain divisions can also paradrop if accompanying
a PARA (see 22.4.1).
 
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Andrew
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The airlanding/glider divisions (the CW and GE divisions mentioned, with the little line over the triangle on their unit type symbol) do receive the paradrop bonus if conducting a drop (which would have to be in conjunction with a regular PARA).

Note though that per the latest revision of the 2d10 (which I assume we're talking about here), divisions only receive/give half the bonus of a corps, so it's +0.5 for a paradrop and +0.5 for winterized. The 2d10 table also specifies that "All Modifications are cumulative", so yes, if you conducted a paradrop in the snow, you would receive both bonuses from these two divisions.

It's hardly a gamebreaking thing though, given the reductions as compared to the snow penalty. Additionally, while PARA can be useful in boosting your attack odds, using them casually means they're eventually going to all die because you failed to take the hex. Even if you take it, that frontline hex is now defended by your PARAs in all or in part.
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Perry Lee
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Where can I get a copy of the latest 2D10 Combat Chart? Mine is old.

So halving the bonuses for divisions and recalculating the aforementioned examples would result in:

+2 (0.5 Paradropping x2, +1 flipped notional) or +2.5 (+0.5 paradropping x2, +0.5 winterized, +1 notional) in Snow, which would round up to +3 unless there was another half bonus. This is the equivalent of Rundstedt or Zukov's HQ Support bonus. I consider that significant.

The nice thing about combat modifiers is that they ignore enemy strength. When attacking a tough hex, let's say 30 combat factors, because it is in mountain terrain, you can bring in another 30 combat factors to attack him and get an odds shift which results in +2, or you can just drop a couple of PARA divisions on him and get the same effect. As long as you can achieve at least 1:1 parity, throw in some HQ support, and flip the defenders with ground strikes, and now you are looking at:

Odds +2
Para +1
flipped notional +1
HQ support +2
Flipped corps +4
= +10
 
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Bruce Jurin
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Also note that the notional can be refused by the defenders.
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Perry Lee
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Since the notional is a clear disadvantage to the defender, is there any reason a defender would want the notional, assuming there are other units in the hex? I'm guessing only if the attacking and defending factors were extremely low. For example:

Attacking PARA division 1
Defending division 1
initially 1:1 odds which is +2 to the attacker (and +1 for the paradropping unit).

Notional is 1+1 for being in the home country, changing the odds to 1:3 which is -2 to the attacker, but the notional is flipped (+1). In this extreme example, the notional shifted the odds from +2 to -1 (and 0 when you count the paradropping unit bonus).

In most combat situations the numbers are much larger and the +1 for being flipped is greater than the extra combat factors. Of course, it also matters if your group is playing with fractional odds or rounding.

Mathematically this can be understood by breaking it down like this: If the sum of the defender's strength can be expressed as "X" then every multiple of "X" will result in a +2 to the combat chart for the attacker. Inversely, a +1 would be the equivalent of 1/2X, which is why modifiers are so powerful in the 2D10 chart. Since the notional incurs an automatic +1 penalty (from the defender's perspective) it only makes sense to allow the notional when the strength of the notional is equal to or greater than X - or you are not playing with fractional odds.

X = defender's total combat strength
X = +2 (every multiple of X from the attacker's perspective)
flipped notional = +1 bonus to the attacker ≈1/2X
If notional combat factors ≥ X then use notional
otherwise do not use notional

This is why the 5th MTN division is a very powerful unit. When you are attacking a hex like Gibraltar it can be the equivalent of 2 ARM corps and an INF corps (or more), because that is how much conventional attack strength you would need to get an equivalent bonus on the odds table. For example, if the defenders total strength is 40 and you are attacking with 80 (because you used an O-chit and have lots of ground support and shore bombardment), your attack bonus is only +4 (2X). To get another +2 (for a total of +6) you would have to bring in an additional 40 attack strength (3X) from somewhere or could drop a single PARA division and get an immediate +0.5 (rounded to +1 in most cases) and maybe even another +1 if the defender is foolish enough to allow the notional. In this example, the PARA division is worth 1/2X or 20 attack strength and possibly as high as 1X (40 attack strength, with flipped notional).
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Andrew
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The 5th MTN division isn't any better than a normal Para Division. It's unlikely that you have a heavy winterized attack force as Germany, and if you do, the +0.5 difference between that and a regular Para Div in snow isn't of much concern.

Yes, PARA with their attack bonus is very nice, and throwing in 2 PARA + PARA Div when attacking a key hex like Gibraltar or Leningrad is definitely a very good tactic. The +2.5 they give alone is huge, nevermind the combat factors that they add.


As for when you'd use the notional, remember that there are cases where it can be much higher than 1. Consider the notional for a Paradrop on Leningrad in clear weather - Base 3, doubled to 6. Let's say you have 24 factors defending, and the attacker has 72. Without the notional, it's 3:1 or base +6. With the notional, it becomes 72 to 30, which is 2.4:1, or base +4.8. Adding the notional to that gives you a +5.8, so by including it, you're still better off than without, however slightly.

Put another way, if the difference that the factors gives in the odds ratio is greater than a +1 mod, it's better to use the notional.
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Bruce Jurin
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As Andrew said it depends on the situation. Note that notionals are used more in 1 D 10 than with 2 D 10 as odds are overwhelming important in 1 D 10.
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