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Subject: Elite and Armor: why buy them? rss

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Jerome Bonnet
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I have still to play my first game of Europe Engulfed, so maybe my question doesn't make sense. Reading the rules made me wonder why I should bother buying Elite or Armor instead of regular Infantry.

As far as I understand, for the same price I can buy twice more Infantry steps than Armor steps. The Infantry steps provide the same hit probability: (1/6)*(2*N) compared to (2/6)*N , but provide twice more resilience: 2*N steps instead of N. Also, there seems to be a number of circonstances that nullify the armor vs. infantry advantage.

The only benefit of armor seems to be the two area movement capacity. Is it worth the extra cost?

I have the same question with the Elite units. Most of the time, there is no stacking limit, so why not buy two regular steps instead of one elite step?

Thanks for your help.
 
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Rick Young
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Armor has another advantage that you don't mention. It can move into contested Areas during Breakthrough Movement regardless of remaining steps. Infantry units must have at least 3-steps remaining to engage the enemy in breakthrough Phases.

The other big advantage comes from Reinforcing & Counterattacking. When you reinforce with only one Unit from an adjoining Area you would like that one Unit to have a maximum effect and firepower upon the enemy. Elite Units really come into their own when reinforcing a beachhead in France. Lord help the Allies if they were foolish enough to declare an assault

After you've played the game you will have a deep respect for your armor units and your elite units. Nothing puts the fear of God and a bit of caution into your opponent like elite units in reserve that can reinforce two or three front-line areas.
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Björn Hansson
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Rick Young wrote:

After you've played the game you will have a deep respect for your armor units and your elite units. Nothing puts the fear of God and a bit of caution into your opponent like elite units in reserve that can reinforce two or three front-line areas.


Amen. Your opponent will hesitate before attacking an area with elite units. They're visually discouraging. Psychological warfare.
 
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Jerome Bonnet
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Thanks Rick and Björn (what a great customer support!). I can see the obvious advantage of elite units for reinforcement now.
(is it accurate from a historical point of view? I mean, shouldn't we expect the elite units to be in first line instead of being kept in reserve deep behind the lines?)

Your explanation about the breakthrough advantage of armor seems less convincing sorry (again, I haven't played the game yet). That's because I don't see what could prevent a player from keeping 3-steps infantries by allocating hits to other units (I understand that he has to break his full strength units first, but nothing forces him to break his 3-out-of-4-steps units). Consider that the player has twice more units to break than he would if he had bought armor units in the first place.

Also, for every hit bonus, regular infantry gets more value for money compared to Elite or Armor:
First hit bonus: 2*2/6*N versus 3/6*N -> 33% more hit probability
Second hit bonus: 2*3/6*N versus 4/6*N -> 50% more hit probability

(Except for Ground Support, which is equally efficient with all kind of units)

If I was allowed to pay fractional WERPs for units, I would expect armor to be worth something like 1.7 or 1.8 (in a more convenient way: maybe by lowering the cost of the cadre level from 4 to 3?).
But then I suppose someone has to pay for all that precious steel, rubber and petrol.

Have you met players that don't use armor at all?

 
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Rick Young
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>Have you met players that don't use armor at all?

Not yet - when you've played the game you'll see that they more than carry their weight.

You want to have combined arms though, I would not want to go into a battle with only armor against a like number of infantry. I always bring Infantry to absorb the hits from enemy infantry, at least as best I can.

Rick
 
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Björn Hansson
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ZunTzu wrote:
I can see the obvious advantage of elite units for reinforcement now.
(is it accurate from a historical point of view? I mean, shouldn't we expect the elite units to be in first line instead of being kept in reserve deep behind the lines?)


In some cases it's absolutely correct. It was a standard Soviet strategy. Look at the battle of Kursk during th German operation Citadel for instance.
The German panzers easily knocked through the first line of defense. But the Soviet's used plenty of depth in their defensive lines and waited for the enemy to either become fatigued or suffer from over-stretched supply lines (a good example is the Soviet counter attack when the German army pulled back to make winter camps outside of Moscow in 1941*) before launching a counter attack with their best units.

The Soviet player in EE must adopt the same strategy. Plenty of depth in your defenses and try to make the German go the way you want him to go. He'll probably take the road of least resistance. Then, if the strenght ratio allows it: Strike!

*edit: In this scenario it was more a case of not having the proper equipment for winter warfare that made the Germans retreat to better defensive positions.
 
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Mark Greenwood
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Certainly one place where you can make a case for all infantry is defending the heavy forts in Moscow and Stalingrad. As long as you hold on, the Axis armor don't get a hit bonus against your cheap infantry.
 
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