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Subject: Is it really this hard to break units? rss

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Matt Thrower
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So I've soloed a couple of games now, and I'm starting to wonder if I'm playing a rule wrong, because it seems nigh-on impossible to break units without a melee assault.

Let's take a scenario where a Russian rifle squad, morale 8, is advancing through open country. A German rifle squad, firepower 5, stacked with a 2 leader (firepower 7) and carrying an LMG (group fire for firepower 8) opens fire.

Assuming there's no hindrance, this is a straight dice-off, with the attacker trying to get a higher total than the defender, right? Morale plus dice against Firepower plus dice?

Seems a bit mad that trained soldiers firing against an enemy in open ground have only an evens chance of actually having some effect.

Any sensible commander is, of course, going to use terrain cover and hindrances to improve the odds. There's sustained fire and bigger group fire to balance it out, but the chances seem drastically tipped in favour of the defender. I spent turn after turn after turn of Fat Lipski with squads in the central building firing at squads in the surrounding forest and no-one ever hitting anything.

Unless I'm doing something wrong?
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Jason Albert
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When a unit is moving, it breaks on ties.

MattDP wrote:
I spent turn after turn after turn of Fat Lipski with squads in the central building firing at squads in the surrounding forest and no-one ever hitting anything.


Seems like a pretty good deal for the Germans -- that being if the Russians are hiding in the woods and not trying to run off the map or take the objectives.
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Ahmed Hadzi
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There is a odds chart in the file section which shows the probabilites of breaking the unit. I think if FP=Morale+Cover, you should have slightly more than 50% chance to break them. Increasing the FP>Morale+Cover of course increase chances.

This should mean that if the Russian squad is going over open terrain, and you play OP Fire, you have a chance to fire at them as they enter each new hex. So in 2 hex move you are expected to break them. Of course this isn't going to happen each time. Assuming 8FP vs 8 morale scenario that you described.

So the solution is to make higher FP groups.

For instance in scenario where you have HMG stacked with weapons team, + Squad stacked with LMG and Leader with rating 2, your base FP should be 11-13 in range of HMG, LMG and Squad. This is 3 more than 8 morale, giving you excellent chances to break them as soon as their show their noses.
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Mark Buetow
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Well, you've got the mechanics right...

But firing at moving units introduces several things that can help:

(1) Defending units that tie the Fire Attack are normally suppressed but if they're moving, they are broken. That makes moving more difficult.
(2) Crossfire actions add +2 to a shot; play some of those and you crank up the fire attack considerably.

As for non-moving, using Fat Lipki as an example, the Germans have Marksmanship actions and sustained fires which will buff the attacks at non-moving units.

Admittedly, the Soviets have decent morale and are hard to break and kill. The typical Fat Lipki firefight between Germans in the house and Russians along the edge of the woods can be a bit of a stalemate. In terms of that particular scenario, the Soviets moving are really in danger of getting hit hard and so they tend to stay put. A lot Fat Lipki games see the action on the other side at objective 4, eliminating the enemy and exiting units. If the Soviets try to approach the house in Objective 5, they Germans can easily cut them to pieces. Don't forget roads give a -1 to cover.

It can often feel, when you're attacking, that your rolls are too low and the Defener's are too high. The reverse is true when you're the Defender. laugh

Having just finished a year's worth of CC, one thing that struck me is how carefully crafted the unit stats are, combined with dice odds, to make even a point or two difference critical in breaking or avoiding being broken.
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Ahmed Hadzi
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Germans have only one marksmanship card so the chances of you having it are pretty slim (1/72), but as Mark said, crossfire and sustained fire are both boosters for +2 each.
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Matt Thrower
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Thanks. It sounds like my experience was very atypical. The Germans had no move cards at all for the first 3 turns, so it actually ended up being the Germans in the woods firing on the Soviets in the buildings.

There was virtually no op fire, as the advance to the buildings on the left of the map is totally screened by woods from the German starting position and on the right, the small window not blocked by buildings is hindered by fence.

Poor Germans. Too scared to move. In the end they resorted to assaults on even odds, and got wiped out
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Mark Buetow
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Fat Lipki, since it is the usual teaching scenario, has shown a lot of similar "lines of play." But that doesn't mean there aren't some surprises to be had.

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Mark Buetow
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MattDP wrote:


There was virtually no op fire, as the advance to the buildings on the left of the map is totally screened by woods from the German starting position and on the right, the small window not blocked by buildings is hindered by fence.



You should have still Op Fire through the fence if possible. The Soviets have to come that way. Did you have an Advance to scoot the Germans over to be in a position to cover the area? Where was the LMG?
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Ahmed Hadzi
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Diff Win Tie Lose
-6 3% 3% 95%
-5 5% 4% 90%
-4 10% 6% 84%
-3 16% 8% 76%
-2 24% 10% 66%
-1 34% 11% 56%
0 44% 11% 44%
+1 56% 11% 34%
+2 66% 10% 24%
+3 76% 8% 16%
+4 84% 6% 10%
+5 90% 4% 5%
+6 95% 3% 3%


These are the odds. As you can see there is 55% chance to break moving unit on even terms. On -1 due to fence hindrance there is 45% chance of breaking the moving unit. These were calculated based on full decks, so as the decks become thinner, the odds are lowered slightly. But it is still good to be used as a rule of thumb.
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Richard Pardoe
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MattDP wrote:
Let's take a scenario where a Russian rifle squad, morale 8, is advancing through open country. A German rifle squad, firepower 5, stacked with a 2 leader (firepower 7) and carrying an LMG (group fire for firepower 8) opens fire.


A couple of points not mentioned in the thread.

When I read this example, it helps draw attention in my mind to the power of a fire group. Each additional unit/weapon that can be added is only +1, but as pointed out doesn't take much to tip the odds in your favour.

Also, each deck has many more FIRE orders than RECOVER orders. Continuing your example, the Germans have 18 FIRE orders while the Russians have only 9 RECOVER orders. So eventually, continued firing should prevail.

Finally, this isn't a game of 1 shot and units are dead. Players need to maneuver their fire groups into effective positions to take out the enemy. The battle is a bit of a slog, so patience and determination are required to get the desired results.

Finally, Fat Lipki seems to always end up with the Firefight at the Lake house. When I'm faced with that, I see what other easy points I might be able to gain. Can I exit? Are there other objectives that can be gained? Not every scenario need end by surrender; nor by control of Objective 5 in Fat Lipki.
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Stephen Stewart
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AlbertaClipper wrote:
When a unit is moving, it breaks on ties.

MattDP wrote:
I spent turn after turn after turn of Fat Lipski with squads in the central building firing at squads in the surrounding forest and no-one ever hitting anything.


Seems like a pretty good deal for the Germans -- that being if the Russians are hiding in the woods and not trying to run off the map or take the objectives.


Also, recall moving incurs additional shots from activated units

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Gordon J
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For me, at first, it took a few games for me to get that killing the bad guys units wasn't the only thing. It's getting objectives, getting your guys off the map, running out your deck as the defender, etc....
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Jim Jackson

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Yes, I have been playing solo with CCacific. Defenders are hard to break! Especially, Japanese!

One thing that I have learned is "time management" and "hand management", is crucial.

Time is simulated in a very unique fashion in Combat Commander, however; as the attacker, do not think that you have to charge across that open ground immediately to dislodge your opponent. Wait, for the right opportunity to do so. (nothing wrong with discarding three times in a row in order to get cards that will help you in a particular situation).

What I mean by waiting for the right opportunity, is to manage your hand in a way that gives you a good combination of Orders and Actions to enable you to do what you need to do during that turn or to prepare for future turns!

Artillery is great, if you can get it.

When you play a Fire Order, it is always nice to have a card or two with an Action that gives you positive firepower.

Use Move Orders and Advance Orders to chain units adjacent to one another, to enable them to form a firegroup.

Use Advance Orders to avoid Op Fire.

Try to keep a Revive Order, just in case.

And, so far, in my experience Mortars are "almost" worthless dead weight. (unless, of course, you are the defender and the attacker must cross a wide area of open ground to get to your units)

There is nothing that you can do about "triggers", just take the benefits and detriments as they come, and deal with them as best you can as the situation allows.

Use leaders! This is Combat Commander and leaders are game changers.

The more I play this game, the more I appreciate the design. Yes, it has a lot randomness, however; the game is equally random to both sides. Randomness plays a role, however; you can get randomness on your side if you use the cards that you are dealt wisely.

So, you can defeat the defender, but; you need a plan!

Keep playing. This is an excellent simulation of WWII tactical combat!

And, historically, it is always easier to defend a location, than to attack a location.






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Brian Morris
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patton55 wrote:
For me, at first, it took a few games for me to get that killing the bad guys units wasn't the only thing. It's getting objectives, getting your guys off the map, running out your deck as the defender, etc....



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Rob Arcangeli
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Just learning the CC system as well and I had the exact same thoughts until I remembered about Fire Groups and Action Card bonuses. Even so it is often hard to dig a unit out of terrain but that seems to be about right in my head.

Wasn't it meant be something like 10,000 bullets fired for every casaulty?
 
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Chris Montgomery
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Arcangeli wrote:

Just learning the CC system as well and I had the exact same thoughts until I remembered about Fire Groups and Action Card bonuses. Even so it is often hard to dig a unit out of terrain but that seems to be about right in my head.

Wasn't it meant be something like 10,000 bullets fired for every casaulty?


Also note that, as in most wargames, "eliminated" does not mean you killed each guy . . . it can also represent the fact that they are "combat ineffective" for the rest of the scenario, or that they run away, etc. So a "broken" unit simply means one that is about to become combat ineffective . . . they can either rally and get their crap together, or they're going to run away / get shot / surrender. I have always seen "broken" as a temporary morale state that opens up the opportunity to eliminate the combat effectiveness of an enemy unit.

Cheers!
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